Fibromyalgia & Creativity

                                                             Breakthrough by Denise
Unlock the
                                      Mystery of
CAREGIVERS                                 I cannot take away pain, but I have,
                                                             by Kat Updike

Endless by Holly

                                                      The pain is truly Endless...and even
I am NOT a non-person
                                                                   by Glenda Dykstra

The Agony
                                             I have seen the winter
That Special Place

The Battle Rages On…
                        by Morgan

             Though I'm here in pain and confused,
Mother of Painless Days, Bless Me                           Through Frieda’s Eyes
               by Susie Chavez
A Flower to
                                                        Lift the Spirits
In the Garden of My Creator
                                                 by Reverend Kurt Fondriest
              My w...
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Fibro Creativity Project


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Fibro Creativity Project

  1. 1. Fibromyalgia & Creativity Breakthrough by Denise I have had fibromyalgia for 16 years following a whiplash injury from an assault. When I first became ill, I was very frightened and no one could help me, not even by acknowledging that this was very real and beyond a hysterical reaction. “Shrewdly it spread this pain to my soul, banished my heart and swallowed me whole” Now I have a better understanding of what is happening and am not quite as frightened. Thus…”Breakthrough” Fibromyalgia – chronic widespread pain – affects more than 6 million people in this country. It is not a well understood condition and cur- rently there is no cure, but once diagnosed, there are treatments that can help. It can be difficult for someone with Fibromyalgia to receive a diagnosis and get treatment. This process can be very frustrating and discouraging and, for many people, there are times when they feel very alone with their pain. Art has long been a source of comfort, stress relief, and expression and can give “voice” to suffering people who feel unheard. Fibromyalgia and Creativity is a collection of visual and written works of art submitted to the American Pain Foundation by people with Fibromyalgia. 1-888-615-PAIN
  2. 2. Unlock the Mystery of Fibromyalgia with Education by V. Hester Millions of people suffer with the pain of Fibromyalgia and yet there are some doctors who still don’t understand it. Thousands of sufferers go through each day not under- standing why they can barely function. Even those of us who think we understand Fibro, don’t truly know how to handle it. Help us be free to live our lives as you do and unlock the mystery of Fibromyalgia with education for all!!! “When I'm drawing or painting it takes me to another level where I focus on creativity instead of the pain.” Yo Vivia En Esta Casa — Treappling by Lillian Aragonés
  3. 3. CAREGIVERS I cannot take away pain, but I have, An ear to listen… by Lois V. Pike They descend upon us with winged surprise A hand to hold… As if falling stars from faraway skies A heart to share… Bringing with them gifts sent from above Unlimited caring, comfort and love. Which builds… Who are these magical beings telling jokes? A friend who cares. Who strengthen our spirit and provide us with HOPE With mighty power, true grit and strength —Teresa Shafer Easing our burdens, always going to any length. They come to our aide by just staying true Following their calling in everything they do. A most difficult task, as all would agree To make us feel special and a bit more free. They suffer in silence while trying their best To lend compassion, inspiration and zest. Understanding what is and what is to be Never feeling sorry for themselves, you or me. We know them by name, each one apart They possess pure magic deep within the heart. Our wonderful caregivers, true to their name Working for us, they never seem to complain. Pain Angel by sindie14 I look at her and imagine her saying "Oh, you poor thing" Or perhaps she is singing, maybe even praying for me. Whatever I want her to be doing. Whenever I look at her she always brings a smile to my face.
  4. 4. Masquerade by Kat Updike I feel old today, I cannot pretend to act like nothing is wrong. My pretend face, my mask does not fit right this morning. Today is a day to whine and I give myself the permission to complain. Life with Pain by Elizabeth This is my representation of the challenges of living with chronic pain. It includes the confusion and mental fog from all the pills. It also shows the outside things that I think about that affect my life. I have had chronic pain since 2001. I now have Fibromyalgia and Sjögren‟s Syndrome. A friend of mine says, "You don't get it until you got it." So very true.
  5. 5. Endless by Holly The pain is truly Endless...and even though none of us wants it, those of us with Fibromyalgia live with it Endlessly. Every day I wish that I could have free- dom from pain...but it is Endless. My friends and family hear of it, bear with me, support me, but, I'm sure, tire of it, Endlessly. I feel locked behind a closed door, End- lessly entombed, eternally doomed, End- lessly reminded...of pain. My prayer is for the end of pain for all of us who suffer...Endlessly. Beauty in Life by Treappling “I feel like my life has been stolen away from me. I am dependent on my family for daily care giving and am isolated from the „outside‟ world. In my paintings, I express the beauty in what I see.”
