Be Kind to Yourself When Your Health Gets in the Way of Your Art

This is earth and we are all human. No one would argue that humans are vulnerable to all sorts of maladies. For months, my doctor and I tried to figure out why my head hurt. Since my pain tolerance is high, I didn’t complain too loudly which certainly contributed to not taking a more aggressive approach to my situation. Finally, he ordered a CT scan of my head which revealed a golf-ball sized brain tumor.  Ten days later, I had 4.5 hours of surgery to remove most of it.  Fortunately, the tumor was not malignant.
Not only did the constant headache cramp my creative juices (along with my overall disposition),  the recovery from the surgery is ongoing and will be long and tedious.  I may never “return to normal,” and may have to get used to this “new normal.”  I am in a near constant state of frustration that I can’t do what I used to do.

It has recently occurred to me that I am probably my worst enemy in this entire scenario.  Like most creative folks, I am my own worst critic – always have been and probably always will be.   

Fish Faces

I also have decided that it is time to give myself a break.  Maybe I am not as productive and prolific as I used to be.  But I am no couch potato either.  I’ve started to smile at small accomplishments.  Yes, they’re not like they used to be, but they are there!  I can’t sit and appliqué for six or eight hours…  but look!  This is about half-done now; it might be finished in a couple of days!

So, please…  if you’re slowing down, recovering, or simply not how you were, be nice to yourself.  Give it the typical 110%, and then give yourself the credit for accomplishing whatever you did.  We all need to quit measuring today by yesterday.

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5 Responses to “Be Kind to Yourself When Your Health Gets in the Way of Your Art”

  • chainmaille says:

    I remember when you told me of this and all I could do is pray and hope that all will be well. I deal with illness in my direct family all the time as it is chronic with this one individual that I’m very close with. So I can feel for your situation in a real way. Keep basking in the small accomplishments. I feel like it is too easy to stay and negativity and when good things happen it is too easy not to sit and enjoy them for more than 5 seconds. I agree we miss the point on a regular basis and are most likely our own enemy most of the time.
    Continued prayers for your healing

  • When I found the Handmade Artists’ site and read what it was all about, I instantly felt it was the right fit for me. And then I read your post. I became disabled from complications of a failed back surgery, which ended my ability to work. It was devastating, as I needed to be productive. I adopted my beautiful greyhound, as I suddenly had the time to take care for a dog, and immersed myself into my craft. I understand the frustration and challenge of dealing with a ‘new normal’, but trying to temper it with a little kindess toward myself, wasn’t easily done. It was my new role as a dog mom, that taught me to be patient with myself. I wish you continued healing iKnitQuiltSew, and look forward to meeting this online community. I’m so happy that I found it!

  • MsMartyD says:

    I am just checking in to see how things are going…. I don’t always respond to posts, being the worst typist ever, but I am concerned and do pray on a regular basis. Please keep us posted. Marty

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