Migraine at Midnight: It’s Nearly New Years’ Eve
...and I’m anxious that I’ll be the party damper again. The one having to find the host to ask If I can lay down somewhere cool and quiet, or if someone has a cloth I can wet with cold water to put over my eyes, or if the music can be turned down a little, or if anyone is sober enough to drive me home because my head hurts again. It’s a feeling I am sure many who suffer from migraines have felt: dissonance between wanting to go out and have fun, and knowing going out might leave you feeling sick and in pain. Beyond the chance of getting sick, having to rely on others to get through the night on a special occasion, or feeling like a fly on the wall unable to really participate because of Migraine symptoms, can be really anxiety inducing.
When migraine and anxiety steal the show
Migraine pain can be debilitating, and dealing with it has often caused me to have to do not-very-fun things like cancel plans with friends, or leave dinner with family early, or call out of work just before a shift begins. These situations can be tricky to navigate, and never feel good. On a particularly social night like NYE the last thing I want when my friends are having a good time enjoying each other's company, is to feel like I am watching from the outside in, with throbbing pain in my head and eyes, contemplating whether or not I am going to have to do the not-very-fun-thing again and cancel.
FOMO (fear of missing out) hits me hard during these situations, and I find myself trying to push past my pain often times so that I don't appear absent. I also actually really like to be out dancing to loud music, having drinks with friends, and spending my time off of work in a celebratory manner, so being excited about doing the things that make me happy only to have them cut short can be infuriating.
Social events also are likely to leave me feeling guilty because I have to ask for help and attention from others who are trying to enjoy themselves, and often feel like I require too much responsibility and attention from others when I am having an attack, so much so that I sometimes cancel out on plans to make sure I won't be a bother to others. I even sometimes settle into feeling like I don’t deserve to have fun, or as if I need to make up for all the times my friends have had to take care of me when I have been in pain from migraine. Ick! With all of these anxieties weighing down on me prior to and during social gatherings, it can be hard to actually enjoy outings in the moment.
Taking back the night
In an effort to challenge my anxieties, I have written a few resolutions to myself for NYE night and beyond, as a means to encourage myself when I am feeling down and doubtful because of my migraine disease:
- I am resolving to affirm to myself that migraine disease does not make me undeserving of a good night out.
- I am resolving to view myself as valuable, and not a bother or a burden just because I have migraine disease and require assistance sometimes.
- I am resolving to try to feel less guilty about friends helping me out when I'm in pain, especially when good friendships can be and are reciprocal when it comes to taking care of one another.
- I am resolving to listen to my body and not let abstract FOMO keep me in a painful situation, and alternatively, I am equally resolving to not let my anxiety about migraines keep me from going out when I want to.
What are some of your resolutions for the new year as pertains to migraine? Do you ever feel conflicted trying to balance your interests and your migraines? Let me know in the comments!
How much has your migraine disease changed or evolved over time?