'Tis The Season To Say "Maybe"

After the last trick-or-treater has left our house, I settle in for a good night's sleep. I know the next day will bring about a season where social commitments, my 6-year-old's many school functions, and even sparkly decorating might trigger a migraine faster than I can say, “Ho, ho, ho.”

Social gatherings and migraine triggers

I’ve learned that the holiday season, with its many gatherings and family obligations, can be tricky to balance when suffering from chronic migraines. I love all the joy this season brings, but all that joyful running around can bring me a massive migraine attack. I found that out the hard way.

Missing out on holidays

There have been years I missed out on the Thanksgiving turkey and the Christmas morning festivities because I was immobile with a migraine. Cold stuffing and cranberry sauce leftovers were pulled out the fridge the next morning, and Christmas was postponed until later that evening due to my pesky brain barbecuing itself. The heartbreak I felt missing out or altering my loved one plans were a catalyst for me to learn to pace myself throughout the season. This is why I started trying out the word “maybe.”

Supporting others and having fun came at a price

In my life before migraines, when I could eat a pizza at midnight without eating a whole roll of antacids after, I said “yes” to every party, movie, or roller skating invite handed to me. I knew that my friends had put a great amount of effort into their gatherings and I wanted to be there to support them. Some days my support came at price.

I've attended these parties on the brink of a migraine. I've convinced myself that I'd be fine, knowing deep down I should stay home. The loud chatter, bright lights, and my emotional exertion was a well-mixed cocktail for a migraine to take over—and it did. I've vomited in friends' bathrooms and had to call my husband for a ride home. I want to be there to support my friends, but as a migraine sufferer, there are times I must support myself first.

Saying "maybe" to plans

These days, “maybe” has become my go-to response to any party invite or social gathering. On the day of the event, if I believe my head is in the right place--I go. This has helped my holiday season become a more festive on the days I go out, and more cozy on the days I stay in. At home, I'm enjoying cuddly moments by the fire with my 6-year-old and holiday movie watching with my husband and our furry-faced crew. (The dogs love to watch "Snow Dogs.")

I'm glad I added the word "maybe" to my vocabulary. It gives me the space to support myself, and maybe make it to that party later tonight.

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