Do You Believe In Magic?

Multiple semi precious gemstones on board

Do you believe in magic? I never have. It’s hard to believe when you live with a chronic medical condition.

I went to a summer camp for 11 years when I was a kid and there was a magician who came to visit every summer. My first summer he made a playing card stick to the ceiling of our Rec Hall. It stayed there for all 11 summers. I bet its still there to this day. Every summer I would check to see if it was still there, and even when I’ve been back for reunions. Not because I’m in awe of his magic, but because I’m skeptically trying to figure out what the trick is that’s keeping it stuck up there or whose job it is to reapply it before each summer.

I’ve recently gotten to the point where I’m willing to try anything and everything under the sun to feel better. I’ve turned to alternative therapies in the past, but I admit I didn’t give them a fair chance. Lately I’ve been adding in a lot more supplemental yoga, physical therapy and meditation to my routine which I’m finding helpful to what I’m already doing. I’ve heard of crystals and their healing abilities before and I’ve been intrigued but also skeptical because after all, can a rock really possess the power to heal? Or is it just a scheme that celebrities buy into because they need something to make them feel connected to the Earth so they can claim that they’re “grounded”?

I was in Upstate New York recently for a friend’s birthday and while I was there we came across this really cute store that was selling crystals. The store owner was talking about what each of them do. They were really pretty and I thought I could use something like that in my life, but I just wasn’t sold on the legitimacy of it all. Plus, it seemed expensive for a rock. But after we left I couldn’t stop thinking about that store and its crystals, which is usually how I determine if something is worth buying. Unfortunately, we weren’t going back to that area for the rest of the weekend.

Then this past week I got an email from a yoga studio I went to once inviting me to an event they were having called “CRYSTAL JOURNEYING WORKSHOP + REIKI CIRCLE”. It felt like a sign. In the description they were going to teach you all about crystals, their meaning, how to tell the real ones from the fake, how to use, clean and store your crystals, they were giving away a free crystal gift and then there would be a reiki circle at the end. I wasn’t too sure about the reiki circle but I felt like I needed to be at this workshop in order to get all of my questions answered.

I asked my sister and a friend to go with me but neither could make it. I was nervous to go alone but decided to be brave and do this for myself. There were only 5 people that attended the workshop which allowed for each of us to get a lot of personal attention. I went in there really curious and with an open mind. I learned a lot. Everyone there was so kind and friendly. I felt comfortable opening up about why I was there and asking any questions I had.

We did a crystal meditation with the clear crystal that was gifted to us and during the meditation I could feel its energy. It may sound unbelievable to some but the crystal which is naturally cold turned extremely hot in my hand and I saw visions during my mediation that have some very personal meanings to me.

We ended the workshop with the woman who led it performing reiki on each of us. I was nervous about this part only because I had reiki done to me once and I didn’t feel anything. If you don’t know what reiki is its a type of massage but the person performing it never touches you, they use energy and go over each of your 7 chakras to open up any blockages. I had a mask over my eyes so I could never tell where she was except for the fact that I could tell when she was over my crown chakra, or my head, because it was tingling. It felt like intense pins and needles. And then when she was at my throat chakra I felt pressure in my throat and then the same thing happened with my chest, which is the heart chakra. I didn’t feel any other sensations anywhere else but I saw Chip, my dog who passed away 3 years ago. I’m aware it sounds crazy but I believe he was coming to say hello after she opened up my crown chakra.

I entered the workshop with a migraine and left feeling amazing. I did, however, wake up with a migraine again the next morning. I’m not saying I’m going to forego my medication and only do crystal meditation and reiki from now on but I think supplementing the Western medicine with the Eastern can’t hurt. Egyptians and lots of cultures have been using gems and stones for thousands of years so if its good enough for them, why not me?

I think everyone should do whatever makes them feel good because at the end of the day that’s what matters — getting to a place where you feel well, even if its just for a few minutes. I bought a few different crystals since — amethyst, fluorite and blue citrine are particularly good for what I need right now — and I set my intentions and have them around my room and plan to use them as I see fit. I currently have a lot of doctor appointments and don’t know if I can fit reiki into my schedule at the moment but the yoga studio did say they plan to have reiki circle events coming up so I will definitely plan to attend those.

These are all words I never thought would be coming out of my mouth but I guess a skeptic with a chronic migraine condition can believe in magic after all.

There’s no Guilt in Migraine

This past weekend I was unable to do more than half the things I planned on doing. I had to rearrange my schedule based on the migraines I ended up having. But when I look back on my weekend, I’ll tell everyone that it was a great. Because you know what? All things considered, it was.

I don’t really see the point in harping on the negative and rehashing all of the bad things that have happened in the past. I think one of the reasons there is a link between depression and headache is because of all the guilt and after-effects that come as a result of the condition. To be diagnosed with chronic daily migraines you must have 15 or more migraines a month. The number is baffling. Most of the time I can’t tell if it’s one big migraine or several reoccurring migraines. And really, does it matter?

Reliving it all is just wasting precious time and energy you could be using to do something more positive.  If I am able to focus on the things I was able to get done and the plans I was able to make, they all add up to a pretty great time.

In the past two weeks I had to cancel plans multiple times. Every time feels like another dagger to the heart of my friendship. I can just feel the other person rolling their eyes, like yeah sure you have another headache.

It’s the same feeling I get when I have to call out sick from work. I don’t know if my boss ever really believes that I have a migraine, or if he just thinks I’m playing hooky. Believe me, I would much rather use up my personal days playing hooky. Instead, I am holed up in my room, making it as dark and as quiet as humanly possible, feeling as if a ton of bricks is piled on top of my head, and trying with every ounce of my being to get just a couple of minutes of rest.

I feel so guilty for the plans that I miss out on and the days I have to spend feeling sorry for myself in dark and quiet spaces, that anything a family member, friend, or co-worker has thought about me is probably not even close to what I have already thought myself. But the more time you spend worrying and stressing about all the time missed the worse your migraines will get and the more strained your relationships will be.

I am a true believer in positive thinking, I have my mom to thank for that. I think she sprinkled positive thoughts into our Wheaties when we were little. So no matter how bad the migraines get, tomorrow is another day. You can always reschedule. And if your friend isn’t buying it then they probably weren’t that great of a friend to begin with. 🙂