Meet Patric Blossom: Living Creatively With Pain.


I have received so much support, kindness and inspiration from my friendship with other people who are developing their creativity, whilst coping with chronic pain or illness.

So, my thanks go to Patric Blossom for sharing his story and his work, and writing this week's Blog:



Hello!
5 years ago I landed with a splat in the realm of chronic pain and illness. Thinking Dysentery was something confined to the medieval ages, I was shocked to find out it was alive and well and eating my insides! It had eaten a hole through my intestines and what followed was emergency surgery to save my life.

 Over the next 11 months I had multiple hospital admissions, enduring several operations, intensive care stays, long term antibiotic therapy and a questionable future. I was eventually assigned the category of lucky to be alivethough I didnt feel lucky at the time, and was sent on my way. I was minus several significant pieces of my small bowel and half my large bowel was gone. My abdomen littered with scars. My surgeon said to give myself time and youll be back to normal, something I clung to for a long time.

Looking back now, I think it must have been naivety in wanting to believe that I could have escaped death more than once in 11 months and there be no consequences. Sadly I have learned there has been many. Today I have what can only be described as a shopping list of long term health issues, one of which is chronic visceral pain; a form of severe pain.

The chest pain felt when someone is having a heart attack is visceral pain. The pain of child birth is a form of visceral pain. Mine is abdominal visceral pain. It fires through my body like lightening, scorching and flaming everything it touches. My body spasms in tune with the stabbing energy as fear and anxiety claws my mind; invisible intruders dragging me towards a void.

Viceral Pain

For a few years my daily battle with pain was eased only with a cocktail of strong opiates, nerve dulling medication, muscle relaxants and a stoic attitude. I call that time my denial phase and life eventually came crashing down into crisis when I realized I couldnt continue like that any longer. Feeling mentally and physically broken I was referred to a Living well with Paincourse. I was introduced to mindfulness, meditation and creativity.

Being creative was something I used to do a lot in my school, college and university days but full time work and demands of life had squeezed it out of my life. Now I was being encouraged to reconnect with that part of me. Put your feelings into artone pain practitioner advised; so I tentatively tried. I was quick to discover that I was able to loose myself in the moment of being creative. Relief, much needed relief, calmed my mind and body and I realized that the process of being creative provided some comfort against the backdrop of suffering. As my confidence and enjoyment of art grew I decide that I would attempt a picture that reflected the emotional and physical pain I had endured and that had overtaken me when I hit that crisis point. Words certainly do not seem an adequate way of describing all that I have felt .
Sunset

Creating art made me  feel better, lighter, like the process of documenting all those feelings into images was somehow releasing me from their terror; Id momentarily escaped the pain and tormenting thoughts. Id rediscovered a way to express myself that made me feel so much better. Art had suddenly given me hope again. I suppose it was only natural that I then began exploring my body and life in art form.


I've tried doing prints of my scars, to full blown reflections of the pain and fear that haunts my days. Im finding that art is helping me to get through the bad days.



Scars


 Even if all I can do is lie on the bed, exhausted and hurting, I try to fill my head with thoughts of artwork. How can I put that horrid feeling into an image? What would that sensation look like if it is was an image? 

 Rather than suffering with the pain, the pain is increasingly becoming a creative blessing.  PB



Mask - this piece was inspired by an art therapy exercise, reflecting the face you show the world.  I adapted the form used in  Kinksukuroi pottery whereby a piece is seen as beautiful because of its breakage. Gold lacquer holds the broken pieces together.  


Husbands - reflecting on how our lives have become entwined, the mutual support my husband and I give each other and the energy that we gain from our union. 




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Comments

  1. Art is so powerful! Thanks for sharing this essay and art. It's so expressive and compelling. It speaks to the journey we take when pain is a major part of our path.

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