Hello beautiful people!
I am Elizabeth D'Angelo and I'd like to officially welcome you to Bedfest!
I am here in my bedroom in Ormond Beach, Florida, USA, where I've spent most of the last seven years working tirelessly to heal my body. My illness began in 2010 when a doctor put me on thyroid hormones. My health unraveled rapidly after that. I moved home to heal, thinking I would only be here for a few months, and now I have been here for seven years. My illness evolved into severe myalgic encephalomyelitis, a condition that has left me with severe musculoskeletal weakness and sensory sensitivity, amongst a vast range of other extremely debilitating symptoms.
I join you today. In fact, I join 19 million people worldwide with myalgic encephalomyelitis. A staggering number, considering the immense lack of awareness and funding. I join you today in longing for healing, in a powerful vision of hope, of healing, of coming together to educate our communities, and of hope for research and science that will solve this puzzle.
Today is a special day though. Today I join you to celebrate! We will be celebrating our creativity today. Bound by an illness that keeps us isolated from our friends, family, workplaces, our dreams and aspirations, today we will transcend!
I'd like to welcome the artists that have contributed creative work for this event:
My contribution to Bedfest is of visual art. When I put paint on a brush and move it around on a surface, I have a feeling like it was what I was put on this planet to do. The other thing that feels that way to me is sharing and spreading love. So, I am a painter and a Love Warrior. From the confines of this bedroom, I try to spend as much time as possible painting and spreading love.
The practice of engaging in these two activities allows me to feel expansive, even when I can't even walk to my own bathroom. Thanks to the Internet, I can share my artwork and love with lots of people and that is one of the things that keeps me going.
I have a vision for my life beyond this bedroom though, and I am committed with every ounce of my humanity to find a path to overcoming my illness. For me, it appears that if I educate myself enough and have enough support and resources that I will find a way to do this. So, this painting is called "the miracle manifestor." I'm speaking of active manifesting. Manifesting that takes education and information, research and knowledge, first. Manifesting that takes perseverance and persistence. Manifesting that takes support, often teams of people coming together to help where it is needed.
For an illness like mine to strike me and cause my entire world to collapse the way it did, there had to be a perfect storm. Alternately, for me to overcome this illness, I will need layers of miracles stacked up to support me. So that is essentially what this painting is about. Active manifesting.
MEACTION is all about active manifesting. This inspired group of people, most of whom have ME themselves, are committed to finding ways to create change for the millions of people who are suffering profoundly with this disease. I am very grateful to be a part of this inspired mission today.
This exciting event today, Bedfest, was inspired by an idea formed by Musician, Kaeley Pruitt-Hamm. Kaeley has suffered with ME for the past few years, and for periods of time, has been so weak that she has been unable to hold up her head for more than a few minutes each day.
Very slowly, Kaeley was able to record an EP from her bed called "Hi from Pillows," which she will debut this month. Kaeley is re-releasing a song from her EP called "Believe Her" for BedFest, which includes faces of people whose illnesses have not been believed.
Kaeley will talk more about producing an EP despite being bedbound, about her music video "Believe Her" and how the idea for bedfest was formed later on in this call.
I'd like to welcome again all of the artists from all over the world who have contributed creative work for this event. Please take time today and over the next few days to view their work on the website. And please share their work with your social media community using the hashtag #bedfest.
Also, we have created a BedFest Facebook Group for the community to continue to engage with one another going forward. You can find information about all of this in the chat box on the right-side panel.
In closing, you inspire me. The entries that I've seen have made me fall into guttural sobs. We are a mighty group of beautiful beings courageously....breathing. Yes, sometimes the only thing we can do is breathe. And yet, even that takes courage, when we are THAT profoundly ill. And then, on the days that we can do more than breathe, we are finding ways to live our life purposes. We are finding ways to connect and to love one another. You... We... Are amazing. Thank you for being the you that is you. And thank you for sharing with me today.