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With a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction degree (Goucher College, August 2014), I am looking at a new phase in my life. From 1992 to 2009, I served as Founding Executive Director of Miriam's House, a residence for homeless women living with AIDS. I left this position when Chronic Migraine Disease overtook my ability to do my job. Now I hope that a writing career will both accommodate the migraines and give me a creative, productive outlet. And soon, September 4, I will launch my Inkshares author page in a bid to hit the 1,000 pre-order goal in 90  days. The book I want to publish is "Nowhere Else I Want to Be," a memoir of ten of my years at Miriam's House.

05 August 2010

5August: Gratitude

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TODAY’S POST:

The Silver Lining to the Migraine Cloud

Painful Poetry: Haiku
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During the week of 19 July, I blogged about “So Where IS God in all This?” My 2August post discussed how impossible it is for me to get to gratitude when I am in pain. Yet if I truly find the Divine in all things, then there surely is a way to connect with God through the migraines.

There is, it just doesn’t happen while I am in pain. It happens in other ways, and at other times, some cultivated, some simply by Grace.

For example, I am grateful for what the pain and the inconvenience of migraines has taught me:

* I have noted before (12July post) that a migraine stretches my nerves tight, making me impatient and abrupt. Given that patience is already not one of my stellar qualities, migraine or no, I’ve needed to learn a different way of being, or else I alienate those around me and isolate myself further. Learning to be patient while having a migraine has had an improving effect on my ability to be patient at other times.

* When I have no pain in my head, I am so grateful for that and for many small things of life that I would otherwise take for granted.

* I have also noted before (3August post) that practicing meditation, breathing and deep relaxation has changed my regular prayer practice immensely. It is much easier, now, to get to the deep quiet and peace that I crave, and for which I am grateful to the migraines.

* I am powerless over these migraines to the extent that my neurologist and I have found no medication that will help prevent them. I do have a PRN medication that alleviates the pain of most migraines, for which I am grateful. But it does not work 100% of the time, nor does it completely eliminate the pain in my head, nor have any effect on the strange fatigue and minor depression that accompany a migraine – except, ironically that fatigue and depression are side effects of this medication. So, what is there to be grateful for in this?
If you know the 12-Step Program, you know that the concept of powerlessness is at its heart. The lessons of powerlessness over the migraines seep out into other parts of my life, and I have noticed in myself a calmer, broader acceptance of circumstances and of my own and others’ behavior. That is truly a blessing.

So the upshot of this is that, although I cannot be grateful for the actual migraines, it is clear to me that there are aspects of my life that have changed for the better as a direct result of them.

This is how I find God and gratitude in the chronic pain of migraines.

I would love to hear from you. Click on Comment, below, or email me at carold.marsh@gmail.com

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PAINFUL POETRY
Original, if Awkward, Attempts to Find Humor in Pain

A Pain Haiku

Tearing shards of pain -
We'll just watch my head explode.
Pick up the pieces.

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