So it seems like Mondays are just painful for us here at Add Fyah and Stir. I am currently experiencing the discomfort in the pit of my stomach and the tightness in my head that warns me that a week of migraines may be a head. Interestingly, on Saturday night I was talking to 2 of my friends who also deal with chronic health issues and was sharing the things that I’ve learned as the result of migraines.
1. Most of the time, no matter how much pain I’m in there’s at least one part of my body that’s not hurting. It may sound really simple but it took a 10 day silent retreat for me to learn that. Quite often when I’m feeling badly, it feels like I want to throw my whole body into a garbage bin. It’s such an analogy for life – any one thing going badly seems to take all my focus, even away from the hundreds of things that are going really well for me. So I try to remember in the midst of migraines that my feet, my knees, my fingers, my shoulders feel fine. The times I remember, it can help a little.
2. It’s OK to say “no”. Having to lie down in dark rooms for days in a row often means I miss work and social events in the midst of migraines. This has made me realise that not only do I survive missing a meeting or a dinner, but my coworkers and friends survive it too. Shocking, I know, but if I don’t show up to a party because I’m not feeling well, people still have a good time! The week after an especially long bout of migraines when I went back to work and spoke to my friends to discover the world hadn’t ended, I began to think that my friends and office would survive if I didn’t do things, not just because of my migraines but also because I had too much on my plate or (in the case of non-work stuff) just did not want to. Migraines have taught me the world goes on just fine when I sit something out so I feel a lot less guilty telling the friend on the other end of the phone that I can’t come over because I want some “me” time.
3. Self care is a difficult, beautiful, necessary thing. Migraines might not only come to me when I’m stressed, but my body definitely holds onto them longer when I am. Struggles with my health have taught me above all else, taking care of myself is essential because when I don’t listen to what my body wants it is quite capable of shutting down on me. I haven’t yet developed a terrific self-care regime, but I definitely am more aware of my body and its needs.
Fyah stirrers, do you listen to your body? What does it usually teach you?