Living With Chronic Pain: My Journey With Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
My name is Meghan Newsom and I own a little photography business in North Alabama named M.Newsom Photography. I am an artist, a believer, a wife, a doggy mamma, an adventurer, and a survivor. Over the course of my 28 year old life, I have had over 25 surgeries. I have had two reconstructive jaw, facial and tons of knee and joint surgeries. I wake up every day with constant pain. I am diagnosed with TMJ, fibromyalgia, a rare connective tissue disorder called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Hypothyroidism, endometriosis, chronic migraines and celiac disease.
I don't allow those things to stand in the way of my life. Each morning I get out of bed, put my clothes on and continue living a life that I have always imagined. I rock climb, I kayak, I adventure, I travel and most importantly I help people by sharing their stories through photography, walking beside them in their triumphs and struggles.
Over the past 10 years, I have had to re-define what "normal" looks like for me. I had to quit so many nine to five jobs because my body just couldn't hold up, I've had to give up my dreams of teaching children because my jaw couldn't talk for long periods of time, and I've had the responsibility of providing for my little family while my husband pursued nursing school.
Because of this, I turned to my first love: photography. At my core, I'm a hoarder of memories, of people I love, and of friendships. I knew I wanted to be able to do something with my life that not only gave me life, but gave life to the people I met along the way. That's when I picked up my old camera and began learning the art of photography and the art of light. My business allows me to set my own schedule, to edit at my own pace, to sleep and rest when I need to and to create when I have the energy.
Over the past five years, I have had many setbacks in my health leading to setback in my life and I can honestly say that the medium of photography is the only outlet I have. It is a way I can express myself when my body fails. A way I can see the goodness and the beauty in life when all around me things seem to be crumbling. My camera gets me out, it keeps me traveling, it keeps me interacting with people when all I want to do is quit. It allows me to breathe in life and beauty.
Even though I can no longer sleep on the bare ground, or hike a 14teener my husband and I are re-imagining our life and are finding ways to adventure, ways to have children in our home when we cannot have our own, ways to invest in the community around us. This life is hard, but in the brokenness and in the crushed dreams there is always beauty. I am beyond thankful to my camera for helping me capture that beauty.