August 2014 my life changed drastically. It took 5 months after receiving an injury to receive a diagnosis and that only happened because I refused to listen to the specialist when they said there was nothing wrong with me. Living with chronic pain is a challenge to say the least! Add to that other symptoms from new diagnoses and you could have a recipe for disaster. Luckily, I’ve found several things that help keep my health and wellbeing in check.

Creativity helps me to refocus my mind away from the pain, it has helped me to find my purpose and given me a new career path. I’ve always been creative but before I was poorly I never had the time to express myself. Now my doodles help me to share my story in images.

The next few pages showcases other people’s stories and quotes that I have doodled. The images have been used in blogs and on social media.

Being off work meant I had more time on my hands but I lacked confidence to do things due to my symptoms. My pain would start to flare when I was at meetings, I struggled to focus, my speech would slur and I wouldn’t be able to digest what was being said. Doodling has helped me to stay present by giving me something else to focus on, my confidence grew as I could use my notes when I wanted to speak and people became interested in what I was doing

My creativity has given me opportunities to meet lots of amazing people and to explore new ways of working. Storytelling is a huge part of my journey. My doodles help to tell a story...

As I am unable to sit for long periods, when I’m at meetings or events I use doodling as a tool to refocus my mind. People were curious about what I was doing and why. I have started to develop my doodles so I can offer a graphic recording service

I am in the process of setting up a social enterprise that focuses on the positive effects creativity and community has on health and wellbeing, especially for people with long term health conditions. We hold regular events, workshops and meet ups in Coventry

At first my doodles were created as gifts. My family have all been doodled in some way or another! I now take on commissioned pieces...

Feeling curious? If you would like to find out more or would like to collaborate with me get in touch... Mel@feelgoodcom.org https://www.instagram.com/feelgoodinsta/ #creativityismypainrelief #covmindthegap #feelgoodcom

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