Last week, Lori (a fellow jewelry blogger, whom I follow for her beautiful work and lovely personality) wrote up a lengthy post that I truly connect with with my entire heart and soul... it is titled "Pain Versus Creativity."
|See? Even the Dread Pirate Roberts understands... you should all know the caption that is associated with this photo~|
The truth is, my health is frequently an issue that, until this point, I have frequently swept under the metaphorical mat. I tried not to talk about it because the more one talks about things, the more "real" they become... and this is a reality that I wanted about as much as one wants dental surgery! I have told some number of family members and friends about the details of my health, but this is the first time that I have spoken out to the community at large.
Now, I don't intend to throw a pity-party-- no one likes those-- but when I read Lori's post, I found myself crying from the emotion of someone writing down EXACTLY how I feel about things. The idea that someone else out there understands how I feel, and put in a public forum, gave me the courage to write about my situation.
I have what is known as an Adhesive Disorder, caused by Endometriosis. The situation that I am in is quite complicated, so for now I will hold off on the exact details of what is going on with my body. I'm not ashamed to tell my story, but it's so complicated that it will take much more than a single blog post. For today, though, I will tell you all what this means for me, and how it affects my life.
I am in chronic pain. Many people use the word, but few mean it quite the way that I do. I am in pain, quite literally, every second of every day-- from the moment I open my eyes in the morning, until I go to sleep at night. Pain that wakes me up in the night, from a sound sleep. Pain so severe I cry from it. Pain so excruciating that recovery from surgery is less painful than what I deal with on a day-to-day basis. Pain so unbearable that a bikini wax seems like a gentle tap by comparison. Pain so debilitating that it's hard to move around without limping severely.
Pain that will potentially stay with me for the rest of my life.
Pain that caused me to completely abandon a career path-- teaching-- that I absolutely loved.
|A painting by a former student. I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure the one in the middle is me... and yes, I still have all the artwork from my years in the classroom. I wouldn't give up that "porfolio" for anything!|
The reason that Lori's post resonated so strongly within me, is because of the words she used. "Invisible pain made me feel like an invisible person -- hiding out in a dark room, being deprived of all the things I love to do." Never were truer words spoken.
My health touches my entire life... career, friendships, finances, social outings, even my passions. There are days that I need to tell friends that I don't feel well enough to see them. There are days when I don't leave my bed at all, and I can't even knit because of the pain. Days when I can't go down to my studio and paint, or make a necklace, because it requires too much movement. In many ways I have become an "invisible" woman, especially on those days when no one sees me.
Now, I know that I am a very lucky lady. I am blessed to have an opportunity to stay home and create beautiful things. I have been gifted with an artists' soul, and the ability to create works of art. I can do anything that I set my mind to do, and I have a (hopefully long) lifetime ahead of me to do just that. I am not happy about my situation-- I don't know that I ever will-- but I am gradually coming to terms with what I have to deal with. I continue to move forward, because there is no going back to how things were before.
In closing today, I am again borrowing Lori's words, from her post regarding pain. She told her readers, "Don't be afraid to share your story. Don't be afraid to hide your story. Either way, the point is to make your soul more peaceful in whatever way you feel comfortable, and to be gentle with yourself." I will add to these words of wisdom, something that Lori mentioned, but in my own words. Something I tell people when they are in need.
No one is ever truly alone. Seek out people who truly care; help carry their burdens in life, and they will help you carry theirs. To all you out there, who are dealing with your own troubles and pains... you are not alone. <3