Who Would You Have Been Without Migraines?
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Profile photo of Holly Baddour

Who would you have been without migraines? What would you have accomplished in this lifetime if you hadn’t been hampered by severe pain and related symptoms?

What if?

It’s heartbreaking to consider what the world would look like if the 36 million people impacted by migraine could actually accomplish that which we are passionate about. In my heart of hearts I know the world would be a more beautiful place if we all could be released from migraines and put the time we are in pain to use in the world.

People with migraines are generally compassionate because they understand what it means to be crippled by severe pain. To that end, I would bet that once released by pain, former migraineurs would pursue worthy goals aimed toward helping others who are struggling. Goals that would have a positive impact on the lives of others; perhaps finding ways to provide support, wellness and compassion. And because we value the limited time that we are well, I bet once freed, we’d also be extraordinarily productive.  We would not take even a moment for granted. We would live lives of gratitude and live by example- offering to others the compassion we might’ve wished we had received during our days with migraine.

Life is but a dream…

I’ve had my own dreams of what I would do if I were to be released from migraines and I’m sure you have had those fantasies too. I watch people without migraines and am envious of those who are well enough to doggedly pursuing their passions. But I find myself almost upset at those who are well who are NOT doing so. Again, so many people take their wellness for granted.

On a regular basis, I visit the dream of what I would like to be accomplishing, if I was able to pursue my interests, unencumbered by pain. I think of myself going to school for accreditation, and then moving into the workforce. In my mind’s eye, I see myself on a schedule, with people counting on me to show up on a specific day and time.

Reality bites

Then I wake up. The painful and sobering reality of chronic migraine comes back and shakes me out of my fantasy. The daily severe pain, accompanying symptoms of nausea and vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound, all combine to make my dream ludicrous. How could I possibly commit to the pursuit of a degree, since it requires a rigid class schedule?  Ultimately, if I made it through the coursework, how could I ever be counted on to hold a consistent schedule? Migraines hit at the most random times. They can be worse with added stress, which would surely come with any coursework or employment.

In lieu of my dream, I have found other ways to contribute to this world. I have created several art projects to help fulfill my creative impulses. And, I am able to do projects without deadlines from my home. In this society that values productivity over so much else, I have to admit it feels good to have something to point to that I am “doing.” But ultimately, being unable to pursue what I would choose for myself, if given freedom from migraines, is very defeating and feels hugely unfair.

Again, I applaud those in this world who are pursuing their passions. Regardless of whether or not they realize how lucky they are to have the option– I celebrate their pursuit.  I simply wish those of us with migraines could be given the opportunity to do the same.

Do you have a passion you wish you could pursue but your migraines keep you from doing so? Are there other ways you can meet that need?

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