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Who am I, and why I started

Hello, my name is Raven, and I am the ClusterViking. In the cluster headache part of the site you can read more about why I call myself the ClusterViking. I’m a 37-year-old male, I’m currently living in Eindhoven, the Netherlands with my husband Arthur and our dog Rinus.

In 2007 when I was 22 years old, I woke up to the most painful headache I had ever experienced. I literally thought I had to go to the hospital, but then it faded. Later in 2009 I got the diagnosis, cluster headache; one of the most painful conditions known to mankind. When an attack manifests, the nerves behind the eye, temple and jaw feel like they are on fire. Your eye feels like it’s going to pop out of its socket all whilst it feels like someone is carving inside the back of your skull with a knife. You literally want to take a hammer and crack open your scull just to make it stop. For that reason it is also known as suicide headache, as not all of us are able to withstand this disease.

The journey

Cluster headache is something that happens to you, and it puts your life upside down. You go to a doctor and are basically left without real answers. “It’s a genetic defect, we don’t know the cause” is literally what the doctor told me.

The past 16 years I have been on a journey. In that journey I have had multiple low’s and I did not know if I ever would be able to live a happy life ever again, or if I even wanted to continue living for that matter.

In my journey I found that the medical science is very outward projected, and all treatments are discovered as a side effect of medication or treatment designed for other illnesses. What started out as a battle against my disease, turned in to a process of (self)acceptance and love. After dealing with my disease in an unconventional way for years, things started to accelerate when I asked myself what I personally could do to better my situation. Taking that responsibility lead me on a new journey, a journey inward, which in turn lead to me regaining control back over my life. The journey inward developed not only my way of dealing with my cluster headache, but also with life as a whole.

For my fellow ClusterVikings

I’m not going to advocate that I have some miracle cure, or that if you take or do some of the things I’ll tell you about, you’ll never have an attack again. No. But the things I’ll share here with you are things that have been of great benefit to me, and hopefully they can be of help to you.

So yes my cluster brothers and sisters, I know what you are going through. I’ve been there, and in some way I am still there. As this will always be a part of my life. Also, I can imagine that if I had heard this at the beginning of my journey I might have been offended by this. That is in no way my intention. The things I’ll share are my experiences and opinions that have been of benefit to me. And it’s my hope that my experiences can be of help to you.

My intention for Beinlovewithyourself and specifically ClusterVikings

My intention for this platform is to first and foremost provide my fellow clusterheads with a space dedicated to a positive only approach to life with cluster headache. Here I’ll share the things that I have learned, and that have been of benefit to me, my personal experiences. Again, I’m NOT advocating that I have a miracle cure, or that you’ll never have a cluster attack ever again. No. But I do believe that you will be able to cope better with clusters and the things that they influence. 

During my journey I learned a lot. And not all things I learned only influenced my cluster headache. Once I started to change my lifestyle and show more self-love things quickly accelerated. Handling my illness became easier and so did almost everything else in my life. As all things it started small and grew with time. It’s my belief that everybody can benefit from expressing more self-love.

More than cluster headache alone

That’s why I want to take further than cluster headache alone. Self-love will bring you peace, harmony, joy and growth. It’s a great motivator to do more things that are good for you. And as you start to do more of those things you will start to feel better than ever before. That’s what I hope you will find here, more love, joy and an overall more happy and fulfilled life. I know it can be difficult to start with expressing more self-love and accepting yourself, and I hope that this site will provide you with some starting points, tips and tricks.

I’m sure that I’m not the only one who has found ways to improve their life with cluster headache, other illnesses, or life in general. The things I have learned and applied might work for me, but maybe you have other insights or lessons. So it is my wish to come into contact with other clusterheads and people that have gone through similar journeys, and that have found out ways for themselves to be able to live better and live more joyful lives. It’s my wish to share my own, and your knowledge here in the hopes we can inspire and help others.

Remember friends, you are AWESOME!