Volunteering while Disabled with Chronic Migraine
The frequency and severity of chronic migraine pain and its accompanying symptoms can be consuming to manage. For people who’ve been disabled by chronic migraines, volunteering can provide a sense of purpose and a reminder that there is more to life than pain.
Often people with migraine are Type-A in nature: driven, well-organized, and with high standards for themselves. It is interesting then to learn that one in four people stopped working, took medical leave, or reduced work hours due to migraine (a statistic which emerged from the recent from migraine.com study). Here we are, trying so very hard and in many cases, migraines have effectively sidelined us from our careers. And when migraines disable us, we can be left feeling lost and rudderless. Forced to redefine ourselves, it can help to find volunteer opportunities to feel productive within the confines of the condition.
Paradoxically, the very thing that might have taken us off the job market may make volunteering problematic as well. The awful truth for those of us living chronic migraines who want to volunteer is that we can’t always be counted on to be in a certain place at a certain time. This is a terrible feeling. Especially for us Type-A folks. Many of us are incapable of committing to be in the same place at the same time every day due to the severe pain or related symptoms of migraine. The last thing anyone wants is to volunteer where help is needed and then have to cancel last minute. The trick, therefore, is to find ways we can help others that can be done with some flexibility – in our own time, on our own terms, and perhaps even in our own homes.
My dark room: