I Choose Pain

I didn’t ask for chronic migraines.  I’ve had migraines nearly my entire life, but they were things to be endured now and then, not things to endure for about half of my life for the last few years.  It’s not something I have time for right now.  There are children to educate.  Books to be written.  Life to be lived.

My migraines shifted at some point.  They became more frequent, and they started being accompanied by other neurological side effects.  It got scary at some point a couple of years ago.  I’ve had an MRI.  I’ve tried different medications, lifestyle changes, and many natural remedies.  Spoiler alert.  They don’t work.

Sometimes, I tell my kids, life just sucks.

Today is a fresh day.  It’s my first pain free day after four days of varying degrees of pain.  A couple of those days were easier days.  A couple of them were harder.  Yesterday was a harder day for various reasons.  The water was being shut off from 9 to 1.  We had the last day of co-op in the afternoon.

Just breathe.  I told myself.  Just breathe through each section.

We went to the library that morning.  Then we went to the store to get cookies for their classes.  Then we went to the park around the corner.  We got lucky.  The water was on there, so we could go to the bathroom.  I hurried to write birthday invitations and feed the kids a little.  I was lucky again.  The kids would be eating at co-op today.  I stared down at the packages of preservatives hastily bought that morning for my kids to bring to share.  I would be that mom today, and I was totally okay with it.

I helped in my youngest daughter’s class, and ducked away when the pain got too hard.  I got lucky again.  The big kids were watching movies so I went in an empty classroom and got down on the floor.  The hard floor is soothing during a migraine.  It doesn’t move, and if I’m lucky, it doesn’t smell like butt.

I stared out the windows for a moment (before the wind picked up and the tree limbs starting moving) and thought of what my husband had said that weekend.  Maybe it’s time to see a doctor again.

Maybe.  Maybe not.

The thing is, I can take medication to numb my nervous system.  Been there, done that.  I don’t want to go there again.  My creativity is sapped.  I am not worth much as a mother or wife or person.  And so I choose pain.

Yes, I would rather live through pain and have bad days in order to really enjoy the good days.

I haven’t gotten used to being in pain.  I’m not sure that’s possible.  But I have gotten more used to having a life of pain.  I know the good days will come.  I breathe through the bad days and enjoy what I can.

I still hope that this is a temporary thing.  I still add to my list of things that don’t work or help.

Pain, as a writer, is a tool.  No, I don’t want to be in pain.  No, I don’t secretly like it.  But I will use pain.  I can use the bricks life throws at me to build something beautiful, and that is a good super power to have.

So today I am grateful.  I can enjoy smell and touch and sound and light today.  I can catch up on the things I need to do.  I can cuddle with my kids and remind them that they are loved.

Speaking of which, I know that things are off and quieter with me right now during this year that I am taking a creative sabbatical, and I want to thank those people who have showed kindness to me during this time.  I’m not giving up on being a writer.  I’m not giving up on working hard or being busy.  I’m just giving myself permission to breathe right now.  So thank you for reminding me.  I needed it, and I appreciate it.

Thanks for your time, and I hope you have a great week.

 Live Bravely,
Love Strongly,





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