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Frustrated? That’s Okay!

I have heard from community members time and time again that they are just fed up with migraine. It’s unpredictable. It’s inconvenient. It steals time and joy, and it doesn’t respond well to attempts of relief for many folks. It is like a pesky enemy that knows way too many personal details, has successfully committed identity theft, and just won’t go away. Ugh.

Given that migraine is just plain awful, it is perfectly okay to be frustrated. I know that many times in the community we talk about seeing the good through the pain, finding hope, and focusing on our strength, but sometimes all we want to do is tell migraine to kick the bucket! That’s okay.

Permission to be mad

I find personally, that feeling mad can be a source of stress for me, and can even cause me to feel anxious and trigger a migraine. Sometimes, however, I don’t want to put a face on. Sometimes I don’t want to see the good. Sometimes I just want to be angry with the fact that migraine steals so much. I don’t want to dwell in that feeling, but surely it is okay to feel a wide range of emotions as a person, and anger and frustration are a part of experiencing pain. I certainly do not like to let it consume me, but I think it can actually be healthy to admit that, hey, this thing sucks sometimes. Okay, a lot of the time.

Honesty is a great policy

Figuring out how to be honest about my feelings and experiences means understanding them. I can’t very well be honest if I commit to ignoring or pushing aside negative feelings all of the time. I believe that understanding comes from sitting with and dealing with the reality before me. This is especially true when it comes to migraine, and is crucial for me being able to cope.

Along with dealing with migraine, I also experience depression and a lot of my feelings feedback between the two conditions. Being honest with the fact that sometimes I feel darkness, or sadness, or frustration helps me to get past those feelings sometimes. Burying my feelings, on the other hand, can leave me feeling overwhelmed and ill-equipped at handling stress and commitments.

Confronting stigma

There is a lot of stigma around migraine, what it looks like, and what it feels like. Part of combating the stigma of migraine is acknowledging the real impact it has, physically and emotionally. The more we honestly paint the picture of its impact, the more seriously it can be taken in society. Sometimes I lay in bed the entire day feeling upset and in pain. No, I am not lazy as stigma might have some believe. I am in pain. Learning to confront, not push aside migraine’s impact on my life helps me to be a better and more genuine advocate against false characterizations of folks living with migraine. That includes acknowledging that it is not all rainbows and hope.

Balancing the positive

Sometimes migraine leaves me feeling thankful for the relationships I’ve formed because of it. Other times it leaves me hopeful for the future, because of the amazing work I see done in the community by people living with it. Yet other times, it leaves me inspired because I see those who have successfully achieved some of the same dreams I have with migraine.

People living with migraine are varied, unique, and experience so many emotions related to the disease. Frustration and other difficult feelings exist alongside the positive. It is important to remember that each of us leads a unique life and that it is okay to feel what we feel.

Do you find yourself struggling to deal with the varied emotions and experiences of feeling that comes with migraine? Let’s discuss in the comments!

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.

Comments

  • jems
    1 month ago

    What a great article. Can relate to all Migraine steals so many things – energy, time, occasions missed, self-esteem, hope, confidence of being “okay” in the world/life – and increases Fear of Missing Out, as a migraineur this is the truth – you ARE missing out on precious days of your life – and it gives you in buckletloads emotions you really don’t want to feel – anger, shame, guilt, envy, darkness. As the years have rolled by, waiting for improvement (that never happened) I have found all of this more difficult to accept – non-migraineurs can’t possibly understand. Exhausted in all ways of putting on a face, it has aged me. Just battling my way through a Christmas migraine – thanks yet again to mig for marking an occasion with its ghastly presence!

  • Allyson.Ellis moderator
    1 month ago

    jems, I hear how much you struggle with migraine and its impact on your life. The way so many moments and opportunities are compromised due to migraine’s presence is cruel. How are you feeling today? I hope the Christmas migraine has begun to ease for you. Please know in this community you are among those who understand and can relate. Wishing you a gentle day. ~Allyson (Migraine.com team)

  • JessicaSyd
    1 month ago

    I am very frustrated as well. I have had a continuous migraine for days. Nothing is helping and the steroid my doc gave me to break the cycle upset my stomach. I have been on this journey for over 35 years and yes, this is a hopeful time for all of us migraine sufferers, but it still sucks! The pain takes the life out of us literally. It steals so much of what others who don’t have migraine or any other chronic pain take for granted. I would love to know the feeling of what it is like to not have any pain. To not have to think about packing meds when I go on a trip or go out for the day – if I can go out for the day. We have dinner plans tonight for Christmas Eve, am I going to go, yes, unless I am sick to my stomach. I have disappointed my husband time and time again. We are going to a restaurant, not a party. If it was a party then I definitely would not go. Anyway, so nice to know my frustrations are shared.

