Monday Mantra: Stay Strong, My Soldiers. 

After 10 or so years of fighting different headache disorders while also running into a variety of other health issues, I’ve been reassured by family, friends and strangers that I’m strong. People have said (thinking out loud it always seems) how they can’t imagine how I do it.
While recently I’ve only felt weak, it’s nice to hear others see something different. 
Sometimes, I don’t know how I do it either, though. But I do, because I have no other option. There is no giving up. There is no throwing of the white flag.
So stand tall in your invisible cape. Stay strong. Keep fighting. People never will truly understand how you handle it all, but that’s because they don’t know how strong you really are. 
  

Chronically Grateful Day 17: What Major Lesson Have You Learned From Living With a Chronic Condition?

 
After close to 10 years of dealing with my chronic and exertion headaches, I have learned that I truly can do anything but not everything. I’ve pushed through terrible headaches during fastpitch tournaments in the blazing heat 🔥, hiking miles up and down a mountain🏔, working a full time job💻, and smiling when it seemed impossible. After all that, I know I can do anything.

However, after having to quit playing the game I loved, skipping the group hiking trips, calling in sick to work sometimes, and often missing out on some of the adventures and activities my friends have planned, I know that I can’t do everything. I’ve learned to prioritize my health so that I don’t push myself when I know it would only lead me to feel even worse. I’ve learned that my headaches come during times I find inconvenient and disappointing, but I know that when its all said and done, I need to look after my health before all else ☝🏼️. It was a lesson learned after much stubbornness and denial, but it’s one my body thanks me for now. 

Chronically Grateful Day 17: What Major Lesson Have You Learned From Living With a Chronic Condition?

 
After close to 10 years of dealing with my chronic and exertion headaches, I have learned that I truly can do anything but not everything. I’ve pushed through terrible headaches during fastpitch tournaments in the blazing heat 🔥, hiking miles up and down a mountain🏔, working a full time job💻, and smiling when it seemed impossible. After all that, I know I can do anything.

However, after having to quit playing the game I loved, skipping the group hiking trips, calling in sick to work sometimes, and often missing out on some of the adventures and activities my friends have planned, I know that I can’t do everything. I’ve learned to prioritize my health so that I don’t push myself when I know it would only lead me to feel even worse. I’ve learned that my headaches come during times I find inconvenient and disappointing, but I know that when its all said and done, I need to look after my health before all else ☝🏼️. It was a lesson learned after much stubbornness and denial, but it’s one my body thanks me for now. 

Chronically Grateful Day 16: How Do You Turn To a Positive Place When You’re Having a Bad Day?

All too often we can find ourselves in bad places. Throughout my journey I’ve seen numerous days of endless head pain, emotional distress and mental worry. It’s hard to get yourself to turn your frown upside down 🙃 when you are in these kinds of moods. However, I try to remind myself that while a good cry every once in a while is warranted and good for the soul, no good will come from sitting around sulking all day long. ☝🏼️ I find reaching out to a few good friends to make me laugh always gets me smiling. I like watching my go to comedies (aka Friends and The Office) because those are guaranteed to lighten my mood and make me laugh no matter how many times I’ve seen the same episodes. Also, I’ve found ice cream and pizza work wonders. 😊🍕🍦

Chronically Grateful Day 12: What Is A Fear You’ve Conquered Despite Your Chronic Condition?


Having to always cancel plans, be left out of activities, know that you can’t do some of the things most people can, and always having to explain yourself, it’s easy to become worried about what others think of you. I wonder what they think when I try to explain why I can’t go on the hiking trip with everyone (for example) because my head will start hurting just five minutes in and the rest of the time will be like a living migraine filled nightmare for me. I used to fear people would think I was just making excuses or something. I’d fear that they would judge me for what I couldn’t do, and not for what I can do: which is fight a debilitating battle against head pain. There have been multiple instances where people don’t understand the severity of it and will say something like “oh come on! Don’t be a baby!” In which case I try my best not to get upset and defensive, knowing some people wouldn’t last an hour with a migraine while hiking 7 miles up and down a mountain (and from experience I know it feels like you would rather pluck your head off than continue hiking)

I’ve gotten over that fear though, because I know I don’t need to explain myself to everyone. The people who are close to me understand and don’t need an explanation anymore. The people who are close to us won’t demand an explanation. I also know that everyone has their own battles. Why should I judge them when I don’t know what they’re possibly going through? The saying “you can’t really understand a persons experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes” couldn’t be more true.

If you get over the fear of what people think of you, you will do so much more in your life and feel so much more comfortable and confident 🙌🏼✌🏼️

Invisible Illness Awareness Week: Courage

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As it’s Invisible Illness Awareness Week, I wanted to give a shout out to everyone out there battling an invisible illness, disorder or pain. Other’s can’t see the fight we fight day in a day out, so it makes it harder for them to understand just how difficult it can be sometimes. When we say we don’t feel well, there are often looks of concern, confusion or even disbelief because it doesn’t show on the outside. Well, if we could give you a sense of how it felt on the inside, we would–and we try to. It’s hard to explain to others how even though we look ok (and about the effort it takes to just look presentable some days) when we really do not feel anything close to ok.

But today, I want to encourage you to just keep trying. Don’t let people who don’t understand discourage you. Don’t let your battle beat you. Don’t let your invisible illness make you, yourself, invisible in this world.

Show the world your strength and courage by continuing to fight your fight.

For us, showing courage may not happen through loud words and actions. Instead, our courage is shown when we tell ourselves to keep trying, keep fighting and keep going when some days that’s extremely hard to do. Courage is going to bed feeling discouraged and in pain, but telling yourself “I will try again tomorrow. I will continue to fight tomorrow. I will hope for a better tomorrow.”