I read the NYTimes on the web and there are a few columns and blogs I try to find each week. Different writers write each week. Sometimes they are interesting, sometimes they aren't. One week, some time ago, the migraine blog was more than just interesting, it spoke to my spirit.
I have migraines as an accompaniment to my IH. At least, we guess it is the pressure kicking them off. Could also be that I'm in my 40's. Something about that age and being female sometimes brings them on, but it really doesn't matter why. I find the stories of people who have chronic headaches to sometimes give me insight into my own condition and life with IH.
The writer spoke of her battle with migraine throughout her life and how she finally learned to stop fighting it. To stop being at war with her body. And just live with it. And how acceptance is not the same thing as giving up.
Here is her story.
People I know and meet sometimes say they don't know how I live with a headache of varying degrees every day. I usually shrug and say, "I just do." After all, it isn't like I have a choice.
I think somehow I accepted this, and everything that came with it, very quickly and without consciously realizing it. I accepted that the pain was going to be there. And as long as I could ignore it or at least push through it, I would. It is just my new reality and I never really fought it. I just didn't have the time or energy to spare. I couldn't curl up in my bed for weeks. I didn't have the vacation time from work for that. ha.
I do remember some panic of how it was going to work. How would I work full time and feel like this, in pain, so tired. How would I learn to cope with my brain being under siege every day. And it took a while. I had to learn better organizational skills. My great memory went under a bit and I had to learn to write everything down. And I just did. More out of a sense of survival than anything perhaps. Who else was going to bring in a paycheck if I didn't? I had to keep moving forward. I still am. My brain is still changing and I'm still adapting.
So I read her story with great wonder. And I will read it again. Because I think I need to be more conscious about it, this not being at war with my head. Not being at war with where my life is. I need to celebrate what I do have can do and be. I need to pursue those talents and interests that speak to my heart and spirit with the energy I have.
Because I know I am scared a lot and that may mean there is a war going on inside I am not admitting.