More physical ailments to moan about this morning. Last night I had a severe and intense migraine attack. The “going blind” kind. I now wonder in retrospect if some of the off-feelings and nausea I had been experiencing were leading up to this. I’ve also been finding that eating any kind of processed food is causing my stomach to cramp up and me to feel rotten. I don’t know if the two are linked, but I feel like there are a whole load of minor things that are normally “fine”, but have combined together to make me feel pretty crappy at the moment.

I’ve just finished school, but the pressure isn’t off yet with lots of correcting to finish – well, I actually finished the correcting last night, just before the worst of the attack, and now I only need to enter in results. But it often happens that I get sick right at the start of a holiday, like my body realises the pressure is off and now it can allow through all the effects of the stress and lack of sleep I’d been exposing it to for so long. Listen up, body! Not yet! I’ve a marathon to run this morning, you know!

I’ve been drinking too much coffee recently – despite knowing it causes stomach upsets and reflux. I am speculating that this is the caffeinated straw that’s worsening everything else, and has probably been a migraine trigger too. Although, ironically both drinking coffee and stopping drinking coffee can be a migraine trigger for me.

I’ve been eating out, rich fatty foods, and eating junk foods when in. All in all, I think it’s been disagreeing with me. Especially a couple of cinema trips with way too much salt and sugar taken in. Put in combination with an existing intolerance for foods such as bread and dairy, and the too frequent drinking of coffee and I think it’s created a perfect storm of feeling yucky.

The hormones in the luteal stage of my menstrual cycle are often a trigger for migraine, and while it’s a bit early in it, I think that’s a contributing factor. I’m pretty sure I’ve an ovarian cyst this month too, so that may not be helping matters.

So, the things I was eating and drinking were causing the yucky feelings, lack of sleep, plenty of stress, and I decided to change what I was eating. That was probably the final trigger that led to the mother of all migraines. Coz more than anything, migraines hate change. Fasting, or stopping fasting. Drinking coffee, or stopping coffee. Eating sugar, or cutting it out. Not enough sleep. Too much sleep! Migraines live … I was going to say “in the extremes” but that’s not quite true. It’s more like they live in points of extreme acceleration, or changes of direction.

I’m having a cup of coffee this morning, and it’s helping with the bad caffeine withdrawal part of my morning headache. However, I’ll have none for a day or two after this, and basically try to wean back down to once or twice a week. That seems to give the maximum caffeine gain for minimum bad side effects.

As a side note, I’m laughing wryly to myself remembering Jason Vale’s book and his note that (paraphrasing): if you have to try to consciously regulate something, you have a problem.

Is caffeine yet another of those drugs that we unthinkingly imbibe? Possibly. I also think that it probably affects different people differently, and with my existing IBS-y digestive issues, I need to be careful. As I’ve previously said, I really really like coffee though – and not just for the drinking of it; the smell, the image, the ceremony – pretty much everything about it. Still, maybe I can get that internal kick out of tea instead!

So, today is finally the marathon day! I’m looking forward to the run, but I’m also looking forward to being on the other side of it. It’s been an underlying low-level stress in my life since about Christmas time. I really feel that once this day is over I will really be on holidays.

I’m feeling like everything’s been a little bit “do the next right step” for the last couple of months, and I’ve not liked the harried and stressed feeling of my life, so I’m looking forward to having a bit of space to breathe and find myself and do a few things that I like to do and that I choose to do.

But for now, I’ll just keep running up that hill.