Philosophy
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On Pain, Normalcy and Being Grateful

I have been thinking about moments lately. Moments — when we simply are. There is that age-old debate about Descarte’s philosophy, “I think, therefore, I am.” Are we the sum of our thoughts?

It has been an interesting few weeks. I turn a year older in a few days, and in a span of give or take a week, I have learned more of the word pain than I would ever have wanted to. Four doctors’ offices and an ER visit later, a week and a half of sleepless nights with no answers and I was told the most likely explanation is trigeminal neuralgia, an often misdiagnosed and rare form of nerve disorder which many experts say is the most unbearably painful human condition.

This experience is teaching me to be grateful of normalcy. Work, however hectic, helps me thrive and learn more each day. I used to think the days when I do not have migraine headaches are the days that make for being — and this past week, they were those pain-free minutes.

I am still learning, and have always surrendered to being a work in progress. Moments, I find we choose how they turn out. Someone asked me the other day how I remain functioning and in a positive disposition amidst all these, and the truth is, there have been those few times I reacted in a way I did not like now that I think about them in retrospect. (1) There are a lot more people who are experiencing pain much worse than I am. (2) I thankfully have the means to do something about it — insurance, a job, emotional support of family and my boyfriend, and understanding coworkers. (3) An answer awaits, whether it’s tomorrow, or next month, eventually, they’re bound to give me an answer. (4) There are always lessons to be learned. (5) I am thankful for everything else in my life.

So where does this leave me? Oh yeah, Descartes. I think, therefore I am. I choose to not be overtaken by things like this, because, afterall, I am more than my migraines, or a nerve condition.

I am.

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