What follows is a somewhat lengthy account of why I have been so silent on this page for so long. To those who have reached out, I am very grateful. However, I will not be active as an artist for an indefinite time, and here is why:
Sometimes life takes strange turns. When I started this page, it was because I very much wanted to make art a major part of my life. I had or made time to practice drawing as well as fairly consistently make progress on paintings and projects. Around four years ago I started to develop symptoms of focal dystonia, although at the time I didn’t know what it was. To make a long story short my right hand wouldn’t obey my commands. It would spasm erratically and sometimes painfully. It became difficult to write, draw, or hold a guitar pick without excessive and sometimes extreme tension in my arm and hand. Over the last four years it worsened to the point that I was no longer able to write, draw, play my guitar or type without intense and often painful tension in my hand and arm. This often sent me into bouts of frustration, anger, anxiety and depression.
I eventually resigned myself to learning to do what I could with my left hand. I taught myself to write and even draw with my left hand. I even learned to play rudimentary guitar with my hands switched. You see, focal dystonia is. . . well, very focal in that it can be very task specific. I could hold a pencil or guitar pick in the air and pretend to draw or play, but if I actually sat down and tried to do either my reaction would manifest. So I found some hope by training myself to be more left-handed. However, it didn’t stop there.
Around a year and a half or so ago (around early summer of 2017 I believe) the reaction began to spread to more day-to-day activities, such as brushing my teeth, using cookware, washing my hands, and eventually to just about any activity requiring me to interact with an object. At its very worse, I wasn’t even able to move my hand into certain positions and ranges of motion without sometimes debilitating and painful tension.
Now, I have for my whole life been a very active and physical person. I did traditional Kung-Fu, I was a runner, I lifted weights for a short time, and around the same time my focal dystonia began to appear I started body weight strength training and hand balancing. At first none of my physical training seemed to directly interfere with or suffer from the dystonia. I felt that gaining better proficiency and beginning a career teaching body weight skills and fitness would be a positive change of direction for me. However, over time the near-constant tension in my arm caused dysfunction to the point that I was unable to bear nearly any weight on my hand for around four months’ time, and that puts us at the present day.
To end this on a positive note, I spent the last year reading the books of Dr. Joaquin Farias, who has worked with and rehabilitated dystonia patients for something like twenty years. I even traveled to Toronto to attend one of his seminars. After months of grueling re-training, endless hours thinking (and ruminating . . .) and more patience than I’ve ever had before in my life, I am slowly recovering. I can (usually . . .) bear weight on my hand, and am slowly, if not always consistently, moving better and in more natural ways. My wrist still hurts somewhat erratically, but overall seems to be progressing, even if very slowly. Consistently making art however, may be a long ways off, as I have decided to pursue an education in some field of physical science with the hopes of someday being able to help others to move more freely, whatever shape their life may be.
If you happen across this and wish to follow my movement and fitness journey, I will be posting content to @Force_and_Finesse on Instagram.