Yesterday I started gathering photographs to hang around the house. As usual, I found myself distracted by the tubs of old pictures. Seeing pictures of myself back when I was healthy and vibrant was a bit jarring. No matter how aware I am of the drastic changes my life has undergone in the 9 years since chronic migraines set in, I don't often allow myself to feel the weight of those changes.
There I was, face to face with my old self, remember the moments from the pictures and really remembering the details of how my life used to be. Remembering how it felt to do my hair and apply make-up every day - it was no big deal - just something I did before starting a full day of work and play. Remembering how it felt to be a normal weight - eating never nauseated me back then. Remembering how it felt to be me without chronic pain and ALL the other symptoms and effects of the migraines and fibromyalgia.
Looking at my old self I realized I'm slowly forgetting what it was like to be healthy and vibrant. My journey over the past 9 years has changed me almost as much as the chronic migraines and fibromyalgia have. I don't want to place a judgement on this observation as I don't see it as good or bad. Besides that, some of the changes are attributable to other factors. I'm now in my mid 30s instead of my mid 20s. I'm now married and living in a different state.
As much as I wish I didn't have to live with chronic pain, I do like my life and feel very blessed in other respects. Plus, facing this level of adversity really is an opportunity to build up courage and inner strength.