An Insurmountable Task?

Written by Shoshana Lipson | March 8, 2019

A Mountain Where the Peak is Always Out of Reach

The realization that I’m not alone in my migraine journey has been a life-saver for me the past year! Helping give a reason for getting up each morning and keeping going day to day. As a diehard Brit who was introduced to the delights of a “real British cuppa” as a young child, I basically don’t come alive in the mornings until I’ve downed at least one cup of my trusty PG Tips. However, some mornings are much harder than others, and there are many days when just crawling out of bed seems like an insurmountable task, British cuppa or not!

I think one of the most challenging and often discouraging aspects of migraine disease is its unpredictability. The “migraine monster” seems to delight in springing itself upon us at random and often devastating times, wreaking havoc not only on our bodies, but also on our emotions. Day one of a major attack is when I curl up in bed in the dark and quiet, praying for relief and my meds to kick in. By day three I’m an emotional wreck, wondering if and when the pain and nausea will ever let up. And by the end of a week… well, by then there are so many meds in my system that it’s hard to think straight, and I have to accept that it will take time and lots of rest to recover. Meanwhile, the world has kept on turning, so that when I finally emerge it’s disorienting. It’s hard to get back in step, and an uphill battle trying to focus on the present rather than the next attack of the monster which could come at any time!

Migraine is such a complex neurological disease that presents itself in seemingly endless variations, but I’m sure many of you can relate to this. Knowing that keeping to a routine can potentially help and yet realizing that our lives are unpredictable. Grasping previously unknown threads of hope from all the new research and treatment options available or soon to be available, and yet feeling hopeless when yet another treatment fails. Purposely focusing our minds on the positive while being aware that the future is unknown, and migraine is likely to be an inescapable part of our lives for a very long time.

It often feels like scaling a mountain where the peak is somehow always out of reach – an insurmountable task. And yet, in the middle of that mountain, there are breathtaking views and glimpses of beauty. The discovery of incredible friendships that defy distance, age and culture. The realization that even in pain we have purpose and value and are able to touch others’ lives. Realizing that through it all we have deep inner strength, courage and an ability to persevere despite the odds.

For an indomitable spirit, the insurmountable is faced every day! We do not give up, we refuse to quit, we purposely hold onto hope. We are migraine warriors!

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