I’m probably going to ramble. I have a migraine. You’ve been warned.
I still struggle with the idea that the migraines are somehow my fault. If I ate better, exercised more, handled stress better, or was just somehow a better person, I wouldn’t have migraines and would still be working. And that would also make me a more valuable person because somehow having an M.D. but selling yarn is just not right. (FYI, the rational part of my brain understands that these thoughts are not correct, but they’re hard to overcome when I have a migraine because my head hurts and all the neurons are firing in the wrong order or something and I go a little crazy. Yesterday, I was totally loving my life in yarn – and I’m pretty sure I will again as soon as this migraine lets up.)
I also have trouble with the idea that I’m a picky eater. Somehow, that is also my fault. If I could just get over myself, I’d be able to eat all those gorgeous fruits and veggies – never mind the fact that when they actually hit my tongue, I gag and have been known to vomit. This feeling gets worse when I have a migraine, but I’m rather insecure about the picky eating thing all the time. (You’re surprised that I’m a functioning adult? Don’t worry, so am I!)
I’m reading a book right now called Suffering Succotash which is about picky eaters. It has been wonderful in helping me understand that most of my pickiness is likely genetic. There may be a few things I can do to expand my palate (which I’m willing to try), but my pickiness is not a moral failing.
I totally realize that believing my pickiness is my fault is not terribly rational. Somewhere in my perfectionism, I came to believe that anything imperfect about myself must necessarily be my fault – acne, body shape, food preferences, lack of athletic ability, inability to paint my nails neatly, etc. On a spiritual level, though, (you knew I’d go there, didn’t you?) it’s more than just perfectionism. If I can’t accept less than perfection, I’m turning my nose up at who God made me to be.
We live in a fallen world and we’re fallen creatures. Only God is perfect. When I require myself to be perfect, I’m trying to be God. And that doesn’t work out very well. In fact, there are days when I’m not doing such a great job of being me.
What am I learning about myself?
- Not to trust my emotions when I have migraines because the migraines themselves mess up my brain chemicals.
- It’s OK to cry, especially during a migraine, because of the aforementioned brain chemical mess.
- Migraines are still not my fault.
- Being a picky eater isn’t my fault.
- I can go a week or longer without sugar without dying. (Yes, I have proven this recently. And I even ate more fruits and veggies to make up for it. Not more variety, mind you, just more of the ones I already like.)
- I can live without chocolate. And when I do get to have chocolate again, I want the good stuff.
- I’m a recovering perfectionist. I must be getting better, though, because there’s a load of unfolded laundry in the dining room that hasn’t been calling to me.
There’s another bit of my life I’m learning about. I guess I should thank God for the migraines since it’s given me such great opportunities for introspection!
In the meantime, though, please remember to pray for the Gulf Coast. I went to college in Baton Rouge and medical school in New Orleans and still have lots of family in that area. The damage from Isaac is not nearly as devastating as that from Katrina, but there will be lots of clean-up. You can always donate to the American Red Cross to help defray some of the relief costs. Also, Haiti had still not recovered from the earthquake when Isaac went through there. Food for the Poor is an excellent organization that is already working in that area and is accepting donations to provide clean water and food. Haiti’s relief efforts have been significantly hampered by a major cholera outbreak. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
What are you learning these days? How did you fare through Isaac? How can I pray for you or your family?