Grief and the Search for Whatever Lies Beyond

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Through three and a half months of the migraine that just will not go away the hardest thing for me to face is that I’m depressed.

Hard to believe that that’s what I have the hardest time handling in the face of ten different medications, numerous side effects, IVs, injections, blood tests, an MRI, specialists, and of course – the chronic (now – official) intractable pain. 

It’s not so strange though: in the depths of migraine madness I can no longer seem to reconcile the image of who I am with the person I’ve lately become. The person I remember is chipper. Outgoing. Optimistic. She laughs. The person staring back at me, tries.

It’s hard to do or be any of those things when every morning is accompanied by a relentless, pulsating nightmare of confusion, nausea, and pain.

I’m exhausted. And angry. Frustrated about the many – simple – things I’ve had to give up to the monster in my head for the sake of a peace I still haven’t found. Music. Lights. Singing. Yoga. Red wine. Beer. More than one margarita at a time. Running on Saturday mornings around the Lake with my SO. Chocolate. These are things I loved. 

But most of all, I feel guilty. 

Guilty because my disease could be so much worse than it is, and I should feel grateful that I’m not faced with one of hundreds of ailments that people all around the world struggle honorably with daily.

Guilty because I can’t pull myself up and shake myself off and be the chipper, bubbly personality every day that I (and those who love me) know, love, and depend on. 

For those who know, however, It’s difficult to function in the usual manner in a state of constant, severe pain. It’s not so easy to “manage” when all energies feel drained by mid-day.

What do you do when you can’t get out of your head because your head won’t stop screaming?

 

 

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7 thoughts on “Grief and the Search for Whatever Lies Beyond

  1. Jill

    You have no obligation to be cheerful when you’re in pain. You should check out my post “The Right to Not Be All Right” at fibrofog.wordpress.com. Best wishes to you.

  2. Thank you, Jill. It’s reaffirming to hear that, sometimes. I most certainly will visit you on your site. Thanks for reading! May you have pain free days filled with love and hope.

  3. I wrote a post not too long ago about grieving my pre-sick life that reminds me a lot of what you’re saying here. (http://rhymeswithmigraine.blogspot.com/2008/06/grieving-my-past-life.html) I struggle with guilt and acceptance every day. And like you I’ve had a months-long migraine that just won’t quit.

    I don’t have any answers for you, but I do want you to know you’re not alone in this struggle. For me, depression always comes hand-in-hand with my migraines as they become chronic. I plan to schedule an appointment with a therapist to talk it out; that’s helped me to cope in the past and I think it will benefit me now as well.

    Hang in there. One day we’ll both find something that works.

    Be well,
    MJ

  4. Thank you, MJ. I had read that post of yours. Your blog often helps me remember I’m not alone in this. I thank you for that. My doc has upped my anti-depressant meds to help offset the depression side effect I was experiencing on Topamax. It appears to be working now, though I’m always a little weary to treat one drug’s side effects with yet another drug. 🙂

  5. I hate those sorts of days, or weeks, depending. I say coping with chronic pain is a cyclical thing…. anger, guilt, depression, acceptance, coping… and then all over again, but mixed up just for fun. My current preventative med has me riding the moody rollercoaster myself, with suprisingly intense depression that scares even me, to nervous, aggitated energy, to manic mania. Great fun.

    Sometimes it is hard to cope, because it is coping forever. And sometimes that pain drives you mad, and the fustrations with doctors and medications makes it all that more maddening.

    Anyway I hope you shake this mood off soon, because I know it is not a fun place to be. But we are entitled to some moodiness, with all that pain and all, and some ranting as well if the mood takes us.

  6. Nikki – you are so right. The coping roller coaster is not a fun place to be. It would be easier if there were an end in sight. Unfortunately, for those of us who know there is no end, we must face our reality head on – and learn to live, joyfully, in spite of it.

  7. Jill

    I have just read through your blog and this entry made me tear up a bit. You describe the feelings of guilt so well. It is really hard to be the same person when you are in so much pain but at the same time it is not a deadly disease so it does not seem right to complain when others are dealing with cancer and other terrible diseases.

    Thankfully, I do not have constant daily pain but when I get a migraine it goes from nothing to an 8 in about 30 minutes. When I have this terrible pain that keeps me home in the dark with a cold rag on my head I always find myself apologizing to everyone around me. It’s such an odd reaction but I always feel like I am ruining someone elses fun. Awhile ago my boyfriend got a migraine and said he had no idea how I delt with this kind of pain every week. Now when I apologize to him he just says that I shouldn’t be sorry and that he is sorry I am in pain. He is constantly reassuring me that I have not become boring and no fun like I feel like I have. It is hard when people do not know the pain and do not understand how terrible it is.

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