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The Burden of Being a Burden

Right now, I don’t even know what to say. I just know something needs to be said or I’m going to sink into that black hole referred to so lovingly as depression.

I received a voicemail today stating that the job I started not a month ago has terminated my employment. I had hoped, considering my new boss “understood” what I meant when I said I have chronic migraine disease because “she had it too”, that she would be a bit easier on my absences. I longed for that understanding and felt trust, for once, without having to work for it.

Turns out me being up-front with her didn’t work, and I trusted too easily.

I’m not an idiot. I know that, logically, they can’t have someone who randomly can’t show up for their shifts. I get that with my migraine disease, fibromyalgia diagnosis, and my non-epileptic seizures that can happen whenever, I’m a walking liability. I just wish they’d be realistic and not hire me if they can’t handle it.

I find myself hating me. Hating everything I can’t do, all the stuff I can’t eat, and let’s face it, hating my genetics that made me like this in the first place. This was supposed to get better after I did what I was told. I’ve done nothing BUT what I’ve been told to for nearly 2 years. So many different preventatives. Figuring out that I can’t even try any of the new medications because my migraines are too “complex“. Not being able to try the one medication that MIGHT work because insurance sucks (even though I, sorry, my husband, pays nearly $400 every month). And yeah, I get it. Other people have it worse than me. Other people will always have it worse.

So here I am, typing nonsense.. thinking maybe it’s important enough for others to want to read it. We’ll see. All I know is, the last three jobs I’ve tried to push myself through have failed and it’s starting to feel like I need to stop trying.

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.


  • Shelly8
    3 months ago

    I’m so sorry to hear that you lost your contract Parmes. No matter how much support individuals at work try and give us it seems that the policies and procedures that supposedly “protect” the organisations end up damaging some of the hardest working employees because performance is never taken into consideration. I’ve been in many HR meetings for my migraines and had lots of “poor you but unfortunately…” kind of chats too and it’s terrifying and adds more stress which as we know increases the chance of sickness.

    In terms of feeling like a burden, I say all of this to my husband, my friends and myself regularly but I’ll tell you now what they say to me “you’re not as bad as you think!”. As we are the victims stuck in the middle of this torment 24/7 I think it’s easy to forget that they don’t hear our every thought, whinge, cry so what we actually say to the people we love is probably not quite as much of a complaint or demand as it seems. Furthermore, they love you and if the shoe were on the other foot, wouldn’t you do anything you could for them?

    Wishing you all the best. Take care and keep those loved ones near. You deserve all the love and care that they give you because when you can, I’m sure you do give it back.

    Shelly x

  • kathrynfw
    6 months ago

    This is awful. So sorry.

  • SkiingIsBelieving
    6 months ago

    Please search for Stanton Migraine Protocol on the web. You sound desperate. This has changed my life completely, as it has so many. I wish you the best as you remember and rediscover your inherent value.

  • Crystal.Harper
    6 months ago

    Unfortunately, there are too many stories out there very similar to yours and I can’t begin to imagine how frustrating that must be. Please don’t give up, there are some great employers our there who actually do understand and I hope you find a work environment that is perfect for you. I also wanted to share this article with you about working with migraine. There are a couple tips in here that I’m hoping may help:

    I also wanted to share this blog post with you, simply to show you that you aren’t alone in your frustrations with this topic:

    We are here for you anytime. Sending warm hugs your way.

  • glassmind
    6 months ago

    Thank you for sharing your story. It is important as a community that we can be open and honest with one another, vent, have comraderie, etc.

    So sorry you are having such difficulties with Migraine and with employment.

    It is incredibly frustrating. You may think it would be better to be turned away before being hired, but if you are honest with your condition before hiring, then it would be discriminatory (in many countries) to refuse to hire you.

    In the US, the ADA, protects individuals in hiring and workplace accommodations.

    If an employer can make accommodations, the are obligated to do so.


    If one’s condition is so disabiling as to cause frequent absenteeism, then, as you say, what is an,employer to do?

    I encourage you to talk to your doctor about getting a letter stating exactly what types of accommodations you need in order to be on a job site. And, while it can be very difficult to find work at all, I encourage you to consider jobs that either ar work-from-home or have flexible hours (truely flexible).

    Check in your area for employment services (if there is one for folks with disabilities even better) that may help job match for you.

    And consider filing for disability financial benefits if availible in your community.

    Most importantly….

    I encourage you to love yourself.

    I say that sincerely. My own migraines have brought me to deep emotional lows and even suicideation. I know how frustrating Migraine and “healthcare” can be. (My government sponsored plan covers very few effective therapies.)

    I’ve grieved the loss of things I once ate or did (movie theaters are still a lament). And I’ve learned to enjoy new migraine-friendly foods and activities.

    Many of us struggle to manage migraine even doing “everything right”. I encourage you to applaud yourself for continuing to struggle in the face of such adversity.

    There is a difference between a pushing through and pushing oneself too far.

    Personally, pushing too much only makes things worse. It gives me anxiety to try and remorse when I fail. I keep mu expectations for myself high, and I have shifted what I expect of myself. I now push myself toward self-care, love and respect.

    An easy thing? Ha! Still I try.

    I hope you can find suitable employment and continue trying to do the best for yourself that you can.

    Thank you again for sharing. You have raised awareness of just how frustrating Migraine is and have helped build this community.

    Wishing you the best


  • LizW
    6 months ago

    So thoughtful and empathetic. Best wishes for peace and healing to you both.

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