Anticipatory Anxiety

I apologize but this is a stream of consciousness type of post because I just had five bed-ridden migraine days in the past 8 and am too tired to edit myself.

To begin, I find that all those wonderful celebrations that everyone looks forward to, such as birthdays, anniversaries, family get-togethers, holidays, make me incredibly anxious because I don’t know when or if (though the if is not really and if) the migraine will strike. Will it ruin my children’s birthday? Will I neglect my husband when he comes home from a business trip? Will I have to bail out on yet another family function or girls night out? Sometimes, just having no plans is easier because I don’t feel like I am letting anyone down. Yet, having no plans is lonely and makes me feel useless; so, I bounce from one extreme to the other–over-scheduling on good days and dark quiet rooms on bad ones, or napping to save up energy and ward off the middle-range migraines that plague me most of the time in between the bad days. It’s the last of control that is the worst. I am grateful not to have a horrible, terminal illness, but am resentful of the nature of this neurological one that has so few curative treatments.

I am also saddened by my inability to hold onto a full-time job. I have a lot to offer and want to, but the illness is debilitating, so I find myself turning myself into a pretzel at times just to be a part of my life and may loved one’s lives.

Over the pst 9 years, I have learned not to give myself as much of a hard time. If I need to rest, I do. Still, I catch myself saying “sorry” much more than I would like; and I catch myself worrying if I will have to say “sorry” for each upcoming happy event.

The one thing I have learned–the bless in this mess–is that I stand up for myself much better now than I ever had done before. I state what helps and what doesn’t and I express my emotions in as non-confrontational a way as possible ( though I admit, that is sometimes a failed effort).

In addition, it is so hard to tease out whether the anxiety is a prodrome or just a knee-jerk response to worrying about whether I am going to miss out on another event.

Do any of you ever feel like this? And what are your solutions? Thank you for listening and I hope your next weeks are migraine free!

Alicia

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