By Wanda –
“Peace begins with a smile.” – Mother Teresa
Let’s be honest; in the midst of a migraine, our last thought is of peace. During our battles with insurance companies, arrogant doctors, uncaring family members, and a public who equates Migraine with a bad headache, peace doesn’t really enter our thoughts.
Maybe it should though. Maybe, just maybe, peace has a place in our migraine plan and in the treatment of Chronic Migraine. No, seriously. Think about it for a moment–if you can choose to be angry, you can choose to be happy. If you can choose to be frustrated or at wits’ end, you can choose to be at peace.
Peace is defined as the freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility. Let’s unpack that definition a bit more:
~ peace is freedom
~ peace is being removed from disturbance
~ peace brings quiet
~ peace brings tranquility
Peace, thus, is what we need most in our battle against Chronic Migraines. It cannot be just me who sees the perfect “go away, I have a migraine” space in the list above.
First, we do get to choose how we expend our energy. We are the only ones who can control and a responsible for our reactions to life’s stimuli. Do we allow it to make us BITTER or BETTER?
Do we hold in anger when our insurance company doesn’t want to cover the newest treatment plan without making sure we’ve tried other things? We can, but this is something we’ve all either experienced or heard about, so what is anger at the pharmaceutical company actually accomplishing? Is it hurrying up the process? Is it making our migraines better? Is it having any positive impact on our life at all?
What about arrogant doctors? When we get “all het up,” as my granddaddy would say, are we accomplishing anything? Are we showing a good example of a patient who has done their research? Are we able to respond from a clear and logical place? Can we remember the laundry list of medications and techniques we’ve tried?
And those seemingly uncaring family members–if we respond to them with rudeness or sarcasm, what right do we have to think they will respond with sympathy, much less empathy? Why would they want to learn more about this neurological disorder when they can walk away with a shrug, feeling righteous in their behavior because of ours?
Oh, the public–those who are well meaning and those who just don’t care–what is getting upset with their ignorance going to do? What is getting mad at the suggestions they offer going to accomplish? When they get rebuffed again and again, they are going to stop reaching out and then we loose the chance to educate them about what Migraine really is–not a word on an analgesic bottle, but a chronic and debilitating disease.
Peace tells us to take a deep breath, it encourages us to look within, it teaches us to approach things with a different attitude. Peace offers us lower blood pressure. Peace offers us more relaxed muscles. Peace gives us the ability to think clearly. BUT how do we get that peace? We achieve it by understanding our responses, but practicing self care, by saying “Hey, maybe I should take so-and-so to the doctor with me so they can hear things first hand.” Peace really does begin with a smile. You can’t speak in an angry voice when you are smiling.
P – patience in dealing with others AND ourselves
E – educating others about our disease
A – accepting what you cannot change (like prior auths!)
C – creating a partnership with our migraine team
E – elevating our own internal pressure
PEACE is something our world has very little of, and something we need to invest in cultivating in our own lives. PEACE is a cozy blanket we can surround ourselves with, buffeting the blows from the outside world. PEACE is something we can give to other Migraineurs through sharing knowledge and support.
Peace be with you, and in you, and about you…