Migraine’s Silver Lining

I’ve been called the Queen of Silver Linings by my family and friends. I guess I was trained at a young age to always seek the good in a situation and life. It’s served me well in a lot of situations, but I think none greater than with migraine.

Being in what felt like a constant migraine throughout my childhood, I’ve experienced the disappointment of having to cancel last minute on so many fun social activities. I missed out on the birthday parties, cheerleading pep rallies, and so much more. It was isolating and disappointing. I spent several family vacations lying in the hotel bedroom praying for it to pass so that I could join my family at the pool and on the beach.

Did I break the relentless cycle of attacks?

It’s what prompted me to explore diet and lifestyle to further help manage migraines. I’m grateful that because of that trial and error, I have been able to reduce both the frequency and intensity of the migraine attacks. It’s been a long road but for the most part, I was able to break the relentless cycle.

What has less frequent attacks given me?

Do I still get migraine attacks? Yes. I was just in the hospital a few weeks ago with a terrible one.

But because I am fortunate enough to have breaks from them, which being part of this community has helped me to realize what a true blessing that is, I try to be so much more intentional with how I spend my time when I am feeling better and how I interact with the world as a whole.

I am more likely to say yes to opportunities because I know that not that long ago, I didn’t have the luxury.

What has migraine taught me?

But beyond “seizing the day,” one of the greatest gifts that migraine has given me is a sense of compassion for others who are struggling with their health. The reality is, migraine or not, nobody goes through life without a single struggle.

So this has truly opened my eyes to the fact that no matter how someone may appear on the surface, they too may struggling and just need a little kindness.

What does compassion and kindness mean?

And often our kindness can be simple, unexpected gestures. It may be something as simple as making eye contact with someone and giving them a genuine smile. It may be the only time they felt seen in a long time. Or holding the door for someone who is far enough away that you could probably keep moving, but you slow down long enough to welcome them with an open door.

It’s having forgiveness with the person who cancels last minute on you for plans that you were really excited about, but you know all too well the feeling of having to disappoint others with last minute cancellations.

It’s making a meal for someone who isn’t feeling well or is a caregiver and would really enjoy a homecooked meal that they didn’t have to prepare. I remember when my mom was on hospice, a neighbor brought over the most delicious meal, but the true gift was those extra minutes that I got to spend with her instead of being in the kitchen preparing dinner.

Handwritten notes are also a lost art these days. Taking a moment to send a thoughtful note to someone who's been on your mind can go so far. Sometimes, knowing someone is thinking of you can brighten the entire day.

Really listening when someone wants to talk is a true gift. In our fast-paced world, giving someone undivided attention is rare and can make them feel truly valued.

Leaving uplifting and encouraging comments on someone's social media post or blog. This small act can really uplift their spirits.

Can we find silver linings in this disease?

My point is that being part of this community we know all too well the struggles life can bring. But allowing ourselves to create a silver lining by bringing little acts of kindness to those around us can help us turn our pain into beauty.

Now I’m curious to know, what “silver lining” have you found or experienced living with migraine? I would love to hear in the comments below.

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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.

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