Living with Migraines

A Candle in the Dark Christmas 

December 28, 2017

We are in the middle of one of my favorite times of the year—the Christmas season (Day three to be precise) and it would be hardly sporting to let it pass without a post.
That’s right—It’s a Candle in the Dark Christmas!
Now, first and foremost, my very favorite thing about Christmas is how it ceremonially marks the birth of Christ*. My blog is greatly informed by Christian teachings, and Jesus’ example has helped me cope and thrive despite my migraines. As the very beginning of Christ’s work on Earth, His Binary Sunset moment, Christmas is very special to me.

Now there is another reason that I like Christmas, It is associated with Elves, my favorite fairy tale creature. The classic Christmas Elf only came about in 19th century America, but the elves have a background far deeper than that, and variants such as the Tomte and Nisse have been part of Scandinavian Christmas traditions for centuries. 

This is Dain, my Swedish Christmas Elf I bought years ago at a Home Goods.

Elf folk stories feature beings that are both magical and independent. They are their own persons, and will help or hinder people as they please. That is not to say there are not rules they follow. They guard things, and they help people as long as those people follow unspoken stipulations that, if broken, will see a helpful elf gone.

There are also nature elves, who guard the natural features in which they live. A hill, a tree, a rose pedal, a stone—anything an elf wants to call home. They tend to not cause problems until a human messes with their home. Then it’s War.

This is still a major thing in Iceland

Should an elf be suitably upset by a human, or often because they just want to, the elf would do…things. They would play pranks, sabotage the person’s work, or inflict sickness on the person. Folk belief saw elves as responsible for many health problems, especially those of the nervous system. They inflict unsuspecting people with anxiety, insanity, depression, seizures, and migraines.

It is curious to note that a large amount of what we know about elves come from Old English medical texts.

Elves are therefore a help or a hinder, as they see fit. They are neither good or bad. They just are. This is largely how I view migraines. They just happen. Sometimes its my fault—I was stressed, ate the wrong food, I listened to music too loudly. Sometimes it is not, and my day is ruined for no reason besides capricious chemicals.

The actual causes for migraines are up for debate. There are as many theories as there are migraineers and researchers. I’m going to re-submit the elf theory, simply because the only way to prove that elves don’t exist is to have an elf show up and say so. And then where would you be?
Whether or not elves are real the outcome is the same. You are facing mischief in your life, and all you may do is observe the tiny little things that help you get through your day, which is all that you can do. 
Then you start to realize that your troubles have actually been helping you all along to mature, to organize yourself, and to strengthen you, to the point where you start to wonder what you would do if you didn’t have your little elf with you, for better or worse.

*I know all about Christmas’ pagan origins, that Jesus was born in spring (probably) and that this is contentious for some. I hold that celebrating something called ‘Christmas’ is to celebrate Christ. For those concerned all Elf information is taken from fairy tales from Christian eras, specifically Anglo-Saxon texts, Hans Christian Andersen, and Grimm’s Fairy Tales.

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