Some of you will say 'Fibro-ma-who-now? some of you might say 'oh yeah, my cousin / aunt / in-law has that, and others of you will say 'what a load of crap'. Even though it is a medically proven illness and 8% of the population are diagnosed with it, I have found in my own studies, that fibromyalgia is yet to be upgraded to the status of a 'oh, yes, that's no good' condition. Even the spell check doesn't really believe in it as every time I write fibromyalgia it insists on putting a red, squiggly line underneath it. See, there it is again.
Apart from the main features of this disease, which include, but are not limited to: chronic fatigue, acute pain, constant pins and needles, muscle weakness / spasms, IBS, TMJ, memory loss, memory loss, mem... It is also an anxiety driven state of hyper-vigilance.
I am overly sensitive to noise, light, sound, touch and activity. It is all too much for my puny brain to compute. I can smell the perfume that my neighbour is putting on, I can smell the fricken cheese on the moon.
I can hear the bathroom door blowing back and forth in a breeze at 4am, then I can hear a cat a block away, then I can hear time itself.
I can see movement around a corner, next door, on another planet.
These are my super-powers. However they are also my kryptonite. I can't relax. I am hyperactive whilst being chronically tired and my body will not allow itself to sleep deeply enough to get the refreshing REM sleep it needs.
In a way, you can sum up Fibromyalgia by putting a -hyper- infront of anything.
Hyper-emotional. Hyper-aware. Hyper-sensitive. Hyper-tired. When I get in my car, I Hyper-drive.
This really does explain the way I live my life. I don't just do things at a normal rate - when I get the urge to create something I Hyper-create. This is never more true than when I am so tired I am stubbing my toe on everything and can't remember what my own face looks like.
So I have learned this about myself this past couple of weeks. I art because it keeps me 'hyper-focused' on one thing. If I am focusing on drawing / sewing / writing then I am not aware of how crap I feel otherwise.
I stop hearing the mice scurrying in the vacant lot a street away. I no longer can smell the toast I burnt a week ago. I quit seeing movement out of the corner of my eyes which I am convinced is me seeing dead people - probably another blog for another time. It helps me to shut down all the parts of me that aren't necessary for the creation of the thing i'm working on. It's art therapy and unbeknownst to me, I've been doing it for a long long time.
Prime example is this week's drawing. Done after a long day of work, almost in tears from pain. There's nothing like drawing a fascinating face to take you out of yourself and your surroundings.
Hyperbole? hypothesis? No, just really hyper-accurate.
I art, therefore I calm.