I'm one of those cliches: I'm not an especially religious person, but I do find spiritual techniques, practices and beliefs helpful in coping with the difficulties of living with Chronic Migraine.
While I am a Christian (at least I think I am) I'm not a fan of what I consider trite, off-putting messages shared by too many Christians to help others cope with difficult situations. Things like, "God never gives you more than you can handle" and "Everything happens for a reason." I find these messages not only overly simplistic, but patently useless in the day-to-day coping process.
So despite the reality that not all Christians are tied to these messages and that there are some good Christian-based resources for coping with difficult situations, I've needed to look for other options.
I've found much guidance, hope and practical help in Buddhist teachings.
In particular, teachers like Pema Chodron and Shinzen Young have offered some much needed practical tools upon which I heavily rely in transforming my difficult, painful reality into something other than constant suffering. Just to be clear: I still deal with debilitating pain, nausea, fatigue, etc. But I don't always feel as though I'm suffering despite living with all of this.
For your reference, here are some of my favorite resources:
- How to be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill & their Caregivers by Toni Bernhard
- Break Through Pain: A Step-by-Step Mindfulness Meditation Program for Transforming Chronic and Acute Pain by Shinzen Young
- Mindfulness Meditation for Pain Relief: Guided Practices for Reclaiming Your Body and Your Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn
- Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion by Pema Chodron
- Don't Bite the Hook: Finding Freedom from Anger, Resentment, and Other Destructive Emotions by Pema Chodron
- Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness by Jon Kabat-Zinn
Content by Diana E. Lee.
DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this site constitutes medical or legal advice. I am a patient who is engaged and educated and enjoys sharing my experiences and news about migraines, pain and depression. Please consult your own health care providers for advice on your unique situation.