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The Dark and Light sides of Pain

I am preparing for one of my “Healing through the Arts” workshops. The topic is Self Portraits which we will be making using both the computer and some basic drawing techniques of three dimensional shading.

When you are trying to get any form to look three dimensional, it must have a dark side and a light side. The merging of the dark and the light is what creates the realistic illusion.

The struggle with pain also has a dark and light side. The dark side is the reality of the ugliness, anger and disruption of life style caused by the presence of the pain. The light side is what we can individually control. And it is the middle ground between the light and the dark where there is the best life.

I know I have used some desperate techniques to try and ease my pain. I remember as a child pinching my hand as tightly as I could to inflict pain that took the focus off the pain I was feeling in my hips. Pretty crazy, but I was a kid, it just seemed like a good idea. And it worked.

Today we live in a much more educated society. We know a bit more about pain.

What kinds of mental tools do you use to control your pain?

Here is an article on the Spine Health blog site listing a variety of “Mind over Matter: Effective pain control techniques”.

About Mary Byrne Eigel

Before writing children’s books, Mary spent many years teaching in classrooms and creating art in her studio. She was born with bi-lateral hip dysplasia, a painful condition that causes normal activities, like walking, to be challenging. As a child, when Mary had to trek long distances, she often wished she had a wheelchair. For her, a wheelchair offered pain-free opportunities, not limitations. Mary grew up in Chicago, which is the lakefront inspiration for the town of Sail. She lives in Missouri with her husband and two dogs, Beaux and Trey.

4 responses »

  1. Hello Mary,

    Thanks for visiting my site.
    I am glad I found yours as well. 🙂

    What a cool idea to have a healing through the arts workshop. Doing a self-portrait would be so illuminating. And fun! My daughter is an artist and so I am surrounded by creativity. (I am not an artist. I am a plagarizer.)

    The light side of pain could also be what is learned as a result of pain. So far, I’ve found that every pain has brought some “good” with it. Although sometimes I don’t see that “good” for quite awhile.

    I am so sorry that you had to endure chronic pain as a child especially since pain management wasn’t stellar back then.

    Mental tools I use: I do try to distract myself by reading, doing something creative (scrapbooking, anything with puff paint, colouring, writing); soaking in the hot tub or bath with bubbles and candles, take a walk, do a good deed, blog surf,have a written dialogue with my pain.

  2. Mary Byrne Eigel

    You have some great ideas. I remember being at a workshop and being told that I live in my head too much. At the time, it sure beat living in my body!
    I know that my pain, esp as a child, led me to feel a stronger connection with my higher power. I figured this was the only person who could understand where I was at. I took strength from that connection.
    I do know that the pain that is woven in my tapestry has shaped who I am. And for that I am grateful. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Recently having undergone the knife for knee surgery, I experienced a small dose of chronic pain for the first time in my life. When I was confined to a couch with stitches and staples binding my knee from bending, I found the mental cure for dealing with my pain was to blog. So I did. I told the world, and continue to rant, about the struggles and frustrations of recovering from pain.
    While my blog whines, your blog reaches beyond physical pain to inspire the human spirit. Inded, physical pain makes us forget that the most powerful muscle in our body is our brain. Mind over matter, whether in art or words.

  4. Mary Byrne Eigel

    Yeskneecan, you are an inspiration as a young adult to research, reach out and share your experience. Keep up the good work.What a precious resource blogging can be.

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