I Found my Way out of the Migraine Black Hole. So can you.
I came to the world of health and wellness coaching because of my own health struggles with migraines. And for a very long time, these migraines ruled my world. For over a decade, I was out of commission at least a few days per week with migraine symptoms.
Migraine is a like a big black hole, that can suck you in and leave you feeling lost, hopeless, alone, and scared.
As hard as it was, I kept fighting back. Slowly but surely, through so many lifestyle changes and a million tiny decisions each and every day, I began to get a hold on my migraines. This all culminated in the summer of 2017, when I went three months without having a severe migraine attack – something I hadn't experienced in too many years to count. I was happy, felt more alive than I had in a long time, and was excited to be embarking on a new business venture where I could help other people to become the happiest, healthiest, most vibrant versions of themselves too. It was at that time I founded Cultivate Balance Health and Wellness Coaching.
It came as a pretty big surprise, then, when starting in November of 2017, I began to wake up with headaches every day. It seemed like a fluke at first, because I’d gotten a hold on my migraines, hadn’t I? But I continued to awake in pain daily. The migraine pain was accompanied with brain fog so bad I couldn’t think or speak clearly and such severe fatigue that I could barely leave the couch.
Living like this week after week (and soon month after month) quickly broke me down. I felt like I had hit rock bottom. I’d been pulled back into the migraine black hole, and it was worse than it had ever been. These were the hardest months of my entire life.
I let all of the bad thoughts in – that I would never get better, that I would be in pain the rest of my life, and that I would never be able to do anything productive or fun or worthwhile again. I was scared and heartbroken that this could be my new normal. It was a pretty dark place to be in.
Finding a way out of the dark
But as with all rock bottoms, there is always a way onwards and upwards. I’ll save the details for now, but with the help of my family, I began to remember that even if things were unbelievably hard, I was still ok. I was surviving. And I began to realize that even in your lowest points, you still have a choice:
You can either choose to succumb to it all, or you can choose to live a joyful life despite the challenges.
And so I came upon my new mantra: Choose joy.
Yes, I might be in pain every day and it might be really, really hard to get out of bed each morning. But would I let that ruin everything for me and crush my zest for life? No.
I found a quiet, peaceful comfort in that mantra. Every time I started to feel overwhelmed and hopeless, I would repeat my mantra to myself. When I did, I could physically feel myself exhale in relief, knowing that despite all odds I could still Choose Joy.
I decided then that I was going to continue to live a good, fulfilling life, despite this giant challenge of migraine that I was facing.
And so, things got better from then on out. It was a simple shift that catalyzed my healing, but it was a profound one. I still felt the pain and fatigue and fog every day, but I also felt hope again when I remembered the power of being able to choose, despite it all.
With that shift in my perspective, I started to take action and make little changes each day. I started to think about things in terms of steps forward – however big or small they could be that day (and let’s be honest, they were pretty small there for a while).
I got creative again by bringing art back into my life, which was something I could still do from the couch when my brain wasn’t working very well. It was something that fueled my joy and made me feel like I was doing something fulfilling. I put on my tennis shoes and walked every morning, even if it was just for a few minutes, bringing routine and physical activity back into my life. I honored my body, and also challenged it in gentle, respectful ways.
They were baby steps, but taking any step forward whatsoever felt so much better than taking none at all.
And as I continued to take action, even in very small ways, I continued to get stronger. I began to trust in myself, in my ability to handle whatever it was that came my way. I became empowered by the idea that while I might not be able to control all of my circumstances, I could choose to live with joy and hope and purpose and meaning.
And when I got my mind in the right place, very slowly my body started to follow.
Now, I’ve made it to the other side of my low point. I’ve crawled out of the black hole. I’m still not completely migraine-free (and some weeks are much better than others), but I am a lot closer. I’ve been able to return to many activities and pursuits that I had previously had to put aside. My steps are continually getting bigger, and I can finally look up and think about the big picture and what’s next for me. I’ve regained my zest for life and found a peaceful calmness in being able to tackle whatever tomorrow brings - migraine or no migraine.
Filling a gap
The absolute low points I’ve experienced on my migraine journey got me thinking a lot about how so many people focus on triggers and remedies and finding a cure. And while I am absolutely committed to continually searching for relief and working out this puzzle that is migraine, I’ve come to believe that there is something really missing from this picture.
Migraine-free life is clearly the goal for all of us, but what about what we do in the meantime, while we work out the solutions? What about the choices we have each and every day? Who supports migraine sufferers, in particular, to keep choosing joy and hope and fulfillment and to keep taking steps forward even when they are still getting migraines?
And that’s what made me realize it. I wanted – no, needed – to offer migraine-specific health and wellness coaching, to do just that. To support fellow migraine warriors in taking back control, and living their best life despite their migraines.
That’s why I launched Cultivate Balance Migraine Coaching – a program geared specifically towards people living with migraines who want to thrive in the face of this great challenge.
I couldn’t be more passionate about this work, and about helping those of us with migraines to live better. To become happier, healthier, and more balanced – starting right now.
You can Take back control.
You can find your way out of the darkness.
You can Thrive.
You Can Choose joy, too.
I know just how hard it is to keep putting one foot in front of the other when migraine keeps on knocking you down. But I also know that it is 100% possible to take steps one by one and to choose joy, hope, and fulfillment in the face of migraine. And to get stronger, see shifts, and experience positive change.
I want nothing more in this world than to support migraine sufferers in taking their lives back. So please reach out. Take my hand. Together, we will help you find your way out of the migraine black hole.
Sign up for a Free Consultation today, and take the first step. I can’t wait to meet you.