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3 Reasons I've Said I'm Feeling Okay When I'm Not

"Mom," my son begins timidly, "are there different types of lies?"

Well, now my 8-year-old has my attention. I think back through our day, wondering if a particular event triggered this line of questioning. I was standing there when he washed his hands before lunch, so that classic misdirection isn't it. He very honestly announced he didn't like my hair today — so no dice there.

A conversation about honesty

So, my son and I take the time to have an honest conversation about lying. He seems satisfied with our conclusion — but now I'm left uneasy. I think back to all the times I've said I'm alright when I'm really not when it comes to dealing with my migraine disease.

Why do I say "I feel alright"?

The reason I've done this boils down to not feeling well enough to give a detailed answer or feeling like my migraines can eclipse the better parts of me. It doesn't happen all the time by any means, but here are three of the biggest reasons I've said I'm feeling alright when I'm not.

Tired of attention

While I do appreciate friends asking me how I'm doing, sometimes I'm not feeling well enough to answer. Diving into a long explanation that involves doctor visits, medicine changes, and a convo about where I truly am in my migraine journey feels like carrying my vacuum up the stairs while wearing a Scooby-Doo costume—it's a lot. I'd love to give a detailed and honest answer, but I'm either working through a migraine hangover or it's just one of those down days. It feels easier to reply with a simple I’m alright.

Can't handle the "helpful" suggestions

When I hear the conversation begin with, "How are your migraines? Have you tried…?" I've adopted a smile and nod attitude because I've probably tried what they are about to suggest. It can be exhausting explaining that, "Yes, I've tried drinking more water, and nope, it hasn't worked." Or why taking the latest and greatest supplement strangely didn't affect the frequency of my migraines. It's those times I feel it more polite to tell people I'm muddling through okay.

I need to focus on me and not migraine

These days, my migraines are as much a part of me as my elbows or eyelashes, but talking about them all the time can put the focus on my aching head and not me. Even if I'm not feeling all that well, some days, I'd like to forget about my migraines and remember I'm a person with other awesome attributes like being an awesome person. On those days, I find myself saying a quick I'm okay.

Finding a better way to communicate

Sometimes I'd like to avoid my migraines altogether, but after talking with my son, I may need to find a better way of communicating how I'm feeling. Responding honestly is probably the best way to go, so I'll have to work on some answers I feel comfortable with on the days I'm feeling uncomfortable. Once I do, I'll definitely be okay.

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