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Skeptical woman hiding behind a sign with a brain on it.

Who Am I Beyond Migraine?

Some huge changes in my life have prompted me to get a bit existential, and I have been pondering questions like: what is fear?, and who am I? I mean, besides someone who lives in chronic pain and who feels hurts a lot of the time…who am I? Sometimes living with chronic pain can be so consuming that we can lose sight of ourselves beyond the pain, stigma, and adversity. I’ve spent some time thinking about what defines me, my character, and who I am beyond migraine. Here is what I found:

I am an advocate

From being active in my community pushing for a society that is kinder, more compassionate, and fairer to us all, to advocating for increased understanding around migraine and other illnesses, I am a passionate advocate who is greatly concerned with the well-being of both myself and others around me. Even though the pain is immense, I am committed to strive for something better, and this keeps me going during particularly rough patches.

I am a friend

Many in the community know all too well what is like being the friend with chronic pain. Always cancelling. Breaking commitments at the last minute. Being reclusive. Many of us, out of necessity have limitations on what our friendships look like. I know that I have caring and kind friends in my life, and I am a friend to them, too. I communicate openly, and am there for loved ones when I can be. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming and tough to not be able to hang out or take part in fun and important activities, but I am lucky to have a handful of friends whose only expectations are really to love, be kind, and be honest. That makes it easier to be a friend and to hold friends.

I am a big sister

My younger brothers (all four of them) mean the whole world to me. Even though I can’t always hang out with them and stay up through the rambunctious play times , I provide for them when I can and am always loving. The love that I share with my siblings is one that keeps me feeling lucky. Not everyone has family who cares unconditionally, and having these fun, outgoing, and understanding friends for life is a treasure.

I am a dreamer

Like many in the community, I deal with anxiety and depression. Migraine is a dark and debilitating disease, and sometimes there are days, weeks, and even months where I can’t see sunshine anywhere. Pain is a strong motivator though, and for me, it drives hope. I still have dreams and I still strive to achieve them when I can. It may look differently than someone completely able-bodied, but even slow progress is progress to me. I dream of returning to school, I dream of feeling better, I dream of traveling, and I dream of having a career. Sometimes my dreams feel deferred, but I keep hope alive because I believe the world is full of possibilities for change and growth, even if it doesn’t look like what we hoped for.

Who are you beyond 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

  • Justbrowzing
    1 month ago

    Woke with a migraine (level 9) 2006 it didn’t go away.. I prayed for something I can live with…so now I live with a headache… it took years for the brain to heal when a virus hits us… I’m urging you to keep searching the net I’ve found one I’m thankful I tried…a simple brewing of a tea 3 cups later I don’t need oxycondone anymore…. there are more options nowadays I’m soo hopeful there’s a medication and a mushroom and an operation I’m researching to try for success… we have to be proactive to find a cure cause big farma can’t make money with a cure! Your not alone!

  • glassmind
    2 months ago

    I am a devoted family person, a great pet parent, a trustworthy friend, a community volunteer, a kind stranger, an artist, a patron, a lover, a homemaker, a philosopher….and more!

    Thank you for the opportunity to focus beyond Migraine. Your words are always nice to read!

  • Kyky Knight moderator author
    1 month ago

    Glassmind,

    Thank you for sharing such wonderful characteristics! So glad to learn about many fun and interesting aspects of you.

    Looks like we share similar interests—I am also a community volunteer and artist! What kinds of art do you like to make?

    Take care.

  • glassmind
    1 month ago

    I dabble in writing, drawing, photography and textile arts. I also enjoy interior design and gardening (also arts!) And you?

  • Crystal.Harper
    2 months ago

    I think many of us can agree that we can often falsely identify ourselves as someone living with the conditions we are faced with, but it’s important to remember that we are so much more than that! I went to a conference once where a speaker was talking about this exact topic and it really hit home for me. She explained how her condition had no longer allowed her to be a cheerleader and for as long as she could remember, cheer leading was her entire life. She had to work through this and instead of only identifying herself as someone living with chronic pain, she realized that she is so much more than that. She had us all do an exercise where we had to write a list of things that “we are” (much like what you’ve done here) and it was eye-opening how difficult it was! I hope your post inspires others to take the time to think about everything that they are, despite living with migraine. Thanks for the great post!

    Kindly, Crystal

  • Kyky Knight moderator author
    1 month ago

    Crystal,

    Wow, thank you for sharing! That sounds like a very useful conference. I love that you all were able to have that directed space and time to reflect and make a list—it can be tricky sometimes when faced with consistent pain, but it’s true—we are full and varied beyond our conditions.

    Thank you for the well wishes to the community being inspired as well! How are you doing this week?

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