Coping, Mental Health

The Benefits of Getting Out and About

Going out this morning was an excellent idea. My body was tired, but I made myself go anyway. I was never further than 10 minutes from my house, so I knew driving back would be possible even if I felt awful. I did a lot in the three hours, but the most important part is that I went.

My two months of migraines coincided with the arrival of fall — which is when Seattleites begin to hibernate for the long wet winter. Add to that baseball playoffs in October (when all I want to do is watch the games) and I have to wonder if I haven’t pushed myself enough.

It isn’t that I’m worried that I’m lazy or faking it, more that I’m giving in to each migraine attack too easily. There’s a fine line between when it is OK to keep going and when it’s time to stop. Sometimes I negotiate it well, other times not so much.

Fear is partly to blame. I don’t want the migraine to come, so I don’t provoke it. The sad truth is that it’s arrival is inevitable. Does going out make it come sooner? Does lying on the couch keep it at bay? Maybe, maybe not.

Today the benefits exceeded the risks. It was nice to see more than the square footage of our house. It could have been a blip in the middle of my bad spell. It could just as well be an indication that I’m being too cautious. In any case, the 31 books I bought (for a total of $50!) will carry me through whatever is ahead.

5 thoughts on “The Benefits of Getting Out and About”

  1. Thank you so much for this blog. I’m have chronic migraines. Have had them on and off for 32 years. I have struggled with all the same things (indecision, self confidence etc.,) that you describe in your blog. I thought I was losing my mind. (No bad pun intended.) Thank you sharing your feelings and experiences. I cannot tell you how much it has already helped.

  2. Thanks, Kerrie. You write about EXACTLY the things I go through. Chronic migraines/headaches are so tiresome to everyone (including me!) that I get really isolated and always question myself, my motives, my headaches. The “how hard should I push myself” always haunts me and I never seem to get better at answering that question.

    I’m also struggling with being told I should do X every day. Yet I have trouble doing much of anything consistently. Is it the depression that comes when the migraines are particularly bad? Do I let the depression get me down? Do I give in to it? Am I feeling sorry for myself? Or is it a normal byproduct of the migraine and normal reaction to so much pain? Am I being a wimp? Am I taking care of myself?

    As I struggle to answer these questions, I’m trying to “find the walls,” (my euphemism for solid reality). Instead, I feel like I’m punching through clouds.

    And I don’t feel very good about myself in the process.

  3. What’s your choice? You can either throw in the towel and sucumb, or you can do the best you can do. I’ll take the latter, any day of the week–and do my best not to let my family and friends see it.

  4. I hear ya too Kerrie. I woke up today with little or no pain – the second day in a row! I knew it would build over the day and it has, but much less than usual.

    It’s always such a fine line to walk, whether to use the burst of energy you feel or whether to lay low and hope it lasts longer. Your choice to stay close to home is such a good one.

    50 books for $31!!! I bet I know where you were – *check sidebar* 🙂

  5. It is such a fine line, choosing to be productive knowing it could make you worse, or choosing to rest to keep pain at bay. Sometimes it pays off to make yourself get out, as I found out yesterday. I got so much done and for some odd reason was feeling pretty good. However, more often than not, I regret the times that I pushed myself too hard. No wonder migraineurs have so much anxiety! We struggle day to day with these decisions and never know what the outcome may be. So frustrating! I feel ya.

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