Chronic pain is a bitch. A relentless nagging one I am tethered to for the rest of my life and unable to divorce from.
I am a silver linings gal. I chose every day to find the silver lining in whatever hardship I am dealing with. And I can tell you this pain in the ass makes it damn difficult most days. I can tell you for certain dealing with this bitch has made dealing with a lot of others in the world easier haha. I mean seriously I have enough to deal with right? Not my circus, not my monkeys, etc etc… silver linings and all that jazz… (jazz hands people)
Now in the last few weeks my pain levels had actually dropped and I’d started labelling the levels of my pain to easier describe it to those around me. Low, med-low, med, med-high, high, extremely-high, kill me now. So far so good in helping those in my life understand a little easier where I am at on a daily basis pain-wise. I mean how on earth do you accurately help someone else understand what you cannot physically see the majority of the time? It’s not like a normal persons pain, where it’s different from their norm and they are not used to it so it knocks them for a six. I deal with pain 24/7 and still have to live life, be a mum, run businesses, clean house, be a friend,do good deeds, look after my mental health and have a social life. So I, like every chronic pain sufferer, get good at doing all of these things regardless of my pain level. It’s when the levels start hitting the high, extreme high and kill me now levels that you will actually see it. You see it affect how I act, affect how many things I can do, invites I respond to, etc.
So this last couple weeks when my inflammation levels started rising along with infection levels and my migraines started to stick around more despite my medications I knew my body was working it’s way up to a pain meltdown of some sort. Last night it hit. I narrowly avoided landing in the hospital. And of course as per my usual creative weird ass brain, in amongst these extremely blindingly painful moments I get struck with inspiration.
It’s always images before words for me. Ever since I started having complex migraines over 3 years ago and lost a good third of my overall vocabulary, my already visual creative mind has compensated for this loss with imagery. So all I could see was my body being overtaken by the pain. Encompassed by it, like a possessed strangling rope. An inescapable one. One that I can see at different levels dependant on where my pain level is. To me this is such a clear descriptive picture of what it is like.
I must thank Jen, Katie & Jac for helping with this shoot as very obviously this is one that was impossible to do without help, not only because I was tied up, but also because I was still extremely unwell. Even now I sit at 3.30 in the morning writing these ramblings because the pain is keeping me from sleep and the pain medication has me itching like mad. (I’m not sure which is annoying me more currently).
I wanted to be tied higher in the end shot than I was, to more accurately represent the current level of my pain. Unfortunately I have a currently sensitive trigger point just above where my hand is in this shot. As soon as the rope got even close to touching that spot I felt like I was going to vomit so we could not tie me up any higher.
I think though the image turned out better than the vision I had in my head. I see the beauty in my pain in this shot and I also see my silver linings. This is me. My pain is a big big part of me. And I use it to make me a better person, a stronger one.. And to all my fellow sufferers… Keep fighting! Find your silver linings, find those small pieces of joy in every day, those small good deeds, those glimmers of hope in smiles.
Keep smiling, keep battling, for you never know who you are inspiring and who you may be saving
Toowoomba Fine Art Photographer