Able Disabled

It’s interesting when you sit and contemplate what you want to share in public, and ALL of the things that should be kept private.    How honest should someone be when they are not necessarily in the best physical way?   The reason I am asking myself this question isn’t because of wanting approval or wanting to impress anyone, but rather to share a challenging situation in an effort to relay the day to day things that come up with physical limitations. 

As anyone close to me knows, I seriously struggle with pain and mobility issues on the daily.  Anyone that knows me knows that I also push past my limits sometimes.  Any sort of forward head posture for too long gives me chronic migraine with neck and shoulder tension issues.  I think it’s only proper to share that I had an out and out disability hearing in August for the debilitating degeneration I have in my entire spine.   Perhaps it’s because I was and forever more be a red headed step kid who got dragged out of bed by her ankles to get to work way early on.  I still have artwork I bought as a kit with very hard earned money of my own.   I worked hard before I was even old enough to hold a job outside of the family.  So with this said, please know that it is very difficult for me to take it easy.  I mean, really difficult.  Even when I hurt like hell I feel inadequate if I don’t do something that helps me feel less of a burden.  No one makes me feel like this, it just comes up.  I tell myself that I am o.k. and not a burden, but I do often feel very depressed at not earning my keep.    

Back in May of last year Hector(my husband) cleared out half of our garage so that I could set up a small and humble creative studio.  He would be gone for weeks and I was very depressed and sort of needed to force myself to move and do something.  So I had friends and family help me set up a situation that my physical can handle for an hour or two at a time.  I rarely am able to push through an entire day, and when I do I get laid out for sometimes 3 days after, so I pace myself in a big way.  Hector left on his trip and all of these painting here have poured out of me since then.  I am so excited because I can do it.  When I can’t move, I rest.  When I feel O.K., I paint.  And the roll began.    So I painted from May up until my disability hearing in the first week of august through the ups and downs of my body. 

The judge actually asked me to tell her about my website, which back in August was an old glorified online resume of all the body painting I got to do over about 12 years like a decade ago.  It was so much fun while it lasted!  I will blog here about it more in the future, but body paint is a passion that I am sad I don’t do often.  It’s also something that if not done in very short intervals, I am not able to do it at all. In fact I haven’t done business with that in years because of physical limitations. I used to pull 20 hour days painting people all the time.  That time in my life is far since gone physically.  So as she asked if I sold paintings on line, I said to her “No your honor, it’s more of a glorified on line resume.  But it’s not a bad idea”, as I thought of the now pile of quite good painting that I had done since May.  There this whole thing was conceived.  As defeated as I was walking into that hearing that day.  As much pain as I was in, it all hit me and made perfect sense as I told the truth about my situation to her.  I felt heard and seen.  The truth is, even though my back is way bad, I am an immensely talented person with a great attitude.  If from the flat of my back, I will sell paintings on line!    After the hearing my lovely attorney suggested how cool it would be if something happens and I can just live off of my artwork again as I did for over 10 years.  Perhaps I could take even better care of myself, like STEM CELLS!  Giggle.   For now I am really in need of my disability benefits, more for the medical than the money, but it was a very cool thought to leave that hearing with.   I am still waiting for my approval.  Thank you for visiting me and for honoring my artwork with your eyes and your heart.  It all comes from my core.   I so appreciate you and the ability I have to feel worthwhile through my paintings even when I am lying in bed unable to move.