Letting go

One of the many things I do most days to keep my head above water is listen to a dharma talk, a talk given by a Buddhist teacher. As I listened to one given by Annie Nugent this morning, I realized how much energy I have been expending the last 3 and a half years trying to keep myself from falling apart at the seams. Of course, I have been aware of the constant fight, but the totality of the effort struck me this morning.

I fight the pull of giving up and losing hope that I will get better. I fight to remain positive though few of the interventions my doctors and I have tried have resulted in any relief. I am exhausted mentally, and I am so tired of trying to get better. I am tired of being isolated because I cannot leave the house more than once or twice a week. The activity, noise, light, and smells that accompany leaving the house frequently trigger a migraine attack. I realize that it is not the case that the migraine attacks have only had negative effects on my life. Being unable to function normally has given me the time to read so many books that will help me as a counselor, but I am fed up with trying to feel positive. I am sick of trying to muster up excitement when I have small improvements such as thirteen instead of fifteen migraines a month.

I fight to accept that I can do what the doctors recommend but it may or may not work. I fight to accept that I do not have control over the migraines and that they are not somehow my fault. This is not to say that I am giving up the hope that the migraines will go away. By accepting the migraines, I refer to not allowing the migraines to dictate who I am. In other words, I want to believe that I am more than a migraineur despite their persistent presence in my life. I try to have a positive view of myself despite my limitations and attempt to define goals that are attainable whether or not the frequency and intensity of the migraines decrease.

As I listened to Ms. Nugent, I started to see that fighting to accept has expended much energy. As I listened to her talk about letting go, I began to get some inkling of understanding that letting go and stopping the fight was what would help me accept the existence of the migraines. I think the fighting has prevented me from acceptance. I am still trying to wrap my head around this idea, but it feels true. I feel relieved somehow because I do not feel the need to fight anymore though I am still unclear how to let go.


Dr. Kevin Zanelotti on September 5, 2010 at 2:30 PM said...

You are the strongest person I know! Boggles my little mind....

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