If you know someone who lives with the chronic pain of migraines, there are so many things that they experience that you couldn’t begin to imagine. Here are some of the things they want you to know about them and the way that migraines impact their lives.
1. WE’RE NOT WEAK OR LAZY
We’re actually so much stronger than you can imagine. Functioning every day with this sort of pain is indescribable. It’s horrible. It would take down anyone. But we’ve become used to it. We find ways to manage and live our everyday lives as best we can. We migraine sufferers are incredibly strong.
2. WE’RE AFRAID
You may think it’s just a headache, but we know it’s more than that. Those who live with migraine pain worry that it’s more than even we can consider. We worry that it’s a symptom of something bigger. We worry that the medications we’re taking could harm us, or that they could stop helping us function. We worry that we’re basically a ticking time bomb and something else is going on with our bodies that we don’t yet know about. Some of our biggest fears are that we’re experiencing a stroke or that we have a brain tumor that has not yet been diagnosed. We also worry that if we have children that they might inherit migraines from us. Or that our migraines may never end!
3. WE DON’T WANT YOUR SYMPATHY
When someone is experiencing a migraine and telling you about it – they’re not looking for sympathy. They’re telling you what is happening with them. It’s not an excuse. It’s not a plea for attention. Migraines exist and they’re life-altering. When someone says that they’re struggling and can’t make it to your event, have to cancel plans or won’t be able to come into work? They mean it. And believe me, they wish they didn’t have to use this as a reason. Most migraineurs would give anything to trade in their pain for a normal life.
4. WE MISS OUR LIVES
Our worlds have gotten so narrow they’ve become unrecognizable. We’ve lost friends, jobs, our connections with loved ones. We do our best to live our lives but it’s often impossible to function with the pain we experience. We hold onto hope that the pain will be lessened or that we will see a cure in our lifetime, but we struggle through every single day wishing we could feel normal.
5. WE’RE NOT CURED
We might ‘look fine,’ but we’re in a lot of pain. We don’t have to look sick to be suffering. Please, do us a favor, don’t tell us we look normal. It’s taking all that we have to hold things together. We’re trying to experience things normally, but what’s happening inside our bodies is often indescribable, to the point that only fellow sufferers can understand. You can’t see all of our symptoms. It’s possible that we’re dressed up, or attending an event you’ve invited us to. This probably means that we’re having a good few hours, and were able to make it. This doesn’t mean we’re cured. We still struggle almost daily. Maybe we’ve found ways to cut our migraines off before they become full-blown. Maybe we are able to manage our symptoms for a short while. But, sadly, we’re not cured. Please don’t assume otherwise. It doesn’t help us feel any better.