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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Fear in the Life of a Chronic Migraineur

Selena, of Oh My Aches and Pains, is hosting the October 13th edition of the Patients for a Moment blog carnival. This month's topic is about fears: what they are, how you face them, and what you do to overcome them.

Fear is something that I try to ignore - you know, just sweep it under the rug. But, fear in the life of a person with chronic pain builds up quickly, and it cannot stay contained under the rug for long... it must be acknowledged and dealt with.... much easier said than done!

Fear is a constant struggle for those battling any chronic illness. The fear of being unable to complete a task, fear that the pain is going to become  or remain unbearable, fear that medications aren't going to help, etc... These are things that we battle daily, almost continually. Fear runs through all different areas of life - physical, emotional, spiritual, personal, professional, relational, financial, etc...

My fears are numerous and many are unspoken. Most of them are centered on the future... Will the pain ever lessen or cease? Will I ever live a "normal" life? Will I be able to return to and complete graduate school? Will I be able to return to work? Will I be able to have kid(s) - and be the type of mother I want to be? Basically, what kind of future can/will I have with chronic pain?

Fear and depression are both familiar to many people that live with chronic illness. I fear falling into depression... yet again. I fear depression's hold on my life. I fear being thrust into the darkness and the feelings of loneliness that comes with depression. But, fear casts me farther into the depths of depression.

I try to lead as close to a normal life as I can, despite having chronic pain; but it is difficult. My pain can become debilitating and take me out at a moment's notice... for an unknown amount of time. It's difficult to plan or commit to anything ahead of time and I hate having to back out of plans at the last minute.

The irrational (but very real for many living in chronic pain) reality is that there is even fear during the "good" times. When I feel "good" (a relative term), I find myself consciously fighting fearful thoughts that the bad will soon come/return to ruin it.

I honestly wish I had a list of ways to overcome these (and other) fears, but I don't. My advice is this:
  1. Be honest with yourself about what your fears are.
  2. Share your fears with a trusted friend or loved one.
  3. If you feel that you cannot share or handle your fears alone - seek professional help.
  4. Know that you are NOT alone!

8 comments:

  1. Great points what you share here dear one on fear. It is always good to have someone, besides God who it the ultimate to share our concerns. Blessings and hope you are feeling good.

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  2. Gosh, where to start? I think I have so many fears concerning this illness.......I just thank God that He has brought me wonderful women to help me through these trying days!

    It's hard to live a "normal" life. We have a new normal....it just takes getting used to.

    Great post sweetie! How are you feeling??

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  3. Thank you both. I'm actually not doing too well lately. The pain, fear, and depression are trying to sweep me away. I'm trying to keep my eyes on the Lord and ask Him to be my strength.

    God truly is the ONLY way to get through these fearful times - even if it's not Him directly, He sends us His angels to help us through our times of need.

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  4. I hope your angels manifest themselves in your life soon. You will know them by their kind acts and uplifting of your spirit. I hope they bring healing too. It's hard not to let the pain, depression and fear overtake our feelings of joy, spiritual faith, and embracing the spontaneity of pure enjoyment and happiness.
    With your permission, I would like to make a link between your blog and mine. Please let me know if you feel comfortable with this.

    of the momemt

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  5. I hope this comment finds you a bit better. You are doing the right thing, keeping focus on our Lord, as hard as it is! You are an inspiration to me Jamie. Blessings.

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  6. Jaime,I have been through your war and descended to similar depths. Now, though still afflicted, I partner with migraineur peers to help them live fuller lives.

    You write so eloquently and honestly.

    If you want to chat,please contact me.

    Gerry

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  7. Your tips are great! Thank you for being so honest and sharing your fears here with us. I sure can relate to a lot of what you said. Please keep sharing.

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  8. Thank you Jayme for putting down what I and others w/ chronic illness feel so keenly. I'm afraid of the good and bad days too-good days because I usually over do it, and bad days because I won't re-stabilize back to my baseline.

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