Contradictions in Coping With Migraine

How many people...

  • Look forward to visiting their families then eagerly anticipate the end of that visit?
  • Enjoy their careers and also resent how much time work takes from their time with loved ones?
  • Love their partners, but want to strangle them sometimes?
  • Think their newborn is the most amazing creation in the world, yet hate the exhaustion of having an infant?

These contradictions don’t mean that a person is hypocritical or wishy-washy. They show that a person is human. Anything that we care about deeply, we can also be frustrated by.

The same goes for coping with migraine. I can...

  • Enjoy a trigger food (or drink or nap or late night with friends…) and still dread the migraine that will ensue.
  • Feel utterly defeated and wonder how I can possibly get through another migraine, yet still see myself as courageous.
  • Want to be doing anything but lying down with a migraine, while appreciating that a migraine attack lets me read. (Yes, I know how lucky I am that I can read during a migraine, I couldn’t for four years.)
  • Hate having migraine and also be grateful for the lessons it has taught me. (This doesn’t mean I’m grateful for having migraine -- I’d happily gain insight some other way!)
  • Accept that I have migraine and will for the rest of my life while continuing to seek treatments to reduce its severity and frequency.
  • Be angry about the countless ways migraine has altered my life and still refuse to call myself a sufferer.
  • Declare a “hear me roar” attitude toward migraine, then wonder how I’m going to make it through the next day.

All these thoughts and emotions exist within me, sometimes simultaneously. They are not a sign of weakness or uncertainty, but a reflection on the very nature of being alive. Through them, I’m able to see that while migraine is undeniably horrible, a life filled with migraine doesn’t have to be. That doesn’t mean there’s always a silver lining or a positive spin, just that nothing is ever all good or all bad.

There is no one truth for me or for anyone else, and there is not a right way to cope with migraine. It’s all messy and complicated and everyone does the best they can. Kinda like with life.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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