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Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite
A Light in the Darkness: Transcending Chronic Illness through the Power of Art and Attitude is a memoir by Lisa A. Sniderman, an award-winning singer-songwriter, artist, and playwright. Sniderman was diagnosed in 2008 with a rare, incurable autoimmune disease called dermatomyositis (DM). Just as she was becoming recognized in her field and opportunities were opening up, she found herself canceling performances due to the debilitating effect of the disorder. Over the next decade, Sniderman developed strategies and techniques to live life to the fullest within this new framework. Her techniques center on cultivating an attitude of joy and hope, using the healing power of artistic expression, and having a positive support system. Lyrics, quotations, photographs, and illustrations capture her inspirational journey. Questions for reflection and a list of resources on chronic illness are also provided.
In A Light in the Darkness, Sniderman answers a question that any of us could face: What can we do if we have an illness or disability that doesn’t go away? In a frank and practical approach, she addresses the fear, the uncertainty, the stress, and the depression that accompany such a question and shares the details of her struggle with it. Her writing style is straightforward and engaging. I like her “Life Lessons for Living Well with Chronic Illness” and the focus on simple tools such as engaging in art, surrounding yourself with positivity and humor, meditating in nature, accepting a slower pace, and being kind to yourself to reduce stresses that can trigger inflammation. “Living well with a chronic illness requires physical, emotional, and spiritual support,” she writes. “I keep my spirits high and fill my head and heart with love, gratitude, humor, and a positive attitude. This has carried me through the darkness of my DM.” Truly inspiring. Highly recommended.