Writing As a Release from Migraine

  • The transcript of this podcast is below. If you prefer to listen to it, you can easily do so from the MigraineCast Web site.



    Hello and welcome to MigraineCast.


    One of the most difficult problems presented by Migraines and other headache disorders is finding ways to help us copy

    e with them. They're isolating and frustrating, along with many other descriptive terms we could come up with.. We come up with coping methods that vary widely.


    There's one activity that I often see Migraineurs engage in as a way to deal with their feelings -- writing. Writing can often be done even in the midst of a Migraine. It doesn't require much movement, and it can be distracting. Some people write just for themselves. Others write to share with others -- to share their feelings, offer encouragement, vent about life with Migraines, or to help people who don't have Migraines or other headache disorders understand what it's like to live with them. Migraine and headache sufferers are writing blogs, diaries, short stories, and poetry.

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    All of this is why, nine years ago, I started the annual Putting Our Heads Together Poetry Contest. The contest is open to those who have Migraines and headaches, as well as people who know and care about people who do. We call for entries in March and April, then announce the winners near the end of April, in time for National Poetry Month.


    Let me read a couple of last year's poems to you. This one is Perpetually Now, by MaxJerz...

    Perpetually now
    This Pain -
    It wipes out my past, my future
    All but the searing now.


    I close my eyes against the ruthless sun
    But that Beast inside my head
    He does not relent
    What is this Pain?


    It burns across my temple
    It sears behind my eyes
    Boring into my skull
    Throbbing as I stand up
    I bite my tongue as the bile rises in my throat
    (Not again)
    But never
    I never vomit
    Maybe if I did
    (Just once)
    The Migraine would quit.


    Every morning, before my first thought is formed
    It is there
    The Pain
    The Migraine
    That dreaded Beast
    Before thought
    Before consciousness, is the Beast, the Pain
    And I lay there, eyes closed
    What would it be like to wake up
    The ropes of this Pain?


    I'm bound to this perpetual now,
    This twilight of no past and no future
    Living hyper-aware of the present
    The Pain




    I store away
    In the dusty corner of my soul
    A small glimmer of hope for that day
    That I will be free of
    This dreaded Beast, and can
    Watch the sunset.

    Here's one I write, called Phantom Tango...

    the beat is faint, the dance slow
        so slow I’m not sure we’re dancing
    my partner is but a shadow
        waiting to become more than a phantom


    the disco ball that so blithely
        cast shards of light upon my eyes
    forecast my partner’s arrival
        yet I had dared hope he would not follow


    but the beat strengthens
        and the dance intensifies
    the steps we’ve danced before
        are too familiar and unmitigatedly unwelcome


    we turn and dip, this direction then that
        an intimate tango
    with each dip, my stomach rebels
        the dips so deep my head ricochets off the floor


    he shows no pity
        but dances the dance his sadistic way
    and when I am beyond spent, he departs
        without so much as a bow at the end


    Migraine is a merciless partner
        a relentless partner
    a murderess I would gladly become
        if only I could slay him

    This year's poetry contest is going on now. We'll be accepting entries until April 17 and announcing the winners on April 17. Even if you've never written a poem before, I hope you'll enter the contest. In previous years, we've had winning poems from people who were writing their very first poem. To enter, just go to www.mymigraineconnection.com. At the top of the page, you'll see a box with poetry contest links, including one for the rules and entry form.


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    Living with severe headaches and Migraine disease for over 40 years has brought me to the realization that learning about Migraine disease and headaches can allow us to work with our doctors as treatment partners to gain control over headaches and Migraines rather than them controlling us.


    Please join us at MyMigraineConnection for information and support, for a transcript of this podcast or to enter YOUR poem in our poetry contest. From MyMigraineConnection and the HealthCentral Network, this is Teri Robert reminding you that you can indeed live well, even with Migraine disease and headaches.


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    Last updated March 18, 2009.

Published On: March 18, 2009