healing is not linear

It does not “progress from one stage to another in a single series of steps”.

Nor is it sequential.

It is not straight, direct, undeviating, or any other part of google’s definition of “linear”.

The two steps forward, one step back metaphor cannot contain this shit, and if I graphed it, it would look like the cardiogram of an alien heartbeat on acid.

You get the point. It’s unpredictable. No combination of daily charting, mindfulness, accommodations, and careful planning seems change that fact. It’s true that overall, with the barrage of treatments, supplements, and lifestyle changes, the intensity of my attacks has decreased over the past year, but in terms of any sort of palpable progress on a smaller scale, I’m learning that it’s best to keep my expectations in check.

I could tell you about how this makes me better at going with the flow, taking life as it comes, and living in the moment, and I wouldn’t be lying. But I don’t want to tell you about that. I want to tell you about how it SUCKS.

It sucks to cancel plans. It sucks to push through a day of work when your mind is mostly occupied by unpleasantness. It sucks to bail on that awesome thing you just volunteered to do because you finally thought you were ready. It sucks when you scale back on your treatments ’cause you think you can handle that shit, and then suddenly you need to ramp up your treatments ’cause it sucks. It sucks when you can sing again, and you cry ’cause you’re so happy, and then for the next two weeks you can’t sing and you cry ’cause it sucks. It sucks when it sucks ‘cuase it sucks it sucks it sucks it totally sucks.

And you know what else totally SUCKS? NOT EATING CHOCOLATE! WTF!!

Image

Lucy gets it.

p.s. The next post will be uplifting. Truly inspirational. It will include only minimal self-indulgent complaining. I promise.

8 comments

  1. Laurie Brown · · Reply

    That totally sucks. Not only does it suck – it blows. Let Lucy blow a gasket for you.

  2. Anonymous · · Reply

    It so sucks Anna. We all just would like to wave a wand and make it go away for you.I think that you have done an amazing job of the way you have made changes, given up things you love, I agree with Laurie Let Lucy blow a big gasket for you.

  3. I guess one of the good things about having migraines for as long as I can remember is that I can’t recall a time when things were different. I mean, having to cancel prior arrangements has always been part of my life – it’s just “normal” for me. I actually get a thrill when things work out as planned occasionally. My wife gets very frustrated and angry when my migraines get in the way, so although I don’t experience what you do first hand, I do so by proxy, so to speak. I’m an optimist by nature, and I don’t recall ever experiencing what you describe for any reason. However I will acknowledge that during severe migraines I don’t experience optimism, or anything else for that matter. It’s like I’m emotionally empty. But it only lasts as long as the last migraine, and then I’m back to my normal self (if chronic migraine plus Aspergers can ever be called normal)

    1. Hi Barry,
      Yeah, I also experience an acute depression with most attacks. I’m trying to learn more about why and how that happens (sudden drop in serotonin?). Similarly, I “return to myself” for the most part when the attack lifts.

      And yes, it is nice when plans work out. I must remember to celebrate those moments instead of taking them for granted.

      1. Depression? I’ve never thought it as being that. I’ve always put that emotional numbness down to a symptom of the migraine itself – a lowering of brain activity in the regions that control emotions.

        During a course in pain management a few years back, it was discovered that I have extremely low levels of alpha waves during an attack ( 2.9 whereas the norm is 9 to 13). The therapist told me that I must be extremely depressed to get such a reading. I vehemently disagreed with him at the time, but perhaps I don’t understand what depression really is. When I’m really bad and I can’t string a simple sentence together and don’t know who I am, I still look for experiences that can centre me. Plop a small child or an animal on my lap at such times, and I’m at peace. I’m still likely to be totally disorientated, but I know I’m experiencing something good. I would have thought that that wouldn’t happen if it was depression.

        I do agree with you that migraines aren’t linear. The order in which symptoms appear varies so much as does the degree that each symptom manifests itself. This is something that even the medical experts don’t seem to grasp. I’ve found that living in the moment is the best strategy. There’s so much joy and wonder to be found in this world and it can be found practically everywhere. The migraines are just a short term interruptions (I still think of 5 days as being short term) and it make me appreciate the good things that much better.

  4. […] this crap is still non-linear. Set-backs and losses still mess with my sense of self. It’s still hard to let go of past […]

  5. […] mean worse pain more often, which usually means a tougher fight with depression. And while I know healing is not linear, that would just be […]

  6. […] Healing is not linear. It does not ‘progress from one stage to another in a single series of steps.’ Nor is it sequential. It is not straight, direct, undeviating, or any other part of google’s definition of ‘linear.’ The two steps forward, one step back metaphor cannot contain this shit, and if I graphed it, it would look like the cardiogram of an alien heartbeat on acid.You get the point. It’s unpredictable. No combination of daily charting, mindfulness, accommodations, and careful planning seems change that fact. – https://migrainebrainstorm.com/2014/03/06/this-shit-is-not-linear/ […]

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