Back in October 2019 I took part in Inktober. A daily inking challenge that left me with 31 ink paintings that I decided to turn into a colouring book. I committed myself to the project by announcing my plans via social media.
So far I’m 19 pages in and I’ll be honest…it’s become a pain in the back. When I first started out I was so excited, eager to get going and dived right in to creating a colouring book. Lots of line work, hunched over the monitor and sitting for long periods of time has royally messed up my back. It came to a point that sitting at a desk just aggravates my spine. Working on my latest project had come to a halt because of it.
The last couple of months I’ve struggled to sit and just draw. The page stares back at me. Chronic back pain has zapped me of all creative muster. It’s put me in a bit of a creative slump. It’s been like that since November. Not much enthusiasm for art. No doodling, sketching or thinking up new ideas. Just not feeling arty. Achy, impatient and a moody cow but definitely not arty.
Last year I tried acupuncture, cupping, sports massage and swimming but still no change in my back pain and headaches. The acupuncture did help relieve a headache though. I think it was the fact that having needles sticking out from your scalp making you resemble Pinhead was more painful than the actual headache.
I thought a new year would mean new energy, new ideas a fresh perspective. Better pain killers. Nope. I’m really in a rut. Since January last year I’ve been plagued with chronic back pain and migraines that would down a buffalo. Eventually after many visits to the Doctor she sent me to hospital for an MRI which turned up no results. Just a baffled doctor asking me “Have you considered Yoga?”
This January I finally gave in and squeezed into my lycra leggings. Gulp. Thanks to the wonderful world of YouTube I can practise Yoga in the safety of my own home and not embarrass myself getting stuck in downward dog during a class. I’m so incredibly not bendy it’s freaky. I’m watching Yoga with Adriene and her channel on YouTube is wonderful! Lots of helpful videos that focus on back troubles.
I’m hoping the Yoga will help with the back pain and also open my creative flow (eww). Sitting at the computer in a hunched position while drawing hasn’t been good for me, clearly! So far this month I haven’t missed a day of Yoga. An hour a day, sometimes two depending on day duties. The back pain is easing off. I’m not crawling out of bed clicking and groaning like I’ve been beaten up by the sleep paralysis monster.
I’m determined to finish the colouring book. It’s going to happen. Positive affirmations and all that waffle. I also have my children’s book that I so desperately want to finish. This year I’m going to get my back to behave itself. Healthy body, healthy mind, healthy back. That’s what I want this year. I’m sticking with the Yoga. If it means I can get back to the computer and finish my projects then the hours of uncomfortable vpl in lycra leggings is worth it.
At some point I will start posting progress of the colouring book project on social media again. I really must get into the habit of doing that! What’s the point of creating if you’re not going to show it to people?! I will do another post updating my progress with Yoga and my creative endeavours next month and will try not to bore you too much. No promises though.
The sunshine and warmer weather should be with us here in the UK soon enough. Ahh sunshine. Can’t wait. That always helps lift the spirits and makes me look less like a pale corpse and more of a freckly zombie.
Ok pity party over.
Ta for now!
*If you’re experiencing back pain I highly recommend giving Yoga with Adriene a go. Her videos are for beginners like me and it’s gentle, slow exercise that really is helping to ease my pain.