Chronic illness is a roller-coaster ride. And when you are in the slump you have to find a way to crawl back up. Hope is the way we do that. Hope in anything. It does not have to be large hopes. It can be the little things that just get us out of bed that day. Then the next day. Keep us going. Keep us fighting. Until we get to a point that we want to fight again. When we reach that point we have more motivation to try again and push forward and more hope that things will progress and improve.
When in the dark though it is difficult to see the light. We need anything that can get us through those times. Sometimes false hopes will do it. I lie to myself all the time. I call them ‘useful fictions’ to put me in the right mental space to get through the day. Like ‘If I just get up and get to work that is all I need to do, once I am there I just need to survive.’ And once I am at work ‘Just 8 hours to go before I can rest. I can do that.’. Then I think when I get home ‘Just a few more days and I’ll have a day off to rest up.’ And I just keep doing that to get through. Tricking myself into believing I can do it. Just get up. Just get moving. Just get there. Just get through it.
Other times I just need to think of reasons to keep going. I think of them in my head all the good reasons to keep going and avoid thinking all those negative thoughts that persist in telling me how pointless it all is. Because hope just needs simple reasons why I should want to continue. The simple joys. All the little good things. And all the awesome things. All the things I am thankful for. Things worth fighting for.
In the darkest times though, is when we find the most fragile of hopes to cling to. We hold onto it with all that we have and all it is worth. Like it is a lifeline, because it is a lifeline. Sometimes that is all we need to get us through the dark. Even though, as I well know, the dark can last a long time. Sometimes we just have to know that it will end, or I should say, that the intense suffering of that immense darkness will diminish back to somewhat tolerable levels again… so that we can have a bit of a life back, hope for me, fight for me, persevere and endure.
Just a thin thread of hope has helped me survive in the past. Just the belief that ‘this too shall pass’… not the pain itself as a whole, but the intense pain, the intense suffering, the intense despair. I have had that thin thread of hope snap on me before and it is like drowning without a lifeline… like all the air is gone and you are suffocating. No one notices you can’t breathe. No one notices you just want to lay down and never wake up. A sort of numberless sinks into your spirit because there is no reason to even continue. The best thing I have done in that situation is to pretend. Pretend I wanted to exist. Fabricate reasons to exist until I Believed them. Created hope until I Felt it. Because we need even just a thread to lead us to the light. Right out that slump. Eventually, we do, even if at the time, we don’t feel like we will.
“The Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is organized by the American Headache and Migraine Association.“
Prompts to be found on: Awareness Month page.