“If you have your health, you are wealthy. If you have loving family and friends, you are wealthy. If you have a job or career that you love and where you can earn a living, you are wealthy. If you allow yourself to love, and if you are loved, you are wealthy. If you have a spiritual practice that nourishes and supports you, you are wealthy. Wealth should never be measured in dollars and cents, or in “stuff.” Wealth is the daily nourishment that feeds us body, mind and spirit.” – Wendy Coven Blanchard, written 10/4/22

If you live with chronic pain as I do, you probably agree with my sentiments above.

I live with Lupus and advanced spinal arthritis.

My physical disorders thus far have been treatment resistant. The specialist tells me it will take between 4-6 weeks for the medication that I finally agreed to try after years of refusal, to help with the pain. And I’m in PT which is so helpful.

I went back to work full time yesterday in my “day” job as a reading specialist, and of course, continue to see clients and do workshops/trainings in my business which is my “nourishment” as I serve our global population in education of mental health and wellness.

My district has been AMAZING in providing me with all of the necessary accomodations to help me to be an effective teacher. And they have been so empathetic to my challenges as far as sick leave. I could not be more blessed. 

I have purchased everything from special sneakers, a foot rest for under my desk, heating pad for work, ice pack for work, and have a standing desk in my office, and I am able to implement my PT stretches throughout the day. If you know me, you know I walk 2 miles every day. Always have. It is for my physical and mental health.

And, after just one day of work yesterday, the systemic inflammation (I hope will calm down after a few more weeks of meds) is off the charts. By the time I got home, I had to go stratight to bed.

This is no quality of life.

Then, the pain woke me up after 4 hours. I started my stretches, took some Motrin, (no controlled substances for me as I’m in my 10th year of recovery), controlled breathing, showered, and prayer and meditation, and writing of course. My writing allows me to express, and to help others through connection living with chronic and debilitating disorders.

I am at a loss.

Social security is a joke, so I don’t have the option to retire even at my age of 64. And, if I did, I’m only “allowed” to earn a fixed amount through my business yearly when I do collect. Who is making these rules???!!! How are we supposed to live and thrive with so many restrictions, especially those of us who are aging??!! 

Due to my lifelong addiction and mental health disorders (in my 10th year of recovery now) I did not work steadily so I never received tenure. 

I am at an age where I would like to retire, (except from running my business and serving others in mental health) but I don’t have that option. 

In order to nourish my body as I age and to keep the inflammation to a miniumum, I feel I need to find a way to earn a living that will allow me to work part time in the community, and the rest of the time at home.

It is what it is. If you have any ideas, I am asking for our community to provide me with any leads. I’m an excellent writer/author, coach and teacher.

It was so amazing to go back to school yesterday to see my students and a few friends/colleagues, but I struggled. I am hoping that in the next month, the medication that has been prescribed for Lupus/arthritis will give me relief and I can continue on my way. But I need to go very slowly, one day at a time.

In the meantime, as a “Plan B” I am trying to set up options for myself. 

NOBODY can understand this journey unless they live with a debilitating disorder, and then the stress of worrying about reporting to a job, and most importantly, being the best and most effective for your students, and the realization that my income will cease if I am unable to continue to work.

My later mother, Judy Rosen, used to always say, “If you have your health, you have everything you need.” 


I lived a life of having all of the monetary things I could hope to have for a lifetime.

I lost it all in my addiction, and in the past 10 years of my recovery, I have built a pretty nice life for myself, including my business where I am able to serve others living with mental health and substance use disorders. I pride myself in being able to take care of all of my needs on my own.

That is all I want to continue to do.

To take care of myself in every way, and to serve our global community in mental health and wellness. And to spend time with my children and granddaughters. I cannot even drive 2 hours to visit my family. So for now, FaceTime is the way we stay connected.

Time to get ready for work now.

Positive mindset, lots of water, Motrin, music, and most of all my deep faith where I know I am always being protected and supported by God/Spirit/Universe. I keep reminding myself that God did not bring me this far to let anything happen to me now.

You can read all about my story in my book Write Pray Recover:A Journey To Wellness Through Spiritual Solutions and Self Care available on Amazon and Kindle, and other online bookstores worldwide.

Be well.

I feel better after writing and sharing! Writing is a wonderful and effective wellness tool! 

Love and blessings,


Wendy Blanchard