I used to... A poem about chronic migraine

I used to love the color purple
The color of royalty, of kings and queens
But now:
Cold fingers
Cold toes
Cashmere sweaters in the summer

I used to love to travel
The freedom, the adventure, the exploration, the education
But now:
The air pressure on flights
The time changes
The motion sickness
Trapped in my home

I used to love storms
To cuddle up with a book and listen to the thunder
But now:
I fear the darkening of clouds
I tremble with the leaves when the rain begins to fall

I used to love to walk
The fresh air, the blue skies, the warm sun
But now:
Every step shoots straight to my head
When did my brain decide to house a ball of spikes
That expands with the beating of my heart
And stabs its own host?

I used to say YES
I’ll try anything once, why not?
But now
Does that food have nuts?
Do you make that gluten free?
Will I be home in time to sleep?
Any way you can turn down the volume?
Can we go somewhere a little less perfumey?

I used to live BIG
To laugh the loudest, dance the hardest, enjoy the most
But now
That restaurant, that bar, that party is too
And it hurts too much
To laugh
To dance
To love

I used to think that living life to the fullest
Meant being a whirlwind of energy
Tackling challenges
Heaping my plate high with whatever the world could offer

But now I measure success
In hours, not months
In steps, not miles

I used to, I used to, I used to…
I don’t want to live in the past
But how do I accept the present,
If everything that I thought made me me is no longer possible?

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