Emotions of Lupus

Use the Pain to Find the Joy

Dear Diary,

I get so much joy from watercolor painting, and I decided to take a class recently. I thought I was successful in adding the new class to my very limited life. Before enrolling in the three-hour, weekly class, I spent each week getting out of the house only to go to my appointments for physical therapy and acupuncture, with the occasional visit to see a specialist, like my rheumatologist, pulmonologist, or hematologist. So, I thought that adding one class shouldn’t be a problem for me.

Well, it turns out that making that adjustment of adding to my limited plate of activities hasn’t been easy. I’m noticing an increase in pain overall. Maybe from carrying supplies, or just sitting in a non-ergonomic chair for too long. Then there’s the pain in the joints of my hands, arms, and shoulders. Sometimes, I even get tremors if I work too long.

So, the joy that I sought in expressing my creativity is sadly dampened by pain. But, the good news is that I still got it! I mean, I’m painting up a storm as I learn new techniques and experiment with the old ones that I knew. I’m so pleased with my work, and my fellow watercolorists admire my abilities.

My psychotherapist explained the importance of finding a way to work around the pain and even work with it. She said to use the pain to create the art. In other words, when I feel the pain, I know that I need to lighten up and just allow the colors and water to work together naturally, rather than forcing it. Once I understood what she said, I felt empowered to continue.

I suppose this is another case of improvising, adapting, and overcoming. It’s surely a philosophy of life that comes in handy for those of us battling Lupus.



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