A black woman looking at a mirror. Reflecting back at her is a monster representation of her shadow self.

Never Knowing If It's Me or the Migraine

I’m sleepy. I’m hungry. I’m elated! I’m irritable. I’m grumpy. I’m gassy. I’m confused. I’m achy. I’m tired. I’m stuffed. I’m unable to remember your name. I’m Janice. I mean I’m JANET. I’m forgetting my own name. I’m stressed out. I’m snapping at my boyfriend. I’m annoyed with my friend. I’m in love with my life! The world is so beautiful! I’m itchy. I’m fidgety. I’m lethargic. I’m sniffly. I’m stuffy-headed. I’m bored. I’m thrilled. I’m manic. I’m moody. I’m snuggly. Don’t touch me.

I’m a migraineur, and I’m not sure if what I’m feeling is related to my migraine disease, my migraine medication, my natural self, or none of the above.

A roller coaster of emotions

Can any of you out there identify with my confusing and contradictory first paragraph?  (I am large, I contain multitudes.)1 Pardon the overused phrasing here, but I feel as if I’m riding a rollercoaster much of the time. I’ll be in the midst of a serious conversation with my beau and feel this calm wash over me: I am fully involved, I am 100% present, I am nun-like in my peacefulness and attentiveness.  Two seconds later, something snaps and I feel as if I can’t wait another second to get up and move on to the next thing.

Signs that a migraine attack is coming

Physical pain/discomfort can work the same way.  I’ll be having what seems like a pretty good day when suddenly my back will spasm or my eye will catch the light in such a way that I realize, all of a sudden, that a migraine is coming. I have grown wary of my occasional elated moods, as I know those are often harbingers of the migraine attack to come.

Feeling sleepy from migraine?

And on migraine days, if I’ve had success with my medication, the pain and other migraine symptoms begin to dissipate until I’m stuck with a grayer, sleepier version of myself.  Is this the postdrome of migraine or is a side effect of my medication?

Forgetting things because of migraine?

When I forget a regular bookshop customer’s name, is it because I am aging? Am I overworked and tired? Am I suffering from the confusion that accompanies a migraine, or am I suffering from the confusion that sometimes goes along with my migraine medication?

Irritated from migraine?

On days when I am short-tempered and irritable, is it because I took Imitrex the day before?  Is it because a migraine is on its way? Is it because I’m kind of a b*tch sometimes regardless of my physical health?

Is it migraine or not?

Does anyone else out there feel as if there are no definitive lines to separate your migraine-free self from your migraineur-self?  Is anyone else faced with the problem of not ever being sure where these behaviors are coming from? Please share if so, cause I fear the thought that I may be in this alone!


The Migraine Girl

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

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

Join the conversation

or create an account to comment.

Community Poll

When was your last migraine check-up?