Posted by: Jennifer | February 17, 2010

Preempting a Pity Party

Over three weeks ago I started a caffeine-free trial with the hopeful outcome of controlling my migraines.  Let me just say, it hasn’t exactly been a walk in the park.  I’ve had so many headaches that keeping a headache diary has become a moot point and trying to string words together on a computer screen when I can’t bear to look at anything bright has become impossible.  But, thankfully I’ve now had three good days and feel sufficiently coherent to get this completed and posted!

If I didn’t have the book Heal Your Headache.  The 1.2.3 Solution  (David Buchholz, M.D.) as a reference I would have signed up for every brain scan my insurance would allow.  But, terrible headaches with weird side effects are apparently more common than I ever knew.  (The scariest being when I looked over at my husband one evening and he didn’t have a head…my first experience with aura, triggered, of all things, by a fresh-baked gluten-free French bread!)  Yet, according to my reading, I am not an anomaly; I am actually one of hundreds of thousands of people who experience migraine and all its awful related events. 

But, what does a person do who hates to be sick all the time?  How can you feel useful and have meaning when you are wrapped up in pain, scarcely able to open your eyes to the world around you?  It can get really depressing, especially for type-A-longing-to-accomplish-everything-on-my-list me!  I’ve had to get purposefully proactive about not wallowing in self-pity and the following is what has helped…

First, I’ve compiled a migraine list of all those people I know who suffer similarly.  Then, as I go about my reduced-activity day, I pray for them that they will be migraine-free, that they will find relief, that their triggers will become clear to them.  This helps me so much because it takes the focus off of my own situation and kills the pity party before it starts.  James 5:16 tells us that we are to “…pray one for another, that ye may be healed.”  It goes on to say that “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

There is so much in that verse:

  1.  It promises that if I pray for others, I will experience healing.  Now whether that’s healing from my own migraines or simply from my pity party, it still promises healing!
  2. It satisfies my need to feel accomplished.  My prayers ‘avail much’ – they are making things happen.  Lying on my bed, unable to physically do much, I can pray and therefore am accomplishing much!

So, if you are a migraine-sufferer, please contact me and I will add you to my “migraine sufferer’s prayer list.”  It’s already 10-ladies strong and that’s just from local friends…

The second thing I do is thank God for every little thing.  Now, when I first started doing this, I knew my thankfulness was contrived.  To put it simply, I felt like a fake.  I wasn’t really thankful for anything, I was just too angry about losing another day to a headache to be thankful.  But, reminding myself that everything that happens to me is filtered through God’s loving hand, helped tremendously.  Once I got a handle on that and confessed my anger, my thankfulness became genuine. 

Now, when I say I thank God, I mean I thank Him for everything.  I thank Him that I have access to ice since ice provides such relief.  I thank Him for hot showers, since hot-then-cold showers provide relief.  I thank Him for angelic children, who know the drill if mommy has to lie down with her ice pack. 

I Thess. 5:18 says, “In everything give thanks:  for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”  It is God’s will that we are thankful!  That’s as clear as can be:  we are to “Give Thanks!”  Why?  “For this is the will of God…”


Finally, I sing praise songs…out loud (and I’m sure when I’m at my worst it sounds pitiful).  Recently, I briefly heard a speaker on Moody Radio mention this, but I cannot remember any details other than this:  singing out loud when you are discouraged can be a balm.  And you know what?  There is something about hearing yourself sing a song of thanksgiving to God that encourages the soul. 

So that’s how I personally preempt a pity party.  To be honest, when I feel badly, all three of them do not come naturally, but I just start.  Starting is the hardest part, but once I start praying, thanking God, and praising Him, it becomes natural, and lifts my flagging spirit.  The best part?  Doing so refocuses my perspective and then I don’t have to worry about the outcome or the future.  I can simply rest in Him and have the confidence that His will can be fulfilled through my life, no matter how reduced my abilities often are!


  1. I needed to read this today. Thank you. I’m prone to wondering “why me” a lot of times.

    I hope you enjoy Pastor’s Wife when you receive it from Rel. Rel’s a gem!

  2. You may want to check your house for toxins. We had mold hiding in our walls. My daughter’s headaches are now gone! Fabric softeners and other fragrances are toxic as well.

  3. Good luck with fighting the migraines. I’ve suffered for years, and the 1-2-3 book has changed my life.

    • So glad to hear of your migraine success! How long were you on the 1-2-3 diet before you found relief? Have you had to stay on the diet or have you been able to add some of the trigger foods back? Thanks so much,

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