Most of us with chronic illnesses have our own coping mechanisms. I rely heavily on visual imagery, meditation and art therapy. And they are not all exclusive of each other.
Case in point: the featured image. This is one of my original oils on a 11X14 canvas, titled “In the Darkest Hour Before Dawn.”
The image came to me as I was trying to meditate and visualize my feelings of pain, loss of control, exhaustion, frustration and a desire for peace. Being able to paint it later (much later!) felt almost like a release! It can be so difficult to focus when the pain is overpowering you, kind of like you are stuck in a whirlwind that is inside your brain. Being able to make a tangible image out of it felt oddly empowering.
P.S. Just for full disclosure, I am hugely inspired Vincent Van Gogh!