My psychoanalyst gave me this image at a time when my pain was at its worst, just after the Maple Spring and months of protests on the streets of Montréal alongside students fighting for a freeze on tuition fees (and more broadly, the right to a future). Sitting in an armchair before him, in agonizing pain, I asked him how I was ever going to keep on writing. Because if the pain continued, I wasn’t going to make it, I’d give up on life. The psychoanalyst’s response: “Be like Frida Kahlo, find a way of working while lying down.” Feeling dejected but coming to grips with the fact that it was that or nothing, I began a routine of writing while lying on the sofa or in bed, standing at the kitchen counter or at a standing desk, a routine of alternating between horizontality and verticality that I have kept up to this day. The pain has become something I live with; it has become my best enemy.
This article also appears in the issue 106 - PainDiscover