Tag Archives: art therapy

Epilespy Awareness Day 7: Ribbon


What does your ribbon look like? We usually see it crafted into a butterfly or given some type of bling. I thought about how the ribbon is more then an awareness object. When we look at the ribbon we think of our loss, struggles, pain, and brokenness. But we also get a sense of togetherness, courage, and strength. It turns a survivor into a warrior. The most important thing about the awareness ribbon is that it is a symbol of hope.

Hope. Romans 8:24-25
24 For in this hope (of everlasting life) we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”

I cannot hope to be healed if I’m already healed. I can’t hope for a cure if we have one. I can’t hope to be without pain if I am pain free. Hope inspires people. Seeing hope in others is inspiring. We wouldn’t have any epileptic medicine if hope hadn’t inspired someone. Once we have a cure to epilepsy and migraines, we will hope for an affordable cure. We need hope. To keep hope alive we need patience. We learn patience and we can encourage each other to never give up. 

Why did I draw it that way? I am a Christian.
I believe that I should take all my worries and pains to Christ, as the saying goes “take it to the cross.” That is why I started the ribbon faded and torn on the right. I believe Christ will take everything and make it new again. That is why as the ribbon falls to the front of the cross the color changes to just lavender and then ends is a smooth cut. The ribbon is not tied like the traditional ribbon so that it could blow away, Christ is capable of healing-illness and brokenness disappears. All things are possible through Him.


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MHAM 11: Creative Expressions

Prompt: How does #Migraine and #Headache impact your creative expression?

I studied roles people do within a church and I read creative people will always find a way to create. Being sick had a huge impact. Before I was sick I was in theater. I created sets and brought stories to life. Bright lights, loud noises, and memorizing in short periods of time ended that passion.

The school councilor at my university taught me art therapy, although he 6a00d8341ce97953ef01b8d28550f8970c-pididn’t call it that. Easy, meticulous, and requires concentration were the requirements of my new artistic outlets. Coloring drawings with small spaces were first approved then knitting.

My sociology professor from the same university is the other person who gets the credit for helping me redirect. He taught me that academics can be a creative expression if given the freedom to think for yourself. I love finding patterns and connections within society that help us understand “why.”

Now I crotchet and sew. I change the bulletin boards at church, draw ribbon art, and color. I write this blog. What I do or if I can do anything depends on my physical condition of the day.

Check out more responses at (http://www.migraine.ninja/2017/06/migraine-headache-and-creative-expression.html) in the comments.

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The last two months have been surreal. Days meshed together and I lost all sense of time. I stare out into space. My train of thought wanders and meanders. The pain jumps in like it feels left out of the conversation. The pain keeps steering the conversation, “remember the time…Oh, those were good times.”


Photophobia. The fear of light, the condition where light hurts your eyes, also known as light sensitivity. Severity ranges from minor to medical emergency. When I asked my doctor about what happened is was very logical and made perfect sense. It is a type of light sensitivity. Nothing new. It was all calm and rational. Adequate answers for a realist like me.

But this is not what happened. That night was everything but calm. I was screaming and terrified. The light hurt and I was positive Light was doing it on purpose and it was out to get me. Light was torturing me. I couldn’t hide. My eyes were creating light and Light was penetrating everything I tried to use to cover them. I was screaming. I couldn’t stop. I was in excruciating pain and was terrified. At the same time I was thinking “stop it, it’s light, light doesn’t work that way. This is ridiculous. Act your age. Light is good. Crops need light to grow. Light helps depression. Our body needs vitiam D which we get from light.  Color is a reflection of light. Creates energy.” “God help me.” And I prayed during the brief moments of quiet. But mostly irrational screams.


Going along on a normal level pain day when all the sudden the nonsequitur from pain. “Are you ready to order?” Pain: “Remeber the first time I sent you to the ER?” Me: “Plus, I should spike a manhunting pan sweat podio flies. Peas.” Another time. Mom: “I went to the doctor.” Pain: “Give me chocolate peasant.” Me: “Cousin dinosaurs?”

