Coping, Diet

A Mindfulness Intensive

I’m on day 11 of a cold that has my brain fog and fatigue at levels equal to my very worst migraine days. The other symptoms aren’t too bad, but I can’t think and I can barely move. The longer it goes on the more tempted I am to freak out —

What’s going on? Is this my new normal? Will this ever go away? Are these migraine symptoms resurfacing? Is the DAO not working as well as it did? Was what I thought was a minor cold the start of chronic fatigue syndrome? Could I have fibromyalgia?

Letting these worries spiral out of control isn’t improving my physical symptoms and it certainly isn’t calming my anxieties. I’m working hard to stay mindful and in the moment. All I know is what I feel right now. I don’t know how I’ll feel next week, tomorrow or even an hour from now.

When the fears take hold, I close my eyes, take a few deep breaths and ask myself what I know: I have fatigue and brain fog right now and for the past 10 days. I have a cold. My head pain and nausea are minimal. I feel better today than I did a few days ago. That’s what I know, everything else is just speculation.

Speculation cannot help me know the future. It cannot, in fact, help me know anything. Rumination is a powerful habit that masquerades as useful and helpful. Instead of being fooled by that deception and getting bogged down by thoughts, I’m practicing being right here, right now. It’s tough. It’s also a tiny bit liberating.

( I hope this unedited missive makes sense. I’ve used all my mental ability to draft this and don’t want to wait to publish it.)

5 thoughts on “A Mindfulness Intensive”

  1. Thanks for the support. I totally agree that migraine is easier to deal with because I know what to expect, although a migraine feels way worse than a cold. If I could choose only one…


  2. Oh Kerrie, I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been so sick, on top of chronic migraine. It seems like too much, just unfair. Wishing you a speedy recovery and for brain fog to take a hike! Have you read the book Loving What Is by the author Byron Katie?My therapist recommended it, and it is outstanding! It really resonated with me. The book enlarges the topic of the suffering we go through, Gwhen we think our lives should be different than they actually are. There is a chapter where she addresses chronically ill folks. Gordon, my Christian pastor therapist with a Buddhist trained mine had me read it. So good! I gave my copy away to my childhood friend Sarah, but if you’ll give me your mailing address, I’d like to get a copy to you. Just let me know – I would like to be of service to you. You have helped me so much!

  3. My son & I have been sick off/on the last 3 weeks & it’s so frustrating. Once the cold symptoms subsided, the chronic migraine pain intensified. Sometimes you just feel you cant catch a break?! Hoping that freeing your mind through your writing brings some relief & your fog lifts soon!!!

  4. Thank you so much for sharing!!!! I’m a chronic migraine sufferer. I had a cold too that I’m getting over. I also have chronic back pain since February from yoga that’s been bringing me down. I’ve been feeling the spiraling thing as well. I’m also trying mindfulness and meditation. I enjoy your blog and I hope you feel better soon!

  5. Oh no…. feel better. I smiled, in empathy, when I read this cause I too have a cold and am so not able to deal with it. It started with a really bad migraine a few days ago and then morphed into this bug. I was telling my mom on the phone last night that I can manage my migraines, but I can’t manage being sick. It sounds so silly doesn’t it? I think I would rather have a migraine (my normal, my known), than a cold (how much longer will is last? when will I get my energy back, etc).
    Hang in there!

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