Today is the last day of the 2014 Migraine and Headache Awareness Month. As I watched the video for today’s prompt, I began to imagine that I was Alladin and that my migraine-free friends were all Jasmine. That is what inspired today’s post.
Welcome to my world. It’s not what you think.
You know about the pain, the vomiting, the aura, the sensitivity to light and sound. You think I hide in a dark room surrounded by ice packs and medicines. You act surprised to see me looking beautiful and wonder out loud if the doctors “have found out what’s causing those yet”. You get disappointed when I cancel plans and frustrated by my many requests for accommodation. This is not all of my world.
There is a side of my world that you do not know. I have a fantastic point of view. In a perfect world, you would be envious of my world and hold high regard for me and my migraine friends. We would be deferred to, accommodated, and revered for what we can offer this world. You see, some of the most beautiful gifts to our world were created by migraineurs like Mozart, Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet, Lewis Carroll, Freud, Nietzsche, Edgar Allen Poe, Emily Dickinson, Thomas Jefferson, Anne Frank, Elvis Presley, Carly Simon, Loretta Lynn, and so many more. Our world would be a much darker place without the beauty and creativity that migraineurs bring. If you could only see inside my world, you would value the work of migraineurs and tolerate our on-again, off-again productivity and encourage the use of “migraine time”. You would never again write us up for excessive absences or accuse us of faking it. In fact, you might even be envious.
Sometimes auras are beautiful. Silence can be a gift. Solitude a welcome respite from this busy life. Ice packs and heating pads are small pleasures. Migraine forces me to take better care of myself. Without it, I might not drink so much water or eat as many salads. Against my natural inclinations, migraine has taught me to pace myself. It has taught me how to respond to stress in healthy ways and given me lessons in emotional control. I can do progressive relaxation, meditation, breathe deeply, and center myself so much more effectively because of migraine. I have learned that I am able to accomplish great things by harnessing the pain rather than fighting it. This is my world.
Then there is this amazing thing that happens with every attack. At some point in the process I get this flood of creativity. Somehow the pain draws out ideas and concepts I never would have considered when pain-free. Sometimes I can release the ideas mid-attack. At other times, I must hold the ideas until the attack subsides. At any rate, migraine is my muse. It is the source of all things beautiful, creative, inventive, and inspired. It is as though heaven speaks to me through the pain. My world is an amazing, creative place to live.
I wish you could experience one day in my world. Once you get past the pounding, throbbing, nauseating fog, there is peace, harmony, and inspiration. This isn’t just my reality. Many of my pain pals are writers, painters, artisans, musicians, scientists, computer gurus, philanthropists, and more. I wish you see all the beauty that is in the world because of migraineurs. If you did, you would never again tolerate the stigma we experience every day. You would join our cause, raise money for research, and educate the rest of the world about the amazing world of migraine.
Some of the beauty created by migraineurs:
CHALLENGE: If you are a migraine or headache disorder patient who has a creative job, hobby, or side business, please submit a link to your website or portfolio in the comments section below. We’d love to fill up this page with thousands of “migraine gifts”. Let’s show the world what we have to offer!
The 2014 Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, is dedicated to Dreaming of a World without Migraine and Headache Disorders. The 2014 Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is a project of American Headache & Migraine Association.