You saw this page on the table at the end of the last post.
It’s pretty raw stuff because what I’m dealing with on this page is pain. I will be going straight back to the docs when I get home as I’m in constant pain now and that’s just not right. This holiday is teaching me new lessons – back home I found the pain completely debilitating and just wanted to curl up with a hot water bottle and do nothing. Here I am determined not to let it stop me and finding ways to cope. I’m on strong painkillers (always a last resort as I hate taking medication), but they don’t take it away, just reduce it to a bearable level for a while. I’ve learned what my limitations are – I am better in the mornings and need to take it easy after any kind of activity (plus the painkillers make me drowsy). Life really does seem to be one long series of lessons sometimes. I’d really like to graduate from this school someday …
Anyway, the journal page was an attempt to find words that have the opposite meaning to pain. I didn’t want to say ‘pain free’ because that still has the word pain in it. So I came up with the words you see here – ease, joy and comfort which speak to me of the opposite sensations.
The writing at the top left says “IT IS HENCEFORTH DECLARED THAT THE SENSATION KNOWN AS ‘PAIN’ IS BANISHED FROM THIS BODY”
One of the things that helps is deep breathing, yoga style. I take deep cleansing breaths and imagine I’m exhaling the pain. Last night I created this double journal page.
The page backgrounds are done with PanPastels. I then doodled over them with a Pigma Graphic brush marker and coloured the doodles and words with Polychromos pencils. I discovered that the Polychromos work like a dream on top of PanPastels – the colours were coming out really creamy and rich.
I added some stenciling with the PanPastels too, but I don’t have any fixative with me, so it isn’t really staying put – the background colour has been rubbed in to the paper and is not going to budge. So I enhanced the stenciling with a touch of acrylic paint.
Doodling and journaling is also a good way to combat pain as you can get engrossed and absorbed and detatch yourself for a while.
I have a new found empathy for anyone else suffering from chronic pain and hope that you too have found ways to cope. I do think my problems are fixable, though there is still a slight mystery as to what exactly is going on and I suspect I will need surgery to find out (laparoscopy).
Hmmm, I’ve just thought, I think of my journal as a place to creatively visualise solutions to problems. The ‘slow down’ page is a good message for me, but I think I should create a ‘hurry up’ page aimed at the NHS!
Maybe all this visualisation is working – today I’m actually feeling better than I have all week. And it’s another gloriously sunny day so we are off out to enjoy it.