In 1995 while placing a box in my car, I felt a sharp pain shoot down my left leg. I had a herniated disk in my lower back that stuck directly into the nerve root on the left side causing me severe nerve pain. This was the beginning of my life with chronic pain.

Within a few months of the injury, I had back surgery. Unfortunately, it failed to provide adequate relief, and I began to search for a physician to help me. For years, I went from doctor to doctor seeking quality pain management but to no avail. The suffering became so intolerable that the only feasible solution I could envision was suicide.

During a suicidal episode, I created a piece of art that reflected what I was going through. The piece is titled “Chronic Pain.” The act of making the art helped me get through the crisis safely by taking all the intense emotions from inside my body and placing them on the outside into the art. It was a true catharsis.

Reprinted with permission of the American Chronic Pain Association