(theme – halloween)
(theme – calm)
I’ve spent the month of September as one great big giant ball of anxiety, which started, I think, with the trip to the migraine specialist, and ended with the realization yesterday that grad school is a big fat giant mistake. I didn’t even realize until this week just how UNcalm I was internally. Though outside I was a remarkable picture of restraint. This is me, completely frazzled, having just made the decision to throw in the towel. I didn’t even realize my phone was in my pocket until I was back in the house. (And it was eleventy hundred degrees outside and I was not about to go re-shoot.) My hair is a disaster. My phone is on display. My reading glasses are on my head. But I’m finding some calm. Maybe not some zen, but definitely some calm.
(theme – strength)
Those of you who have been around a while know that I suffer from migraines. Some of you know that my actual diagnosis is chronic migraine. And some of you may know that this means that I am in pain every day of my life, and full blown migraines occasionally “break through” that pain to turn the dial up to eleventy. I spent all day Friday at a new migraine specialist hoping for a new direction in pain alleviation or management or something. I think I must have been secretly hoping for a miracle. It was a profoundly frustrating day. One of the biggest problems I have with this … condition, I guess … is that the drugs used as preventatives all come with side effects that I seem to be particularly susceptible to. And so it is with the drug prescribed to me Friday. But. Whatever. The point I am meandering toward here is that when the nurse asked me when was the last time I remember having a completely pain free day I just burst into tears. It has literally been years. Chronic pain sneaks up on your life. It’s so gradual, you don’t notice at first what is happening. It just becomes a part of you. You acclimate to it, so that you can continue to function. You push through all but the worst days. And it would maybe all be fine if the people around you could understand that just because they can’t see that you’re in pain, doesn’t mean that you are not in pain. All. The. Time. So, strength. I came up with the theme this week. I’ve never really thought of myself as particularly strong. But thinking about that question Friday, I guess strength is one of the biggest factors of living with chronic pain. There’s no miracle. The drugs don’t work. I just have to keep living with the pain. So, no fancy portrait this week. Just extraordinary, superhuman me.