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Artwork, chronic pain, and society

Last updated: 06-12-2020

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Artwork, chronic pain, and society

I was thinking about some things lately and it inspired some chronic pain and migraine art. Very abstract art for these ones. Very specific. They have a lot of meaning to me for such simple little sketches and I doubt someone else would see that meaning.

Early on when I picked up drawing again I drew this psychedelic migraine aura picture. I colored it just a couple days ago. I wanted to depict the beauty and chaotic nature of a migraine aura. And since then I have drawn 3 abstract pieces.

I like migraine art. There is something about trying to capture the aura and the pain and the experience in ways that words just cannot. I have done one already which I may finish that shows a much more detailed aura. This one depicts it as a bolt of colorful lightning, which is apt because it is colorful but it is also followed by a whole lot of pain.

There is a lot of stigma about migraine disease. One major one is that it is just a ‘bad headache’ and I suppose that is why I like migraine art… trying to show the intensity of the experience along with some of the other symptoms. One can try anyway.

This one is about toxic positivity which I have written about. How this idea of forced positivity on us is toxic to most people but heavily toxic to people with chronic pain. It is harmful and can make us feel guilty and ashamed for any sort of normal negative emotion we feel. It can force us to hide behind a facade to hide our pain and diminish it and undermine it… which can affect the treatment we get for our chronic pain as well.

This one represents society as a whole that doesn’t want to hear disabled voices. That would prefer we function like normal people in normal roles and shut up about it- preferably with a smile on our faces. Not make a fuss. Not ask for anything. Not mention the stigma we encounter or the discrimination. Certainly not that we need accommodations to function optimally. And when we do talk we are never heard anyway. Our voices are silenced. They do not matter. They are not heard.

I am not one to do his more abstract art but these ones sort of just came to me. And I felt them. So I did them.

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