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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 team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • kim716
    5 years ago

    This perfectly describes my week. I have had a significant migraine every day this week. Our local weather pattern flip-flops have caused chaos with my chronic migraines and made my meds all but ineffective. I have felt so defeated and tired. Tired because there are things you want to do, need to do, and have to do, even though you don’t feel like it. But you get up, despite the pain and do those things anyway to try to make you feel better, but it’s completely exhausting. The last couple of weeks has felt like a vicious cycle.

  • Anne
    5 years ago

    I hear ya. I was just down for the count yesterday with a migraine. I’ve found that I can lessen the pain – through meds, restricted diet, yoga therapy, etc. – but I can’t take away the fatigue, brain fog and dizziness. I am so frustrated, but we all have to play the hand we are dealt. I keep looking for a solution and living in the hope that this won’t go on forever, but it’s really hard.

  • Veggie1973
    5 years ago

    It puts you n a dark place!! I’ve been battling this one since 9/21/13!! Been n hospital, had a million tests, maxed out on all meds & still no relief!!! How do you not give up when your dr almost does!!! Trying to keep fighting to see a light at the end of the tunnel!! I try to put on a brave face on the days that I can actually get out of bed because I have a precious 7yr old girl who deserves a mom that can attend all of her cheer competitions, bball games & is able & must b able to run her here, there & everywhere she needs to go!! Let alone just b able to function on a day to day basis with homework & such!! I thank God that I have an amazing husband & family that understand & help out tremendously!! I’ve been battling migraines for over 20 yrs & I’m just TIRED!!! Why o why can’t someone come up with a remedy that actually works for these debilitating monsters so I can have my LIFE back!!!

  • Katie M. Golden moderator
    5 years ago

    You have an amazing strength and resolve. We all get down. This isn’t an easy fight, especially when you rarely get a break from the pain. But your attitude is going to help you through it. I’m jealous that you live near the ocean. That’s my happy place. When I meditate that’s where I pretend that I am.
    Keep fighting!

  • margaret
    6 years ago

    Hi LJ, You’re story is unfortunately all too common. I have suffered with migraines for too many years and have tried EVERYTHING from diet changes, chiropractors, acupucturists, several medications….name it and I’ve tried it. Then I read this article
    and my life was changed forever!! I have been responding to peoples blogs and trying to get the word out to everyone to try this treatment. Don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s just acupuncture…it’s not. He has a gift that no one else does. I understand that this blog is mostly in the states but there are people going to see him from all across Canada and the world. If it didn’t work people wouldn’t go. He has a 90% success rate!!!! I am so happy to say that I am migraine free and I know the pain and suffering that people go through and if I could help just ONE person be free from that I would die happy! No one deserves that suffering in their life. I wish you the best of luck on your journey! MM

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