Authors & Artists

Vicki. Vicki’s blog is called “Miss Diagnoses” because she has too many diagnoses and because her Lyme disease was misdiagnosed for many years. She is a writer, a cartoonist, a professional patient, and a very silly person. Her writing and cartooning are limited by repetitive strain injury and neuropathy, but she uses assistive technology. Miss Diagnoses: Life with Multiple Ailments
Elizabeth D’Angelo. Love Warrior Visionary, painter of magic, healer of hearts, and spreader of hope – channels her creativity by maintaining an openness to play. While fighting an illness that has bound her almost entirely to her bed and bedroom for the last seven years, she transcends all boundaries by painting what she sees in flashes of insight. Learn more: About the Artist
Elizabeth’s website
Elizabeth’s artwork store
Robin Mead. I’m a Mixed Media, Water-coloring, Acrylic using Artist and Art Journaler. I Love color and use vibrant and bold colors to capture the joy in life. Robin Mead Designs
Donni Lockridge
I was a former teacher who left public teaching to invest in my own private kindergarten. Five years into it, I got a flu compounded by a cold and bronchitis. That was the beginning of the end for me. I became completely bedridden for 11 months and I’m currently 75% bedbound. I have always enjoyed painting. Soon, these images began flooding my vision. I hope that they speak for our ME/CFS community, and largely for anyone living with a chronic, limiting illness or condition.
Lily is homebound and partially bedridden with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. She lives with a small group of kind-hearted, like-minded friends and familiars who brighten her days. If she is not here posting, she is almost certainly somewhere petting a cat.
Sarah Dubinsky is a Social Security Disability lawyer. Sarah has an extensive Social Security disability background, not only as a spirited and accessible advocate in New Jersey but also as an advisor for the Social Security Administration. Sarah Dubinsky, Esq 
Zeraph Dylan Moore My artwork emulates industrial decay, archaeological artifacts, and processes of geologic change.In the past several years, I’ve become disabled with a chronic illness called CFS-ME. I no longer explore a lot of abandoned buildings, and am mostly housebound. Much of my work is created in bed. For this reason, working at a small size – usually just 5” x 5” – is ideal. Zeraph
Grind Studios
Teri Birch 
Teri has been living with Lyme Disease since 2007. She is the creator of the Facebook Group Social Service Connections for Lyme Disease.
  Marion Michell has M.E. & P.O.T.S., is mostly housebound and spends much of the day supine. For years she made art lying down. When her hands stopped cooperating she poured her art into writing, iPad on belly, ever so slowly, until tiny, concise feats of beauty emerged. Fact is: unless completely eviscerated by fatigue she needs to create. Even if she ponders one sentence for six hours. Pictured above: Preparation for the degree show at art college (1998). “A year later I was horizontal…” Marion’s website 
Marion’s blog 
Marion’s book 
Colleen Steckel
Colleen Steckel is Founder of the North Carolina and Ohio M.E./FM Support group on Facebook and an Advisory Committee Member at
Sakara is sixteen years old. She has had ME since the age of five. Sakara created the Visible Illness campaign, where she uses makeup to make invisible pain visible.
Visit Sakara’s Blog
Visit Visible Illness
Visit Sakara’s Facebook Page
Visit Sakara’s Instagram
Laura Chamberlain
Laura is a writer who had to give up her career as a journalist when she became ill with ME. You can find Laura on Facebook, twitter, and on her wonderful blog Laura’s Pen.
An international network of patients empowering each other to fight for health equality for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.
Shoes Missing People


16 thoughts on “Authors & Artists”

  1. Hi–Our adult son lives with us, a family of 3. Currently, he does not pay his fair share so his SSI is only $500. His actual fair share of monthly household expenses would be $746 and he would pay for his own food. He works, and gets to keep $127/month after the SSI work reductions.

    We want to ask for a check redetermination so he receives max SSI of $750. Does SSI consider it reasonable for us to charge him $746/month for his fair share (that would still give him $127/month additional to pay for his food and other spending)?

    Thank you!


    1. Hi Laura,

      I’m not sure what state you are in, but he would not be able to receive the maximum amount if he is working. That level of work would reduce his check by about $30.

      Do you own or rent your home?

      Also, if he is 22 or older and prepares his food separately, he would be eligible for his own food stamps account. That is a way that he could pay for his food 🙂 if he’s paying his share of rent that will be taken into account for the food stamps.


      1. Hi again–Thank you so much for your reply. We own our home and he is 19. I’m just wondering if SSI would consider $746 fair share an unreasonable amount, even though that’s truly what it is. Using their deductions ($20 and $65 work deductions), he’d get to keep $127 from his work in addition to the $750 SSI.

        I think they’d consider him to be one household, although he does meet some of the qualifications for separate household. If we were to charge him “fair market” for his room, it would actually be a higher rent amount than his fair share amount.

        I want to be prepared for a successful check redetermination when I go to the SSI appointment. Like most people, I get a completely different answer from SSI every time I talk to someone there. Your site is tremendously helpful and I trust your insight.

        Thank you!


        1. Hi laura…

          This is my understanding:

          I’m going to make up a number. Let’s say his work income is $165. They minus $65 and divide the rest by half. His SSI check reduces by $50.

          If the rent you are charging is the actual fair share cost and it is within his means to pay it, I believe SSI should accept it.

          They only care about shelter, food, and utilities, so it has no impact if you buy your son’s clothes, personal belongings, transportation, medical expenses, etc – as long as no money is given to him directly and his bank account is separate from yours.

          Did you include utilities, property tax and required insurance in the calculations? you do not need to include phone and internet.


