The Power of Story
The stories we tell ourselves about the events in our life profoundly shape how we see the world. Some times, many times perhaps, we we’re not even aware that there is a story, much less how it’s affecting us. I recently realized that I have a new story of migraine, and it’s one that I’ve never fully told.
I want to share that story with you, because if you’re here and are already on or are about to begin the Migraine Miracle plan, it should be your new migraine story, too. And embracing this new story is essential to your success.
It’s a story that, if you’ve had migraines for any length of time, will completely alter how you see the world (for the better!).
You see, every now and again I’ll get a question from someone who’s read the book that goes like: “I see there’s [insert ingredient] in one of your recipes, but I know that’s on the ‘trigger list’ for migraines. How could that be?”
I’d always found these comments a little puzzling. I’d addressed this sort of thing in the book, or so I thought. I’ve even written posts since the book came out trying to clarify this issue even further.
Recently, though, it occurred to me that the reason why this message wasn’t always getting through was because the people asking this question were still telling themselves the old story of migraine, and I’d moved on to a new one.
And those questions about triggers? Those come from the old story. Once you understand the difference between the two stories, I think you too will clearly see why those questions don’t make sense in the new one.
Because they couldn’t be more different.
The OLD STORY of MIGRAINE (a.k.a the “classic” story): Food as the Enemy
I’ll start by telling the old story.
The old story is the typical story we tell of migraine, and the one that frames the conventional approach to migraine prevention.
It’s the story you’ll probably be told if you go see your doctor, including a headache specialist. It’s the story I carried around most of my life as a migraine sufferer, and it was the one I told my own patients for years.
The OLD STORY goes something like this:
You have migraines, they are your destiny. This means you have an over-reactive, “hyperexcitable” migraine brain, and a potential attack lurks around every corner.
Your brain is extra sensitive to the environment, especially when it comes to the foods you eat. And there’s a big long laundry list of foods that might possibly trigger a migraine.
If you can find some of those triggers, and then avoid them, then maybe you can keep some of those migraines from coming on.
Now, I’ve talked at length previously about how challenging this can be. In theory, this idea of finding and avoiding triggers isn’t a terrible idea.
The problem, though, is it’s really, really complicated. There are so many factors to consider, and so many things to figure out. Some things may be big triggers for you, some small. Some things seem to matter big time on some days, and not so much on others. And there are factors that bring on migraines that are outside of your control, and things you probably aren’t even aware of, that can also bring on the beast – how do you account for those?
We know the odds of success here are slim. Occasionally someone gets lucky, but that’s the exception that proves the rule. Most people just end up frustrated and discouraged.
When that happens, it’s time to move on to a drug. A pill you take every day to reduce the chances of a visit from the beast.
The drug might help a little bit, but you must put up with possible side effects. And we’re not really sure how it’ll affect your brain, or your migraines, over the long term.
The old story often concludes with you being stuck on a drug that may or may not be helpful, with side effects you don’t like, along with a lingering sense of unease about how it’s affecting you over time. Plus, now that you know you have this extra sensitive migraine brain ready to take you out at the slightest provocation, you now see the world around you as a minefield.
Food has become your enemy. And you don’t even know which ones!
That, in a nutshell, is the old story of migraines, summarized below:
Now, a small number of people are helped by the old story. Most are not.
In fact, many are made worse by it. This was what I learned in my first decade as a neurologist. When people come to your for help day in and day out, and your tools usually aren’t enough, it’s frustrating.
And those “isn’t such and such food a trigger” kind of questions that I hear from folks – those questions are part of this old story.
But, like I said, that story sucks. It doesn’t work. And it needs to die.
There’s a new story that should take its place. Because it doesn’t suck. And it does work.
The NEW STORY of MIGRAINE (a.k.a the “Migraine Miracle” story): Food as Medicine
If you’ve started down the Migraine Miracle road to freedom, then you have a new story of migraine.
In the new story of migraine, you are no longer trying to avoid things out in the world that bring on the beast. The world is no longer a minefield. And you no longer must walk on eggshells.
Instead, through the foods you eat and the life you lead, you are making fundamental changes to your physiology and metabolism. These changes give you tremendous protection against the beast. Protection that you never before thought possible.[RELATED: Click here to read about others now living their new story of migraine.]
As luck would have it, these changes also come with a host of other benefits – boundless energy, establishment and maintenance of ideal body composition, stable mood, and protection against modern diseases of civilization.
Food is your medicine. Food gives you your life back. Food is your friend.
In the old story, you’re looking for the foods that HARM you.
In the new story, you’re looking for the foods that HELP you.
(Those last two sentences are really important to understand.)
And there are a vast number of foods that help you. You’re lucky enough to live in the time of greatest abundance in human history, with more access to delicious, nutritious, and beast-killing food than your ancestors could’ve ever dreamed.
You also have access to a large and growing community of people around the world who are here to help you live this new story.
You are now free to live your life. No more walking on eggshells. No more wondering when the beast will strike next.
If you’ve been telling yourself the old story for years, you won’t be able to tell yourself a new one overnight. Adopting a new story takes practice.
The old story has worn deep grooves into your brain. For the new story to stick, it needs deep grooves, too. That requires a little time, patience, and persistence.
But the road to migraine freedom starts by adopting a new story of migraine. That story can change your life in ways you never thought possible.
You’ll be tempted to revert back to your old story, so keep this post somewhere you can visit it often. Print it out if you need to. However you do it, just keep reminding yourself of this new story.
Want to start living this new story? Here are some ways we can help:
- Join our Facebook Group. A free community of support from people living this new story. Get in there and share your new story of migraine.
- Get the diet guide on how to eat your way to migraine freedom.
- Primal Provisions. A weekly set of meal plans, shopping lists, and recipes, with all the foods that protect us from the beast.
- The Chatter. A weekly transcript of our group coaching sessions inside of Migrai-Neverland.
- Get Inspired. Click here to read about others now living this new story.
- The Ultimate Guide to Migraine Freedom.