Handling Anger and Resentment: Migraine Awareness Month #27 (#MHAM)

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.

4 thoughts on “Handling Anger and Resentment: Migraine Awareness Month #27 (#MHAM)

  1. Hi there,

    I hear ya!

    I also struggle with not being able to make plans and commitments because I so often have to cancel them… I have been taking on less lately and trying to be really thankful and proud of myself for whatever I am able to accomplish, but it’s hard to miss out on the kinds of things I never thought I’d have to miss out on.

    Is this something a person can get used to? I don’t know.

    Thank goodness for wonderful friends and family who trust me and understand when I can’t do stuff. And here’s hoping I can fulfill some of my summer plans like weddings and cottage visits.

    Thanks for writing about this stuff. It’s nice to know I’m not alone.

    • Hi Sarah & Brain,

      I know what your talking about and I used to think the same way. I had resigned to my migraine fate. I’ve had chronic migraines for 15 years…. had. Now I get migraines once every 3 months.

      Not perfect, but still life changing. And I did it but tracking my migraine triggers every day. That was the key – uncovering your key triggers. Then managing them becomes so much easier.

      I’ll give you an example.. Sarah you say your migraine ramps up during the day- which means your aggregating it through various stimuli- it could mean a sensitivity to different foods, light, sounds, smells etc that could be triggering your migraine. The fact that you wake up with migraines could also indicate stress from the previous day or week based on my own experience… so stress could be another compounding trigger.

      But you won’t really know for sure until you track it everyday. And if you have something to help with that, all the better.There are tools to help. If you want to find out more let me know. You just need a little bit of discipline to record your triggers for a mins each day.

      • So nice to hear you’ve found such relief! Every three months is still pretty frequent, but it’s much better than several times a month or more. I’m done a lot of work over the years trying to uncover my triggers. I kept a migraine diary for years, trying desperately to uncover my key triggers. Now, I know what they are, and I Work to avoid them when I can. Most of them can’t really be avoided, but I do my best. I’ve had issues with daily diaries and trackers, though, so I don’t keep one of those anymore. (I find I’m happier when I don’t track my condition on a regular basis.)

        Good luck to you! I hope you continue to see improvement.

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