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A different path

I will never forget the day I gave up hope. I’d been stubbornly clinging to the possibility that a surgical procedure would finally eradicate migraine for good. I was finished being “the girl with headaches.” I had paid my dues. Now it was time to move on. My plan was working perfectly, except for one small detail. The doctor said I wasn’t a good candidate. There would be no miracle cure, no escape from a life of migraine.

That was it. I didn’t want to “manage” my disease anymore.

I was D.O.N.E. and I wanted it G.O.N.E.

If I couldn’t get rid of migraine, I was finished. I’d spent my entire life trying to work around the pain. It was time to find the exit. I spent the better part of two weeks trying to find a way to end my life with the least amount of damage to my family.  Eventually, I was able to break free and rediscover hope. Most of you are familiar with that part of the story.

My attitude about Migraine is what started my problem in the first place.

I wasn’t about to make peace with migraine or embrace my migraine identity. I’d spent a lifetime trying convince myself and others that I could defeat migraine. I refused to accept that migraine had any impact on my life despite all the evidence to the contrary. I hated migraine. It was getting in the way of my plans and I wanted it destroyed. It is precisely this attitude that led to me almost ending my life. I reasoned that if I couldn’t beat it any other way, a self-destruct sequence was the answer.

Then I changed my attitude.

I decided to integrate migraine into my life and accept its place as part of my identity. I became my migraine. It wasn’t out of a subconscious desire to be ill. On the contrary, it was a conscious choice to choose life. If I couldn’t destroy migraine and I chose not to die, integration was the only other acceptable option. I might not ever be physically healthy again, but I didn’t have to be a miserable sick person.

There was an alternative.

I realize that my choice isn’t for everyone. We’re all at different places on our journey with migraine. Some of us take paths that no one else would ever consider. That’s okay. I just want you to know that this path is an option.


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.


  • Ddw
    3 years ago

    I know your pain and wanting to end the pain. After my long time Doctor retired
    My new doctor didn’t agree with the protocol I had been on Stadol and Tordal injection. I have menstural migraines and I am menaposal now so my migraines are more often and worse. I had to have my husband put my gun I keep for protection up so I couldn’t get to it. It had gotten that bad. I guess I’ll have to go to the emergency room until I can find a new doctor that I understands chronic debilitating migraines. I just wish all neurologist had at least one migraine so they could know first hand the pain all of us suffer. And not make us out to be drug addicts looking for a fix.

  • Tammy Rome author
    3 years ago

    It’s really hard when the treatment we’ve been relying on is no longer an option. In your case, the meds you were being prescribed are not first-line treatments for migraine and can actually do more harm than good. It’s understandable why the new doctor didn’t agree with that treatment plan. They’re not a recommended treatment for chronic migraine. I would encourage you to keep the dialogue going with this new doctor (or another, if you prefer) about how bad your symptoms are. There are treatments available that can help. If you are in the market for a new doctor, why not consider a board-certified headache specialist? These doctors have specialized training in the latest treatments for migraine – especially the tough cases.

  • Tamara
    3 years ago

    I’m still at the point where migraines and pain are my entire life and having problems seeing anything positive about my future. I don’t think I can continue my job (already had to move down to part time), who would ever want to date and marry someone who is so broken and unable to do anything?, and there is no purpose anymore – I can’t be useful to society when each day is such a struggle to do basic things.

    And I’m only 28 …. Years and years of misery ahead. Broke, no support from family, one friend who lives an hour away and no meaningful future.

    Hopefully I didn’t make too many word mistakes, my favourite migraine symptom that affects my communication. Maybe I will eventually get hope back like you, or maybe a plane will crash into my house. At this moment I would be more happy with the plane crash.

    I am very glad you were able to overcome everything and move on with your life. 🙂

  • Tammy Rome author
    3 years ago

    Dear Tamara,

    I won’t even try to give you a pep talk, because I have been in your shoes. That’s the last thing you want to hear. I do want you to know that I get it…word mistakes and all. If you ever need a shoulder to cry on or just someone to talk to, I am here for you.

    I promise you this, though. It doesn’t have to always be as bad as it is now, even if the pain never improves. When you’re ready to find your way out, I’m here for that, too.


  • Leilani Siplon
    3 years ago

    Good for you. It’s so easy to fall into a depression, but it’s so hard to climb out of it. I’m glad you find a new direction.

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