Celebrate the Small Victories


I am a morning person. I used to say I was also a Monday person, but lately, that hasn’t been the case. Monday’s for me are full of anxiety and fear. Anxiety about the pain I will likely have to go through at the end of the day and fear that I will have to walk into my bosses office and tell her yet again that I need to leave. And then getting home and telling my sweet husband that I have a migraine again and I can’t make dinner and spend time with him like I want to as he gets up and walks to the fridge to grab my favorite ice pack. Yes,  I have a favorite ice pack.

If I am going to get a migraine I will feel it coming on by about 11:30 am. On the weekends that time comes and goes and sometimes I don’t notice what time it is when I feel the slight head pain, but at work, the clock stares at me all day. I feel 11:30 am getting closer and I dread it all morning. People may say this fear is what starts a migraine and it may be part of it, but sometimes 11:30 am passes and I feel nothing….until 2:00 pm or 4:00 pm or it may be one of the magical days when I don’t get a migraine at all (don’t we all love those days, tell yourself to focus on those days).

Well I am writing this at 3:45 on Monday and guess what…I don’t have a migraine. Only the very small headache I usually have. This is a big deal! What I am thinking right now is, maybe this whole mindfulness and relaxation stuff is helping already. Maybe the constant voice in my head yelling “stay away migraine!” worked today.

Side note (skip this if you don’t want a Stranger Things spoiler): I kind of feel like Will from Stranger things and my migraines are the shadow monster. It’s there in my recent memory and I just have to stand up to it. And if you have watched the new season you know that saying “go away” doesn’t always work, but I still want to try.

Anyway, I tried three new things at work today, which I think definitely helped me keep away the migraine.

1. I took 2 walks! Simple, but harder than it sounds. Anyone who has ever worked a desk job has heard this, but how many of us actually do it. My inner dialogue each day usually goes something like this, “I will walk after this meeting. Oh, let me just type this last email. Hi, no I’m not busy sit down what do you want to talk about? I should send him an email reviewing everything we just discussed. I am hungry…and so on until, oh it’s time for me to go home.” But today I didn’t send that email, I went outside and walked for 10 minutes, not once but twice! And I still got the same amount of work done…seriously. And on my walks, I tried to be totally present in that moment. No phone (I work in social media so this is SO hard for me). Appreciating the falling leaves, the sunshine and the fresh air blowing against my face.

2. I drank 64 oz. of water. If anyone is reading this and has/had headaches/migraines and drinking a huge amount of water helped you please message me! I want to know how much you drink every day. I always forget to drink water, even when it is sitting right in front of me. I am making a conscious effort to drink more water.

3. I read a book. I used to love to read and then at some point, I stopped reading, but still collected books. So, now I have a huge collection of books that I haven’t read. It has made me sad that I don’t enjoy reading as much as I used to, but it got to the point where I would either fall asleep after reading two pages or I would read a page and realize I didn’t remember anything I had just read. I would feel so stupid and give up. It may be because of the migraines or brain fog or something else, but whatever it is, it is sad when you don’t get joy out of something you really loved once. Well, I was at Powell’s the other day and the cover of “A Tale for the Time Being” by Ruth Ozeki caught my eye. It has such a beautiful cover. I read the back and I was excited because part of it is in diary format, which is my favorite. I bought it and started to read it. This gets me away from watching TV or looking at my phone. I am 83 pages in and I have had to read pages over and over. And I have fallen asleep reading, but I decided I don’t want that to stop me.

I may be on a journey to change my whole lifestyle, but I don’t want to let it stop me from doing things I love. I just have to learn how to do the things I love in new and different ways, not the ways I have done them for more than 20 years. Some days that is okay with me and some days that makes me really upset, overwhelmed and sad.

I feel like today is a victory and I hope tomorrow is as well. For now I am off to Physical Therapy to get a jaw massage (very unpleasant), do neck strengthening (which is me basically bending my head forward for 10 seconds at a time…starting from square one I guess) and wearing a Cefaly while icing my jaw and head, which is OBVIOUSLY the best part! Migraine sufferers LOVE a good ice pack.


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