Lincoln: Who’s your favorite historical figure who lived with Migraine or another Headache Disorder?
I’m hard pressed to say which is my favorite. The philosopher in me really has a fondness for Friedrich Nietzsche. But I also really enjoy the imagery of Vincent Van Gogh.
Now Nietzsche I have read quite a bit of and I enjoy his writing immensely. I had no idea he had migraines… would make sense if he was plagued with them chronically because there is something very much like a person fighting an endless battle with himself that he cannot win. However just migraines I imagine were bad enough when treatment was quite a bit different then. There can be no doubt the man was brilliant and an excellent writer. You don’t necessarily get that combo often in a philosopher by the way… brilliant sometimes, an excellent writer, not often… more cumbersome would be the word. I do not always agree with Nietzsche’s theories but I always enjoy reading him and sometimes I find him very profound. People have used his theories to pump up their own belief systems numerous times even when they are seriously stretching what he actually meant. But you can get a lot out of his works that is for sure, different things at different times or a little more each time. People still love to quote him today and here are some common ones..
“To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.”
“Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.”
“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”
“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”
“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
“Sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.”
“We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.”
“When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago.”
And this one is not that common but I like it… and not in its intended way, but because I think as a pain hermit even in my strongest words, even in my screaming, there is a resounding silence and concealment of the true experience.
“In the writings of a hermit we always hear also something of the echo of desolation, something of the whispers and the timid gazing around of isolation; from his strongest words, even from his screaming, resounds a new and dangerous kind of silence and concealment.”
Vincent Van Gogh has a presence to his artwork. A vividness and at times very tormented. And I get that. I really didn’t like him when I was younger… very much appreciated artists that were very precise and painted something that looked very much what it was, the more specific detail the better. But of course with all my auras, the persistent migraine auras, my perception of reality has become a rather different sort of thing and when I find artists that reflect That reality I like it. And when that artist also is so vivid with his color choices and his strokes are so deep… makes it deeper to me. So I have quite an appreciation for him that I never did before.
And I will leave you with a bit from Thus spake Zarathustra (Love this book)
“Three metamorphoses of the spirit do I designate to you: how the spirit becometh a camel, the camel a lion, and the lion at last a child.
Many heavy things are there for the spirit, the strong load-bearing spirit in which reverence dwelleth: for the heavy and the heaviest longeth its strength.
What is heavy? so asketh the load-bearing spirit; then kneeleth it down like the camel, and wanteth to be well laden.
What is the heaviest thing, ye heroes? asketh the load-bearing spirit, that I may take it upon me and rejoice in my strength.
Is it not this: To humiliate oneself in order to mortify one’s pride? To exhibit one’s folly in order to mock at one’s wisdom?
Or is it this: To desert our cause when it celebrateth its triumph? To ascend high mountains to tempt the tempter?
Or is it this: To feed on the acorns and grass of knowledge, and for the sake of truth to suffer hunger of soul?
Or is it this: To be sick and dismiss comforters, and make friends of the deaf, who never hear thy requests?
Or is it this: To go into foul water when it is the water of truth, and not disclaim cold frogs and hot toads?
Or is it this: To love those who despise us, and give one’s hand to the phantom when it is going to frighten us?
All these heaviest things the load-bearing spirit taketh upon itself: and like the camel, which, when laden, hasteneth into the wilderness, so hasteneth the spirit into its wilderness.
But in the loneliest wilderness happeneth the second metamorphosis: here the spirit becometh a lion; freedom will it capture, and lordship in its own wilderness.
Its last Lord it here seeketh: hostile will it be to him, and to its last God; for victory will it struggle with the great dragon.
What is the great dragon which the spirit is no longer inclined to call Lord and God? “Thou-shalt,” is the great dragon called. But the spirit of the lion saith, “I will.”
“Thou-shalt,” lieth in its path, sparkling with gold–a scale-covered beast; and on every scale glittereth golden, “Thou shalt!”
The values of a thousand years glitter on those scales, and thus speaketh the mightiest of all dragons: “All the values of things–glitter on me.
All values have already been created, and all created values–do I represent. Verily, there shall be no ‘I will’ any more. Thus speaketh the dragon.
My brethren, wherefore is there need of the lion in the spirit? Why sufficeth not the beast of burden, which renounceth and is reverent?
To create new values–that, even the lion cannot yet accomplish: but to create itself freedom for new creating–that can the might of the lion do.
To create itself freedom, and give a holy Nay even unto duty: for that, my brethren, there is need of the lion.
To assume the right to new values–that is the most formidable assumption for a load-bearing and reverent spirit. Verily, unto such a spirit it is preying, and the work of a beast of prey.
As its holiest, it once loved “Thou-shalt”: now is it forced to find illusion and arbitrariness even in the holiest things, that it may capture freedom from its love: the lion is needed for this capture.
But tell me, my brethren, what the child can do, which even the lion could not do? Why hath the preying lion still to become a child?
Innocence is the child, and forgetfulness, a new beginning, a game, a self- rolling wheel, a first movement, a holy Yea.
Aye, for the game of creating, my brethren, there is needed a holy Yea unto life: ITS OWN will, willeth now the spirit; HIS OWN world winneth the world’s outcast.
Three metamorphoses of the spirit have I designated to you: how the spirit became a camel, the camel a lion, and the lion at last a child.–
Thus spake Zarathustra.”
June 2013, Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, is dedicated to Unmasking the Mystery of Chronic Headache Disorders. The 2013 Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is a project of FightingHeadacheDisorders.com.