Sunday, December 7, 2014

Why I Took a Year Off of Art

Incase you haven't noticed the year of 2014 has been a very quite year for me as an artist. Almost a year ago to the day I've started to have unbearable pains mainly in my stomach. The pains started painfully but quickly so I didn't think anything of it. It wasn't until one night my pains where so bad I was up for 35 hours straight until my family told me it was time to go to the Emergency Room. My entire body hurt because I was in so much pain. In the course of the next seven months I was in the ER four times, had three different doctors, two colonoscopies, an ucler, lots of unexplainable bleeding, camera pills and countless of different types of drugs. The worst part is no one knew what was wrong with me: I remember last time I was in the ER one of the male nurse was changing my IV and he told me I should prepare myself for the possibility of stomach cancer. I was in total fear. After seeing the best GI doctor in Chicago and months of testing I was diagnosed with the most severe case if IBS he has ever seen. Thankfully IBS is not fatal but it is (at least for my case) extremely painful and often worsen by my stress.

Some may say it was the worst year of my life but I don't view it this way because I learned about myself and the people around me. To start a relationship with hopsital visits is challenging but luckily for us, love grew. Michael has been by my side since the very beginning: he always knew when I was in pain even if I wouldn't say anything by making a cup of peppermint tea and reminding me of my pain free days. Just last month we were in the movie theater and my stomach started attacking me with intense sharp pains that would last for only thirty-seconds but felt like hours. My body was so exhausted from the pain that he had to physically help me walk out of the theater, take me home, and take care of me until I fell asleep. Now that I have a better understanding of my illness I have discovered more ways to naturally soothed my pains such as Harvest Juicery's Brussel Sprout and Fennel juice, aloe, apple cider vinegar, herbal teas, etc. I want to refocus on what's important in my life: my artwork.

Last September I thought it was finally time to seek a therapist to start talking about my anxiety, issues I've kept secret for years and to figure out how to express my fears through my artwork. With therapy and my illness, there was just no way I could add on top of that a brand new project. But I took this past year to truly focus and understand myself better. Now that I've accomplish some of my goals in therapy and my health is manageable I will be starting to work on the biggest project of my life: My very first solo exhibition. (I hope you are as excited as I am)

Love, Lauren