I made a rather rough sketch of myself on a day when I needed to find comfort and rest from the chronic pain and other symptoms that I suffer. Sketching, and other forms of art, can be a therapeutic way to express oneself and to process how it feels to experience difficulties that are caused by illness. I am currently studying a course in Art Therapy and this has helped me to develop my skills in using art as a means of self-expression.
Since writing this Blog post, I have, as of June 27th 2017, now conclusively been diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease.
It was a good day; achieved by pacing myself well and by giving myself permission to just do nothing; not an easy task when you have a thriving Counselling, Psychotherapy and Clinical Supervision practice to run alongside studying.
Go With the Flow
Sometimes, actually more often than not, I have to just stop and take time out. This is not easy for me, for I have a very active mind and I am very busy with work and study. Learning to ‘pace’ myself has taken practice.
For anyone else living with a chronic health problem, you will no doubt be familiar with my frustration at having to ‘down tools’ and just sit or lay and relax. I tried to depict, within this sketch, a sense of relaxation but also frustration at having no choice in the matter. So, while there is relaxation, there is also some tension that represents my inner hostility at having to give up time that I would otherwise like to spend being productive at work and study.
Always an Opportunity.
I am learning, though; day by day, week by week, month by month and year by year. I have recognised the value of pacing myself and making myself take time, several times each day, to simply stop. My mind is willing, but my body is not and so this is just what has to be done. In fact, I have come to value this ‘down time’. To me, it is my own personal version of a ‘siesta’. Maybe everyone should do this?
This will probably not make sense to most people, but I know that there are many who will completely understand.