I have officially begun the process of tapering off my medications. This is a daunting and frightening process for me, not only because I’ve tried and failed in the past, but also because it portends enormous change. If I can successfully gain independence from medications without returning to a state of constant pain, my future looks vastly different from it did just months ago.
My life has been changing rapidly this year, and as exciting as the changes are (for the most part), any transition is hard. In February, I moved and was in a very scary car accident. I reevaluated my approach to life, and vowed to do less surviving and more thriving. In March, I started going to the Texas Migraine Clinic, and my migraines and headaches vanished, nearly overnight. I’m half-way through my first pain-free month, potentially ever, definitely in the last decade.
Living without pain is so different from what I’m used to. I’m accustomed to waking up in pain, slogging through the day just trying to minimize my triggers, until I can go to sleep, still in pain. There isn’t a lot to look forward to when living with chronic pain. It had become my Normal, though, and I had resigned myself to a lifetime of it.
Optimism is terrifying, because if I’m wrong, there is enormous potential to get hurt. I’ve been mistakenly optimistic so many times in my life that I’m starting to question the value in feeling hopeful. I’m one week into my tapering off process, which will be a two-month battle at least, and I’m dizzy and lethargic. It sucks. My headaches haven’t returned, though, so there is reason to hope.
It is hard to convey how little I trust myself. A month away from turning twenty-six, I had hoped to have more self-awareness and a better sense of what I wanted from my life. Stagnation and failure has forced me to push that goal back, but also, as I grow up I feel less confident in my perception of reality. I fear that I lie to myself more often than I acknowledge the truth. Denial is an ugly beast that lives deep in my heart, and as of yet, I haven’t found a way to evict it.
For now, I am ok. More than ok. Maybe next year at this time, I’ll be able to hold down a normal adult job, and maybe I won’t. Maybe I never will. Either way, life will continue.
“Everything will be ok in the end. If it’s not ok, it’s not the end.” ~Unknown