Chronic pain has a way of taking over your life. It can become an obsession. My first thought in the morning used to be, “How bad will the pain be today?” Chronic pain came along with chronic worry for me… and I didn’t even really realize it. I just assumed that it was normal. And it probably is *BUT* it doesn’t HAVE to be!
This new year, I am working on micro habits. Adding little routines into my life (baby steps!) that will have me waking up in the morning with something GOOD to look forward to, instead of immediately wondering how much pain I will be in that day.
New habit #1: I have a new daily meditation book to read, so that my first thought will be, “What will I learn today?”
New habit #2: After reading, I put on my favorite song and do some gentle stretches, and have gratitude for another day of life.
I also have a new notepad to keep track of my daily/weekly/life goals and do baby steps toward making them reality. #GOALS
Who am I now, in 2018?
I am a person who reads every day.
I am a person who looks forward to learning something new.
I am a person who stretches every day and loves my body exactly as it is.
I am a person who has goals.
I am a person who wants to wake up!
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.
When the migraine pain goes away, depression and anxiety come out to play.
Honestly, I will take emotional distress over migraine pain. Because being stuck in bed in unbearable pain, and going in and out of the Emergency Room is the worst. My depression and anxiety have been horrible, but at least I can go to a therapist and read books and come up with strategies to battle my mind demons.
This past week, I am finally healing, little by little, and I am breathing a HUGE sigh of relief.
Understanding chronic pain has been a really hard journey. Recently, I found a website with a really interesting perspective. I thought I would share it here, because it has been helping me, and maybe it will help you too. http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
Thank you online friends for all of your support! Your comments and likes have helped pull me through this crazy time in my life. ❤