Internal dialogues and conversations are not safe from the nonsequiturs. I will be in Sunday School and all the sudden pain will step in “Give me chocolate peasant.” The train of thought gone and I go on with something completely different without noticing. I will be thinking about something like how I should change a bulletin board. Pain will sneak in, “Isn’t nice taking naps on the bathroom floor? Want to do it again?” Now I’m thinking about how scary phonophobia could be. Thanks pain, completely lost my concept.


Pain leaves little surprises all over the place. A day without some type of twist would be a surprise in itself. Sometimes good surprises and sometimes awful and sometimes downright spiteful. Photophobia was a surprise. Realizing how much I have been agreeing with Pain was a surprise. Yesterday’s surprise was that the pain allowed me to function for the six hours we spent celebrating Christmas. How loud my ears are ringing and it made everything else even louder is today’s surprise. Daily surprise parties get old.


I think it is safe to say it has been a surreal time. Surreal art depicting pain is useful to us because it is a way to see how the artist experiences, expresses and even copes with their pain.



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PAM16:24 Ribbon Art, Hercules

Keep your Mind Busy: Find quiet time and keep your mind busy. Share color pages.
I decided to finish up and share my Disney pain awareness ribbon.


Pain awareness, purple ribbon, Hercules, Hercules’ medallion, and Meg’s quote “I’m damsel, I’m in distress, I can handle this. Have a nice day.”

Hercules is a story of self discovery. Hercules is physically different then everyone around him and it makes him a social outcast. He wants to be just like everyone else so he can feel like he can belong. At first by wishing he could rid himself of his physical strength then by learning how to use his strength in order to gain fame and access into a community of people just like him. But he learns that both options are not the true answer to finding where he belongs. He belongs where he receives the most love and support from the people he loves. This is why I chose the medallion. The medallion was a symbol and reminder to Hercules of his goal, why he was fighting. Later the importance and meaning of the medallion changed. His physical condition was no longer a source of isolation and depression because he accepted who he was and learned that he did belong. We go through a similar journey. We have to accept our physical conditions and figure out where we receive the most love and support. We also have to learn what “support” looks like and means. We are also fighting and sometimes need reminded to pull it together because “this is the big leagues.”

Meg is also on a journey of self discovery. She learns that she needs someone to lean on and that not all people are petty and cruel. I chose Meg because she has mastered hiding her pain behind an attitude. I think this line defines the standard “I’m fine” answer. “I’m a damsel” is admitting that she is alone in her situation. “I’m in distress” defines the situation, I’m suffering, in pain, and stressed over it. “I can handle this,” I’m annoyed and I’ve learned how to manage my pain/current distress level. “Have a nice day” please drop it I really don’t want to explain myself, if you can’t go away. I think it can be inspirational because it acknowledges the stress and how difficult it is to answer a question like “how are you doing?” or trying to convince someone that you don’t want their help. You are not alone in the emotional roller coaster health related communication can cause. You are not the only person who redefines phrases or tells white lies about how your feeling to make relationships easier.

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IIAW15: Ribbon Art, the Incredibles

Edna robot

Yellow awareness ribbon suicide, The Incredibles,  Omnidroids robot, and Edna Mode’s motto, “I never look back darling, it distracts from the now.”

Suicide is the biggest killer of those of us in chronic pain. Depression and suicidal tendencies can be even harder for us to battle when they are side-effects of our medicine. It is a monster we must battle and slay to survive. The battle takes time and it is a repetitive occurrence. I chose the Omnidriod because the word means “in all thing” and “robot”. This is a robot that has been built and programmed to be awesome at destroying all things. And in the end it destroys itself. Suicidal thoughts is the emotional equivalent to the Omnidriod. But it can be defeated. One way is to look forward, make plans for the future, and nurture your hope in all ways possible. I like Edna Mode’s attitude, learn from your past but do not dwell on it. Dwelling takes away your future. I am guilty of dwelling sometimes on who I used to be and what I use to be able to do, but it is gone now. The only way to learn to be happy with our new selves is to accept yourself for who you are now and learn to love the new you. Do that you need to look to the future and your new gifts and interests and to not get distracted from the now.

