I suffer from migraines. Not as badly as many people, I know. But they do cause a considerable amount of pain in my life, even, at times, paralyzingly so. I can control many of the factors in my life that negatively effect me and trigger migraines, such as changing the amount of caffeine I drink during the day. But some triggers are out of my control, and sometimes the triggers remain unknown and imperceptible. But among my triggers is the the weather—an uncontrollable force that influences how I get through my days. The wrong front comes through, the wrong pressure system, and I’m in pain. And I’m generally less pleasant when I am in pain.
I know. My brain is weird. I’m sorry.
Headache researchers still don’t have this figured out. It seems the migraineur’s brain has difficulty handling change. Like weather. I certainly am ignorant about so much of it. But I know the pain I feel. I know what helps alleviate the pain, and that sometimes I can’t alleviate the pain. Sometimes I need to rest. Sometimes it is sleep that causes the pain. Regardless, I’m not the happiest, kindest, most helpful person when I am in pain.
Suffering does not have to define us. But I let it. I am constantly letting it dictate how I behave toward others. Continual discomfort and pain is a part of many of our lives. Suffering of one kind or another may make us feel miserable, but it does not need to make us into miserable people. We can let it warp and gnarl us into something ugly, of course. Or we can let it be transfiguring: A wound that mysteriously draws us into the wounds of Christ. So that our beauty is a reflection of who we are and of the forces at work upon us to make us more who we are meant to be.
I am weak and can bear so little. But here I am.