There's the common understanding that artists suffer for their art. Usually, this means we suffer emotionally. Creative types are at a higher risk for depression and other mental disorders, including OCD. Some of the most famous creative artists throughout history suffered emotionally.
I'm not ashamed to admit that I was diagnosed with depression back in high school, and I've fought it on and off over the years. I've even blogged about it before. Yes, I'm on antidepressants. Yes, I tried going off of them. No, I couldn't do it and yes, I have accepted the fact that I will be on them probably the rest of my life.
But the suffering I'm talking about for today's post is the physical suffering. Granted, as I have been in deep depressions, I would rather take the physical suffering any day. But that doesn't mean it's not painful. Quite the opposite.
I worked on my novel all weekend. I rarely left the couch. I did get up and take periodic stretches and move around, but then I forced myself to get back to work. Unfortunately, I don't think I was sitting correctly, and as I normally use an ergonomic keyboard for my desktop computer, I knew that working that long on my laptop (which does not have an ergonomic keyboard) might cause some problems.
By Monday, this was confirmed. I have tension headaches that have their root in an old volleyball neck injury from high school. I've been to several chiropractors over the years, have tried several pain medications, and now, I just live with the fact that I have pain in my head almost every day. There comes a point when you get tired of going to the doctor all the time and just learn to deal. I'm at that point.
As Monday stretched into Tuesday and then Wednesday, the pain kept getting worse. I had no one to blame but myself. I, after all, was the one who had sat in that same position and worked my tail off. I had a finished novel, yes, but at what cost to my body?
Wednesday night the headache got so bad, I was in tears. My husband was on alert, knowing he might have to take me to the ER. Thankfully, two prescription pain pills took the edge off and knocked me out so I could get some sleep. But I was a zombie yesterday and had to miss work.
To tell you the truth, I'm a little angry with myself. I should have known better. I should have known that I needed to change my sitting position, done more stretching, done something to prevent it. While I was writing, I knew I might have to deal with a tension headache, but I thought the few stretching sessions I had was enough to keep it at bay.