This is the response from Nikki Albert at The Brainless Blogger to the prompt on June 10th that asked, “How do you find hope on a dark day?”
Nikki and I met online back in 2007. At that time, migraine groups were popping up all over Facebook. We’ve both been around for a long time, participating in blogging challenges, and sharing ideas and support on Facebook. We haven’t chatted in years, but I still follow her blog. Getting to help AHMA with the Twitter posts of each blog was such a pleasure, in part because I got to spend more time on Nikki’s blog.
It’s not spiritual or religious faith. It’s not “positive thinking” either. And finally, it’s not “wishful thinking.” Hope is the expectation that things will improve. Even at it’s most fragile, hope believes in possibilities. A tiny spark of hope, when acted on, grows. It’s contagious, too. The fulfillment of one person’s hope increases hope in others who are witness to its arrival. Hope is fire.
Hope isn’t something you have because you have proof. It’s a tentative step in the dark. You don’t know the outcome. Many times you don’t even know if there’s solid ground with the next step. Hope isn’t something you need a lot of. It grows with every step you take.
I think my responsibility as an advocate is to shine a light for others to follow. I’ve been down that dark path. If other migraineurs hadn’t led the way, saying “Don’t give up,” and shining a light when I needed it, I might still be wandering aimlessly in the dark.
When I think about hope in terms of migraine and cluster headache, I realized that the one thing keeping hope alive is the knowledge that there are options. As long as I don’t run out of options, I have hope. The times when I lost hope were times when I did not think I had any more options.
I can sit here and hope for so many things that are largely out of my control. There are many things to hope for, yet trying to reach them all is not realistic. It’s important to have a limited number of tangible, measurable goals. Without that, it is difficult to know when a goal has been reached.
I was born a fighter. It’s a family trait. Although there have been times when I wanted to quit, to give up, I just can’t stay that way for long.
A cure? I don’t know how soon, but I think it will take decades of committed research and they will likely find that migraine occurs in many different ways.
I was about to spend the weekend with people I met online. These migraine friends knew a lot about me. What if they were not who the said they were?
Thinking about today’s prompt reminded me of Marianne Williamson’s quote from A Return to Love. Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate…