How Fibromyalgia Affects My Creativity as an Artist


All of us with fibromyalgia are very aware that it is a horrible condition with pain and fatigue – just two of the awful symptoms that we experience on a day-to-day basis.

It’s relentless, cruel, isolating and at times, terrifying.

However, there’s something else about it that really makes me feel sad and frustrated. I consider myself to be an artist and I struggle with the way that fibromyalgia prevents me from painting, drawing or writing.

Part of it is due to being in too much pain to manage these things the way I used to, but in addition, a lot of the time I have trouble with inspiration. I lack the ideas and maybe also the motivation that I used to have. Don’t get me wrong, I still feel the passion and the need for making art. I just don’t know where to start a lot of the time.

Is it the fibromyalgia itself that is to blame? Or is it the medications that treats it somehow numbing the part of my being that translates the artistic fire inside to actual, real ideas?

I don’t know. Maybe it’s both. Fibro fog often contributes to my being unable to sort through my feelings and recognize them in terms of what they mean, and where they’re coming from. It frequently takes away my ability to put things into words, or pictures, and for me this is pretty heartbreaking.

It can feel like I’m wasting the parts of my soul that I want to use to make art. That it’s still there, but I just find it much harder to connect with it in a meaningful way these days.

I’m interested to hear your opinions on this. Are you an artist with fibromyalgia or another chronic pain illness? How does it affect your creativity? And how do you deal with it? Ultimately, for me it’s just a case of doing what I can, when I can, which sometimes feels like enough, but a lot of the time doesn’t.

I realize that in the scheme of all things chronic illness related, this may not seem like the most important issue. That’s because it isn’t. But it matters to me because it’s another part of me that’s being taken away by my fibromyalgia, and we all know how disheartening that can be.

In the end, I suppose I just have to appreciate the art of others on the days that I can’t create my own. That in itself is something that makes me happy, so I’ll just start there and then see where it leads me.‎

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Gettyimge by: GeorgeRudy

TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Fibromyalgia

A woman in a shadow.

When Chronic Illness Stopped Me From Living the Life of My Dreams

“This isn’t my life.” This thought goes through my mind every day. Probably, like it does for many of you. With the onset of several severe chronic illnesses, my life slowly changed before my eyes and at first I didn’t realize what was happening, or that it was even happening to begin with. I now [...]
A photo of the writer.

What Does a Chronically Ill Person Look Like?

I’m never seen in public without, at the very least, lipstick and eyeliner. I pride myself in appearance and I’m always smiling! That’s what most people see when they look at me. I also like a glass of wine or three and love to get up and dance. It never used to matter that in [...]
An upset woman at a wooden table, with a man holding her hand.

When Chronic Illness Is a Deal Breaker in Relationships

“If you’re still sick by New Years, I think I have to consider breaking up with you.” I was sitting across from my boyfriend in a coffee shop and all I could do was look at him with a blank stare. There have been many moments in my life where I have felt completely out [...]
fibromyalgia and me comic of woman getting more tired throughout the week

'Fibromyalgia and Us' Comic Explains What Life Is Like for Patients and Their Families

One of the most frustrating aspects of fibromyalgia is how little it is understood by others — and how difficult it can be for patients to describe the challenges they’re dealing with. To help more people understand, the University of Dundee in Scotland is trying a new approach: creating a comic to tell the “story” of fibromyalgia. [...]