Tag Archives: fibromyalgia

Pain Map

Be gentle. You have no idea about the weight of other people's burdens.

Be gentle. You have no idea about the weight of other people’s burdens.

I’ve never applied for any type of disability, but The Man has 3 pins in his knee, which resulted in a medical discharge from the Air Force, and he did have a hang tag for many years. We only used it when we were absolutely out of spoons, but even so some vigilante once left a note on the windshield accusing us of not being handicapped enough. It’s not a contest, people. You don’t want what we have. Also, the picture on the sign is just a symbol: there are disabilities other than being a paraplegic confined to a wheelchair.

This was the hardest comic I’ve ever scripted. Fibromyalgia is a subject I don’t care to discuss much (see panel 2). Adolescence taught me to never expose any weakness. Whenever the subject came up, doctors dismissed it and no one sympathized, or cared, or, I suspect, believed me. Most people don’t know that I have a chronic pain disorder; I try not to let it dictate my life, and when it does, I try to make sure that it doesn’t dictate other people’s lives. But the reality of my life is that I do have a chronic pain disorder. Invisible diseases exist, and you can’t judge someone’s level of disability. Clearly, I’m better off than many, because I’m still generally able to hide the problem, but that doesn’t give anyone a right to question its existence.

If I bring it up in person, you better believe there’s a reason that information is being shared: I have limits. I only mention it here because of consumer demand for a continuing series of comics cataloging all the excruciating reasons I’ve failed to summit the heights of my potential. It’s all about telling the most horrible parts with brutal honesty. I’m not complaining and I’m not looking for sympathy. I just need you to understand that this is the truth.

Opening Pandora’s Box: Meet My Demons

From left to right: Chronic Pain and Insomnia, Foggy Delusion, Insatiable Desire, Crippling Self-Doubt, and Winged Hope

From left to right: Chronic Pain and Insomnia, Foggy Delusion, Insatiable Desire, Crippling Self-Doubt and Depression, and Winged Hope

Felt like working with my hands and taking a break from the tablet and webcomics, so I reached for the Sculpey, and, as inspiration tends to steer me, went to the weirdest place.

Sharp spikes, massive fangs, throbbing veins, bloodshot, wide-awake eye

Sharp spikes, massive fangs, throbbing veins, bloodshot, wide-awake eye

Here we have some metaphorical, 3-dimensional representations of my demons: Chronic Pain and Insomnia, Foggy Delusion, Insatiable Desire, and Crippling Self-Doubt and Depression. And then, because I have read the classics, I added Hope, who is either the blessed relief vouchsafed mankind by kindly deities, or else the worst curse in the box. Either interpretation is considered correct. It simply depends on your philosophical outlook.

General cloudiness, tentacles of disordered thought

General cloudiness, tentacles of disordered thought

Now I can also make 3-d comics about the physical embodiments of all the emotional handicaps that have held me back in life. Ha ha. Although first I guess I better make a Monica figurine for these guys to plague.

Greedy gaze, hungry mouth, probing tongues

Greedy gaze, hungry mouth, probing tongues

To tell the truth, working on the computer all the time kind of makes me lazy, both in terms of the way I lean on the myriad available tools rather than my own artistic sense along with the overall degree of creativity I expend on a particular idea. I might try to get some stuff done on paper, with a pencil, in the near future.

Formless hopelessness, one hand covering shame, the other reaching out for help

Formless hopelessness, one hand covering shame, the other reaching out for help

There’s a school of thought that suggests welcoming in weakness interrupts its power over you. If you accept problems, instead of combating them, you can move on with your life.

Gossamer wings,  sweet curves wrapped in sunshine and warm breezes

Gossamer wings, sweet curves wrapped in sunshine and warm breezes.

I sort of started storyboarding a comic about depression, but it almost feels exploitation and derivation. Everyone does depression comics, right?

I’ll write a depression comic. Later.