It’s time for healing. Drawing Luke Hockley.


Dear Self,

Not all wounds are flesh wounds.

Flesh wounds are straightforward to heal. Assuming no great infection happens then the wound just needs to be sealed and kept clean and dry and not be disturbed too often and eventually a scab will form and then a scar will replace the wound and, if it wasn’t too deep and it didn’t cut anything major, then you are back in business.

Recently, with my hand, I have been healing a much more complex kind of wound. I have had tendonitis of the thumb. Tendonitis comes about because a tendon is being used repetitively in a way that doesn’t match how it has been designed to be used. Basically the series of muscles around the tendon are firing in the wrong order and so the tendon is doing work it was never designed to do and moving in pathways it was never designed to move in.

For me it came out of nowhere.

Even though I had had something wrong with my shoulder on that side for almost a year I thought I had been managing it well, but I wasn’t. And I was hitting the gym — having a great time getting fit and lifting heavy things. I was very happy…

Then one day I woke up and my thumb was very sore.

I normally just keep moving through this kind of thing and the system heals…all good.

But not this time.

This time I am dealing with a movement pattern that is not working. I think that because of an injury I had to my hand when I was 13 (I did a backflip with my middle finger curled into my palm and crushed the finger and had a nasty sprain) I learnt how to write and move my right arm in general in a way that wasn’t very efficient.

Thing is this unhealthy pattern has pretty much worked for years…until it didn’t. This kind of movement pattern wound requires more than rest to fix.

It has been about 2 months.

At first I kind of ignored it, sometimes this works. The inflammation goes down and everything settles and I get back to living normally.

Then I tried to fix it. I took it seriously and threw all my healing techniques at it. Massage and ice and heat and rest. At this stage I was a bit panicked that it was never going to heal. This helped a bit, but didn’t crack it.

Then I got curious about it. I explored the movement of my head and hand and wrist and shoulder and back and pelvis and legs and feet and…I got busy understanding how things work.

And slowly it is unravelling.

It is starting to feel a bit better.

But the bar is set very high. If I do something using my hand without taking care to draw on the new knowledge and healthier pathways that I have been developing then it gets sore again very quickly.

Healing this wound is a process of deep self-awareness.

There are no short cuts.

My experience is that once I change these kinds of patterns lots of unexpected good things happen.

It just takes a bit of time and a lot of curiosity.


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Know someone who would appreciate this letter?

What is Dear Self all about?