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The Crazy Migraine Lady Finds Her Missing Smile

Migraine has temporarily stolen my normally sunny disposition and positive outlook. Okay, to come clean, there’s been a dog pile of *stuff* that has contributed to my frowny face.

Honestly, the “why” doesn’t really matter. It never does. The only thing that matters is,

“What are ya gonna do about it girl?”

Anyone who knows me understands my nut-job brain doesn’t really think like a normal grown-up adult’s should. Somehow I missed that stage where the normal function of the brain begins to say “You shouldn’t do that, other grown-ups don’t act that way.” This has always been me, much to my children’s and their friend’s amusement.

Some of our adult friends don’t find me quite so funny. You should see them run from me when a local concert comes to town. They prefer to sit in lawn chairs and watch quietly under a tree, while I choose to spend my time standing at the front, waving my arms and dancing to the music (which is really not a pretty site), followed by hoots and hollers to let the artists know they are appreciated. When I can, I am not shy about grabbing a friend and dragging them along with me. Hence the wide eyes and disappearing faces during concert season, lol.

When I got sick, I sort of forgot to care anymore what others thought of me. If I’m gonna live on borrowed time, I’m gonna do it my way.

Lately I’ve been such a Debbie-downer, I’ve been so ashamed of myself. This is NOT ME! I haven’t been this way in decades.  What is WRONG with me?!

One night last week, I was in bed. I was in terrible pain and counting my losses. I was all alone, because even my Hubs couldn’t take my tossing and turning and fell asleep on the spare bed so he’d have some peace and quiet.

It was 3am, and the clouds opened up for the second time that night. I lay there listening to the rain gently hit the roof.

Suddenly, I impulsively wanted to experience something I used to do with my kids when they were little.

I climbed out of bed, and in the complete darkness, I walked to the kitchen door and looked through the curtain.

Did I dare? Would I get caught? Did it matter?

I truly, didn’t give a rip if the neighbors came walking down the driveway that very moment.

I opened the door and stepped outside wearing nothing but a tank top and seriously unattractive underwear. I stood on the stoop a moment, gauging if the water was warm or cold, and finding it lukewarm, I tentatively took a step forward.

For a moment I cried as the water began to cover me. It almost felt like someone throwing a sheet of silk over my head, covering me as I grieved over the life I missed so dearly.

Then I took another step out, more determined and sure that I was right where I wanted to be.

“If you’re gonna do it, then do it!”

I raised my arms into the air slowly, feeling the soft rain as it hit my hands. Then I looked up and closed my eyes as it began to roll down my face, arms and legs.

For a few moments, nothing else in the world existed but me standing in the fresh, cleansing rain.

I breathed in slowly, and parted my lips, letting the rain hit my teeth and the parched, dehydrated lips that surrounded them.  My kids were all grown up and moved away, and without them, I hadn’t done anything like this in years. What a shame!

While I listened to the soft sound of rain hitting tree leaves, the horses noticed me and suddenly jumped around to look at me with pricked ears. I’d startled them. I’m sure they were thinking “What the heck is wrong with her?!” I smiled because the audience of wide brown, blinking eyes just made it all the sweeter.

When my soul was washed clean, I said goodbye to the horses and trees, and stepped back inside my dark kitchen in secret. Somehow, I hadn’t been discovered by a single human being, which made me smile all the way back to the bedroom.

I got in bed, rain-soaked clothes and hair, body and all. I laid there and reveled in the feeling of the rain slowly drying on my skin and the smell of it in my hair. I’d forgotten that outdoorsey, wet smell, and how exhilarating it is to dance in the rain (even a little) when nobody was looking!

Tomorrow would be a new day full of wonderful new possibilities. It’s okay if it’s hard for me to see all the goodness around me right now. That’s just temporary.

For that moment, in the darkness, I smiled because the world was beautiful, and I was alive.

Have you done anything a little crazy, just because your soul needed you to be a little spontaneous? Surely I can’t be the only one who revels in a little foolishness…

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.


  • Kim Smith Lawson
    6 years ago

    Much love and hugs to you, dear friend! I count on your positive voice much more than you probably will ever know. Thank you for sharing this story!

  • Toni Chavez
    6 years ago

    We are hitting rainy season here on the islands and love to stand in the rain and feel the fresh cleansing feeling (you nailed that sensation perfectly) that only rain can give. One other thing I do sometimes when the pain has decreased to tolerable and the worst of the symptoms have eased is I head to the beach in the middle of the night. Something about the sound of the ocean and the moon light just calms me and reminds me that there are still pure and beautiful things despite the dark world I live in right now. I try to keep some spontaneity in my life when I can or I think I might go crazy. Great article!

  • Ellen Schnakenberg author
    6 years ago

    Toni, I come from the west coast, and still get an occasional opportunity to stay there on the beach. One of our favorite things is to open up the door to the lanai and listen to the ocean. I didn’t appreciate those sounds when I lived there, but I surely do now. We’ve taken a few sunset walks on the beach too, but next time, I think I’m going to take your advice and try a nighttime walk. I can almost close my eyes and feel myself there right now 🙂 Thank you for a great idea!!!


  • Curlybutterfly40
    6 years ago

    As a fellow Migraineur, I have learned that you have to enjoy the “good” days when you have them. Can’t wait for the next rainy day. Thanks for the idea!

  • Ellen Schnakenberg author
    6 years ago

    It’s sad that there aren’t any more good days than there are it seems, or that our definition of *good* has often had to change. That said, even on some bad days, there are little nuggets I can pick out sometimes, that remind me it’s not all bad stuff.

    I hope you get a chance to stand out in the rain by yourself sometime too!

  • LT
    6 years ago

    I love this. We all need to do this more often!!

  • Ellen Schnakenberg author
    6 years ago

    I’m glad you liked it LT!

  • Amanda Persch
    6 years ago

    Beautiful, thank you for sharing. I’ve noticed tiny random moments of clarity and peace in my life since becoming gradually more ill. They spring up unexpectedly; the moment the perfect song comes on in the car on a not too sunny day, the quiet night sky in the country, the way my pup relaxes and enjoys some cuddles. These are little things that I don’t think I would have appreciated were I not slowed down by being sick. Living with pain on a daily basis makes those quiet still moments where you connect with nature & life brilliantly sweet.

  • Ellen Schnakenberg author
    6 years ago

    I’m sad that any of us have to deal with these issues in our lives, but I’m glad that the ickiness of our lives doesn’t come all by itself. Those quiet, still moments are brief and hard to come by, but sometimes they make life seem much more worth living. 🙂

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