Sensory overload

It may be just a fibro thing…or it could be a run of too much stress/drama/added illness. It could even just be my peri-menopausal hormones. Goodness knows.

Fibro folks are pretty overly sensitised to…well, everything, so its not like this is a strange occurrence. But I feel…unsettled. Ungrounded, like things are shifting. Could be the time of year of course. I’ve always hated january – march. Partly because, I suspect, of that whole lack of sunlight thing. But also most of the deaths in the family have always happened in these dark months – starting with my Dad when I was 12.
But I’m trying to turn this into a positive, (not the deaths, heh, not much point in attempting the impossible.) but rather the time of the year.
I find myself becoming more and more fascinated by pagan rituals and other earth centred belief systems. We’re heading towards Imbolc and I like the idea of January being a time of reflection and release.
I’m slowly working my way through this workbook and doing the eCourse that I’ve previously mentioned…and it feels the right month to be doing that. 
I suspect it will snow overnight. (Not sure why, haven’t seen any weather forecasts…i just keep seeing snow. Odd.) But it will fit in with the feeling of hibernation and seclusion. The need for calm and quiet.
So…yeah…art and mental health. It’s a topic I hope I can manage to write about with some clarity in the coming years, because it keeps me sane.
Yes really – my life has narrowed to a fraction of what it was, but in many ways its also much richer. I owe that richness mostly to my two iGadgets. I can loose myself in a creative world either of my own or that of a myriad of talented other souls, all with a tap of my finger on a smooth screen.
Sensory overload

Sensory overload

Insomnia is another constant companion to fibromyalgia – and the other night whilst feeling (as usual) exhausted but unable to sleep, my most overwhelming feeling was of sensory overload. So I immersed myself in the quiet construction of the above image. It may not look like much – but it helped me enormously. No expectations or intent…just following instinct. Doing what felt right. The flow getting smoother as I became more focused. Its a kind of waking meditation if that makes any sense? 
I suspect that’s what I ought to be doing right now…hope wherever you are, you’re safe and warm with a smooth path before you. Able to do what’s best for you.
Hope the Sandman brings me sleep tonight…




  1. Great post. So honest. These dark cold months can be hard for many. Continue creating. This can be your light! Love your picture as there is so much to sit with. The red is so bold. Wonderful!

    • Thanks ever so much Ashley – for the visit, support and taking the time to leave a thoughtful comment 🙂
      It helps to write, and create, and I suppose how can I feel whole if I keep the two major parts of my life so separate?

  2. I have never thought of fibro & art in the same sentence….ever. You seriously had me thinking about it & its definition outside of pain. Now I’m intrigued & will saunter on over to your fibro blog. Thank you.

    • Glad i got you thinking…fibro and art is just me. Although you find a LOT of arty folks have some challenge – whether physical or emotional etc. or at least that’s been my experience so far on twitter and FB. Art therapy needs more exposure.
      Thing is with fibro that the pain has such a knock on effect on the balance of the whole body and brain. The gadgets help me to feel like I’m doing *something* despite being stuck in bed/house. It also gives me an emotional outlet. I can be expressive without needing to find the right words. (another lovely side effect is impaired cognitive function.) and of course it all helps to take the brains focus away from the pain. Hope you’ve found some useful info amongst my disjointed ramblings 😉

  3. I really sympathise with the winter blues you are experiencing! This is my third winter in Finland (How does anyone live here their entire life?) and I get cabin fever from time to time. Art is my release and tool for healing and seeing what is going on under the surface of things. I love your post and your image, red is such a powerful colour and you integrated it beautifully with your words. Thank you!

    • Ah bless you Iris, thank you!
      Art is such a WONDERFUL tool for healing. I wish more people realised it’s restorative powers and worried less about what the end result is. Art is so marginalised in the curriculum 🙁 Over almost two decades I watched it slowly being squeezed to an hour every other week! So I cheated a little and used it as a tool to teach other subjects. But that approach isn’t always possible and the end result is that lots of folks say ‘I cant draw’ and imagine that means that they cant create.
      Sorry – I’m sure you know all this already! It’s a hobby horse of mine…if that’s the phrase? Fibro brain is being uncooperative.
      I have an online fibro chum in Finland and I have no idea how she/they cope there. That lack of light in the winter would drive me to probably more than cabin fever. I’m so glad that you have art to help you to cope 🙂 x

  4. I just have to mention a coincidence here – my new sunrise alarm clock and SAD light box just arrived yesterday. I hit my limit of darkness during winter in Scotland. Have you considered or tried one before? I’m not familiar with art therapy but is sounds wonderful.

    • I’m ashamed to say that I have a SAD light upstairs – hardly used 🙁 Thanks for the reminder…I’ll move it into my bedroom where I’ll be reminded to use it! (Bought long ago before I knew my problem was low serotonin. I tried pretty much everything to help my depression. St Johns Wort helped the most. And avena sativa.)
      I know just what you mean about a darkness limit – I ADORE Scotland. Have relatives living on the Isle of Harris. But I just don’t know how you all cope during winter. (There’s a wonderful quartet of books set up in the islands. Detective novels. Based around the four seasons and how they affect people. Cant’ recall the author right now, but I’ll find out if you’re interested?)
      Hope the SAD light box and sunrise alarm help. I’m sure they will.
      As to art as therapy…well, I guess you just gave me an idea for the direction of this blog! 🙂 Thank you.

  5. My insomnia has been truly terrible too recently. Overloaded and overwrought as I am makes it worse. Then the lack of sleep makes the fibro symptoms worse. This weekend is dedicated to going into myself a little.

    • Good idea for a weekend plan – there’s a lovely phrase that Andrew Johnson uses in the hypnosis app that I use – Be gentle with yourself.
      I love that…I’m sure you’re probably the same. (We fibro peeps seem to have similar personality traits.) I’m too hard on myself. My own worst critic…this damn disease is just so FRUSTRATING 🙁
      I can’t multi-task any more…along with most things really! Which – yes exactly – makes you feel overloaded and overwrought even before life throws stuff at you.
      We’ve had a period of extreme stress in the family and the same with a few close friends, for more than a few months. Plus I’m recovering from surgery (evil gallbladder)…honestly, I feel like running away sometimes…it all just ramps up the pain levels and chases sleep away.
      I’m writing waaaay too much in my replies. Sorry 🙁
      Hope that the universe is kind and helps you with your plan for a restful weekend and that sleep will come to you. I get depressed having to sleep in the day – but napping is all that keeps me going. I’m trying to adjust to the fact that I can only sleep in 2 to 3 hour bursts. Sucks doesn’t it?

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