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Are you on first-name terms with Migraine meds? Is your freezer stocked with icepacks? Do you keep your massage therapist on speed dial? If you know Migraine, you know pain. It shows up in your life, even though you really, really wish it wouldn’t. Because pain is…well, a pain, isn’t it?
If you can’t change your Migraine, maybe it’s time to change how you feel about it. You can accept Migraine as part of your life and maybe even make friends with it. I know, because I did it. Here’s how.
The Emotional Effect of Migraine
If you’ve been on your Migraine journey for a while – 15 years and counting, in my case– you’ve probably tried a lot of treatments. You go out of your way to eat right, sleep right, exercise right. You’ve forensically explored potential triggers, and you’ve meticulously logged every attack.
You’ve seen a lot of doctors. You’ve read a lot of articles. You’ve politely listened to suggestions to try the daith piercing or stop eating gluten.
And yet, Migraine is in your life, predictably and unpredictably. It’s there on the first day of holiday. It’s there on your daughter’s birthday. It’s there at work. It’s Tuesday – and guess what? It’s time for a Migraine.
The question is: how do you feel about it? It goes without saying that a Migraine attack brings a range of physical symptoms, including extremely persistent pain. But a Migraine attack also brings a lot of emotions.
When I have a Migraine attack, aside from the pain pulsing behind my eye, I also feel confused and sluggish. I can’t string a sentence together. Sometimes I’m ravenously hungry, rather clumsy, and quite often a bit weepy. Emotionally I feel raw, resentful, and desperate for something to come along and make it stop.
Fighting Migraine in the Mental Space
That’s where I fight most of my battles with Migraine – in the mental space. The relationship between depression, anxiety, and Migraine is well documented, but it can be really tough when you are laid low with pain to find hope. Your Migraine is holding you back and you want it to stop. Not just this episode but stop – full stop.
What if you looked at it another way? What if you maintained hope for improvement, but also introduced an element of acceptance? Migraine is part of your life. Yes, there are things you can do to lessen the pain and reduce the frequency of episodes.
If you’re like me, though, you haven’t yet found the magic off-switch, and hope sometimes feels like a fickle friend. Do we have room for acceptance among our circle of acquaintances. too?
Making Room for Acceptance And Hope
Making room for hope and acceptance might feel like a contradiction. Accepting Migraine as part of your life does not mean giving up hope for a solution. Acceptance does not mean giving up. Acceptance means freeing yourself up. Freeing you from the emotional and mental burdens that come with the never-ending search for a ‘cure’ or a quick fix.
Those burdens can be powerful Migraine triggers for me. By accepting Migraine, I am freeing myself up to get on with enjoying my life as much as I can – yes, sometimes even with Migraine raging in the background.
I can’t pretend to be an acceptance expert. You can find still me Googling ‘Himalayan Rock Salt’ with the best of them, hoping. Always hoping.
Even so, making the mental leap and accepting that there are some things I just can’t change has been a game-changer for me. Hope will always be my friend. But acceptance is also my friend, so Migraine is kind of my friend, too.
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