  • Allyson.Ellis moderator
    1 month ago

    Uff, I hear how much you are struggling, JessicaSyd. Migraine is so cruel in how much is steals away from living. I hope you are given a reprieve from the nausea so you can enjoy (and if not fully enjoy, tolerate) dinner out with your husband tonight. Please know in this community you are among those who understand how frustrating and defeating it can feel to live with migraine. Reach out anytime you need support. We are always here to listen. Wishing you a gentle evening. ~Allyson (Migraine.com team)

  • olevik
    1 month ago

    I dare everybody on here to go sugar free for a week. If you can manage carb free, better. Just eat eggs and bacon, steaks and avocados, nuts as snacks. Fat cheeses etc. One week, see how the migraines go.

  • MaryLorraine
    4 weeks ago

    Bacon?? Seriously??

  • AmalC
    1 month ago

    Finally! Someone somewhere admitting and acknowledging that hey, this really can suck. Of course we want to be positive etc but when you have chronic daily migraine (as I do) mixed with a dash of Basilar Migraine (as I do), and treatments don’t really stop the pain so much as they just take it down a few notches.

    I consider migraine a shitty houseguest. It comes, eats all of your food, throws a rager of a party, makes a mess, pays for nothing and overstays its welcome.

    When I am in the depths of a really bad episode, positive is not the way I feel. What I want is some MAID legislation that covers chronic pain. When that episode ends, I acknowledge that my pain levels affect deeply how I feel about being alive with this affliction.

    Living with this disease is shitty enough, I get really tired of people who just expect us to “get past the pain”

  • Derek
    1 month ago

    Here, here AmalC!

    “I consider migraine a shitty houseguest. It comes, eats all of your food, throws a rager of a party, makes a mess, pays for nothing and overstays its welcome.”

    Yep, that about sums it up.

    The frustration I feel is a lot similar to yours, Kyky. I have comorbid anxiety,depression and episodic, near chronic migraine. And its a never ending cycle. I get an attack, I am in agonizing pain, bed ridden, sometimes for multiple days at a time. Which spirals my depression during and certainly after. Throw in my anxiety (which drives a lot of insomnia, which is itself a big migraine attack trigger for me) and I’m a hot mess a lot of the time.

    The frustration I feel most is honestly with myself. I try hard when I am able to, to live ‘normally’. Do the things I want to do. Work out, be the best parent I can be, the best partner I can be, etc. And when I can’t, I feel guilt all on my own. And then there are people in my life, sometimes medical professionals, sometimes people at work, who apply stigma to my experience, and that as we all know is enormously frustrating.

    I guess at the end of the day its nice to have somewhere to go where people get it.

  • Kyky Knight moderator author
    4 weeks ago

    Derek,

    I am so sorry to hear that you know all too well the ‘never ending cycle’. I know it can be so dark. I hear you on trying to do ‘normal’ activities and keep up with commitments, especially when loved ones are involved. It truly is so frustrating to be driven towards goals and desires only to have migraine limit what is possible sometimes. I am a doer, and I love to be active and forward thinking, and this awful disease gets in the way! Thank you so much for sharing, I am sending well wishes to you this New Year’s.

  • Jackie
    1 month ago

    I recently when to my neurologist so now I am waiting for a referral for yet another specialist. I was trying to explain my latest issues to a tech but he seemed to be skeptical. I am tired of trying to explain myself. They also told me that I have an aneurysm behind my left eye. It never seems to stop.

  • glassmind
    1 month ago

    “Identy Thief” this is my new favorite nickname for Migraine.

    I have been frustrated at and thankful for migraine. Strange emotions to reconcile with one another.

    Mostly, I feel grief. Sadness, depression, hoplessness and deep, abiding grief.

    I miss Me Before. I miss Life Before.

    In the midst of an attack, I miss rose-scented soap, candle light, audio books, time with friends and family, walking, … Living.

    Between attacks, I miss movies, concerts, dappled sunlight through the trees, blue cheese, dark chocolate, vigorous exeelrcise… My former life.

    Grief. I’ve died to myself and have to learn to love the new me. And even as I find this new love, I still grieve the old.

    Thank you for illuminating the myriad emotional impact of Migraine (this all in addition to the emotional symptoms that can accompany a migraine).

    It’s comforting to know others understand.

    So in addition to “grief”, I will add “solace” to the odd pairings of emotions that ride in Migraine’s wake.

    Thank you again. Hugs

  • Kyky Knight moderator author
    4 weeks ago

    Glassmind,

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful and thorough response, as always.

    It is so true, knowing we are not alone is definitely a needed reminder for me often. I am glad the article resonated with you, and am so sorry you are living with this awful disease.

    Wishing you a very happy new year.

  • glassmind
    4 weeks ago

    Happy new year to you too !

  • AmalC
    1 month ago

    I miss me before too. I feel you.

  • glassmind
    4 weeks ago

    Hugs

  • April.Sluder moderator
    1 month ago

    This is such a thoughtful response @glassmind. I think there are many people that can relate to your words. April – Migraine.com Team

  • jems
    1 month ago

    Glassmind – such insight. I hear and sympathise – missing one’s former self and life is so painful.

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