Creating Beautiful Music Despite Chronic Pain, Chronic Fatigue And Fibromyalgia

Helen Carter, UK

Summary: In 2010, Helen was a keen weightlifter when not working as an occupational therapist. But then she suffered an unexplained injury while lifting at the gym that led to significant pain and numbness. After almost a decade, Helen was diagnosed with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. She regularly suffers from chronic pain and migraines that limit her activity levels.
Even before her accident, Helen was the singer and songwriter for a band called Ira Sprigfield. She’s continued writing and recording songs, and finds the process distracts her from her chronic pain.
Music gives Helen so much but this doesn’t mean it is always easy to go to the recording studio. Helen has learnt that she needs to prepare a number of things to get the most out of each session.
Apart from her passion in music Helen also loves art. Helen studied art at university and has always had a passion for it. She was referred to the North Tyneside Art Studio by her GP. It’s a social art initiative for people with mental health issues.
The sessions moved online, and Helen found this to make a big difference to her attendance and motivation. Along with learning more about art, she finds the ability to share a hobby with others in similar health situations to be very empowering.

The Little Things that help Helen with her music and art :

1)Using an ergonomic desk setup

2)Not drinking tea, coffee, and dairy before a recording session

3)Not making plans. Due to her health, Helen never makes concrete plans. Instead, she sets a vague goal for herself that she reviews on a daily basis. She also thinks back to activities that gave her pleasure when she needs motivation.

4)Inspiration from others. Helen watches TEDTalks and YouTube videos from people in similar situations to her own. This allows her to realise there is a way forward, even when things seem difficult.

5)Using her career knowledge. Although currently not working, Helen is able to use her experience as an OT to her own advantage.

Learn More About Helens Music

Helen is lead singer for a band called Iris Brickfield. When we first heard Helen and the band we were totally blown away with the music. To listen to Helen’s vocals please click here.