Day 6 of the migraine social media challenge is:
People living with Migraine, Cluster, post-trauma headache, or other headache disorder often refer to themselves as “warriors.” Tell us about your battle with Migraine and Headache. If you’re a veteran with Migraine or headache, please tell your story. We appreciate your service and your sacrifice! (See challenge here)
I have battled chronic migraine for twenty years and, frankly, I almost didn’t make it to now. I do apologizing for not posting every day this migraine social media challenge, I have been too sick. It takes a lot out of me being on like and I have to have time to get some writing done in the gaps of pain and illness and vertigo
In the end, I AM whatever it takes to survive
Chronic pain and chronic migraines take. And then they take some more. And when you think they can’t take anymore… they do. It is a horrific battle that burns you out emotionally and mentally. There is no vacation. No breaks. No time when there isn’t pain. And the very fact this battle is indefinite with no end date gets to you. And self-stigma and stigma all wound us more. They make us feel guilty and even shame. Your self-worth can really take a massive hit.
It is a battle on many, many angles. It isn’t something you can conquer by ignoring it or pushing through it. It pushes back, man, it pushes back. So you have to try medication and any alternative treatment that works for you in the slightest to survive. And there are days, when you are infinitely tired, the pain wins. And days when we have to focus solely on self-care to manage pain that cannot be ignored. And with migraine, it isn’t just the pain of an attack… it is the numerous symptoms. Nausea, sensitivity to the entire environment, exhaustion, cognitive problems, confusion and/or vertigo… to mention a few. My migraines have changed over time. I have a persistent migraine aura now. So an aura is no longer even an indication of an impending attack. I have vestibular migraine and that by itself is extremely hard to even do any task; impossible to drive or read a book.
And still I fight
The symptoms and pain of chronic migraine, which are daily for me, is relentless. So my fighting to cope and manage it has to be equally persistent. Coping has to adapt in order to go with the changes in intensity, symptoms, and emotional responses.
And I didn’t always have much fight in me
I developed Major Depressive Disorder and it sucks all the fight out of you. As you feel truly, and utterly, hopeless. You get tired of the fight to exist. You want to give up. You feel like your existence itself is worthless. And existence itself in that pain, is madness. You end up fighting your brain, the pain, and the symptoms to just exist. It shouldn’t be so very hard to just be. We shouldn’t have to fight ourselves mentally to convince ourselves existence is better than non-existence. So you have to fight that too. Have to fight the mental illness so you can want to fight to survive.
And I am Whatever it Takes
Does that make me strong? A warrior? Brave? Or just damn persistent? We are not given the choice about this battle and our coping process is ever evolving. Sometimes I cope well. Sometimes I can’t cope at all. But, damn it, I got a lot of roar still in me.
I will do anything it takes when it helps me cope better. And I can’t feel guilty about what I cannot do. And I can’t feel shame for something out of my control. I fight those thoughts as much as I do the pain itself.
I am not tired of fighting. I am tired of being in pain. That I cannot just be in the world and act out my goals, ambition, and desires. No, I am a pained-self. That has to pace, be careful, and moderate every goal, every ambition, and every desire. And I have to accept that. I have to accept some things in this world are not for me. I have limitations. And there is no shame with living within those limitations. It is just a fact of my pained-self. And this cannot be ignored if I want to survive. And I want to survive.
Trust me when I tell you all of us, Everyone of us, is Being Whatever it Takes, to survive. If we do something that helps us cope… we do it, unless cost is a factor, because we have low incomes due to financial instability. That is another burden we have to wear, and own, and try to find viable solutions to it.
Most of all we will Persevere.
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