When your migraines affect your life, but you don't want them to affect your life
Last updated: June 2023
When you have chronic migraines, frequently occurring migraines, or easily triggered migraines, applying for disability sounds like a possible solution for you. At this point, migraines are taking over your life. You can't go into certain stores because of their scents whether it be a clothing store, bath product store, makeup store, or anything. Certain stores have light that's just the right brightness/color to trigger a migraine. You can't live in this apartment complex because if the fire alarm goes off it'll echo and that'll cause a migraine. You can't have this friend drive you anywhere because they have an air freshener that's just the right scent. You feel rude asking a friend to please not use that perfume/lotion, it's a trigger. Roommates are not an option for you because there are so many things that they can do to trigger a migraine. Every step in your life you're thinking about it. It has literally taken over.
But the thing is, we all want to be normal. You WANT to go into that store because they have a new blush that you have to try out! That's your best friend, they should be able to take you places, and they like that perfume, by the way. Their grandma gave it to them for Christmas!
So, you go to that concert that'll be loud. Your friend takes you to that store and you complement that perfume. No one wants to have a disability that takes over their life, and we're all stubborn. Just because we could have a bad day or a trigger doesn't mean we can't have fun. Who knows? Maybe today that perfume won't trigger your migraine. You can't lock yourself away from the world on the possibility that something may go wrong.
But you're disabled, filed for disability, and as such people believe you're not aloud to have fun. You can't have sound triggers! You went to that concert! Why you in this perfumy store? Don't you have scent triggers! If something goes wrong, it's your fault! Almost to the point where you feel guilty for going out and having fun. Don't you know, you're supposed to be disabled, and you can't have fun.
That's about where my life is at. I read an article about it for people with invisible disabilities, and I relate. For some reason, people think that disabled people aren't aloud to have normal lives! Yet here you are just wanting to go to this concert because oh my gosh this is my favorite band. You feel every attempt to go out is met with backlash, and when it's not, you're afraid people will think you're making all of this up! You have to act sick for people to take you seriously, and at the same time you don't want to show how bad it really is because you'd seem weak. What? Do you want a picture of the meal I couldn't hold down due to the migraine? Do you want pictures of me crying in bed? Do you want me to fall down screaming each time I'm in pain? Do you want me to stumble and fall to show how incapacitating this is and how dizzy I am? Because I don't want that for my life. You know what? Yes, it hurts. Sometimes it's so bad that I can't go out. Sometimes I can't eat for days because of it. But hell, if I'm having a good day I WILL live it up, and there's not a damn thing you can do to stop me. Just because we have a disability form in our hands and we can't go into that store because it might trigger a migraine or can't go out today because we have a migraine doesn't mean that we are bedridden. On our good days, we should be allowed to be ourselves without having to justify ourselves.
It's an internal struggle that all people with invisible disabilities have to go through, and it is damaging to those of us that just want to try to be normal on our good days.
Are the family and friends you will be seeing this holiday season understanding about migraine?