When I first heard Jamie Tripp Utitus name for the blog I was quite perplexed. Jamie is a middle aged woman who suffers from MS or Multiple Sclerosis. She is a very nice person and not ugly in any way or fashion. But then she explained it to me that her blog was talking about the ‘ugly’ truth in life. Then I understood.
Here is Jamie’s description of her own blog, Ugly Like Me, “What began as a diary of sorts to help me cope with Multiple Sclerosis, has turned into a book of portraits I have painted that, more often than not, have very little to do with MS. This is for the artists who taught me the most beautiful things come from pain, and my sister, Stacey, who also has MS…” http://uglylikeme.typepad.com
I asked Jamie why she did the blog and she said that she needed some way to give back. That by opening her life up to expose her own good, bad and especially ugly, she feels that in some way she is contributing to society and paying back. This notion of wanting to help others is something so missed not only with those suffering from psychiatric problems but in society in general. I firmly believe that it is more blessed to give then to receive. Admirably Jamie has taken the path to give to others, she does so by exploring her humanity in a candid fashion.
Jamie works at a group called New Jersey Peace Action where my wife and I volunteer. http://www.njpeaceaction.org/drupal/ We were talking today and she referred to my wife Sylvia, who suffers from dementia, “That’s our connection,” she said. I am of course Sylvia’s caretaker. In turn Jamie is somebody who receives care from her husband. When I work with Sylvia to help her, Jamie sees her husband in me. Thus besides our common interest in peace, and justice there is a personal and deeper bond.
The whole idea of “Ugly Like Me” is brilliant, brutal honesty. Jamie feels the more honest that she can get the more people are attracted to her writings. If you want to watch something fake there are plenty of channels on the television to numb your mind. Jamie presents her heart, mind and soul from her unique perspective. Let’s face it, we’ve all had our bad moments in life, Jamie seeks to explore those times we’d sooner forget.
Jamie’s personal journey has expanded beyond her own personal blog. Because of her writing other MS blogs have hired her on to do some writing. She acts like a mentor to me sharing her wisdom and experience in this art we call blogging.
Jamie says to keep the blogs short so the conversation ends here, check out her blog and tell her John sent you.
Please check out my latest book of poetry “Polishing The Fragments”. It is a brutally honest look at my life. https://johnkaniecki.weebly.com/polishing-the-fragments.html