Migraines or recovery time?
A quiet week. I needed to go slow after my stressful weekend. As I expected I had a migrainous episode after the group cello thing (which went ok, pretty much as I would have anticipated).
It is weird exploring being neurodiverse. I am thinking about doing more reading on it but am unsure where to begin, academic research or experiential books written by women with a late diagnosis of Asperger’s or autism? It is frustrating because I don’t even like the idea of thinking of it a diagnosis. I am not not ill or dealing with a disability, I am on a spectrum of people being neurologically wired in such a way that I can find certain aspects of life more difficult than the majority of the population, but then other things I find easier. A spectrum which is more than likely a lot wider than has been previously recognised, especially in women.
For years I have supressed and hidden how I can struggle and it is a big relief to be more open about my weaknesses/ sensitivities/ susceptibilities. I don’t know which word to use that doesn’t sound really negative.
I am trying to reframe my migrainous episodes. I call them migraines as a short hand for the episodes, but I don’t take any medication and the headaches aren’t excruciating. I used to get an aura but that has altered recently and instead I get a sudden onset of nausea plus or minus dizziness. It is always followed by extreme tightness in the head and a non negotiable need to shut down. I need to be somewhere quiet, not too bright, and stop working. I often read a familiar novel or watch a low key, not exciting Netflix series that I have already watched, although this last week I tried meditation, listening to meditation music, journalling about physical symptoms and really resting rather than just distracting myself.
I’m assuming that all this recent shift in self identity plus the work I’m doing in therapy, which involves me thinking intensely about stuff, then has to be balanced with a rest period. As I say I am trying to reframe this and think of it as a healing or recovery time. If it goes on for too long (over a day) then I can get incredibly frustrated and irritable, so I’m also trying to work on that! What I have to keep firmly in mind is that I usually return with a big surge of energy and a very positive mood. I’ve also had lots of knee and ankle discomfort (too much exercise?) so I thought it was good to rest myself physically too. With that in mind I also just spontaneously decided to try fasting. i do intermittent fasting anyway, so just extended it. I thought I’d just try drinking green tea. This is actually based on solid scientific theory, that fasting aids healing. (It was a standard treatment for rheumatoid arthritis for example, in the earlier part of the 20th century, before medications became available). I fasted for 36 hours overall and it was surprisingly easy and non stressful. I didn’t feel hungry till I started eating the next day. I then ate loads, a whole punnet of raspberries straight out of the fridge for example!
Anyway, despite headaches, multiple aches and pains, I feel generally positive about stuff, just a lot to think through.