Finally…. something working on my pain level… wow… this was a long haul of dizzies and pain… more than 2 weeks and it got so much worse after I slipped and fell just over a week ago… oye…and 2 solid days completely laid out after Christmas… well… now that it’s 8:30 PM and I’m finally feeling back to normal and can think clearly without fuzziness in my head and ice-picks …. I’d like to give some of my thoughts on when you’re thinking you can’t go another step…
I’m pretty new to this Vestibular Disorder thing with Vestibular Migraines (Only have had these since March 2016). That isn’t very long when I’ve spoken to so many who have suffered through Chronic pain and disorders for years, some their whole lives. One thing I see time and time again though is the lack of will to keep moving, the depression these illnesses cause and the lack of knowing where to turn or HOW to keep moving when all you can focus on is pain.
This is something that comes from so far deep within yourself that you have to dig for it .
I hit a bout of depression for about 4 1/2 months when I was told I’d never work again. I got so ill, and I simply went through my days and waited for the quiet moments where I could be alone. Where my then husband was at work, and the kids in school so I’d be alone to cry or think and ponder my life as it was. I was alone with the animals most often… and with my disorder. The one that I was just then recently told would cause me to never work again or have a normal life ever again. The “normal life” they spoke of has turned out to be quite something but let me stay on track. I was devastated, and at my rock bottom & in constant pain and my world was always spinning. No, I was not okay then. But I sure am now! These VM caused me to have to find myself and learn a whole set of skills and mind sets I did not know I possessed and could ever possess. I had to dig deep though, I had to find out what I wanted, and I had to figure out what it was that was going to keep me going and what was going to make my life purposeful again. It was not ever going to be how it was, that much was clear. So what was a 29 year old to do that was just told she’s now saddled with a condition that will always be silly and act up out of nowhere unless we can find medication that will keep it in line? (which YAYYYY we did) – I dug deep. I had a TON of help. Let me tell you I had SO much help from some amazing people that watched me cry and guided me and still listen to me when I have frustrated days but these days will happen. I found a job that I CAN do around my condition, I found hobbies that I used to be passionate about that I pulled out of storage and have worked on and turned into a passion AT my job.
I can’t do a lot of the things I used to do, and that does frustrate me to no end, and there is days where it overwhelms me how seemingly little i can now do, but in the end:
- I found a few new doors to explore that would not have opened without this condition
- I am more peaceful because my life is MUCH less busy, because I can no longer be too busy.
- I have found out that I can be a lot more patient than I ever thought possible, mostly because a lot of stuff simply has to wait now.
- I am learning a whole pile of skill sets that I’d never have learned otherwise and educating myself on anything that interests me: Neurology, mindfulness, arts etc. Why not?!
So you see, though my life turned out very different than I imagined it may have when I woke up in March 2016 with that crazy spinning sensation in my head not able to keep myself steady, it turned and it landed up where it was supposed to be. Our doors shut for reasons and then, just like that, we are guided right to where we need to be. Sometimes the guidance isn’t as loving as it seems (tough love and all) but I think that may be because us Humans are a little too stubborn to take the guidance when it’s initially offered, so the Universe has to give us firmer pushes. SO this was mine……
Life sure is funny. The day to day events can drag us down and leave us quite drained and sluggish. For sensitive people getting through and juggling a lot of emotional things at ones becomes overwhelming. This all turns into a big mess where our health is concerned. Stress is a huge no – no when it comes to this. In my case I believe stress played a big role in how I became so ill and was unable to function for so long. Often times it’s underlying hidden stressors that we may not realize are causing us these anxieties and other times it’s the things we know are for sure causing us stress : the broken down vehicle, the teenager, the monthly bills, the toddler that won’t eat your cooking, the messy house, the cat that simply won’t leave you alone when you need your space bubble …. You know the ones I’m talking about. And then your health takes a turn for the worse again and you can’t get it in check and you can’t figure out why things are just not leveling again. You think you’ve done all the right things: Avoided triggers, drank your fluids, gotten sleep, but then you realize it ……
There is that one minute you’re panicking and thinking that your head will never be okay again and then right in the next one you’re sitting up at 11:30 PM (when your normal bedtime is 10 PM) , because you can’t sleep… simply because you feel “normal”. I put that in quotation marks because really, I don’t recall what “normal” feels like. I always have some sort of pain or dizziness or unstableness, but I’ve learned to manage those and live with all of those quite well thanks to my amazing support & family. This normal though is different…. I’m giddy, and bouncy and there is NO pain and minimal dizziness. I’m so wound up from the lack of discomfort that I’m wide awake and unable to get to bed. Which that is also no good because lack of sleep as you may know is a trigger in itself.
Anyways, what I was saying… Life is funny, it presents us with all sorts of obstacles. I had an amazing weekend. Shopping, hanging out with friends, and just all around it was great getting things done with the people I love and care about and just spending some lovely pre-holiday time together (including fake snowball fights). I think the fact that I finally was able to do some severe self-care this weekend and rejuvenate was what turned my head around some. Healing self-care practices can help us make it to the other side.
Self-Care is never about being selfish or uncaring. Never does it mean that you are wanting to shut others out or don’t love them. What it does mean is, that your energy tank needs fuel too to run effectively and if it runs on empty you run out of steam. We are not super-human ! We are amazing, beautiful creatures but we do have to nurture and take care of ourselves. Sometimes for the sake of our well being we simply have to unplug and unwind and do what WE want to do. So here are some more self-care ideas/tips that may help you:
- Unplug: Shut off your phone/tablet/devices for some time throughout the evening or weekend. It’s amazing how much breathing room you can get from a couple of hours without the dinging but simply by spending it with the person/people you are with!
- Mediation: Well this one is always on my list because breathing we all do. So try this method: Breathe in for 4 seconds, Hold it for 7 seconds and breathe out for 8 seconds. Do this for one minute. After I do this, during stressful times, I am grounded enough to continue normal deep breathing and stay in my meditation for a period to unwind and ground myself.
- Surround yourself with Loved ones. Spend some time doing coffee, playing board games, doing crafts etc. Whatever you enjoy doing.
- Make sure you take your medication and refill it regularly if you have to be on some. This too is self-care. I personally also actively search for other ways to live, so one day I don’t have to be on my medication.
- Avoid toxic people. Anyone that you do not enjoy spending time with, that drains your energy, that makes you feel negative. Avoid them as much as you can and spend time with those that are uplifting, stable and encourage your goals, dreams and visions. You don’t have to share the same goals and dreams with others but supporting each other in a healthy positive manner is a loving support to have.
- And lastly, sleep. Go to bed about the same time each day and get up about the same time each morning. The routine does your body good and we function much better when we’re well rested.