October 25, 2010
Welcome to the Migraines and social life Forum
July 7, 2011
MELISSADWYER13, It's sad to think that our friends don't always understand what we're going through. It can be very difficult for us because we seek and need their support and understanding and sometimes it's just not there. Sometimes we can overwhelm those that love us. Let's face it - we can be high needs friends.
Here are a few things I have learned throughout the years. They may or may not be helpful, but I hope something here might prove useful to you:
1. Time is on your side. Sometimes it takes a good friend or a spouse years, even decades to finally understand what you're living through. This is okay. You can always be there for your friend even though right now she is not being a very good friend to you. Only you can decide if the friendship is worth all the work it is going to take to rebuild.
2. Remember that friendships need to be nurtured. Friendship, like communication, is a two way street. It may be that your friend is suffering worry overload and can't handle it anymore. How can you help her with that? Have you had some time where the two of you were able to just kick back and have a good time regardless of your meds schedule etc? My own meds schedule was horrible for a long time, but I never made a big deal about it. My alarm went off, I took my meds without so much as a break in conversation, and we went on with life. As to the limitations you have because of your Migraines, maybe you need to set the stage for interaction. Pick a place you both enjoy and you can tolerate. Have some "best friend" time with her. Try to leave your Migraine situation in the background. Migraine is not WHO we are, it's just something we live with. Let it be part of the background of you, not the definition of you.
3. Remember that, if she is really that good a friend, your Migraine situation probably HAS ruined her life as she sees it. It has taken away her best friend. All the good times she remembers are now gone. She has had something stolen from her too... something precious. The difference is that she can run from it and you can't. Wouldn't you run from Migraine if you could? The fact is, some people can't deal well with health issues. Those with cancer lose most of their friends. Family stops coming around. People are afraid to be around them. They still love them, but just don't know what to do or say. Being chronically ill with Migraine is not much different. Sometimes it's actually worse, because we at least understand cancer. There are support groups and lots of information available. Migraine is not that way. When I was in Washington DC June 1, one of my partners was a breast cancer survivor. Her message to the legislative offices we visited was simple: Breast cancer was easy. Migraine is hell. Definitely words that caught the attention of those we spoke with that day. The thing is, it is similar for those that love us. This is a beast no one understands. Seeing someone in pain all the time is hard. There has to be some good stuff in between all the hard stuff to nurture that relationship.
What can you do to nurture your relationships?
July 9, 2011
Ellen, you really did help me. I really want to thank you for taking the time to post all of that! I didn't think about it as if others' lives (that are close to me) have been drastically changed as well. And the statement "Breast cancer is easy. Migraine is hell." realllllly does catch my attention. thank you very much, it's more appreciated than you know.
July 9, 2011
I can relate. In my case, it is family. They are all tired of migraines. They are fed up with the restrictions, plan changes, the $$$$ spent on Drs, tests, procedures, and meds. They are tired of worrying, too.
I know what Yvonne means, and I envy her. If I had many friends, instead of the ONE friend who also lives with chronic pain, I would hope they wouldn't run.
September 6, 2011
Thank you so much for your question. This is such a valuable question here at Migraine.com that I'm writing a blog series about it. I'll be sure and link here when it is published, but first...
Would you mind sharing with us what have you tried that has not worked?