5 Challenges & 5 Small Victories. Make a list of the 5 most difficult parts of your health focus. Make another top 5 list for the little, good things (small victories) that keep you going.
1. The isolation -- Migraines make being around people difficult on my good days. I'm comfortable being an introvert, so that's not the worst thing usually, but I miss my family and friends. I miss being able to go to the grocery store.
2. The limitations -- I hate not being able to do all the things I know I'd be easily capable of otherwise, like cleaning all the dishes in one shot, or having a conversation.
3. Being misunderstood -- Some people don't understand migraines, or how I could have been so suddenly struck with them constantly. They may think that I'm lazy, mooching off the system, or making it all up for attention. It gets old fast.
4. When I have to be in public -- it's torture. I was obsessed with going to my little brother's basketball games a few years ago. I'd put on my cap and sunglasses, jam in the earplugs and put menthol on my nose or hands to block out the smell of the parents, but it was a migraine beatdown every sunday that would haunt the rest of my week. I'd be feeling better by the next weekend, only to force myself to sit in that flourescent-lit gymnasium and start the cycle again. I love my brother and want to support him, but I've learned not to compromise my health for it, at least not as a regular thing.
5. New pain is terrifying -- My migraines went chronic rather suddenly, and it's made me look at pain very differently. Now, when I get crick in my neck or my knee is aching from the rain or I get a pain spike that lasts any longer than the usual, I can't help but wonder, is this another new forever-pain? Is this something else I'm going to have to learn to live with? Can I? What's my threshhold, exactly? How much can I take and when I reach it, then what happens? And from there, it just gets darker. I don't dwell on these thoughts, they're very destructive and the few times I have I've ended up a sobbing mess, instead I acknowledge them and purposely think about something else. Even if those thoughts are right, if that eye-stabbing or back pain is going to stick around for years instead of just hours, there's likely little I can do about it anyway.
1. Being back in school -- I can only handle one class at a time, and I haven't nailed attending consecutive quarters yet, but it's a huge step in the right direction.
2. Learning stuff -- Sewing, programming, cooking techniques, and more, I'm in love with feeding my brain.
3. Gardening -- We don't have a food garden going this year (yet?) but I've been working on some natural landscaping around the yard and have found that to be pretty fulfilling as well. I've carefully relocated ferns and other plants from the surrounding forest to fill in the little hill above our front door, and it makes it look so pretty and lush. Well, lushER. It's a work in progress.
4. Hiking -- I haven't been thrilled with my frequency of exercise lately, I've had a lot going on, so it's been easy to put off. But when I do get out, walking up and down our steep mountain has noticeably built up my stamina, and it feels really good.
5. Facing fear -- I can be a rather fearful person and in the past I've let it get the best of me. I've been trying hard to put that kind of thinking behind me. When I want to do something, or to say something, if I stop myself because I'm afraid (of something that won't actively harm me), that's my new cue to barrel forward. It's been mostly little things, like I hand-sewed a scarf for my mom, and made plans with a new friend, but every little thing I do that scares me makes me less afraid of the next thing.