Pray I Die Before I Wake

by Nicky Pearson
(Edmonton Alberta)

Pray I Die Before I Wake

About the image:

This is a collage made from Photoshop drawings, my photos, public domain photos, renders I made in 3D Studio Max, and some prose. This image was initially made for my psychologist as art therapy to talk about my pain.

Centered in the image is a girl, head flunk back in agony, suppressing a scream by covering her hands with her mouth, but the scream comes out anyway, through her throat, where a “2nd face” appears, the eyes are blindfolded with the oversaturated skeletons, symbolizing the horrors that you see when the hallucinations come. The lines signify the dizziness and vertigo that you feel with a migraine. The ghostly purple figure is the feeling of unreality, reaching up to touch the wing of the butterfly, a ray of hope but it seems so distant when you are enveloped in pain like that.

"Pray I die before I wake" is a play on the child's prayer.

The words at the bottom are written in angry red “seeing red” but are partially obscured by a barricade of injection needles, and are there to made intentionally difficult to read, as it is almost impossible to read when you get a migraine. The words are what you hear from skeptics and unsupportive people as well as the invasive thoughts you get accompanying migraines, disrupting your concentration.

When I get migraines they are often followed with synesthesia, and I would include sound with this image if I could. The sounds range from shrill flute like or baby screaming or an alarm to deep painful sounds like a motorcycle with no muffler or a standup bass being played along to my heartbeat.

About myself:

I have been suffering chronic migraines since 1986 when I suffered a facial smash from a bad horse riding accident. I had four reconstruction surgeries, and have constant chronic pain from the trauma and need medical attention intermittently for breakthrough pain. In the injury I was made into David Lynch’s rendition of a Picasso, my nose went under my left eye, my cheekbones were caved in and my suborbital bones were fractures all the way to the back of my eyeballs. I also have TMD and an entrapped nerve and bony lipping is C4-5 of my neck that contributes to my headaches and migraines. Despite the fact that the pain never ends and isn’t throbbing, they neurologist still label them as migraines. I do get auras and am sensitive to barometric pressure drops. I have had what I would call “true migraines” as well, with the throbbing and the nausea and the common symptoms.

I do art to try and keep my mind off my pain.

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