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 Photo Abbie May Hastings

Photo Abbie May Hastings

 Pill art is like doodling, restful and repetitive. I take so much medication I can change the arrangement of the pills several times before I've taken them all. It's restful in that it distracts me from what they actually are doing to me and why. I forget all that for a while.

Pill art is like doodling, restful and repetitive. I take so much medication I can change the arrangement of the pills several times before I've taken them all. It's restful in that it distracts me from what they actually are doing to me and why. I forget all that for a while.

 I dream of resting places wherever I go. Beds at exhibition openings. Quiet darkened spaces with old lady reclining chairs and tea on tap in Top Shop. A soundproof section in cafes where i don't have to ask the staff (ever so nicely) would they mind turning the music down. The list goes on and on and on....some days it's just not worth leaving the house....and still I do.

I dream of resting places wherever I go. Beds at exhibition openings. Quiet darkened spaces with old lady reclining chairs and tea on tap in Top Shop. A soundproof section in cafes where i don't have to ask the staff (ever so nicely) would they mind turning the music down. The list goes on and on and on....some days it's just not worth leaving the house....and still I do.

I have had to rest, ideally for one  hour in every four, minimally for half an hour every few hours, for the past 12 years. The limitations this imposes on my life is worse than the pain itself - except if I don't lie down, then the pain is intolerable. 

I accosted the head of an organisation devoted to psychological wellbeing, to arrange somewhere I could lie down during the breaks of a conference I wanted to attend. This was flatly refused 'for security reasons', although they had couches and blankets available for their work purposes, in the same building. The admin person helped me counter this, and I threatened them with the disability discrimination act. The speed with which they gave in made it all the worse, somehow! And it wasn't such a good conference.

 'spinal cord missing' Stephen James Moore

'spinal cord missing' Stephen James Moore

 Painting by Liz Carson. Inspired by an image of neurons and neural pathways in the brain cortex  produced by a research team at Harvard (they used fluorescent proteins to distinguish the different cells). It reflects the sense of wonder at the amazingly complex and interconnected human body.

Painting by Liz Carson. Inspired by an image of neurons and neural pathways in the brain cortex  produced by a research team at Harvard (they used fluorescent proteins to distinguish the different cells). It reflects the sense of wonder at the amazingly complex and interconnected human body.

I experience sensory overload. 

I like to find ways of explaining how my brain responds to information. This is a visual and auditory response to my first glorious day researching at The Wellcome Collection.

Making this video helped explain to those supporting me what I was experiencing. In turn this helped them to support me better.

This is the first time I have attempted to show to others within a working environment how I experience the world. The Wellcome team were amazing and responded so supportively.      

 Last flare I wove this mini tapestry in bed to contribute to ME campaign.

Last flare I wove this mini tapestry in bed to contribute to ME campaign.

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 'It means...' Abbie May Hastings Photo Jack Offord

'It means...' Abbie May Hastings Photo Jack Offord

 'Being & Nothingness' Liz Carson

'Being & Nothingness' Liz Carson

 Ballet shoes in bed; the closest I can get to my pre-illness dancing days!

Ballet shoes in bed; the closest I can get to my pre-illness dancing days!