Sunday, June 30, 2013

Migraine Awareness Month #30: A Letter to a Fellow Sufferer.

Today's prompt is from the movie 2001:  A Space Odyssey: "I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, which is all that I think that any conscious entity can ever hope to do."  We are to write a letter to a fictional Headache Disorders patient encouraging that person to be kind to him or herself.  Use the ways you're too hard on yourself as inspiration.  

At the outset, let me tell you, the reader, that I am proud of myself for making it this far.  Writing for 30 days, 30 days with migraines, is a pretty big accomplishment for me.  I wasn't sure what to expect when I started this journey.  I wasn't sure if I would succeed at this task or not, but I am proud I did.  Writing is cleansing and purifying for me.  It's good for me to write.  I need these prompts to help get the creative juices flowing, however.  So if there is a lag here for awhile, I apologize.  I will try not to ignore this blog and to keep writing as often as  I can, but it's difficult to just sit and write without a prompt.  I am not a creative writer, you see.  Oh well.  On to the prompt.  I just felt the need to wrap up the month with a little paragraph of pride and warning, letting you know what you may or may not expect in the future.

The prompt:

Dear friend:

I know you are suffering.  I know it's terrible and indescribable, and you feel as though it may never end.  I have been there.  I know it's easy to be really hard on yourself at times like this, to wonder what you did to deserve this.  I think everyone who has been in this position has wondered that at times.  Trust me, I don't think there is anything you could have done to bring this upon yourself.  You can't be good enough to make this go away or bad enough to bring this on.

Don't blame yourself when new treatments fail.  It's natural to be disappointed.  It's natural for people around you to be disappointed.  Let them be disappointed.  You can't do anything about that and you CAN'T take their disappointment upon yourself.   You didn't cause their disappointment.  You can't let yourself feel responsible for their disappointment.  Treatment failures happen.  You don't want them to happen anymore than anyone else does.  You aren't the cause of their disappointment.  Remember that.

You are strong.  You deal with more pain in a day than most people have to deal with in a year.  Do you realize most women say they'd rather go through childbirth again than have another migraine?  Yet we go through labor in our heads on a daily basis.  We are strong.  Even if you feel weak sometimes, you are stronger than you ever  imagined.  Grab hold of that strength and don't let go.  Say it over and over in your mind if you have to.  You are strong.

Sometimes you will have to miss out on things you want to do because of migraines.  And it will suck.  You might cry and be depressed and wonder why life is worth living.  You have people around you who love you and who you love, and who make your life worth living.  Migraines WILL steal some things from you.  I wish I could honestly tell you that they won't.  But I don't want to lie to you.  Migraines will rob you of joy  in your life.  But you can decide how much they can rob from you.  Don't let them rob you of your friendships, your family, and the love you have in your life.  Find a balance.  Take advantage of every good moment.  Even if it's just talking on the phone, keep up with your friends and those you love.  Don't block them out.  Find ways to let them in so they understand what you are going through, as best they can, and know you are trying to include them in your life.

Migraines make everything more difficult.  From careers, to family, to friendships, to just maintaining a home.  But with a support system, you can do it.  Love yourself, and be kind to yourself.  Know your limitations, and respect your limitations.  You will make it.  And there will be a large community of online support for you when you need it.

Best of luck to you, my friend.

Julie

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