Tuesday, June 24, 2014

How I Manage to Hold One During Times of Despair #MHAMBC

The day 24 prompt is to watch this Wilson Phillips video, then write on: when it seems migraines have dragged us down into the pits of despair, changing our lives until we barely recognize ourselves, what do we do to hold on and keep fighting for your dream of better health.

It's been 8 years now since my migraines went chronic. While I've gotten better at living with both my chronic migraines and fibromyalgia, I still struggle with it. I have periods of time when I'm angry about what has happened, and periods of time when I'm just very sad about it. Then there are times when I'm just so incredibly exhausted not only from all the taxing symptoms but from the constant struggle to manage the shit storm each and every day, while trying to stay positive. This requires a surprising amount of effort.

Over the years I've wondered on more than one occasion if I had the strength to keep up this fight. Time and time again the answer has been yes. What I've learned is that these feelings of being overwhelmed by my illnesses is a myth I tell myself when I'm going through a tough time. There is a natural ebb and flow to my emotions. Sometimes I feel strong and sometimes I don't. But when it comes down to it, all evidence points to me being strong.

During those times when I'm not feeling strong I remind myself that it is not true and that this feeling will pass. I know that if I hold on, it is only a matter of time before I feel strong again.  Surprisingly enough, the things I tell myself seem to have a real impact. I remind myself of everything I've been through and how I've managed to get up every day for more than 8 long years and fight the good fight. I look back on the projects I've accomplished and the fun that I've managed to have despite my chronic migraines and fibromyalgia. It hasn't been easy, not by a long shot, but I've done it. I'm still here. Even if my health never improves in a meaningful way I know I am capable of not only making it through but that I can still find value in my life. I am proud of me.

In addition to my self-talk I've also had other help in getting through times of despair. Hubby has been incredibly supportive through it all. He sees value in me so even when I'm struggling to feel it, I can gain some strength from his affirmations. Committing to projects has also made a big difference. Simply having something to direct my energies toward and then having accomplishments to hold onto has been an effective tool, instilling a sense of satisfaction similar to what I felt when I was able to work.

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