Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Beast of Burden

"I'll never be your beast of burden
I'll never be your beast of burden
Never, never, never, never, never, never, never be

I'll never be your beast of burden
I've walked for miles, my feet are hurting
All I want is you to make love to me"
Beast of Burden, the one and only Rolling Stones

Beast  of burden--the kind of animal that you use to carry a heavy load for you, like a mule. A work animal. It occurred to me today in thinking about everything I do and how badly I am hurting while I am doing it, from cleaning to cooking to grocery shopping to attending my daughter's softball games and everything in between, that I have made myself the beast of burden for my family and for myself. I never say no, no matter how bad my head is throbbing, no matter how times I secretly run off to the bathroom to vomit, no matter that I may be seeing auras or feeling unsteady on my feet, I let my family and myself keep piling the burden on. Why do I do this? Because I feel obligated to give my family the best of me, even at my own expense. Because I love them and I feel guilty when I let them down. Because I don't want to put any burden on them.

And, it's not just me. I talk to my migraineur friends and they all do it. They all take on too much in order to appease family or friends or bosses. They all have made themselves the beasts of burden in their own lives. We migraineur's call it, "powering-through." And we say it with a kind of smirk of achievement, we "power-through" our pain and make everyone happy--we save the day-we are superheroes! Not exactly. This practice of "powering-through" just makes us sick. You can only pretend like you're not in pain for so long until you hit a wall and end up, most likely, in the hospital. Even Iron-Man has to recharge his batteries. So, take a page from Superhero 101 and get someone else  to do your bidding, ask your sidekick.

Seriously, in the words of Jagger "never, never," Well, you get the picture: Ask for help. If your head is killing you and you cannot make it to the game, send your husband or ask your kid's friend's parents to drive this time, you can drive their kid another time. No energy for the grocery store?--cereal for dinner! It won't kill your family to eat Cheerios at night, trust me. Head feels like it's in a vice and you don't know what to cook for dinner--there's this wonderful invention called take-out! Call them! Don't burden yourself with every little thing. Be a real hero and no when to say no, know when to ask for help, know when it's time to take care of you.

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