Gambling, superstition, and bad luck
Having migraine is like drawing a really bad hand in the poker game of life. If I play my cards right, I might not lose my shirt, but I’m certainly not going to win the pot.
Like a gambler, I try to rationalize those terrible cards by placing blame somewhere, anywhere except where it belongs. How do you exact revenge on bad luck? There is nothing and no one to take the blame. You can’t yell at it, hit it, or punish it. It’s like trying to strangle thin air. So I cross my fingers, knock on wood, throw salt over my shoulder, jump over the cracks in the sidewalk, cross my heart and hope I don’t die. Maybe if I wear my lucky shirt, don’t change my socks for a week, or walk backwards down the hall, that lousy hand of cards will magically transform into a full house.
Although usually quite rational, I must admit that when it comes to migraine, I can be just as superstitious as a gambler. In my imagination, I create a boogie-man on whom to project all my anger, blame, resentment, and bitterness. I often say things like…
- “I’ve angered the migraine gods again.”
- “I don’t want to jinx it, but…”
- “I swear that migraine is out to get me.”
- “I’m going to pay for this tomorrow.”
- “That’s what I get for bragging about not having a migraine.”
When a migraine attack hits for no obvious reason or a week of thunderstorms sends me into hiding, I can picture an evil beast and imagine it plotting my demise. That vision makes it so much easier to summon the courage needed to do what is necessary. By getting angry at an imaginary tormenter, I can avoid all the self-loathing that comes when there’s no one else to blame.
Have you ever imagined migraine as a person or monster that is out to get you? Do you have any migraine superstitions? Share your ideas and explain how they help you cope.
How much has your migraine disease changed or evolved over time?