Monday's Musings: Life Lessons from Migraines

by Mary Denman   @MaryDenman
I had a great post planned for today. But it's too hard to think right now. 

Why? I'm in the throes of another migraine. It will end. Eventually. But in the mean time, it makes thinking hard. Especially if I want to stay on track with my thoughts! 

I've suffered them for quite a while now. Years, in fact. I am doing better overall. Yet, at this moment, this particular one has been going on for quite a few days. Twelve to be exact. But who's counting? 

I know I'm not alone. Millions suffer from migraines. It can just feel like I'm alone during ones that drag on for days. 

I'm thankful it's not a full blown 10-pain-level-go-to-the-ER-kind of migraine. 

I describe it like a pot of water on the stove. 

When the heat (pain) is at a 10 on the dial, the water is boiling fervently. Turn the water down to a 2-3 (pain level) and it simmers. But at any moment, the heat (pain) can be turned up and the water goes back to a fervent boil. 

Yep, that's what some of my migraines do. Thankfully, I can push through the low level of pain to an extent. I've learned to not overdo it. And I'm glad the past 12 days haven't been a full boil either! A few times it got close.

Yes, it does get old. I'm ready to be done. 

However, I've learned to sit more and take it easier when this happens. Which is what I've been doing this go round. 

Honestly, I'd give up ever having another migraine in my life. 

But until they end, God has taught me through them. 

Here are a few life lessons I've learned:

  • I am not alone, even when it feels like it. I have a few friends who also have migraines and understand what I'm going through. That helps a lot. Too, I'm in an online group about fibromyalgia (which I have) and lots of the ladies there have migraines as well. It's a good place for me to go when I grow weary. Which leads to the next lesson.
  • Compassion goes a long way! When someone says something as simple as, "I'm sorry you have a migraine," it goes a long way! It expresses care, even if the person can't do anything to change the migraine. 
  • I've had to slow down. I'm not in my 20's anymore...I've learned by being forced down from the migraines that rest and slowing down is a good thing. 
  • It makes me appreciate the good days! Suffering is never fun, but it has led me to enjoy the good days more! 
  • It's also made me ponder what's most important in life. Because I don't have endless energy, I've had to chose what things to do and what I need to give up. This has actually given me better focus as I realize that family comes first. Then, photography and writing. I can let myself off the hook for projects I'll never get to. That's actually been freeing! 

Les Bourgeois de Calais by Rodin
When I was in Paris a few years ago, I saw a statue in Musée Rodin. A man was holding his head in anguish. He and the other five men were surrendering to the enemy to save the town. While that may be the original intent of Rodin's sculpture, I thought it summed up migraine pain very well! 

Even with lots of pain over lots of years, I can say migraines have taught me lessons that I'm thankful to have learned! 

I hope the things I've discovered will help you through difficulties in your own life or will help you encourage those around you who suffer. 

What lessons have you learned during challenges and trials in your life?


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  1. Not much worse than a migraine, thankfully I don't suffer but from all I see they are very nasty #CreativeMondays

    1. I wouldn't wish them on anyone! Your farm looks delightful to visit!

      I hope you have a lovely day!

  2. That Rodin statue says it well. I am sorry u have these, I have the blasted things as well. And u r so rite about appreciating the better moments.

  3. Mary, as usual, you've given me some things to think about as I read your post. You have a way of touching my heart, sweet friend. What lessons have I learned in the middle of challenges? I could write a book about that! The thought that comes to my mind is the fact that I've never had sight. Does it get hard some days? Yes. Do I wonder why? Absolutely! But, I can't change it...only God can do that. And I've learned that if He never chooses to do that this side of heaven, I'm ok with it. I get frustrated at times. It drives me crazy to have to depend on others. But, you know something? If one person's life is touched or changed through my situation, then it's worth it. And by the way, I have migraines on occasion as well, so I know what you're going through there! Love you!

  4. It's really cool to be able to derive meaning from the annoyances and hurdles we face in life!
    Thanks for sharing your insights at

  5. I hear you! I suffer from migraines too. Sometimes they get so bad that I need to lay down and I can't do anything. My mother suffered from migraines too, for many, many years. But when she went through menopause they stopped. I am hoping the same thing will happen with me.