I Am No Longer the Person I Was When Migraine Hijacked My Life

I Am No Longer the Person I Was When Migraine Hijacked My Life

I am no longer the person I was when migraine hijacked my life.

I am no longer a striving overachiever.

I am not energetic or a whirlwind of activity.

I have a long list of unachieved goals.

I have lost friends.

I cannot push my body beyond its limits day after day.

I am no longer who I thought I should be.

I am no longer the person I was when migraine hijacked my life.

I am no longer a perfectionist; the illusion of perfection is no longer necessary to prove my worth.

I am calmer and more present. I am able to be with what is actually happening rather than what I wish were true.

I have new goals and work toward them every moment I can. Sometimes the progress seems infinitesimal, but I keep working.

I know who my true friends are and am awed by their compassion and support. I have made new friends, too, who impress me with their strength and love.

I have learned to listen to my body. I still push myself at times, but only when I choose to, not by default. I finally know how to take care of myself.

I know who I genuinely am. I recognize my strength and resilience. I have discovered how to use my optimism appropriately, rather than as a bandaid to pretend like everything’s OK when it’s not.

I am no longer the person I was when migraine hijacked my life.

I have learned to separate migraine from me, to distinguish how migraine changes my behaviors and thoughts from who I am underneath migraine.

I see that migraine consists of two burdens: physical and emotional. And that learning to cope with the emotional distress makes the physical weight easier to bear.

I look for the good around the grief that migraine brings to my life. I am grateful for the smallest joys in the everyday.

I have (mostly) abandoned rumination and self-criticism in favor of trusting and respecting myself.

I am no longer the person I was when migraine hijacked my life.

I am better.

Don’t get me wrong. Migraine is still horrible. Trial by migraine fire is not how I would ever choose to mature. But I like the person that migraine has forced me to become. I am proud of who I’ve proven myself to be amidst the flames.

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Comments

View Comments (17)
  • TrishaNP
    1 year ago

    Your 16 things match mine and probably many others like me. I never thought in a million years that I would be the one hiding from the sunlight with few friends and even fewer activities. Sometimes I get so depressed comparing my life to my siblings and others around me. I have accepted that my life is different now but that doesn’t mean I like it.

  • SilverPhoenix13
    3 years ago

    I’ve always been straddling the line between fully accepting that this is my life, now, and refusing to believe that I’ve changed. What’s been the hardest is how it’s effected my job. I’m constantly saying, “This isn’t me.” I’m consciously having to force myself to say, “This WASN’T me.” I was always the super reliable, punctual, together employee. I rarely ever missed days, I NEVER came late or left early, I was never forgetful, and pretty much scatterbrained the way I am now.

  • laurahildebrand
    3 years ago

    Your words brought tears to my eyes. Migraine has hijacked my life. But, like you, I have chosen to look for the positives in my altered life. There is no doubt in my mind that I would not have such a faith-filled walk with God without chronic migraine. And I have been forced to step back from the rat race and take life at the pace I am capable of living. 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. Migraine’s lessons have been too profound.

  • mliss s
    3 years ago

    Excellent! I’ve just recently been doing much better through the elimination of several food triggers… and I’m while I’m so happy to feel good and have more energy, it’s also made me realize just how hard off I was for years! And so, strange as it might sound, while I’m thankful to feel better, I’ve been struggling with grieving the real losses of the last decade. Reading this post put into words what I’ve also been feeling and reminded me that while there have been real losses… there have been real (and valuable) gains! I am a better person.

  • Rocky Land
    3 years ago

    WOW, I couldn’t help but see you have an opposite reaction to weather than I do. My doctor tells me I’m a walking barometer. When we have LOW pressure I have the worst migraine there is. When it’s raining and the clouds are rolling in I can feel it before the bad weather even gets here. I considered moving to a different state but I’m scared to death of the weather there. Here in Arizona we have less than 10 inches of rain per year but when it rains or even the clouds roll in I’m feeling it. I wish you all the best luck in the world. May You be Healthy and may God richly Bless You.

    Rocky

  • CarolF
    3 years ago

    Your story, and many of the comments, are extremely relatable. Thank you so much for sharing. It brings me joy to see how not alone I am. I have lived with migraine, and in fear of migraine episodes for decades now, increasingly challenging in an office environment my last 10 years, when frequency and severity hit a tipping point. Over time it caused me a lot of shame. It has taken tons of support to get to a place of acceptance, and to finally reach out to a community of migraineurs. What I feared would be a downer on top of a depressive disorder has been pacifying and inspirational. Thank you.

  • Sylvia T
    3 years ago

    Kerry,
    Thank you so much. This brought tears to my eyes. So true.

  • Macbeck
    3 years ago

    So well said!! Thank you for putting into words what those of us who now have trouble finding words would love to say.

  • Trena Anderson
    3 years ago

    PERFECT! Life is about change and accepting change. It is also about learning to cope with loss. We’ve all lost. We’ve lost lives as we knew them, dreams, plans, and hopes. But we’ve learned to endure loss and change. We’ve all learned things, about ourselves and others. Maybe we’ve taught others to be stronger or more compassionate as well. No one was guaranteed the life they had planned. I’ve learned to accept this condition. I haven’t given up or given in, just accepted it. By accepting it it’s calmed me and has helped me get through the pain better. I’ve stopped focusing on the symptoms and look forward to that slight relief that I know will come. Right now it’s working for me. I’m learning to live in the right now and that’s calming in itself.

  • CarolF
    3 years ago

    So true. There are gifts in acceptance that I look forward to discovering. It’s been very hard to accept. So happy to hear your words.

  • KaciMo
    3 years ago

    Kerrie,

    This captured my feelings about my migraine journey exactly. And it’s what has sustained me the past 12 years of continuous “hard”. From a Christian perspective, I believe this disease is a catalyst God has used and is using to mold me as a person and to change my life path to one that brings him glory and is fulfilling to me. I would gladly take healing if it were offered at this exact moment, but I wouldn’t trade the last 12 years of intractable migraine, because 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.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • CarolF
    3 years ago

    I now so believe thus too. God brought me to a migraine tipping point so I can turn my life in a new direction. He’s in charge.

  • BethBlue
    3 years ago

    “Hijacked” is a terrific word. It implies that the situation will somehow conclude and bring us back to our original destination. It means that a team of expertly-trained rescuers will swoop in and capture the perp, and rescue us. It also implies that the villain will be held accountable for the crime. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if that were the case — if we could somehow take our migraines into a court of law, sentence them to death, and fry them in a chair? I’m all for that! (Can you tell that I’m in pain right now, and that migraines hijacked my legal career?) Sigh.

  • Douglas
    3 years ago

    Kerrie,

    This hits home for me as well. You have expressed how I feel better than I have been able myself.

  • kstout135
    3 years ago

    This is so amazing, so powerful, so moving, so true. Thank you for this.

  • Nancy Harris Bonk moderator
    3 years ago

    Hi Kerrie,

    This really hit a nerve with me. Thank you for perfectly expressing my feelings.

    Nancy

  • Nene
    3 years ago

    This last week I had to do some really tough things that most people would have difficulty with. I realized that mental migraine coping skills are transferable to difficult situations and I called on every one of them. Acceptance of a situation you have no control over, calmly determining your needs, doing the best you can to meet those needs and then hunkering down for the long haul with a mental attitude that understands it will be long and painful, but it most likely won’t last forever and keep your hope because sometimes things get a bit better. I have learned persistence and perseverance skills from migraine that I don’t think I could have otherwise learned. This is an excellent post. Thank you!

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