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I open the car door and slide into the driver side seat. I sit quietly and wait for my vision to calibrate. It requires immense focus just to see through the simmering lights my mind creates. Sometimes, I don’t mind them, they can be beautiful after all, but “not now” I think! I need to drive. I reach forward to grab my parking ticket and put the car into reverse in one fell swoop. I look briefly behind me and let off of the break….Crunch!

I hit the pole! How could I be so stupid? I clearly remember parking next to it and then fretting about remembering it was there during my infusion. I even reminded myself about it with a nod as I stepped into the car, and yet I still hit the pole. Sitting in a parking spot in the garage at the Cleveland Clinic I realize this is the perfect metaphor for my life right now. Constantly, I work to prevent my pain and improve my quality of life and as soon as I get distracted it seems it hits me out of nowhere. I assumed I would get better when I got all of my medication back after struggling with insurance, but I didn’t. I assumed I would feel wonderful this summer, without the stress of having to work since I am an educator, but I didn’t.

I am left feeling guilty. Guilty that my car is all scraped up, guilty that I can’t even drive myself to and from treatment effectively, but mostly guilty that I cannot stop my own pain and all of the inconvenience and difficulty it causes those around me. I wipe away my tears as I pull the car forward and then back out again. This time, successfully making the trip home.

About: I’m a 26 year old female, had abdominal migraine as a kid, diagnosed with basilar type migraine at 18, diagnosed with chronic migraine on July 3, 2014. I am currently receiving treatment at the Cleveland Clinic.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Katie M. Golden moderator
    5 years ago

    I’ve been there too, in the car crying, frustrated, desperate. Guilt is a typical reaction, especially in the beginning. I can tell you that it will eventually go away and you’ll learn to accept the new challenges chronic Migraine brings, but everyone has to go through the process for themselves. I wrote about finding acceptance with my illness:

    You’re in the right hands at the Cleveland Clinic and I can tell you’re a fighter. The journey to finding the right treatment for you comes with a lot of trial and error. You have to be patient, which I know is so hard. The most important thing I can tell you is to take charge of your care. Learn all you can, research, and talk to your doctor about treatments that interest you. They don’t always have all the answers. Here is a great place to start:

    This website is a great tool. Our search feature is really good and visit our Forums page to ask questions and connect with others. You’re not alone!

    I wish you the best!

  • Sara author
    5 years ago

    Thanks so much for the response Katie. I am ready to fight. Sometimes, I just need a moment to gather myself first. I have been reading a lot, and your right this website has been truly wonderful.

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