On Writing with Chronic Migraines
How do you build a creative practice around chronic pain?
It’s hard to explain chronic pain to someone who doesn’t experience it, the way the physical pain blurs together with the psychological toll it takes. I mean, the actual pain is plenty painful—sometimes so bad that it’s hard to want to live. But a lot of the time it’s more about the accumulation of the pain. It’s like listening to that leaf blower outside that isn’t too annoying for one minute but grows maddening after two hours. It’s hard to imagine that the leaf blower will ever stop. Or when it does stop for a moment, you’re just brooding, worrying, waiting for that asshole to start it up again.
For a time, I thought the chronic pain would mean the end of my creative life.
Yuvi Zalkow is the author of the novel I Only Cry with Emoticons (Red Hen, 2022) as well as A Brilliant Novel in the Works. His short stories have been published in Glimmer Train, Narrative Magazine, Carve Magazine, Rosebud, The Los Angeles Review, and others. Yuvi received an MFA from Antioch University. He uses his poor drawing skills to make YouTube videos and mobile apps that ooze with his worries and anxiety. To learn too much about him, visit yuvizalkow.com.
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