Some people just don’t yet understand the power of an emotional situation. Of course those of us that are spoonies and caregivers have a slightly better understanding simply due to the amount of trauma we’re exposed to. When you’re in the emergency room, admitted to the hospital, having all sorts of testing done, and visiting our doctors so often you’d think they’re our best friends. The definition of emotion according to Google’s definition means: a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others. Ok so now let’s discuss those 3 factors and how we can get to the best mental state possible as spoonies.
Let’s start with circumstances; one’s situation can make all the difference with chronic illness especially one’s with strong stigma such as migraine and cluster headache. Why you ask? These illnesses are completely invisible and hard to measure so many physicians especially in the emergency room will make migraine and cluster headache survivors leave or go without the proper medication because they see them as drug seekers. That’s a very common misconception as anyone with one of these two illnesses knows opiates and narcotics will likely only worsen the pain, what we need are options like triptans and DHE infusions when in the hospital. Another circumstance that can greatly impact one’s emotions is family views on the situation. They sometimes don’t believe or care all that much about the agony one is going through even though they’re your own blood! I often hear that a spoonies own parent’s don’t understand or don’t believe them that their level of pain is possible and think they’re exaggerating it brings me to tears hearing stories like this every day. And all due to people with no compassion for chronic illness whatsoever yet if they were in our situation they’d ask for our help.
Now let’s move on to mood, this has a large role to play in your emotions especially since people with headache disorders are proven to be more prone to depression and anxiety already. Any chronic illness brings these kinds of somber moods along with it, but when you’re already prone to something and other factors push you over the edge in your personal life it just makes it that much harder to focus on battling the illness. When you’re so sick it’s actually good to laugh so maybe watch a comedy or invite a friend over to joke around with as it’ll really lift your mood. Keeping a good mood as often as possible is crucial as your mood and emotions will have an effect on your energy and a bad mood can cause a lot of extra fatigue. And that means a lot more lying around which is just what you don’t need in such a situation.
Lastly we will talk about relationships with others, which I already touched upon with the family not understanding example. Maintaining relationships is quite difficult and you can expect to lose anyone who isn’t a true friend if you’re chronically ill, they aren’t your true friends anyway. One thing that I must mention is family and how important it’s to keep them aware of your situation, talk to them, ask them to visit you in the hospital, these people are the closest to you that’s what they’re there for. Keeping your good group of friends around will be a challenge, but one that’s worth fighting for. Your friends will keep you sane throughout your illness with texts, visits, and moral support they will be your support team when family isn’t available.
So it’s clear that emotions play a key role in chronic illness and how you feel each and every day. So why not do yourself a favor and reconnect with some friends or family if you have a chronic illness. How it feels may just surprise you and be quite an enjoyable experience. Anyway I hope you all have a pain free and enjoyable healthy holiday season! Have a great New Year and stay safe if you go out partying!