Made of Pain (2012) by Ira Roslan
40cm x 50cm, acrylic on canvas
This is a painting about the vasculitis I had half a year ago - a skin outbreak with unknown causes, with no medicinal cure.
It just hit me out of nowhere, made my skin swell, break and burn. My muscles felt like they were being internally shredded and I temporary loss function of my legs. Every move I had to make was agonising.
I was lucky to have Michael and his mum who helped me get treatment when I couldn't walk. The disease put me in hospital last year on Christmas eve and when I had to stay there I finally felt alone in sickness.
And the pain metastasised into sadness.
I was worried that my liver and kidneys were going to fail because of my overdriven immunesystem and the high dosages of painkillers and cortisone.
But I also realized that if my condition had gotten worse, all I would have done was accept and go with it. It was better than trying to go against things I cannot change. Although I had received roses and chocolates at that time to cheer me up, I thought: and then what? Can this take away the pain? Is this going to heal me? Those only reminded me of the things I had taken for granted, things I wished I could enjoy.
Now that I'm cured, I'm thankful for every moment I breathe and move without pain. I realized that there must have been a good reason why my immune system overreacted... perhaps it really had been a bad invasion. If my body hadn't flipped out like that, I might probably no longer be around today.
It is only when you have felt so much pain that you can also experience so much joy as though you were in paradise. Pain is a wonderful thing. And depending on how you deal with it, it will grab you by the throat and tell you either the bitter truth or a really good lie.
With every stroke in this painting I remember me just being there... motionless, letting the pain take place, letting the pain happen and feeling every little bit of it terrorising my veins.
It cannot be ignored.