Saturday, December 11, 2010

Bouncing Back

Migraines knock me down nearly every day, but I keep getting back up. Because even if I stay down, even if I stop trying, I'm still going to get hit.

I thought about this when I fell off my bike recently, how I barely even checked my (minor) wounds, just got back on the bike and kept moving. What's dwelling on the pain going to do? I could cry, and I did cry a little as I rode away. But my tears dried quickly in the wind and though those bruises bloomed nicely, I enjoyed the rest of the ride still unafraid, without worry of another fall. Because a fearful bike ride is an unhappy bike ride. A fearful life... same rule.

Unfortunately, my migraines hurt more than those bruises and I tend to fall hard, every day, so I don't get down on myself for feeling a little gun shy after a particularly rough neurological shit storm. It's okay to feel fear, it's what keeps us from flinging ourselves off of buildings, and it's what reminds me to bring sunglasses and earplugs and a hat and a bajillion other little things I have stashed in my big ol' bag that I take with me everywhere I go. Fear is an essential emotion. But an important part of bouncing back is getting over the fear of constant triggers.

I remember the very first episode of Lost (I still haven't seen the last season!), Jack tells Kate that when he felt really afraid, when he was paralyzingly terrified, he'd give himself five seconds to freak the hell out. Then he would bootstrap up and deal with the scary thing, be it a botched surgery, a smoke monster, or a migraine. He didn't say the last one, but this really resonated with me.

I try to allow myself the time to deal with things things that scare me. (But more than five seconds, thanks Jack.) I write it out here or find someone I trust to talk to. Sharing pain with people who understand is empowering. Facing pain is easier when I know I'm not alone.

So, I continue to get back on both the literal and figurative bikes. I'll pedal slowly and probably wobble and veer a bit. I might fall, but I'll get back up. I will always get back up.


Jessica said...

Nicely said.

I don't think I have feelings of fear as much as I have feelings of anger towards my stupid body always betraying me. =(

WinnyNinny PooPoo said...

Steph: A great trait - the ability to bounce back and smack the migraine monster again! A lot of people don't have that inborn resiliencey. Great post!

steph said...

Thanks ladies!

Sue said...

Your strength continues to amaze me. Keep heading back into that ring with the migraine monster. One day you will beat it down for good.

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