Migraine Cycles: The GOOD, the Bad, & the Ugly (Part 1)
Last updated: December 2022
When speaking to people about living with migraine disease, the word good doesn’t come spilling out of your mouth. Honestly, finding the 'good' related to migraine is lacking for many of us, myself included.
How has my migraine journey been good?
I’ve suffered from migraine for more than half of my life. I was episodic at first, and the impact was small on my life, an annoyance. As it transformed over the years, it became chronic, and the hassle became a daily burden that I was sure was trying to destroy my life.
I know. When does the good start showing up here? Well, my perception of the disease was the first step to finding my good with migraine.
What are my perceptions?
I believe life is full of opportunities and obstacles. How I perceive them and interact with them determines the outcomes of my choices. Migraine is terrible. I don’t dispute that in the slightest, but it has shown me some positive things due to my life with it.
How is pain positive?
Settling into a defeatist posture is possible for some, but I chose to flex my resiliency. Becoming more resilient is a good result of my migraine cycles. The strength to push forward and continue to overcome obstacles and therapy failures is another drop of goodness I didn’t have before migraine. My pain tolerance has increased dramatically. Sure, migraine and other comorbid conditions cause pain, but the good part is how my body and mind adapted to boost my tolerance for it. I still have days when the pain is severe enough to stop me in my tracks, but I treat it and move on to another day.
How has slowing down been positive?
Another good aspect of migraine for me is that they force me to slow down. It showed me how stress reduction and caring for myself were essential things I had taken for granted or just flat-out ignored. I enjoy the small things more now. I celebrate little victories on my more challenging days, like showering, brushing my teeth, getting out of bed, or not sitting alone in the darkness of my room. I know these things still sound like negative aspects of the disease for many people, but as I said, it’s a matter of my perspective. It comes down to how I choose to interact with my circumstances.
How are therapies positive?
Therapy regimen advancements are another good thing regarding migraine disease. We’ve come a long way from trepanation, poultices, and other creative ways to rid ourselves of migraine. In the last ten years, there have been incredible advances in migraine therapies. These are, in my opinion, very good aspects of migraine-related things. Even with the best treatments, people still suffer from this disease, but it is much better now. It will continue to get better as time goes on. I am grateful for my headache specialist. Her willingness to stay current with migraine and partner with me to try different combination therapies is a good thing.
What about you?
Migraine sufferers are hearty and determined, even when we don’t think we are, because we feel crushed by an attack cycle. If you examine your life with migraine, I bet you can find something positive that has presented itself. Maybe try squinting! Let me know your thoughts before moving on to the "bad" and "ugly" parts of the series.
Are the family and friends you will be seeing this holiday season understanding about migraine?