  6. 6. I am NOT a non-person by Glenda Dykstra You cannot tell me a time to be there Threatening me if I don't show Then making me wait for almost an hour Just for you I am a person! Human and Proud My time is important too I hurt and live on my schedule Yet you do not care I am a non-person to you Shove me at a student Don't bother you with me I am not a non-person I refuse your treatment After I cried all the way home I thought you would help me Now I know better A number, a non person A nothing to you I showed up in hope You would be able to help But I looked at you and Isolation Watched you look through me Another Pain Patient I AM NOT A NON PERSON by Martha Travaglini Believe me when I say I HURT too much to be nothing Believe Me or Not by Susan Anyone listening? I search for relief! I don't think my doctors care. The pain and fatigue are beyond their belief. I'm treated like FM's not there. I try not to grumble, gripe and complain. It bothers my family and friends. So where do I turn and how do I cope? Depressed and pain is a 10 I've got to admit sometimes I lose hope. And yet I must rein it in. "You must not give up. Keep plugging." I say. That even falls on deaf ears. So the next time you ask me "How're you, by the way?" Guess what - I'll tell you my dears! "I hurt all the time but what bothers me most? " I've gathered the nerve tell. Whether doctor, plain folks who believe it's a hoax. You can just go straight to --uh----- well------- After all, I may be living with FM and you may not believe in Fibro Quilt Block it, but I'm still a LADY! by Andrea Cooper
  7. 7. The Agony I have seen the winter rivers frozen bank to bank, pristine white, shore to shore. A low sound - a moan like elephant song, below human perception - creeps into my bones. The surface cracks, ice shards splinter with discordant screams. I live with pain. The Solution Thin splinters of silver Bring pulsing life in the hands of a master. Trace the channels. Pinpoint the pain. Relax: Breathe deeply. Meditate to silence. Let healing begin. The Agony and The Solution — Painting and Poetry by Kjysten Shattered Spirit by Chompie My spirit often feels broken into many different pieces and many different colors. Yet, I find peace in what I do.
  8. 8. That Special Place Fragments by Glenda Dykstra There is a place in a far away land I go there just as often as I can Getting away from this pain from Fibro I go there to keep from being dragged too low Always perfect and ever there for me I can go just to look and see There is a place in a far away land It is as far as the moon and as close as my hand Where strife is not evident anywhere at all Fragments by Beakerless This little place inside my own skull. This piece is titled “Fragments” because of the way chronic pain can shatter a person’s life into fragments of what it might have been. The S-curve represents optimism that the individual can pull those fragments back together, however, creating a life filled with joy and value. When I have a Bad Day Spring Night by Anne by When I have a bad day; The soft squeeze of a friend’s hug, Sharon Leiker My body screams. “I think of the painting When I have a bad day; and forget about me.” Kind words from a friend, My spirit soars.
  9. 9. The Battle Rages On… by Morgan Though I'm here in pain and confused, the battle rages on. Though I long to be "normal" again, the battle rages on. Though I do as the doctor suggests and then nothing happens, the battle rages on. Though I'm told "it will get better", the battle rages on. The battle rages on no matter the situation... Though I try to live as if nothing is wrong, the battle rages on. I try the therapies and all the meds, but yet the battle rages on. I try to find the answers. I'm taken to the best, and still the battle rages on. I go to friends and loved ones in my constant times of need, because I know that the battle rages on. I will continue to live my life, though the battle rages on. "I am a Chavez" by Susie Chavez I am a Chavez, I have learned to politically, socially, educa- tionally, and economically overcome adversities. I am a Chavez. I am learning to overcome the oppression of Fibromyalgia. I am a Chavez.
  10. 10. Mother of Painless Days, Bless Me Through Frieda’s Eyes by Susie Chavez By Beakerless I Suffer in Silence By Michelle Hamilton I suffer in silence so that no one knows that I am weak. I don't want anyone to see the dark side of me. I suffer in silence so that people think that I am strong. I don't let them know everything that is so wrong. I don't let them see the pain raging in me like a storm. I don't let them know the extent of the harm That this condition is doing to my life. Not sick enough to die I don't let them know the extent of my strife. Not well enough to live I keep going all though sometimes I want to give in And let the pain completely take over within. Serve my sentence everyday I bottle it all up and keep it deep inside When will you forgive? And save my tears for late at night before I cry. © 1996 M. Mueller I suffer in silence and hope for a brighter day. I suffer in silence and keep looking for a way To beat this thing that is controlling every part of me. I hope for a cure to set me free.
  11. 11. A Flower to Lift the Spirits Submitted by: Fawnridge “When I need to get away from the pain, I The Outside World create my own world. My world is filled with by Ashley Mahoney colorful flowers. May flowers live there and blooms never fade away.” — Kathy The pain lies in a shell A shell of normalcy How can pain look so normal? When it feels Like fire Burning underneath. My insides are being jabbed With a knife. My foot sends a shocking Pain up my Spine My back shivers inside. But still, I smile. My shell of normalcy Showing the outside world There is nothing wrong Headache by Martha Travaglini
  12. 12. In the Garden of My Creator by Reverend Kurt Fondriest My work is the reflection of living with fibromyalgia. I connect to my spiritual vision through creating spiritual landscapes. I often feel these are places I imagine to escape to when I'm in pain, which is a chronic affair. I find these places beyond my time, my world, or even spirit. These places are drawn by my soul's connection to the physical world. Special thanks to all of the artists and poets who submitted works to our Pain & Creativity Project in collaboration with HealthCentral Network. For more information contact the American Pain Foundation at 1-888-615-PAIN (7246) or visit