Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Choosing pain

Have people ever felt pain? Have they ever felt limited? Have people ever felt a struggle, like they want to do something, and they can't manage to, no matter how hard they try?

I can't understand. Everything I know suggests that everyone feels pain, that everyone struggles.

So why would I be told "You're only disabled because you want to be"?

Why would I be told, that I choose to have migraines? Because I have been told that. I've been told that if I just wanted to not have migraines, then I wouldn't, and that the only reason I have them is that I want to be disabled.

Why would the implications be "you want to have migraines"? As if the "services" for those of us who are disabled are worth spending so much of my time in pain. Spending nights unable to sleep with my head being split open, and my brain being compressed by a skull crushing in on itself. Spending days with my head spinning, unable to identify where I am, where my limbs are, how to move them enough to do tasks like pick up things, or open doors. Spending days unable to speak, my vision blurring, sound coming from all directions...

Why would someone suggest that it'd be my choice, to struggle to find ways to do what I can, because I can't find a place that I can be without my brain saying my body won't work. That my senses lie even more than they normally do, that my body won't listen, that everything, and nothing is too much, and that the confusion of existence is beyond my comprehension.

Have they had pain? Would they choose it? Would they choose a struggle? Would they choose to fight against feeling like they can't do anything?

Because that's what I do. And it's not because I choose to have migraines. It's because I choose to limit how much they limit me. I choose to say, I know I'm disabled, and I'm going to go out there, and do everything I can, even when that's fighting against my body. Even when that's struggling to find ways to exist.

Every day I go in public, I do it knowing I'm probably going to get a migraine. And yet, I can't stay hidden in my room. (and truthfully, even here hidden in my room there's a high chance of migraining too).

I build up skills, tools, adaptations. I take meds, carry more. I carry too many tools, and train my brain. But I choose what is right for me.


It's me choosing, that sometimes, its worth going through everything that a migraine entails, to go and spend time with friends. Sometimes, its worth the pain and suffering, the confusion, and all the aura entails, in order to have a chance to make a difference to others. Sometimes, its worth the migraine, to get out of a single small room, and face the world, getting to choose what I'm doing, how I'm doing it, until the fog rolls in, and my neurology overtakes my ability to choose what I want to do for something other than keeping myself out of situation of everything being too much.

Would they choose pain?

Because I'm the one who has that choice. And its not nearly what they think it is.

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