        2. p.s . I’m curious why fair market rate would be higher than this amount. I don’t know where you live – the most expensive spot on the planet? — in most places I have seen a single bedroom in a shared house would not rent for $750 per month.


  2. The money i have is from a house i used to own with my x.
    They don’t count the house but do count the cash that is now paying such high rents here in Cali.
    Is there somewhere i can put the money to quality where i can access it at some point?
    Should i buy a car that i can sell later, although i need a car.


    1. So sorry you are in this position valerie.

      You could get on the waiting list for some affordable housing programs, many of them do not have asset limits:

      I’m not sure what you are trying to qualify for… I believe some programs count IRAs but it probably different for different programs.

      Most programs I am aware of do not count one house and one car.

      I very much hope you can find some help.

      If you have a mental illness diagnosis, you might look into the SOAR program, they assist with disability applications:


  3. What is this “How to get on Authors and Artists”? Is it the people running this site?
    I am an artist on disability.
    Looking for help with anything that will help me as i am running out of savings. I am paying rent with my savings. I cannot apply for anything it seems until it is all gone and then will i be homeless before it happens?



  4. Is it okay to be an artist while living on SSI disability? I am living in fear that my benefits will be stopped (or worse) if they found out I do art. I have sold a few, but that was before ssi was approved, and now I am not selling any because I know I can’t make any income. The art style i do doesn’t require a lot of physical work, but i am still paranoid that someone might see it as “not disabled” then because they don’t see my day to day life. Ssi was approved for both physical and mental. I have a social media page for my art, but my real name isn’t on it (due to fear). Is it okay to still do art and post about it, even if i don’t sell any anymore? Should i be afraid to use my real name or would that be ok? I am so nervous about even asking this question here, but i figured it was a good place. thank you


    1. Here is the link with information that explains what they consider in disability reviews.

      I have never heard of someone having a problem because of doing artwork as a hobby.

      However there is no way to know 100% how Social Security will view every case.

      For most people, if their medical records are clear that their symptoms are still severe and their condition has not improved, they do not have any problems passing reviews. I hope it goes well for you.


  5. The art work is so beautiful, it makes me cry. When my daughter used to make a complete mess with her yogurt, my wife and I said that she might, one day, become a yogurt artist. Now that she’s eleven, she does love to draw. I showed her some of the artwork, which she really loved. I’m going to explore it all.

    Meanwhile, thank you for the site, the kind intent to help others, and the whole tone. It’s hard enough to live a life that might be different than that of peer, such as my son may experience, but, he’s got some steel determination and grit, as well as a knowledge, even at his age, that God is real and is ultimately in charge, that i know he will serve his purpose on this planet, in just the body God gave him.

    Peace to all of you kind, sweet souls.


  6. I’m sorry but I don’t know where else to leave this question. I asked 2 questions. #1 I received an answer and #2 I am trying to find. They are both in the same place but I haven’t any idea to how to get back there. Your site has so much useful information that I find, but there lays the problem. In a matter of a few minutes, I find that I have multiple Windows open and can’t ever seem to get back to the original, since when you open a window, you can open more and more. With all these miserable meds I’m on, I get confused, forgetful and so many other side dishes I didn’t order ;). Can you help me find out where I’ve been so I know where I’m going?, Gee, did I just write song lyric?! My questions had to do with paying rent. My email is below. And if you could maybe send it to me?. I thought that when you replied it might go to my email as well which is why I thought we enter our email address below. I feel like totally embarrassed writing this, but I have tried to find my questions and Sleepgirls answers to no avail.
    If you have any tips to help in the future, please please let me know. Is there a way I can email a question I might have, directly to someone, or is there a search bar I am not seeing that I could maybe put in a key word. My email is below so please send those 2 questions and answers. Please tell me I’m not alone in this! God, I would hate to think I’m the only one that can’t find his way back! Thank you and Happy Valentine’s Day,!


  7. Can someone tell me how on earth to even get a diagnosis of ME? Or get SS disability, or build a case?
    I have an abnormal spect scan. Showing low blood flow to many areas and causing cognitive impairment. The doctor gave me Citicholine..a vitamin and sent me on my way. i have an abnormal mri, showing the multiple bright dots of inflammation and my pituitary has shrunken. I am unable to get that properly evaluated. I am probably missing Growth Hormone and Cortisol, so may not even really have cfs or fibromyalgia, as disease, if they are, but missing hormones cause all of the same symptoms. I have Hashimotos Disease as well. My immune system is attacking my own glands. I was diagnosed by a Rheumatologist with Fibromyalgia and and CFS, she gave me Gabapentin and told me to take the pills, they will help me to sleep and exercise vigorously and i will be fine. The pills slowed my body down even more and i cannot where regular shoes due to pain. she told me my immune system and missing hormones from the pituitary and thyroid, have NOTHING to do with my fatigue and pain!! I have no doctor to tie these tests results together form a diagnosis and get me proper treatment . I am on Endocrinologist #6 now. I have seen 60 doctors, one specialist for each symptom, since 2008. I have been denied socials security disability year ago and am awaiting a hearing. They say i have no proof. No doctor has found me disabled! I can’t even digest my food. I am in bed 16 hours a day, with barely any sleep. My vision is blurry, dizzy, pain weak, heart know the way it is. aNY IDEA FOR HELP. oH, AND MY LAWYERS, WHO DROPPED ME, DID NOT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT MY MEDICAL CONDITIONS AT ALL, SO THEY did not help me build a case. Excuse the caps. i leaned into a button..thanks for your advise and time.


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