Fighting For Happiness

It’s hard to hold on to happiness from the couch sometimes. It’s darned near impossible to hold on to it from my bed. Every day that I wear a smile, it’s because I fought hard for it. I am a chronic migraine sufferer.

I have kept plenty of food journals trying to narrow down the foods that trigger a migraine. I watch my sun exposure – a trigger – which means as much as I love the beach, I go sparingly and only in the very early morning hours or at dusk. I track my pain scale daily. I micromanage my life, sometimes apologetically to my family, because the decisions I make today affect my migraine status tomorrow. In spite of all that I try, sometimes I just can’t lift my head from my pillow or the most I can do is make it to the couch, where I stay for much of the day.


It’s difficult not to think of all the things I could be doing…if only I were migraine-free. Sometimes I wonder how much my life would change if that were the case. I wonder if instead of on the couch, I would already have my college degree. I wonder if I would be a reliable full time employee at my dream job and a dependable volunteer at the elementary school two blocks away. Sometimes it’s hard to hold on to happiness. Sometimes I lose my smile.

I have always believed that the mind is stronger than the body, and then migraines came along to challenge that. My migraines cause mind fogs. I cannot recall information that I know beyond a doubt is in there. My migraines leave me tongue tied, blinking silently as I try to think of what I wanted to say. In the meantime, the reason I needed to respond in the first place hides out in that all-encompassing mind fog. I remember the first time I sat on the floor crying, not understanding why migraines would render me stupid.

I fight for happiness every day. Sometimes I win with prayer and positive affirmations like “this will get better”, “tomorrow will be better than today”, and “every migraine isn’t like this one”. I make a list of all the things I would like to achieve for the week knowing I won’t do it all, but my goal is simply to accomplish SOME. I know that I can do some. I take pride in fighting my own mindset and that of family and friends who imply that I do nothing all day. Sometimes I give my medication an hour or so to kick in and I sit outside in defiance. Periodically, I work in my garden or watch the ocean from my car in spite of the remaining symptoms. I believe my migraines will respond to my positive mindset and by following a good treatment plan.

I know that I am more than my migraines but every migraine feels as bit like defeat. I insist on battling that feeling. I insist on happiness. I insist on maintaining peace of mind. My personal reminder: this IS real and I am not alone.

Do migraines leave you feeling defeated? What do you do to combat that feeling?

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

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