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Expressing gratitude: whom do YOU want to thank, and why?

Like any chronic illness patient, I could fill a book with my list of frustrations and complaints. From being angry that I have another migraine at another friend’s wedding to being frustrated by a healthcare provider who doesn’t listen to being just plain tired of being tired all the time, I could probably vent all day.  And venting is healthy for us, in moderation.  Many migraineurs we hear from on don’t have a built-in support network in their regular lives, so they turn to fellow migraineurs here on the site (and on our Facebook page) for camaraderie and validation. I am so grateful we have this site.

Something else has emerged over time, though, and I’m so proud of my fellow contributors and all of you who participate in this site every day (even those of you who are lurkers who read a lot but don’t comment—that’s totally fine, too!).  You know what’s inspiring? That so many of you remain so positive.  That when a depressed migraineur posts in the forums about feeling hopeless, you rise to support that person with words of comfort, validation, and encouragement.  That you are taking steps to educate those in your personal and professional lives about migraine disease and all its intricacies.

Venting isn’t bad, and expressing the very many negative facets of this illness is of the utmost importance. But looking on the bright side (after you don your special sunglasses to protect your photophobic eyes, of course!) has its merits, and I really applaud you all for being positive whenever you are able. Sometimes you’re not in that place, and that’s okay—we’ll be here for you through the rough patches as well.

Bearing all that in mind, I have a proposition for you.  I want you to think of someone who has helped make your life a little easier as far as migraine goes. I want you to think of a friend, a family member, a doctor, a colleague, a supervisor, a shopkeeper, or even a complete stranger who has brought you comfort when you needed it.  Tell us about that person in the comments below.  How has he or she made your life with migraine that much easier? Does he or she know what a positive influence he/she had on you?

For those of you with a little more time, I suggest that you take a few minutes to write this person a letter. It can be one sentence, or it can be pages long. It can be an anonymous note from you or you can email or mail it to the person.  (I strongly encourage you to make sure the note gets to the addressee, even if you decide not to sign your name—you will likely make someone’s day and increase the likelihood that he/she will continue to be a positive influence in others’ lives.)  The point of this exercise is to try to exhibit gratitude in the midst of struggle.

Let us hear from you in the comments. Who has helped you? Whom do you want to thank? And will you share your words of gratitude with the person or keep it a secret, and why?

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.


  • dianaarrieta
    5 years ago

    I would like to thank my fiance, Juan. Just as user Monkeybrew, a close support system such as life partner can make tremendous difference in the life of a migraneur.
    Simple things we take for granted, like cooking breakfast, washing the dishes and doing laundry, and in general running the house can be very demanding when in a migraine crisis, and he does all this things without even asking.
    Getting my ice packs ready, making me hot tea and praying with me is something I’m so thankful for having.

    I also want to thank my extended online support,, their writers and bloggers. Your stories are inspirational and full of new info for me!

    Diana A, RN.

  • Jeannie
    5 years ago

    In your paragraphs above, you say “don your special sunglasses”–please elaborate! I’ve been thinking about finding some that would help with all this light sensitivity, but is there such a thing?! These clip-ons are great, but I’m finding myself wearing sunglasses (and visors!) all the time. Are there lenses that help with oncoming halogen headlights? Those are big triggers for me. I’ll be grateful to anyone who can answer! 🙂

  • zippy36
    5 years ago

    I am thankful for my direct supervisor at work. In my entire working history, he has been the only person to : 1. Believe me 2. Support me and 3. Not belittle me. It makes so much of a difference. I go to work with my migraines unless they are severe. He is always mindful and supportive if I need to go to a dark room, take my medication or even go home. He tells me often that I am a good worker….even when I am not 100%. The turning point came when I had a silent migraine at work one night. He is a trained paramedic and told me that he can see what my migraines do to me. I have thanked him so many times but he keeps telling me no thanks are needed!! I am also very thankful to the writers and creators of this web site. It lets me know I am understood and not crazy. Thank you for taking the time. I have also sent many of your articles to my boss to help keep him educated. I have recommended your site to my daughters and some of my friends who also suffer from migraines. Education is power. Thank you.

  • Kristint2
    5 years ago

    The Imatch team at Cleveland Clinic who gave me hope and some control again, my boss who supported me 1000% percent, my coworkers who supported my family, and a special doctor at Imatch. Saved my life.

  • MigraineSal
    5 years ago

    I am so very grateful to the Pain Management Service from my local Health Trust as thanks to their Pain Management Course and associated treatments I have managed to live in peace with my neck condition and migraines. I only thought the other morning how strange it is that I am probably more contented with my lot since I learnt to manage my pain . . . I would never have believed that pain and suffering could lead to a more positive outlook on life !

    Meditation and mindfulness have helped me have a much more positive outlook on life in general and I have gone from a splash in the glass type of girl to a glass most definitely half full type of girl. I still have to manage pain and feeling positive doesn’t always come without a bit of effort but on the whole it my day starts on a positive note and this has changed my world . . . all thanks to the Pain Management Service giving me the tools to look at managing and living with pain in a different way. I totally agree with telling people what an effect they have had on your life so I sent an email to the service telling them of what a positive effect their service had had on me. When I did not get an acknowledgement of receipt I took a copy of the email into my next appointment to make sure that they received it as I am conscious that the health service in the UK tends to get complaints, rather than compliments and this service most definitely deserves the latter !

  • monkeybrew
    5 years ago

    MigraineSal, thank you so much for your reply to this post. I have used meditation and mindfulness as tools in my toolbox for fighting chronic migraine. Today is an especially bad day for me. Your post reminds me that these tools can serve me today. Thank you.

  • monkeybrew
    5 years ago

    In an effort to boost my own sense of gratitude during what has turned out to be a day consumed by migraine I would like add those who run this site, the moderators, as well as all of the visitors. It is a place of comfort, of support and a reminder that we, none of us, are alone in the challenges we face. For all of this I am so very grateful.

  • monkeybrew
    5 years ago

    What a wonderful post! Thank you for this reminder that gratitude is vital to a full and happy life!!

    I am most grateful for my wife. She has been by my side through all the painful migraines, the “next” treatment, the up’s and the down’s. The migraine has been such a big impact to her as well as myself, but she is strong so that I can be weak sometimes. When I get breaks from the intense pain I try to reciprocate. My wife is so close to me the knows all the things that do help (dark room, quiet, an old favorite movie on with the volume turned down to 1 or 2).

    I have to add my best friend to this list. Although he lives in a different state and travels a lot for work, we have a brotherly connection. I know that he is always sending good vibes my way!

    Most recently I would have to also call out my CEO. She has been extremely supportive as things have unraveled a bit. She has not only been supportive but she has been flexible with my work schedule. Without that support I could not have made it thus far.

    There are many others. Perhaps another time

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