Chronic Illness, Art and Pain
I struggle with a chronic illness. I don't put this out there much because it's something that comes and goes. On my good days, I forget the pain, feeling like I don't even have anything wrong with me. That's when I slip up and forget my limitations. Leaving me to feel angry with myself on my bad days, because I know that I did something to trigger all the pain that I think. I didn't get enough sleep, eat enough food, or drink enough water. I let my stress get to high. I lay in the bathtub, the water as hot as I can stand it, trying to numb the pain, wondering why I have to deal with this. Eventually, it stops, and I can carry on, but when it is happening, time seems slower, and I feel like it won't ever end. Chronic illness is a living nightmare. Art helps me deal with the pain; it gives me something else to focus on. Something I can get lost in, while I push past the pain. If I didn't have my art, as a therapeutic tool, I think I'd have to have something else, or I'd go crazy from the pain alone. Currently, my feet and calves feel like pins and needles, my neck and back are tight, and I keep having muscle spasms and twitches. I'm sitting in my artist studio, heating pad on my lower back, ready to paint. I wait between brush strokes, taking deep breaths when the pain hits. Eventually, it becomes tolerable, and I focus on steadying my right hand, while my the back of my arms randomly shake and spasm. I'll end up going back and fixing any mistakes I make, when my hands are more steady and my body isn't betraying me. My paintings require many layers anyway, to get the color saturation that I intend on.