What does one do with their chronic pain journey? Turn it into a book!

What does one do with their chronic pain journey? Turn it into a book!

Art & Chronic Pain - A Self Portrait by Soula Mantalvanos (For the followers who are linked to my other social networks, I apologise for the repeated info. I will be writing this from an artist’s perspective rather than from a chronic pain perspective so hopefully it will be worth reading some duplicate information again. I’m not ready to merge pain and art perspectives into one, in fact I’m hoping the pain perspective will disappear completely one day.)

My greatest ammunition in the, almost seven-year battle with my chronic Pelvic Pain, Pudendal Neuralgia (let’s call it PN from now on), has been an obsession for documenting character and the gift of creativity. A creative mind, I’m learning, can prevent depression, distract the mind from stressful thoughts and instead focus on new ideas, even if they can’t be produced. I’ve had something inside me helping me go on, keeping my faith in the hope that one day I may actually produce the ideas piling up in my head. I didn’t realise that some of those ideas would come together and form a book. It was a great surprise and to be honest this surprise now leaves me waiting for the next one. perhaps if I’d not hurt myself I would have expected my creative achievements, maybe the surprise is more related to getting past the mammoth PN and being able to create again. Art & Chronic Pain - A Self Portrait by Soula Mantalvanos

It’s been almost two years that I began my PN website in hope of creating awareness for others. Since this time, which was also the crucial point of being diagnosed and switching paths from existing to living, I began, finally, to draw and write, expressing my pain and working my way up to some painting ability. In amongst this time my idea to have someone make a fully functional marionette of me also became a reality. Ms Soula was born by Colleen Burke, my answer to communicating my loss of independence was answered with Ms Soula’s strings. A climax in this journey is surely my winding up a semi finalist in The Doug Moran Portrait Prize for Self Portrait – Chronic Pain and realising that communicating my intended message about living with invisible pain, is possible.

All these independent ideas have no come together into another idea – a book about my chronic pain journey.

The price of my book is $39 (plus postage*). To order, fill out the contact form below and I will contact you with direct debit details or PayPal invoice (credit card orders can be processed through PayPal even for those who don’t have an account). There will only be 500 copies produced. I will be numbering the books by hand. I’ve inserted some preview images in this post but don’t want to give too much away. I won’t be releasing the book in an online format, the subject is too personal so I feel the screen does not suffice. Each page must be handled and touched while it’s being read.

Order here: soula.com.au/blog/2013/11/0...

2 Replies

  • Beautiful. Thank you for sharing!

  • Thank you for the compliment Maria. Love your favicon!

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