A point of view illustration of someone driving and experiencing migraine with aura.

Driving Away Migraine

It’s taken me a very long time to find pride in being able to do things on my own. I was very blessed to have parents who supported me in my endeavors and sought to give me the best tools possible to handle life. They taught me how to be responsible with a pet, clean up after myself, handle money, and most importantly, drive.

I was stuck in a parking lot

My mom and dad used to take me out to our church’s ENORMOUS parking lot and practice driving around and around, practicing turning, and parallel parking.

It had been three years since I was eligible to start my long and tenuous process learning how to navigate the great paved unknown. Yet, I was no closer to achieving that goal.

I was scared I would get an aura

Even before I was diagnosed with migraine, they would find their way into my head all the same and I was terrified that it would affect my driving. I mean, when I’m on the road, on that long open trail, all I have at the end of the day is myself. Sure, I can jam out to my pop tunes or listen to my favorite advice podcast, but I am always the operator of the vehicle. I am the brains behind the machine and sometimes when the circumstances were right…

My eyes, the things I trust the most - the two balls that I have such faith in to not betray me - at any given moment, might fail me. An aura might take over and that was enough for fear to take over for three years. That paranoia was enough to keep me landlocked and in the clutches of my parents’ backseat, despite being actively social.

I wanted my independence

My parents drove me on dates when I was eighteen.

I could vote and cast my ballot and decide who became the next president (not single-handedly to be fair). I was a real-life legal adult and I couldn’t drive to the polling place.

Well, what did I do?

I stepped out of my fear

Well, saying as how I’ve been driving now for like four years, I can safely say that something worked. I guess in short, I had a real frank conversation with myself. The pros of being able to drive, to be free and responsible for my own schedules and social life, was such a liberating idea.

Sure, it’s easy to say that now looking back, but it was a real issue that I was terrified of occurring. Something that has, very thankfully, never happened. I have yet to experience a migraine while driving. The fact that I can say that makes me so happy that I made the choice to not let it affect me. I wouldn’t have been able to travel to Boston and New York or be able to sustain the relationships that I have. I am very glad that I didn’t let fear be the boss of me. Driving is pretty cool.

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