“Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be good.”
I am slowly learning that life is not all good or all bad. It is a messy mix of both joy and pain mingled together.
I had my first migraine attack at age 18 during my freshman year of college at Mercer University. Just over a decade later, this monster disease turned chronic. I have had migraine pain at some level every day since 2009. Treatments from from Botox to inpatient hospital stays have not done the trick. These days, I wear ice packs nearly 24-hours a day to get any comfort at all.
After years of unrelenting pain, I had to end my promising career as a trial attorney due to the disability of migraine. Migraine - the barrage of nausea, sensitivity to light, sound and smell, brain fog, fatigue, anxiety, along with throbbing head pain. In late 2019, I was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease that is attacking my eyesight. This has brought a new set of scary health challenges.
For years, chronic illness left me feeling insecure and vulnerable. But I am learning that it is also a strength. Through it, I have gained skills and abilities I would not otherwise have. It has taught me perseverance and shown me how to ask for help. It has drawn me closer to God, taught me to depend on Him and given me a deeper understanding of myself. It has proven that life does not have to be perfect to be good. I have started to embrace my illnesses as a part of me and to accept all of me, both my weaknesses and my strengths. I am thankful for God’s love that sustains me each day. I am thankful for my dear husband of 10 years, who walks through this with me, cooks and keeps me laughing.
I recently started advocating with the US Pain Foundation and the Global Healthy Living Foundation. I share my story and educate to increase research funding for better treatments with the hope that we all will improve — and that I will be able to return to work as an attorney one day. I am also active with Bible Study Fellowship; I enjoy studying Scripture and connecting with other women. I could not make it without the friends and family who support me! I love listening to audiobooks, write and have started gardening. Flowers make me smile! Incorporating gentle exercise, yoga and mindfulness into my daily routine also helps me.
The pain can be overwhelming. But I am trying to receive both the joys and sorrows of life and to live in its fullness. I am writing to share the grains of hope I have found on this journey.
Get our latest articles and prayers in your inbox!