Claire Refaey

North Carolina

I am a 36 year old wife and mother living in Charlotte, North Carolina.  I became ill with an infection I never recovered from on September 26, 2015.  Every aspect of my life has been altered dramatically and I went from being a very successful executive in the financial services industry to living with a turbulent illness that stole my energy, my body and my career.  The main tool I used to drive towards goals in my career and life was ”pushing”. Now, even the slightest attempt to push myself can land me in the ER with paralyzing effects and can take months to recover from.


This painting represents my life today.  Aside from the concerns about health, money and my future, I have been forced to take a step back and re-assess how I “show up” to life.  One of the amazing affects of having ME is that all my senses are heightened.  Life and the moments we partake in are intense and beautiful, but I must choose which elements of life I can absorb and which I must shelter myself from.  

I am learning to slowly breathe in and say “Yes”.  I am learning to slowly breathe out and say “Thank you”.  And this is all I can do.

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