Sunday, July 3, 2011

These Hands...

I'm going to tell you a secret.

Not many people outside of my family know this, but I have had pretty awful arthritis in my hands since I was fourteen. In my hands.

Painting for me is breathing. It's a heartbeat. I have no idea who on earth I will be when I can't do it any more.
This year, it has gotten worse. When it rains my joints get so bad that I can't grip. I can't pick up a glass of water or hold a fork.
It's moved up from my hands and is spreading.

There is a little clock in the back of my mind. It's counting down to a little ball of pink terror.
I know I can't do this forever. I know this. These poor little hands won't hold out.
I am so grateful for every minute that I have to paint.

Why do I tell you this?
I decide it was time to write this aloud, because even though every minute of my passion hurts me, I couldn't possibly be happier when I paint. I am complete.
A lot of us have complications. Restrictions. People who tell us that we have unrealistic career choices.
There is no dream you shouldn't follow.
Ignore the odds.
Even if you have only a few fleeting moments before it's gone
you will always be proud that you did it anyway.

We need to unite. Let's tell our stories.


  1. I am so sad that you have really bad arthritis. It is awful how the one thing you love to do has to have an obstacle in the way. I have always wanted to be an art teacher...but being only 20 years old I have vessels covering my pupil which makes my whole vision effed....I see floating things everywhere 24-7. I was told they would never go away either...and also along with that I have really bad eye sight. The worst out of anyone in my family.


  2. MAB, This breaks my heart, Have you ever tried Destiny in Broad Ripple? They can heal and have healed all sorts of physical problems which lead to emotional balance. I really recommend them.
    They worked miracles on my sister and brother!

  3. That sucks! I'm so sorry to hear that. You are an amazing artist and I hope to someday get a custom necklace from you. Take care!

  4. I'm so sorry to hear that, Mab. Your work is truly beautiful, and the love you put into each piece really shines through. I'm glad that you don't let the pain stop you from doing what you love!

  5. I am so, so sorry to hear this. I hope you have many, many, many years ahead of you in painting. Your images are so haunting and beautiful.
    I have very similar fears, but so far no ailments. Creating is what makes me truly happy, and I don't know who I'd be without that either.

  6. My condensed pertinent story; I am a lyricist and a vocalist who dabbles in other artforms. My passion has been and always will be my ability to deliver the depths of my own and others sould through my vocal abilities. Last year, it was official. After recording in Nashville in 2007, then starting and growing with a band, my voice could no longer work the same. I was diagnosed with Benign Essential Tremors of the hands and, less commonly found, the tongue and vocal chords. My world was turned upside down. I attempted to follow the ways of the world by continuing a college education and holding a job in a creative field even, but it became evident my passions could not be ignored regardless of a diagnosis given by a doctor. I began treatment. I've had to increase the dosage to almost my limit. I don't tell anyone anymore though because, honestly, no other bands wanted to give me a chance and my current members moved to different states and out of the cornfields here in Indiana. I also choose not to tell my clients whose makeup I do. See, I started my own makeup art company, a passion of mine, over a year ago before my diagnosis. I am not giving up though. My life has too many stories to share with others who may need to hear from me, and my hands and voice are not dead entirely. I am preparing to take stage at a local alternative church as the vocalist, and I am going to sing until my voice will not come out of my body anymore. Even if the day comes when they ask me to let someone else take my place, I will sing to my own children and my own ears. Thanks for sharing your piece of a much larger story.

  7. You will just have to become a muralist and strap big brushes onto your wrists. For artists, there is always a away!

  8. Mabaloosh!
    There's help I promise!
    My friend had the same exact thing since age 14 as well she was in constant agony but tried out this acupuncturist who also put her on certain foods I believe and she's been cured already 5 kids later!!
    Hers was severe and now pretty much gone!!!!!
    Calcium magnesium supplements are VERY important
    Never lose hope -you are an incredible inspiration and I have a feeling will continue to be in this area by overcoming it!!!!
    Sending love and happiness your way and know that you can overcome this- it's the opposite not a clock ticking towards doom but towards healing- it can 100% be attained-