Friday, September 17, 2010

In Times of Crisis

In life we all have to deal with crisis situations from time to time. I've learned over the years that there is a big difference between the immediate crisis and then the effects or fallout of the crisis. I feel like during the crisis I'm pretty good at focusing on the facts, being logical and behaving rationally. I guess this is a result of the fight or flight response our bodies do naturally.

After is so much harder. Once my brain gets the time to think about what has happened and what it could mean the stress sets in, worry takes over, sleep is disrupted and my muscles go crazy. I probably don't have to tell you that these responses lead to more pain and tougher to treat pain. For me it's the migraines and muscles spasms.

One thing I try really hard to do during these times is to rely on what I know and not what I feel. I know I need to keep hydrated and eat as much as possible. I know I need to rest and breathe properly. I know that I need help and support and I know where to get it. This is SO hard to do because the emotions are so darn strong and often run contrary. Interestingly enough when my pain flares up it actually seems to help me with this part. It sort of forces my hand into taking care of these things I can control so that I can deal with the rest of the crap.

Another thing I feel is really important in dealing with a crisis is to allow yourself the time to sit with those feelings. We have to give time and recognition to our emotions just as we need to give time to our physical needs. I try to set aside time just to do this. Early on it takes up a fair amount of time (and can be exhausting, which can help with the sleep) but as time passes so does the amount of time it consumes and as that happens I've always found myself moving forward. One foot in front of the other - we must keep moving.


  1. I know I concentrate so much on "handling" a crisis that allow myself time to feel is not ever a part of the plan. I vow to try harder to take some time to just feel and acknowledge the emotional side. Thanks for the post!!

  2. Just found your blog and am a new follower! I too am sort of a migraineista (although amazingly I haven't had a real one in over a year now) and I'm looking forward to reading more about your experiences.

    I loved this post. Loved it. It's so true that DURING a crisis is so different than AFTER. You described it so beautifully, and that's great advice.

    If you ever get a chance, check out the short story "Pray Without Ceasing" by Wendell Berry--it's a really beautiful exploration of a family handling a crisis.

  3. I've had chronic daily Migraines for over 12 years now with Fibro, R.A., etc., etc. You get the picture. It was nice to find you & Chronic Babe. It's nice to have someone to commiserate with!

  4. Welcome to you both! I'm so happy to ahve a growing group of supportive folks who know about the experiences of living with chronic pain.