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Posted by Dave Emond ( on August 14, 2001 at 03:32:36:

In Reply to: Stress posted by Jay on August 14, 2001 at 00:46:34:

Stress: To subject to pressure or strain.
I think stress is a side effect of Cluster Headaches. It doesn't bring them on, and cannot be reduced to stop them.
It's a stupid tug-of-war we get stuck with, and neither side wants to give up at any cost. Stress is that blue ribbon tied to the rope over that muddy pool. On one side we have cluster headaches, on the other everything we are. Question is which side is stronger? The victims against the beasts, both pulling with all they have for domination with a force so powerful I often expect the rope to break. Our hands are blistered, we question whether or not to give in, we try to uphold ourselves to our supporters who desperately want us to win. Very often that is all that keeps us pulling. All of us at one time or another look at our supporters with the sweat running down our foreheads and gaze at them in hopes that they may see the pleading in ours eyes, asking if we can just give up. They won't allow it, neither will anyone else on the victims team. So we dig in tighter and hold on with all our might. The beasts need no support, their power is beyond comprehension. They like to tease the victim team, every now and then easing up just enough to give the victims a bit of hope, but just as you think you've got them, they laugh and drag you back. Everyone has had their turn as the front man, and felt their feet slowly slide into the muck and felt the misery of certain defeat as they sink farther into the murky pit. The blisters turn to blood as we hang on. Sometimes we are driven by shame, the mere thought of letting down those who love and support us. Other times self respect is enough to not let go, but the war never seems to end. For many it doesn't, the rest fear it never will and know it might not.
We wish the rope would break and send both sides flying away from each other, and that damned blue ribbon of stress would fall away and drift off in a gust of wind, never to be seen again.
But it's all a hope, a wish, a faith, a plea. This battle with the beasts causes this stress, there's no escaping it. It must be obivious at this point I feel like the guy with his foot in the water, fell for the deceit of the beasts when they loosened up for a day, then as I relaxed, they drug me kicking and wailing back into the fight. Stress? Yes. As a cause no, as a reaction yes. Can we reduce it and end the battle? No. Once you've had your hands around that rope, even if your lucky enough to have breaks to rest, the fear of thinking about getting back in itself creates stress.
I once heard a a lifetime member of the victims team who never gets a chance to take any breaks say he preferred it that way, as to those who come in and out. I thought he had lost his mind, but am starting to understand his meaning. The fewer who do understand the hidden logic, the better. I'm not letting go, even if I'm pulled under the muddy water and gasping for air, I know my team and supporters will pull me back out. The scary thing is getting to comfortable under there. Too easy to let others do all the fighting for me as I wallow. I'd apologize for this type of answer, but I think we've all been there more than once.
Stress: To subject to pressure or strain.

Probably way off base on what you were really asking Jay. I usually try my best to have something uplifting to say, but at this point, all I could muster was a small chance to vent. Soon I hope to sound more positive, and will. It's our only chance and I know that, but for the momment the stress is a factor of this battle.
Don't even know yet if I'll post this or not, probably should, since others may often feel the same, and I can at least say that if we hang on, we'll resurface and help others in this unwanted battle of stress caused by Cluster Headaches.

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