I’m still having difficulty writing. However, although I’ve been struggling with my writing, I’ve still been using other creative outlets to cope with the frustrations of my illness. I’m making index card art with more frequency. Instead of using my sketchbook, it’s easier to carry a small stack of white 6 inch x 4 inch cards (15.24 cm x 10.16 cm) and a few pens around with me to draw something, while attending my pain management programs and other medical appointments.
Line drawing and basic doodling have become easy ways to distract myself from thinking about my pain. I guess that makes writing the harder way I’ve chosen to cope with my pain, since the greater my pain the less able I am to focus and concentrate on putting words together on a page. I’m anxiously anticipating a break in the block because writing has always been part of my self-care.
In the meantime, I can I only hope my pain management program instructors understand that I can draw lines on index cards and still pay attention to the information they share…
Writer’s block is a terrible affliction. I have so much happening in my life that I want and need to write about but my brain seems to be locked in a struggle with itself about which story to tell first and how to tell them. I started my blog as one way to cope with my illness so I wasn’t trapped inside my own thoughts, especially the negative ones. However, lately, even with so much happening to and around me, I can’t let much of it out. I must have at least half a dozen posts started but they are each a long way from finished.
Luckily, I’ve been able to maintain my connection to the creative practice that I also started as another method of coping, so the art is still being created. I’ve been posting what I’ve been creating on my Instagram page, which I suppose is a small release because I do write captions for the things I share. Still, I need to figure out a way to clear the cobwebs or lift the brain fog – whichever idiom is more suitable – so I can get back to documenting and sharing my experiences with the unending hope that what I write helps someone have a better day, as much as it usually helps me.
Waking up and feeling pain so intense it makes me cry is becoming a regular occurrence, at least it seems to be. This morning, when I got up to take my early morning dose of medications I was met with such terrible pelvic and hip pain it caused my eyes to water. I didn’t cry for as long as I did one morning about a week ago, but getting to this point with pain is more common now. I’m not certain if it’s the arrival of colder temperatures or because my sleep is so erratic, but whichever it is, it’s taking an emotional toll.
I almost long for the days when after running long distances my body would ache in places I didn’t know could hurt. Because that pain was different. That pain reminded me that I was active. It made me think about whether I needed to improve or change something in my stride as I ran. It made me question if I needed a new pair of running shoes or if I needed to stretch more before or after a long run. That pain, the pain that erupted in my body after running 10, 15, or even 25 kilometers (6 to 15 miles), reminded me that my body was strong and I was using it and pushing its limits.
This pain makes me feel defeated even before I’ve risen from my bed. This pain that makes me cry tells me I may never run the distances I did in the past nor feel the freedom of unencumbered movement from a healthy active body. Maybe that’s the reason I cry. Maybe without being conscious of the loss, my body – actually, my muscle memory – is mourning deeply and the only way to express it is through tears. Tears that are sometimes brief and at others pour out an hour’s worth.
At times, like this morning, when the pain is so bad that all I can do is cry, I long for the days when my body ached from the known punishment of running for hours…