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Examining life through the unwanted lens with migraine

Examining life through the unwanted lens with migraine

When living with a chronic health condition like migraine, many migraineurs are forced to take a step back and view things in a new light. For better or for worse, your daily behaviors, thoughts and actions have now crossed over on a new path. You can no longer be the “you” that you intended or used to be.  In a recent article, our contributor Kerrie Smyres explains it, “I Am No Longer the Person I Was When Migraine Hijacked My Life”.  This does not mean giving up or succumbing to this condition, but it’s about acceptance and understanding that it’s imperative to see life through a different lens.

Many of you were gracious enough to comment in response to Kerrie’s article and share your perspectives of life living with migraine.  Reading through many of these comments was truly remarkable and inspiring to learn how migraine has helped to ignite a light of positivity and strength which may not have otherwise existed within you. However, for other community members, understandably, acceptance may not be your reality and you have not come to terms with this new “you”. Here is what you all had to share.

The positive…

“I’m actually a happier person now because I don’t care what other people think. Don’t get me wrong I hate the migraines and the pain I have to endure, but I try my best to be happy and love the person I am!”

“Would I change my life in a minute to get rid of constant pain and letting people I love down? Yes! But I’d never go back to the way I was. Migraines lessons have been too profound.”

“I am thankful for the things in my life: good food, clean running water, a roof over my head, clothes, family, and FB friends.”

“This chronic, permanent neurological disease was the turning point for a lot of self- reflection and resulting change. There is so much more to me than I ever knew.”

“Grateful for what I have. I am more than my migraine. Even if it does rule my entire life.”

“Migraine has shaped me into a truer, more compassionate and better person.”

“I have learned not to be an obsessive perfectionist and to enjoy life as much as I can.”

“I choose acceptance over despair.”

“I had to learn how to take care of myself and not sweat the small stuff. I am not a perfectionist….I am me.”

“You have to do what is best for you to be able to deal with this migraine life.”

“I’m on my way to this. I am determined to believe…practice practice practice and one day at a time!”

“I see the good it’s done and know I’d be a totally different person and in a totally different place had I remained healthy.”

“I have learned persistence and perseverance skills from migraine that I don’t think I could have otherwise learned.”

“I’ve always been straddling the line between fully accepting that this is my life, now, and refusing to believe that I’ve changed.”

Have not reached acceptance…

“I don’t want to accept the person I have had to become due to 5-6 years of worsening, chronic migraines….don’t you wish we could protest or go on strike until someone finds a cure?”

“I hate the person I’ve become. I miss the old me. On good days I see a glimpse of the old me, but that’s not very often anymore.”

“ I don’t like the new me. I miss the capable, smart, active, social and fun me. Chronic migraine has negatively affected every aspect of my life.”

“There are gifts in acceptance that I look forward to discovering. It’s been very hard to accept.”

“When I look in the mirror the person looking back at me I no longer recognize, this person is so drawn and tired of pain. Wish that person would reappear in that mirror one day the person that was happy, laughing, and content with life..”

“Chronic debilitating migraines changed my life, sapping me of my desire for anything more than the basic necessities.”

In summary, I wanted to highlight a comment that I feel captures the essence of what many of you portrayed within your comments and/or what you are essentially striving and hoping to obtain. Thank you Trena for this touching remark!

Screenshot 2016-07-18 at 10.23.15 AM

How about you? How do you view this unwanted path you are forced to venture through with migraine? Please share your thoughts.


  • CarolF
    3 years ago

    Gives me strength and hope to see myself in so many of these comments. I now treasure coming to this site and remembering that I’m not alone. Prayer and faith must guide my path. I pray for acceptance and the gifts that may bring, in God’s time.

  • YYJ
    3 years ago

    Truth is, as someone who started having migraines at 7 or 8 years of age, I’m not sure what life without them was ever like. I got them from my dad, he got them from his mother, and my son got them from me (also at about 7 years of age). My “new” me will be coming soon, I hope, because I feel like 44 years of life with migraines is plenty!

  • MomMom
    3 years ago

    I too have been reduced to 10% of what my life was. I was an exercise advocate and had a full life. I am curious, all the people that feel this gave them a new lens, how did you get to that viewpoint?

  • Savta45
    3 years ago

    Truthfully, I go hot & cold on this, as far as acceptance is concerned. When I was reading what others had said in this article, I found that I could sympathize with most of them. Sometimes, I’m more or less ok about it, not happy, mind you, you’d have to be pretty strange to enjoy what this condition does to your life, & how it feels. But, I can put it in perspective, & say to myself & others, well, it’s not pleasant, & it’s inconvenient, but it could be worse. Lots of people have illnesses or problems that are much, much worse. So, I should be grateful that I don’t have anything like that.
    On the other hand, I do get depressed, & angry. When I miss out on going places or doing things. When I start feeling useless. When I think about how active & involved I used to be. All the plans I had for my retirement. Then that old, worn out retain starts in, just as if I were a child: It’s not fair!
    Well, yeah, right, it’s not, but, like one of the previous commenters said, life was never promised to be fair. You have to get past that. Prayer helps me. Because it helps me to know, to reinforce my belief that everything happens for a reason. I may not know the reason, but I am very small, in the great scheme of things. Just because I don’t understand, doesn’t make it less so.

  • Gto
    3 years ago

    I could not agree with you more. I to was extremely active both socially and sporting activities. Have been reduced to almost 10 % or less of life I used to live. Is quite frustrating to say least as literally incapable of leaving bedroom or hospital when migraine attack occurs. Have no idea why this happening to me as was in terrific physical condition before migraines occurred. Have been diagnosed with chronic migraines as get most times 20+ episodes per month. Is no pic is I can attest to that. Next medication recommended to me is med. marijuana and way I feel am willing to try anything to eliminate incredible pain when migraine occurs. I guess my problem is when feeling ok I try to get back to some kind of physical activity or call up friend to go for beer and without warning migraine symtoms will begin and have no choice but to take current meds and back to bed praying headache does not get worse. To be honest I have tried many and different ways of coping , but, no matter what is only matter of time before another headache takes place and back to square one. Is no way to live a life with some degree of quality…wish there were some magic potion to feel like normal person again . I know sounds pretty depressing but that is pretty much what I go thru each day. Take care

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