Life, Pain, and Writing

Today I am in pain. I didn’t ask to have migraines in the first place, ever since I was about 5. I most certainly did not ask to have them twice a week for the last three years or so. I haven’t gotten used to the pain, but I have gotten used to shoving through it. I have four kids to homeschool, a writing career to pursue, and let’s just say that I am a determined person. Even so, there are just some days that I am rendered worthless by pain.

It is day 3 of a migraine, and I have nothing left to give. I did not take medication this morning because the pain was less when I woke up, and boy, did I pay for that. I was sitting next to my husband in the pew, slowly dying inside as he lovingly wrapped his arm around me. With every light tap of his gentle fingers across my shoulder, I ached inside. The nausea rolled within, and my jaw and ear began to ache along with my head.

I hate telling my husband and children that sometimes, touch hurts. That often, even the air from a fan or strong movement hurts me. And in that way, I have to confess; I feel Charlotte’s pain from my books.

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Whatever doesn’t kill you, makes for good writing, right? It’s what I cling to sometimes in life. Experiences, whether bad, good, or neutral, give me more to write about. They help me understand more people. They redefine how I look at life.

One of the things I love about writing and art is the ability to make something good of pain and suffering. When I write about something that I don’t know personally, I sometimes find myself experiencing it later in life. Books and characters touch us, often in ways that we don’t experience with other people (but long to).

While I am taking a break from Charlotte right now, I have to admit that I still think of her often. She’s gone through so much already, and she hasn’t even gotten to the hard part of the books I am writing. I love writing a large series because it has given me a chance to dive deep with my characters, and given them some real world time to grow.

Wars aren’t won in a short period of time. People don’t often change overnight. Struggles remain with us, sometimes for the rest of our lives. Sometimes, as Charlotte has been warned, we have to learn to manage our pain.

I have learned many things from living with chronic pain. It is real. It is hard. You will have to have a good sense of humor when it comes to advice and doubts of others. It can threaten to rob you of joy, but you can fight to keep your joy.

I spent a lot of wasted time worrying, but I have also learned that life keeps moving. The children will still learn. The house will eventually get cleaned. The family will get fed one way or the other. The books will still get written.

Never give up. I think these words are so important in life, and they are not used enough.

Never.
Give.
Up.

Will I see days of little to no pain? I still hope for this. I hope for the days when I can look back on these years as something I went through. Something I eventually marched beyond. For now, it is something I go through.

And so, when I face hard things in life, I store them like thread. Little by little, I sew them into my books. I take the threads of pain along with the threads of joy and make something beautiful of it all. It helps me, and I hope that someday it will help others.

That is art. It is light from darkness. It is hope from hurt. It is love from pain. It is truth and passion. It is taking what is inside one human, and bringing it forth to share.

I don’t have magical powers, though it would come in handy. But I know what it is like to feel pain from touch and to feel pain from the lack of touch. So I give you a part of myself when I give you Charlotte and her struggles.

Not everybody needs my art, and that’s okay. I write for those of you who do. I write for those of you who find themselves in my characters, and those of you who need those characters to stand with you. Sometimes we need a Charlotte to go to war for us. Sometimes we need a David to stand by our side. Sometimes we need a Beau to love us for who we are. Sometimes we need a Vincent to…well, you’ll see.

Muah, ha, ha, ha, ha! Ouch, that hurts.

I hope you have a great week. I know I kinda got personal and random today, but that’s life.

Battle Bravely,
Love Strongly,
Never Give Up.
-AEM

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