The past week gave me much to think about as I spent time in several Migraine groups on Facebook. There was so very much going on, including:
- Wonderfully constructive conversations about diagnoses, treatments, and awareness.
- Great questions asked, then answered by community members who truly care about helping each other.
- The sharing of links to some truly splendid articles and blog posts.
Unfortunately, there was also a downside to some of the activity, including:
- A heart-wrenching post from a young man who has lived a long time with chronic Migraine, is losing hope, and is talking about giving up.
- Some genuinely nasty comments from people who disagreed with what someone else had said, but seemed unable to be civil about it.
These last two items frustrated me for two main reasons:
- Hope is our best tool for living with Migraine and other headache disorders. It gives us the strength we need when our treatments aren't working, and the burden of our disease/disorder seems especially heavy. We must cling to that hope and share it with others. There are some ground-breaking treatments in development for Migraine and Cluster Headaches. With help so close, this is not the time to lose hope or give up.
- I simply don't understand the nastiness. It hurts not only those on the receiving end, but those being nasty. When someone is needlessly nasty toward others, I can't help but think that they're deeply unhappy people.
It all comes down to balance and harmony...
We will always have both joy and sadness, pain and relief, hope and despair. That's a basic fact of live we can't change. What matters is how we deal with sadness, pain, and despair. And it matters a great deal how we treat other people along the way. Being nasty is a good way to end up isolated and alone.
We need to seek balance and harmony. If there are times when we're in pain or despair, we need to exercise caution in how we interact with others. If we're interacting in writing, such as participating in Facebook groups, we need to reread what we've written before posting. If it's unkind, edit it, or just don't post until we feel better. During such times, it's also perfectly fine to post, explaining how we're feeling, and get support from others.
I'm an administrator or moderator for several Facebook groups for people with Migraine and other Headache disorders, and it's difficult. Last week, at the same time that I was trying to reach out to someone in real trouble, I was also dealing with people who were being so nasty to other people that I wanted to reach right through my computer monitor and smack them.
To those of you who manage to stay kind and helpful when you're in pain yourself, bless you! To those of you who post nasty comments to others, please stop and think. You're hurting both others AND yourself. Please look for balance and harmony.
because a migraine is NOT "just a headache"
drawing on our inner Ninja to live a full life