The Chronic Pain Comic: Alisha Winder

Alisha Winder with her book ENDOtheLINE - The Chronic Pain Comic

BC Disability

December 28th, 2021

Shawnigan Lake's Alisha Winder uses drawing to capture her experiences with chronic pain, the joys of parenting, and her medical health journey.

We spoke to Alisha about her struggles with endometriosis, how art helps, and what she wants to see changed in BC.


When and how did you get into art?

Alisha: I first got into art in May of 2017 when I started drawing pictures to help distract me from the chronic pain of a disease called Endometriosis. It started with a line.

During one of my bad Endometriosis flare ups, I was standing in the kitchen, holding the counter, searching for a distraction while I waited for pain medication to work. I grabbed a pen and notebook and I dragged a line down the page.

I felt immediate relief and continued to draw, creating the image of a stick figure girl, balancing on the brink or death, stating “I’m okay”.

Alisha's very first drawing, created during an endometriosis flare up

It was the first time I used art to help me cope, process, and manage my feelings towards Endometriosis. I found drawing my own pictures were a great way to visualize the indescribable pain and internal emotions.

I started posting my pictures online to help bring humour and awareness to all invisible and chronic illnesses and received so much positive feedback from family, friends, and other online supports, that I was persuaded to publish my art collection and was inspired to create the ENDOtheLINE comics.

How would you describe your art style?

Alisha: Using a blue ball point pen and a 9x6 sketch book, I draw simple and identifiable shapes, such as circles and triangles, as well as expressive faces, to convey complex messages into relatable, humorous images.

Using this technique, I can describe the internal and external feelings of an otherwise invisible illness.

While I prefer to draw each picture monotone, I have one coloured picture which I drew for my second daughter, my “rainbow baby”, which refers to a baby that is born after a miscarriage.

Alisha's one coloured image, drawn for her "rainbow baby" born after a miscarriage

I scan the images onto my laptop where I can properly edit smudges and alignment, and then I post the pictures onto my website and my other social media sites.