Friday, 28 April 2017
Managing Chronic and Disabling Pain With Creativity
On fineartamerica.com is a small group called "Art From The Heart". These are artists who each have some type of disability, and I happen to be not only one of then, but the fortunate host who sees all their beautiful art. I admire these people. Each and every one of them. They refuse to lay down and call a halt to life.
Why create when the mere act causes pain?
I cannot speak completely for others, but I can speak for myself. Fibromyalgia, Ankylosing Spondylitis, and a few other autoimmune issues are highly debilitating; in fact you can take just one of the above and it will put down the strongest. It's as if your body has been stolen or taken over against your own will and there is nothing you can do about it.
Pain meds? Sure, I can take them, but they're so strong they leave me brain dead with only creative dreams, not a creative life that is fulfilling.
Pain management teams are fantastic, but they persist in speaking of "acceptance". I will always disagree with this when it comes to a creative person and their illness(s).
Acceptance of the illness? Most definitely! But acceptance of resting a great deal, taking a great deal of medication and getting a lot of sleep isn't my idea of acceptance.
Focus is the key for me, and by the group I host, I can see clearly that it is the very same for others. Being actively creative requires a great deal of focus and that very factor of focusing in on art removes the focus away from the pain. It's as if nature steps in and fills the entire body with natural endorphins and seratonin.
But what about after a long bout of creativity? You pay. I know I pay a hefty price pain-wise, but it's a happy pain, a fulfilled pain. This is extremely different from the pain that anyone suffers simply by "being".
The pain after is worth the thrill of creating a beautiful artwork right now.
Please bare in mind, I am no writer; not even close, but to me, this is an extremely important subject - there is a definite link between keeping the brain active by any means and conquering debilitating pain.
If you are someone with a chronic illness and you are reading this, never give up your dreams. You have already sacrificed enough. No one signs up for any type of illness.
I'll refuse my illnesses constant gain over my body. Yes, they have their say, but they'll not win!
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