I've had chronic migraines since I was thirteen years old. The only times I haven't had consistent headaches were during pregnancy. Since giving birth the third time, my headaches have become so bad and often that there have been days when I felt that not being conscious would be better than experiencing another second of pain. I've been brought to my knees by these suckers screaming, "God! Help me!" I'm in the process of getting medical help for my headaches and have been to a few different doctors in connection to them. I've only treated them with medication one other time while I was in college. At this point, if I cannot rely on medication or some other remedy (I've tried many) to make them less frequent and more tolerable (dare I hope for them to be eliminated), I will be devastated. The migraines exacerbate some other health and emotional issues that I have and it has created a feeling of being broken.
I turned 36 last month, and I have been confronted with the fact that I'm "older" on many occasions, including trips to the doctor. I've never considered myself "older". The word "old" doesn't even register to me until 70 - maybe. I don't mind the passing of years, and I am so happy to be an adult. You couldn't pay me to be a kid again. Yet, I'm frustrated that at a time in my life when things are comfortable and I am secure in so many areas, that I feel so physically and in turn emotionally down.
Once I get over the fact that a situation has occurred, I am generally very proactive about changing or improving it if it doesn't suit me. I've been doing so much to create health and well being in my life. I eat a diet of whole and properly prepared foods per the recommendations of the Weston A. Price Foundation. I have a daily yoga and meditation practice. I take walks. I'm at a very healthy weight. I'm physically strong. I strive to stay spiritually connected. I don't jump to easy fixes when lifestyle adjustments would produce healing derived from within my own body. In fact, I'm a little obsessive about healthful living. I work hard at it.
Because of my effort, I am often embarrassed or incredibly sad on the days when I feel so sluggish, depressed, or when a migraine has been triggered and I lose a whole day of productivity or forbid I need someone to help me get through the day. I get angry when the pre-headache feelings create within me a mood of less patience and irritability. Having a chronic issue like this isn't something I have invited to stay, or something I want to allow me exceptions to living a full life. I want it GONE. Now! I'm a homeschooling mother of three under age 10. I'm a wife. I'm a writer and spiritual counselor. I'm busy, and striving to be at my best - the way Creator intended me to be.
At age 33, which I referred to as my Jesus year, I gave birth for the third time in an experience that was incredibly profound and blessed. Jesus was the man in the red cape that year. A constant reminder that I am loved, supported, and that my highest good was being written as much as I wanted to seek it out. If age 33 was my Jesus year, then almost three years later, it is time for a Resurrection. A rebirth. Creator saw Jesus through his physical torment and blessed him with Divine life. I still believe I'm loved, supported, and that my highest good is being written right at this moment. I believe in purpose - Divine purpose - and a Love that surpasses all turmoil. I know there is a plan for this. A reason.
I'm tired though. Really tired. And on the days when it feels as if my brain is pressing against my skull with a force that will explode it all into a mush and 1,000 little pieces, I have a hard time reminding myself that there is something more to this issue than pain. I don't want to be embarrassed at needing to spend the day on the couch, or worried that I'm appearing slothful or weird because I can't function normally through the pain. Pain is very misunderstood in our culture. I am also finished with trying to muscle through or pretend the pain isn't there in order to not be a Debbie downer. I have important work to do. I'm not a pill popper and I refuse to go that direction in terms of medication as a band-aid. Where do I find the willpower to keep at this until I find the answers and life in there?
I don't know where this path leads. I think of everything in life in a journey metaphor. A walk through the woods. I don't know where this path leads, but I'm going to chronicle the steps. I'm going to be resurrected and able to feel bliss again.
Kelli Hansel Haywood is the mother of three daughters living in the mountains of southeastern Kentucky. She is a writer, weightlifter, yoga and movement instructor, chakra reader, and Reiki practitioner.