***Disclaimer*** Lots of sad feelings but it ends happy
This is a very strange thing to see. I've had NDPH for five years. There is this question spoonies ask each other. It goes something like this "If you could go back in time to when your pain had just started, what advice would you give yourself?" Examples are : "I would tell myself not to go to Dr. XYZ or try this medicine." "I would tell myself that my condition was ___ and that if I started to accept that now, my journey will be so much smoother." "Avoid the _____ event that started everything."
My answer was this "what a question. Mine were inevitable. I don't know that past me benefits from knowing that 4 yrs from now it still won't be gone."
I think a lot about past Megan when our anniversary looms. I've been preparing for this post for a couple months. The five year mark loomed before me and I wasn't sure what to do with it. So I started to compile things. I journal a lot, specifically prayer journals. It's how my brain works. I have to get it out, all out. When it's out, it's almost like it wasn't there. Almost. So I went back through my journals and found my thoughts for each past anniversary and made pictures depicting each!
P.S. My headaches started April 5, 2011
5 months entry:
"Nothing but alive in your hands. Today was a bad day. My head hurts + neck + shoulders and it was an easy work day. I am so broken and in the depths. Is there a purpose? Are you trying to cultivate something in me? Trying to teach me something? I love you and I need you. Thank you for your mercies. Thank you that my head hurts less. Help me to stop crying and not get into a self-pity cycle. I love you. You are all I need. Not relief. Not to be retired. You. You are enough."
I don't know nothing about pain. I was just born yesterday
Oh bless five-months me. Little la-la-la lamb had no idea what's coming. This was the mental picture I got instantly. She thinks she is sad. She thinks she is in pain but it gets worse.
1st year entry:
4th year entry:
It passed me by. I never thought April 5th would pass me unaware. The sadness is so minimal. It’s not the all consuming despair it has been. I’m so grateful. I’m so glad to be freed from that pain. I really think finishing Elinor, saving her has saved me. Because if I couldn’t save an imaginary character what chance was there for me? In regards to my entry last year... I’m so glad that I don’t curse her as a fool for hope. It’s not better but it is. What will next year be like? Will I be better? Will my acceptance have transformed to pure joy? Will I have a baby? For the first time in forever the future feels like only Hope. Only good things. The pain is unaltered but I am altered.
Turning pain into butterflies
- I can hardly believe I wrote that but I remember writing every word and I remember exactly where I was. I was at Duke hospital for a dental appointment and I was on my phone. Suddenly I realized the date. It was April 11th and April 5th had passed me by. It was like a punch in the chest it was so surprising. I had just recently found peace and it had come into my life like a grenade blowing everything else away. My drawing is of me making origami butterflies out of the old calendar pages. Making something beautiful out of the pain.
5th year entry:
"Yesterday was my five year headache anniversary. It wasn't the saddest but maybe that was because I had been dreading it so long. Let this be the last one. Heal me!!! now. today. I trust you. It's hard to remember before. Last year's anniversary was so pure and hopeful. I almost don't recognize myself in it. I want to be what she hoped I'd be. Not sure I am. But it spurs me on. Next April 5th I will be celebrating healing. Lead me out of this wilderness and into the promised land. Let me see your miracles and wonders."
"I will repay you for the years the locust have eaten."
2 Corinthians 12:9
"My grace is sufficient for you. For my strength is made perfect in your weakness."
Waiting at the intersection of faith and hope like Anne Shirley.
"I know God is coming to take me to the promised land but if it's not today I think I'll just sleep in that wild cherry tree and wait again tomorrow."
See it ended happy. Sorry if that was too much honesty but it is what it is.
Happy 5 year headaches.