Radene Marie Cook / PainArtist.com

Phoenix Rising

The Phoenix as a symbol of "new life" or "resurrection" has been seen in many cultures, for many centuries. In this piece, the Phoenix is the "new normal" after the one with chronic pain learns to accept that life has changes and in doing finds a new life. The bottom third represents the ashes of what is being left behind; the torture, fear, despair, despondence, helplessness -- the things faced when chronic pain first takes a hold of a life and turns it upside down. The pain will NEVER go away completely - ever. But you learn you can start something brand new if you adopt some new habits. First, by learning new coping mechanisms, by exercising faith like you never have before, by GETTING ACTUAL pain management (medically, I'm saying), you learn to find new dreams to replace those that are lost. You learn that you CAN live a life worth living once again. In that, your "Phoenix" is reborn!

This piece was the theme art for the 2014 For Grace Women in Pain Conference in Los Angeles, Ca. The theme was "Accepting Pain: Our New Normal"

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