The impossible dream-Who would you be if you didn't have migraine disease?
In another piece I wrote for Migraine.com, I talked about the to-do list my Migraine Self creates. The list—whether written down or, more likely, imagined only in my mind—consists of things I want to do as soon as my migraine lifts and I feel better. Think of chores, errands, simple pleasures, and more that you can’t do while ill but look forward to doing once you’re better.
There’s a more complicated and potentially somber side to this type of daydreaming, though. It’s the most impossible dream of all because, to use a cliché, life is not a dress rehearsal and we don’t get a chance to re-live it. Every day, every month, every year stolen by migraine and chronic health problems is a day, a month, a year we will never get back.
Keeping all that in mind, I can’t help but wonder this: Who Would I Be If I Didn’t Have Migraine Disease?
Let’s face it, everyone. I think we’d be hard-pressed to find someone with chronic illness who hasn’t daydreamed about what he or she would be like were it not for his or her health issues.
I watch good friends of mine, friends who are very similar to my healthy self in so many ways. One friend in particular, R., is a dynamo. She has multiple jobs, is always volunteering, has these awesome kids she is a fabulous mother to, keeps her huge and lovely home clean, stays positive, exercises, writes, and more. She is an amazing force to be reckoned with. When I’m feeling healthy and energetic, I am like her in many ways—I am upbeat and positive and shout an over-eager “yes!” whenever I’m asked to do something (even if it’s to my detriment or if I don’t have the time!). But, unlike R. and my other, healthier friends, I am very often hit with a migraine. I cancel the volunteer meetings and I have to turn some yeses into nos. I simply cannot be the person I have tried to be.
This begs the question: Who would I be without migraine disease?
I don’t believe I’d be some amazing specimen of a woman, someone whose life is well-balanced and ever-peaceful. I know my core self would remain much the same. But would I be even more confident, knowing that migraine couldn’t waylay me and stop me from doing what I set out to do? Would I be even more social, saying yes to parties and weddings more often because I wouldn’t have to worry about being stuck in the car or in a hotel room holding a cold washcloth to my head? Would I be the life of the party, drinking and dancing til the late hours because, apart from tiredness and a run-of-the-mill hangover, I wouldn’t have that inevitable crappy day after completely lost to a migraine attack?
What do you daydream about? Who would you be were it not for your migraine? Who would you want to be, and who—realistically speaking—would you really be if you were migraine-free? I understand that, for many people, this can be a heartbreaking thing to think about, so please know that I don’t ask this to get you down. I just thought it’d be helpful for us to all talk about this issue and be listeners for one another.
Now…who will comment first? The rest of us are listening.
Can you tell when a migraine attack is coming?