When you have a migraine, the pain can be nearly impossible to tolerate…
but at least you can hide in your bedroom/cave with the lights off and earplugs in.
When you have a horrible cold AND a migraine, there is nowhere to hide. Sneezing and coughing increases the head pain and it is a helpless feeling.
I am reminding myself that this hell is temporary…
What a combo.
I am finding a lot of information in books and online about the mindbody connection and chronic pain.
I came across this interesting podcast (and transcript!) and thought I would share:
Dr. Tor Wager, Director of the Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab at the University of Colorado at Boulder, talks about the “spiral,” which is something I am working on, with my reaction to migraine pain.
I’m curious what others think about what he says. Feel free to leave a comment, if you’d like!
The difference between then and now is MINDSET.
Are migraines happening to me? Or are migraines happening for me?
As humans, our nature is to avoid pain. If we touch a hot stove, we burn our hand. So next time, we check the stove first to see if it is hot, in order to avoid pain.
What happens when we experience pain that isn’t so clear cut, like a migraine? What happens when migraine pain (and the full body experience that comes with migraine) seems to come out of nowhere?
For me, I started to feel fear, anxiety and paranoia. … around anything and everything. And as soon as I felt that pain, I wanted it to go away. Because I hate pain SO MUCH!
But little by little, I am trying to change this mindset that I’ve had for so many years. I am trying to experience migraines in a new way: with a mindset of curiosity, not fear.
Migraine, what are you trying to tell me? What are you trying to protect me from?
Migraine, am I being loving toward myself enough? Am I taking care of myself lately?
Am I connecting with my spiritual side, or putting it off?
Am I connecting with friends and family?
Am I giving back in any way to the world around me?
Am I doing the things I love each day, that move me toward joy and fulfillment, that make me feel alive?
Am I keeping a Gratitude list and feeling thankful for all of the things I have?
Practice makes perfect progress!
Whether I experience the pain of migraines or not, that is not the point right now.
Each day I am working toward having a curious mindset, where migraine is my friend, trying to warn me about something. What is that something? I’m not sure yet.
But I feel like this is the key to healing.
^ This website is a total game-changer for me.
I am learning how to relate to my pain differently, and it has been helping me SO MUCH.
I was at rock bottom after the 17 day migraine streak, thinking I couldn’t go on another day in that much pain. It was terrifying. I was deep in the depression and anxiety pit, so scared that the migraine beast wouldn’t leave me alone.
But now I am changing my relationship to the pain, and how I think about it…
I think it’s making a difference! Which is very exciting, because I needed a change–a mindshift.
This chronic pain journey is really intense. I feel like I am always learning something new. I move forward, and I have setbacks. But changing my relationship with pain is important.
I don’t want to live in fear anymore. I don’t want to be paranoid. And I don’t want to battle my body every day. I want to be friends with it again. I want to feel safe and comfortable in my own skin. I am taking baby steps to make this happen. Instead of hating the migraine part of myself, I am learning to love all of me.