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IIAW 15: Ribbon Art: Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.”

bab Book Potts

Migraine ribbon (purple and maroon), Belle’s book, “You don’t loose hope love, if you do, you loose everything.” said by Mrs Potts.

This is one of my favorite Disney movies. I think that the importance of books is often over looked in “Beauty and the Beast.” Belle and Beast bonded over books, over using their imaginations to go on adventures together. They knew the power and magic that a good story brings. It is something that we can use to cope with our struggles. Remember how important hope was in the story of “Beauty and the Beast’? Mrs. Potts said something very true, we need hope, if we loose it we loose everything. If we loose hope we loose the ability to fight for a better normal.

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IIAW 15: Ribbon Art, Fairy Godmother


Fairy Godmother’s magic, blue ribbon, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. “Even miracles take a little time’ The Fairy Godmother.

Waiting is what we learn to do best. Waiting can pay off because “even miracles take a little time” and effort. A better normal is possible.

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IIAW15: Disney art project Cinderella

Cinder shoe dreams

Cinderella’s glass slipper, Breast Cancer, “If you keep on believing the dream that you wish will come true.” by Cinderella

When I was little I would ask “Why did Cinderella’s Mommy die?” I think she could have had cancer, “Cinderella” is a story of finding joy in hope and dreams being fulfilled in unexpected ways. Having hope is a reason to be joyful.  Cinderella teaches us to enjoy the little things while we look forward to a better normal.

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IIAW 15: Awareness Art, Disney

Alice smile

This is the Cheshire Cat’s smile from Alice in Wonderland. I paired with it the clear ribbon for invisible illnesses and the quote “I’m not crazy, my reality is just different than yours.” from the Cheshire Cat. Illness makes us different and makes us see the world differently. Our reality was changed the moment we experienced the first symptom. It does not mean that we are crazy or unfit for society. It simply means that we have a different perspective on life that is valuable to others and others can learn from it. I chose the smile because it is what most people see, they do not see the rest of us. Only our mask, the half-truth that we are okay.

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#PAM15 Day 22: Tips for Coloring through the Pain

Today we were encouraged to come up with our own thing.

I do not respond to pain medicine. I relay on distractions. Coloring has been a major distraction for me since the beginning.

Tips for using color pages to distract you from the pain.

  1. Pick the right materials: Pick a coloring book or page that speaks to you or makes you smile. The theme should be fun and excite you. It is important to choose one that is not too simple or too complicated for your eyes. It will not help to choose a picture that overwhelms you, is boring, or that you can finish in two minutes. After you have chosen the book/page, choose the medium. Take into consideration: does it fit nicely in your hand, the effort it takes to use it, texture, and the smell. I prefer color pencils: no caps, minimal smell, not messy, easy grip. I also like twist-able crayons for big spaces.
  2. Pick a comfortable spot. Pick a place you can relax your body and manage your materials easily. I like to curl up in a chair or on my bed. I attach the page to a clipboard or a lap table (like for a computer) and have my pencils in a metal box opened next to me.
  3. Don’t be perfect. The end result is not important. No one else has to see it. Focus on the process and the act of creating. You don’t have to stay in the lines or worry about if the colors match. Embrace your inner kid and go crazy.
  4. Immerse yourself. It is when you immerse yourself that you can be distracted. Focus on how the color fills the page, changes the page’s texture, and changes it into something unique, something with personality.
  5. Let time slip by. Don’t look at the clock. Get lost in the experience. Set an alarm if you need to. Let yourself get completely lost in the art so that it can distract you from pain.
  6. other. Have water or snacks on hand so that you don’t have to stop. Try controlled breathing while you color. For example, take a deep breath every time you choose a new color. You could also play soft music or listen to a book while you color. When I am not listening to music, I will listen to my Bible app. You can also try to use coloring to help you concentrate during prayer or meditation.

I found these on pintrest. Another site I like is http://flamecreativekids.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Colour%20in%20prayers

This site http://www.coloringpagesbliss.com/free-coloring-pages-for-pain-management/ has some pretty pictures but they are not free.

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