CREATIVE THERAPEUTIC ENCOUNTERS: ‘THE PAIN BODY- DEPRESSION P.T.S.D & MEDICAL STUFF’ ©Catherine Meeson 30.1.2013
Depression is a master thief; and trauma like a parasitic organism slowly consuming the host from within. Neither discriminate, they occupy inner space, our Psyche-scape like a company of grand Inquisitors. They render us ever guilty, enslaved to the tombs of the past, the body bound in a torturous momentary glimpse.
IT is true what they say; the only way out is through. One must learn again what it is to be human, to walk amongst the land of the living.
The ‘Pain Body’ is a term I came by in my own healing journey, it is the total body of PAIN. All of it, across all levels, physical, emotional, mental, spiritual. It is this that triggers, in acute and chronic P.T.S.D, the physiology of traumatic conditioning programming ones body, into a locked moment of time. We become entombed in this past repository and often even when we work hard and will it to be otherwise, it still ensnares us. The healing of the pain body takes time,- psychologically but the healing of the body is not to be underestimated in importance. This BODY needs to be rewired, reconditioned so that the pathways the trauma traversed become obsolete and the charge retained within the nervous system can slowly dwindle away as we reclaim our life and body. Physical therapies and activity are essential. We must equip people with the knowledge of what has happened to the body and why the symptoms can recur. Conventional talk therapy is not necessarily going to work. All talk no action, when action is needed, to allow the body to process what it never could at the time. Creative Arts Therapies, exercise regimes, massage, nutritional supplements, Chinese medicine, lots of water etc. These are just a few of the ways to support the body. The body needs a lot of support, just as much the as the psyche. Dance, swimming, tai chi, the gym, walking in the forest. It is our home after all, our dwelling in time, and we want to be at home in our bodies, not tangled in fear and trauma.
It can be extremely trying when the Pain Body is linked to medical conditions, chronic conditions, or incurable states, genetic states, the result of accident, or a decision. Especially when these endure. For anyone who battles bodily affliction, the repercussions can be lifelong, and exhaustive. The ripple effect goes through our lives. For some it is short term for others long term. It is ones experience that matters. Ones experience is important, If someone were to try and deprive you of valuable life experience you would feel robbed. Robbed of learning, of opportunity. Even within the pain. Medications can be like this, as can some forced interventions, robbing us of the wisdom of our depth potential due to a social incapacity to handle the condition in other ways. Sometimes the Pain one experiences just comes down to money. If one had more money one could get more help and our health systems could do with a lot more expansion. Many many people suffer alone because they don’t have the money or the knowledge of what they can access to help them. It is essential to know ones human rights and to assert these in the medical domain.
The following pictures are Art Therapy examples of work exploring the physical dimensions of literal pain related to Hepatitis C, and Fibromyalgia. Within these states sometimes all one can do is to find ways to cope, to sail through the stormy tempests when they arise. One day can be fine, the next day we can be plunged deep down, our boat sinking,. Do we succumb to the depths or be as a deep sea diver? I say yes, surrender to the depths , the truth of ones being, explore the murky bottom but make sure you have ways of coming back up for air. Know that others are out on the seas in Life rafts. Check your oxygen supplies- your fellow travellers of life can bring you back again, tug on that olde lifeline, whether friends, therapists, family, organisations, clubs, networks.
Storms pass, pain subsides. Pain can be managed in many ways. The trick is to adapt healthy patterns of pain relief, and therapeutically I believe it is our duty to empower with tools and knowledge so as to foster sovereignty, dignity and independence, not dependency which comes from power relations. The Pain body teaches us about how we respond. It teaches us deep humility and self compassion. For every perceived negative there is the counter weight on the scales, one sometimes needs a good mirror in the form of other, when stuck in the pain to feel the weight, the flipside. Why would we want to hurt ourselves more?
When pain is our norm, we are suffering deeply and suffering is part of the human condition. There is no magic pill, no genetic modification, no vaccine to prevent it. No matter what ones lot in life, pain visits us all; traumas occur; depressions strike or we fall into them. The only way out holistically is through. We may not be able to cure all medical affliction or disability but we can revision and review our world seeing what changes we can make and learn to better love ourselves within it. The key lay in the right tools to proceed on our healing journey. For some they may walk a lifetime with their affliction, or a decade, or it may come and go, the level of healing that occurs is individualistic. Can a person with terminal cancer still be healed? Yes, because healing is about the whole, body, mind, spirit. Through the cancer or other condition comes great teaching, and sometimes release of the pain body in the form of that major life transition called Death..
Artists have been using creative processes since the dawn of time therapeutically, to work out their own salvation , it is not a new practise. It was just a practise, an arts practise, a cultural practise, a personal paradigm of the perceptual art of being in the world. An extension of the self, into the realms of immortality. Being is our fundamental state, as creatures of planet Earth. Our minds may endow us with higher faculties and potentials in relation to other life forms, but they do not make us superior, their working is still dependent on our biological basis, our creature status, our animal-ness. We are not our mind. Mind is part of the greater energy field. Mind is one level of being. Animal instinct, when in pain, is to retreat to lick ones wounds, we must do this and have the support to lick our wounds, the support of our culture to journey through. Medicating is a temporary balm. Healing from suffering takes time and time we have whilst alive. Till next time.....choose in every moment to embrace the presence in the present...the possibility in the present, is the present!
I am a girl from the North who lives in the South...a Minstrel of melody, a wordsmith, creatrix extraordinaire! I Compose sonic tapestries and create visual delights, and tantalize with tales from other times! Multi modal Artist/ Creator with Words, Pictures & Sounds. Ambient Music composer & singer songwriter. Artist/ therapist/ healer.