Some days, I wake up with a migraine, live with it (irritably) all day, and go to bed with it. It escalates throughout the day, ramping up from a three or four on a ten-point severity scale to a seven or eight by nightfall. By the time I get my infant son to sleep and can finally crawl into bed myself, all I want to do is curl up in a ball and cry.
On those days, it’s hard not to feel resentful and angry.
This isn’t what I expected from my life. I didn’t expect to be limited by a genetic disease that means I can’t enjoy the hot, sunny summers of my youth; work at a stressful but fulfilling, high-pressure job under fluorescent lights; or make concrete plans two weeks or two months into the future without worrying that I’ll have to cancel at the last moment.
I never imagined that I would miss feeding my son his first foods because I had to lie down in a dark room, or that I wouldn’t be able to supervise my daughter’s class field trips because I couldn’t promise I’d feel well enough to attend. I never thought I would elect not to go to medical school because I knew I’d never survive the 36-hour shifts in a brightly lit hospital that my internship would surely require.
I didn’t expect to feel so powerless so much of the time, but I do.
All these things I never would have expected, all these scenarios I never could have imagined – they happened. And, they keep happening every day. This is my life. But, I continuously remind myself that this disease is only a part of my life.
Yes, I have migraines – an unpredictable, ever-changing, invisible illness that steals many, many precious moments of my life, moments I can never get back. But, I also have a wonderful family that challenges me and brings me more joy than I ever could have hoped for; a career I love; friends who support me; and a warm, comforting place to call home.
All in all, I’m very blessed – even with migraine disease. Keeping sight of that fact helps me stay positive and banish any anger or resentment I may occasionally feel.
What about you? What do you do to feel better and stay positive?
For more tips on how to handle the anger, resentment, grief, and loneliness of living with migraine, check out my new book: “Finding Happiness with Migraines: A Do-It-Yourself Guide.”
June 2013, Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, is dedicated to Unmasking the Mystery of Chronic Headache Disorders. The 2013 Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is a project of FightingHeadacheDisorders.com.