I Just Want to Be Normal
I know that there’s no such thing as “normal,” but my definition of it, is a life without migraines. Sounds kind of nice, wouldn’t you agree?
What is "normal"?
Normal is being able to plan your life… or at least your week, without the fear of a migraine creeping around the next corner and ruining your plans. Normal is not spending days at a time in a dark room with excruciating pain and vomiting my guts up. Normal is not maxing out on medicine and still being in pain.
Even as I write this, I think, "Is that really too much to ask?”
Is normal too much to ask?
I always associate poor health with the later years of life. Truth be told, I started asking this question when I was just a kid. That’s when the unpredictable, debilitating migraines started. I’ve lived with them for decades at this point.
I’m fully aware that I have to check myself because there are a lot worse health conditions out there. I know this firsthand because I also have multiple sclerosis, and that’s no walk in the park. I also saw my mom battle cancer for 10 years prior to her passing. So, I know all too well the importance of being grateful for what we do have in life. I’m also beyond grateful that I have health insurance to cover doctor’s appointments and access medication. But I still want “normalcy.”
Why isn't it my right to be healthy?
I really have to do a lot of mindset work to manage this desire that I also feel should be my right to live with good health (as much as I know, nobody was ever promised good health or even an “easy” life). So, how do you manage these emotions, thoughts, and expectations?
How can I change my thinking?
I grew up in a home where I was constantly encouraged to change my thinking if I was struggling with something that was out of my control. I would say that migraines can fall into this category, wouldn’t you?
Yes, I do all the diet and lifestyle habits and follow my doctor’s recommendations, but I can still go through seasons of unexplained and relentless migraines. So, how can I change my thinking around that?
Here’s the process I started with. It’s by no means perfect or right, but neither am I.
What should my expectations be?
I need to let go of the idea that life without migraines will be perfect. Will it be less painful? Most likely, yes. But it’s not to suggest that we will have perfect health just because we don’t have migraines. When I really think about that, I realize that I’m fantasizing about a life that might not even be on the other side of migraines. It also puts all of my power in a place that is in the future – a place that I cannot access right now. What is it that I really want?
What should my focus be?
I want more days where I am enjoying my life. I want more days out of bed and off the couch. I want to be outside doing fun activities with my friends. And there it is. That’s what I need to focus on.
Doing the activities that support my health now have a greater meaning. It’s not just about avoiding the next migraine. It’s about being able to enjoy life outdoors with my friends. That’s my “why.” This is then what I focus on to do all the things that support my health – like eating well, taking my medication as prescribed, moving my body to the best of my ability, etc. This also becomes my priority on days that I do feel well. I, of course, must get my responsibilities done in life, but I want to prioritize time outdoors with my friends. So, I can have those experiences of “normalcy” on the days that I do feel well.
For now, I’m focusing on building normalcy one moment at a time.
What helps you to build normalcy in your life with migraines? Share below.
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