Saturday, January 7, 2012

Choosing Grace

I have been planning this blog for quite a while now, thinking about what I would want to say in my blog and why I would even want to have a blog. It's not exactly like I have great wisdom or knowledge to share with the world - there are plenty of good blogs and sites that do that! I write this not as an expert, but as a co-journeyer. I have come to realize that my greatest challenge in dealing with migraines and chronic pain has to do with my coping skills or how I choose to weather the storms of the life I lead.

I use the word "choose" with some discretion as I don't believe that one can "will" themselves to be well. Let's face it, if we could, most of us would have already taken that route. (And platitudes such as "you just need to get out in the sun," "pull yourself up by your bootstraps," "choose to get over this," "it can't be that bad, have you seen a therapist?" all make me quite ill.) What I have come to know, however, is that the quality of my life largely depends on where I put my focus. There are certain truths I can't ignore:

1. I have chronic, intractable migraines (as well as some other conditions)- which cause me to be in pain 24/7.
2. I have set out to educate myself about my conditions and have pursued the best medical help I can and have followed that advice. The conclusion has been that I am a "complicated patient." (Don't you love it when the doctor says that to you?)
3. I have had to give up my career and am pretty much homebound.
4. These conditions have impacted me physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually and socially.

These are the facts, and I could very well focus upon them - which I frequently do. I refer to my migraines as "the beast" and I find myself frequently battling the beast. More germane, however, is that I find myself often giving into the beast. This blog is really just my journal of how I am choosing to not give into the beast. I'd love to welcome you along this journey with me, for there are other things that I have also found to be truths. These truths that I equally can't ignore are:

1. I have a loving heavenly Father who is constantly seeking to strengthen me physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
2. I have much for which to be grateful. I have a wonderful and loving family; I have the best friends in the world; I have a virtual migraine family and small group that brings me encouragement, joy and support everyday; I have the world's best fur baby (Marlie), my financial and personal needs are faithfully being met, and many, many other blessings.
3. There are a number of things available to help me with handling my pain even when medications fail me. They include prayer, mindfulness, rest, stretching, exercise, eating right, adopting an attitude of gratitude, reaching out to other migraineurs, looking for ways to help others and, most importantly, a pair of world class sunglasses! (Oh, let me not forget to mention the full shelf in both my freezer and my refrigerator dedicated to ice packs!! God bless the inventor of ice packs! I believe I probably have every style and model available, but just in case I don't, I am always open to suggestions.)

The bottom line is that I cannot make my migraines miraculously disappear - I've tried. If only I could be like Bewitched and wiggle my nose and make everything right! Unfortunately, it hasn't worked. So, for now, what I fervently want to do is to learn to live with chronic illness with grace, hope, dignity and peace. This is not a passive task, but one to which I believe I must set my mind, my intentions and my actions. That certainly doesn't mean that I won't have the occasional meltdown, pity party, or temper tantrum. In fact, they may not even be that occasional. I admit it - I am human, fancy that? And I am quite sure that there are individuals reading this now who are rolling on the floor laughing because they have been witness to my meltdowns, pity parties, and temper tantrums and know that when I do it, I do it right! lol

However, the bottom line is that I intend to pursue and find grace in the storm by taking advantage of all the means available to me. For today, that means starting this blog.

I hope you will also find success in finding grace for the storm.

Thanks for listening to and for sharing in this journey with me!



  1. Looks great. I can't wait to follow your journey (even more) through your blot. Thanks for being such a blessing and inspirational person. Love you, dear friend.

  2. Beautiful post, Cyn! And your blog looks fantastic! I'm so excited that you are blogging and can't wait to see what you have to say! I echo what Jamie said in that you are a blessing and an inspirational person. I know that you will touch many people. I've added you to my blogroll. :) Much love to you.

  3. Jamie & Kelly - You both have been such an inspiration to me as I walk in the storm and your blogs have made me want to become a blogger. I hope I can do even half as good a job as the two of you do! You both exemplify grace for the storm, and I am so blessed to call you friends!

  4. Cyn, beautifully said! Love the blog and first post. All of us who live with chronic illness and/or pain must learn to tools and ways to live our lives with peace, joy, and grace. I'm on this journey with you! Hugs to you and many blessings!

  5. Cyn, I am so glad you are doing this blog. You have a beautiful way with words and will touch many people. I will never forget and will always be grateful for all your kind and encouraging words you gave to me when I was suffering so badly.
    So, I believe God has you in this position to continue to help others. And I pray that by doing this, you will also be healed.
    I look forward to following you on this journey.
    love-Pam from Dallas

  6. Thanks Ton and Pam, I count myself blessed to have both of you for friends!