My name is Lucy Yetman-Michaelson. I am 19 years old and am currently a Junior at New York University studying Psychology, but I’m originally from Mid-City LA. I first was introduced to the UCLA pediatric pain clinic and to the concept of creative healing when I was 11 years old. I suffered from chronic headaches and fatigue on and off for most of my middle and high-school experience, but each year I grew more and more resilient. The pain and fatigue returned less and less as I worked with UCLA’s team to heal and grow into the person I am today. I am able to do things today I would never have thought possible for myself seven or eight years ago. I have taken on leadership roles at my university, including being a Resident Assistant for the Residential College on campus and a peer writing tutor for the Expository Writing Center. Last semester I studied away in Paris and traveled throughout Europe. And I have spent the last couple of years living, learning and exploring in New York City. I say all this because, though my journey with pain was long, difficult and immensely frustrating, I was able to overcome the hardships and learn a lot about myself in the process. There are still some days when I feel tired or have a headache, but I have learned so many strategies to deal with the fatigue and pain that these instances no longer define me. I wish I had known the future that was awaiting me when I was feeling my worst. I hope by sharing my experiences, both past, and present, I can show young people struggling with pain that while coping and healing with chronic pain is a process, there is always hope. 

Lucy’s creative healing: meditating, dancing to music alone in my room, mindful breathing, writing, and aroma therapy