Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Relieving Headache


I woke up with a headache today. 5:00 AM. It's caused me to take the day to relax, putter, rest, putter, rest. The really odd thing about it is I know where it came from, and I'm relieved to have it.

...and you're saying to yourself: "What's this Turtle Guy talking about??? Relieved to HAVE a headache???"

True, most of us, most of the time are working hard to alleviate headaches of all kinds. We fuss, we shut down, we pump ourselves full of drugs to kill the pain. For me, today, the pain is a welcome sign. All my life I've been the kind of person to "go-go-go". Straight out of high school I had 5 jobs. I worked 7 days a week, day and night. My mom thought I was insane. Maybe I was - maybe just 18-year-old-tough.

That arrangement lasted about 5 months, after which I crashed. Hard.

At the end of this 5-month marathon, my body finally said, "I'm taking over. You're now going to have the biggest, meanest headache you've ever had, and I'm going to shut us down! You, me, us... we're shutting down."

This struck me as really odd, because at 18 I had never experienced this. I went super hard, sometimes stressed out, sometimes not, but my emotions were definitely involved. I was working SO hard and at the end of the day I was a wreck. AFTER I slowed down, relaxed and started setting a "reasonable" pace, my body THEN decides to present me with its headache plan. Not WHILE I was unwinding, but AFTER all the stress was diminished. I didn't get it.

How does this relate to today's headache? For several weeks I've been pushing myself - not with 5 jobs or an overwhelming number of commitments. I've been soul searching. Not in the light, airy-fairy way people talk about soul searching as a "feel-good" emotion thing: "Yah, really done some soul searching today..." (meaning "Yup. I laboured over a decision. We're going to paint the bathroom pink. This will satisfy my soul each and every time I go potty. Boy, will I feel great!")

More to the point, I have spent the last number of weeks seriously analyzing myself, my behaviours, my beliefs and my relationships. To the point of physical pain. Dull, aching, physical pain. I don't know how else to describe it. My soul and body are definitely connected. When I provoke my soul, my body hurts. When I decide to face what's "painful" to face, acknowledge and deal with it - it hurts!

Where did today's headache come from, and why am I so happy to feel it? I made a connection yesterday that brought to an end an immense amount of anxiety, wonder and fear. I discovered today that I was carrying all this around with me - some of it I was unaware of. Today it came. My body said "We're shutting down. You've dealt with it, we're going to rest. Here's a little pain to remind you to rest."

Thank you, mind, body, soul and spirit.

4 comments:

Chrystal said...

It's amazing how our body, mind and soul are all connected. You cannot have something happen to one part of you without effecting the other.

I get migranes when I do too much or I'm not getting enough sleep....and I know the only real cure is rest (with some Advil on the side)

My doctor even believes in treating not just the body but the mind and soul as well. You cant have an illness without it effecting how you are feeling and what you are thinking any more then when you have a huge emotional issue in your life and it not effect your body or what you are thinking. Therefore, when I go to see him about a physical issue he always takes the time to see how my life is going in other areas: work, personal, social and asks what my mood has been like lately.

ipodmomma said...

it takes a person open in spirit to recognize that there are blessings in all the things that come our way...

even headaches... :)))

thinking painless thoughts for you, and glad you open to all those blessings...

Patrick said...

The fact that you know how to "embrace" the pain and can identify its source or sources is a major accomplishment many people have yet to arrive at. For many years during my twenties, my life was out of whack and somewhat directionless which, for me, translated into massive stress and almost daily headaches. Since then, headaches have always been an indicator that something is amiss.

Thanks for sharing your story Turtleguy, I hope you feel better now!

Sarah Elaine said...

January was a month full of soul-searching (and epiphanies) for me, too.

I agree with you... body, mind, and soul... they're all connected.

It's a lesson I'm still learning.

Hope life in your world is more peaceful now.

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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
English student, Pottery enthusiast, Yoga novice and lover of all people. I make friends over a warm handshake and a beverage. I discover, every day, someone willing to help me along my path.