Skip to main content

Migraine Awareness Month #5: Steel Magnolias: "That which does not kill us makes us stronger"

Steel Magnolias: "That which does not kill us makes us stronger":
In what ways are you stronger as a result of living with Migraine or another Headache Disorder?

I wrote this in a previous post about adversity "“The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all.”Mulan ...I like this quote as well 'the world breaks everyone and afterward many are stronger at their broken places' We are all very familiar with adversity and challenges. Our health is a constant challenge. It also creates constant challenges within our life when it comes to interactions with the rest of the world through the workplace and friends and family. It is what it is. I have in the past overcome situations and come out the other side completely empowered by it, changed in very positive ways that changed the course of my life. I have also been completely crushed by pain and adversity, but that taught be some valuable lessons as well about pain, about limits and about the difference between what the world wants and what I can endure. In the first case, I bloomed, in the second, I'm stronger in my broken places. Perhaps with chronic pain we know a little more about physical suffering than we ever should know and more about other suffering than we will ever want to know. I don't think that makes us particularly unique, since the world knows plenty about suffering. I just think it makes us particularly broken and stronger in those broken places. So it is both true and false. We bloom. We break."

It is this process of coping with chronic pain for decades that makes us all stronger than we ever realize. We think at times we are weak because we fall down, but we get back up again and we learn from that, we add that to our ability to cope and I think in the end, yes, we have many fissures and cracks and broken places because of this constant battle with pain but we forget we are also stronger in our broken places because of this very battle. It is not the pain that makes us stronger of course but how we learn to survive it. In all the little ways we learn to cope with it, distract from it, get through the day, come to terms with it, understand it, be in the world with it, get back on our feet when it has really brought us down, overcome its challenges in new ways... and over time how can that not make us stronger in many ways that we cannot see or understand but are most definitely there in our spirits and hearts. It reminds me of Heidegger's concept of Dasein or being-in-the-world except for me it is being-in-pain-being-in-the-world. That I don't feel pain right now. Or later. I am a Being-in-Pain all the time and therefore my mental and emotional process to overcome this pain is a constant one. How can we not have profound experiences from this? How can it not profoundly change us and our view of the world? It does and not all of this is a negative experience but even my deepest depression and even my act to end it all in the end made me stronger, in the end were profound experiences themselves, were profound experiences when they ended, in the end taught me a great deal about pain, about myself and about how to cope. And out of all this constant struggle comes a massive amount of creativity. For me in my creative writing. For others in paintings, photography, poetry... many forms of expression. And I persevere and try new things that may help with the migraines, may help with coping, may help just with suffering. It takes a great deal of strength to keep trying these things when so many things have failed before. Sometimes we need a break from trying and trying endlessly. But we do eventually keep on trying.

Indeed, I think we are strong people. I think we are strong even at our weakest moments. We are strong because we fight a constant battle. We are strong because we carry the wounds and scars of that battle around all the time and we never stop trying. We are strong in our broken places. And we even bloom in adversity at times. You have to look far back sometimes to see how much strength you have harness up, gathered to you, used to cope and how far you have gone... but we survive because each of us is stronger than we comprehend because this process has profoundly changed us and we forget that some of those changes are good ones and enabled us to cope. And coping is strength. So we should be very proud of each and every small accomplishment we make every day, each little goal we achieve... because every one of these is achieved because of how we cope. And we should never feel guilty for what we cannot do, our limitations or what others think we should do... because all that? That is just noise.

 June 2013, Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, is dedicated to Unmasking the Mystery of Chronic Headache Disorders. The 2013 Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is a project of

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Signs the pain is getting the best of you

100 Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

There was a site that had this and I had linked to it on Tumblr but it is gone. So I had to hunt down someone who found my post and posted the whole thing in a forum. Anyway it is around but I'm posting it here so I will not have to hunt it down to reference it. Now we all know the major symptoms are the wide-spread pain, but our pain isn't just muscle pain... it can be nerve types of pain as well, and the fatigue and the insomnia. And even among symptoms there are some far more frequent than others, but it should be said we have categories... like the cognitive dysfunction, which is a broad one that has more than one symptom and we often just say fibrofog. The insomnia... more than one sleeping disorder. So the list is interesting.

__ Fatigue, made worse by physical exertion or stress
__ Activity level decreased to less than 50% of pre-illness activity level
__ Recurrent flu-like illness
__ Sore throat
__ Hoarseness
__ Tender or swollen lymph nodes (glands), especiall…

Getting through the high intensity pain flares #Blogboost

The crowded me out of the brain. Making no room for anything else. Distraction was impossible. You feel almost frantic with the pain but must be still.

What do you do? To get through it when you have no distraction?

I ask me this as I am really in the depths of a 9 level frantic level of pain right now. Hoping maybe some writing will be a distraction, but it isn't. As I said, the pain crowds the brain. I have to focus real hard to write and my head isn't clear. Too much pain to focus well. Things become quite difficult to do. 

I will say this: We cannot function. We have to just cope with the pain.

But we are Immersed in the pain, we what do we do?
We can and should rest and get through it the best we can. Here are some of the things I do to get through it.

Relaxation breathing: I can't meditate when in high levels of pain. It just makes me think about how much pain I am in. Just not a good idea. But I do do relaxation breathing. I close my eyes. I focus on my breathing. I even…