It is not especially easy. I have an medical issue that I'd like to keep private in terms of the details - I can say that it involves my digestive system.
Before I go further, I just want to say it is my intention to focus on the future and on the positives that will come of your support. I just want you to know a bit of my background and at the same time, not overshare.
I want to sprinkle in the good stuff with the difficuty I am facing so you can see my work and thereby learn a bit more about me and see what you are ultimately contributing to by helping me regain my health, vigor, vivaciousness, vitality... please visit
www.jeffmiller-artist.com and www.jeffreymillerinstallationart.com My instagram account is @jeffreymillermfa, if you'd like to see some of my recent multimedia work on paper, "dance", and performance work.
On with the story:
I've been dealing with this situation for something like 10 years now, maybe 12. I think it started when I was living in my studio in St. Louis. I wasn't eating much (because, starving artist) and I got down to 123 LBS. and virtually destroyed my stomach in the process. What food I was eating was not exactly nutritious, either. Pretty much just pasta all the time.
I was taking showers at the YMCA for about 6 years, had cut off my hand in a freak house painting accident, got hit by a car, came off my bike at 46 MPH and hit an upturned rooted end of a tree stump.... There's actually more, much more, unfortunately, but I'll spare you. I say all this just to emphasise that my body was in a terribly weakened state.
Additional stress from just the day to day survival, let alone concerns over racism, homelessness, warfare, certainly contributed to my mental, emotional, and physical sate of disrepair. That is, I was in a perfect storm for my digestive system to nearly shut down 50%. Ironic that I was having a hard time digesting everything?
Flash forward: I have come a long, long way in terms of my mental, and emotional well being. I've learned a great deal about nutrition and that has been where a big chunk of my $ goes these last two years since coming to understand what my condition actually is. I'm on track and I look forward to having the energy, presence of mind, and a spirit of joy... to being ME again, so that I can give to the world the best I have to offer.
Physically, I struggle a great deal. I have very little energy and it effects my ability to focus. It dampens my spirit (AKA depression), and the fatigue is the biggest issue - I often sleep 12 hours a day. I do a task or two and then sort of shut down. This last 8 weeks or so, it seems quite difficult. I actually feel less brain fog and far less depression than I used to, but the fatigue seems to be getting worse. I see a way out now, and that's where the GoFundMe page comes in.
So much progress has been made in studying gut health as of late and I am aleviated to feel that there is a way out of this mess. There is a treatment available that a friend who is a microbioligist/professor says shows remarkably promissing results. People need between 3-10 of them depending on the severity of their situation. I'd be thrilled to receive at least three of them. At $750 per, that would total $2,250. Medicaid won't cover it, naturally.
Getting work house painting has been almost non-existent this year. I'm just sort of getting by. Rent is due, gas, food, car insurance, etc. etc. And I have maybe 400 right now. I'm not trying to play the role of victim, this is just my current situation. I wasn't going to do this until I got the encouragement from a few friends to, "put myself out there" and, "trust in the kindness and generosity of strangers"
Jean Cocteau, the French novelist and playwright said, "Art is not a passtime, it is a priesthood."
I do feel this is my calling, my passion, my vocation, my education and natural talent. It is my great hope that regaining my health will put me in a position to further contribute much needed creativity to this world. Not only do I strive to make worthwhile art, I have a dream of starting a practice as a creative facillitator, to help people struggling with PTSD, addiction, abuse, childhood trauma, etc.
I don't have much I can offer in return right now, if you look at the photo/illustration page on the first link above, I have several 14X20" prints valued at $60 per that I can mail out. Perhaps I can do a commission? Let me know if you have any ideas. I'm open to it!
Having said that, one friend who encouraged me said he got TWO of his trips covered to India to study in Mysore and that no one even took him up on his incentives. That blows my mind. I feel like I am suppossed to do something to be worthy of this request.
To say that I am grateful for and humbled by your support- that this opportunity would breathe new life into me and renew my mind, body, and spirit- that would be an understatement.
Thank you for your love and consideration!
A note on dance: Perhaps you will see me "doing my thing" and think, "He's got pleanty of energy". Well, the only metephor (unless you know spoon theory) is like I have only so much gas in the tank. can drive real fast sometimes, but if I only have 1/8 in the tank, I won't get far. So, I sometimes feel i MUST dance to release tension, or more importantly, anchor creativity and light on earth, with what I have available. I can't just lie in bed all the time and I am fighting for something that extends beyond my own being. I hope that makes sense.