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Imprisoned By My Own Head

I have had a continuous migraine for going on three years now. It started after I had 3 concussions in less than 6 months. I have a high pain tolerance, so I try to deal as much as possible. But as more and more treatments do not work, I am actually beginning to lose hope. I am 36 years old and I have had a hard life. I have survived many bad things from abuse to health problems to accidents. I have always prided myself on being strong. But now I feel weak. I feel like there are days when it is such a cruel irony to have worked this hard to overcome so much only for the pain to continue.

As you can probably tell I am depressed. I am not sure if this is from the severe anxiety of not knowing when the pain will become unbearable like it does most days, or that my family will see through the charade I play daily to avoid their worry, or that I will eventually completely lose myself. Whatever it is, it is breaking my sanity. I can feel a little bit of myself slip away everyday.

I am not who I was before this disease. I no longer feel in control of my own life. I feel like I am at the will of this disease and that infuriates me. I no longer plan things because what for? So I can cancel another vacation because the morning we travel I cannot get out of bed? Or half way through the movie I can run to the bathroom to vomit? My career plans gone, my personal plans gone, family trips gone.

My family life is strained also. For the most part they are supportive, but I see the disappointment and at times frustration when I am having another bad day. On real bad days my mind is foggy and I become very overwhelmed. I sometime act out in anger raising my voice to my family. I come off as such a bitter person. Total opposite of who I actually am? Was? I don’t even know anymore.

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.


  • Luvmyfam22
    1 year ago

    Hi Debbie ~ Hang in there!! I don’t know how long you have been on this site, but there are so many encouraging, informative articles and conversations that transpire. I say yes, yes, yes to MMS1956 when she said your accomplishments. Some days my only goal is to get out of the bed and take a shower, or get out of bed and make toast, or if I can’t make it out of the bed i make my goal to focus on what I can learn or how I can think of others and then tell them what they mean to me. I have lost a lot, as we all have…friends, time, hope, making plans, etc. I have gained a lot, like consistent, increasing unrelenting pain, daily nausea, a dent in the bed, where it seems I spend most of my time. But, if each day I can think one positive thing or accomplish an iota of a task it’s been a great day and a great victory! Even if that doesn’t happen I focus on not beating myself up, I just roll over my goal(s) to the next day, and so it goes. Debbie you may not feel like it, BUT you are a champion, a survivor!! You have made it this far! Although all of our pain is so unfortunate and out of our control, find what you can control and don’t let go. I pray you get the support from this site and from those you love that you need because you are a survivor!!! God bless and hang in there!

  • jrse
    1 year ago

    I, like you, developed migraines after my first concussion, and they got worse after my second concussion. I have almost daily headaches, often severe. I take a lot of meds for my migraine pain, oxycodone, triptans, prochlorperazine, but I often still have to just push through the pain. I also have other long term effects from my concussion that disrupt my daily life and function. I cannot drive, I cannot work, I cannot go to stores or movies or museums… My 7 year old begs me daily to go to the library with him and daddy but I cannot because I will be unable to walk and I will puke. I feel so guilty and as though I am the worst mother in the world every time I tell him I cannot do something. I grieve the loss of my “old self” daily, and after 3 1/2 years still have not accepted my “new self”. I imagine I would be happier if I did accept who I am now, but honestly I hate who I am now; I hate that I cannot work or drive, I hate when I cannot go to public places, I hate when I snap with extreme anger, I hate when I cannot make dinner or play with my son. All that being said, I have done some things to try to help this function. To go to a public place I will use a wheelchair (pushed by my husband), wear sunglasses, and use earplugs. I take my meds. It is not perfect, but better than nothing. I do not try, even with adaptations, to go to things like movies or certain stores. I wait for the movie to come out on Netflix, I order online or ask for help (which I hate doing but have accepted I sometimes must!). I try to remember it could be worse; I could have snapped my neck in one of my accidents, I could have lost my legs,…Not that I would wish this lifestyle on anyone, but it is nice to hear someone going through and feeling the same things I do. I hope, for both of us, that there are medicinal advances to help us feel more like our “old” selves someday. In the meantime, here’s to us and hanging in there. We are obviously stronger than we think!

  • MMS1956
    1 year ago

    Don’t give up. Personally I’ve had a migraine every day now for over six years. At least before every new drug trial or MRI or Botox etc etc I had some optimism about a solution to my constant pain. I’ve lost track of how many doctors I’ve seen and the list of drugs is probably over 25 by now. Tramadol is my chemical solution and medical marijuana is my natural helper. Neither one gets rid of the migraine but puts me in a functioning state. Tramadol is addictive and nasty but that’s what I need when traveling outside of Canada. MM is legal in Canada and helps get me through the painful days and certain strains help me sleep through the night. I also have Major Depressive Disorder and have seen three shrinks. Not much help from psychiatry but was worth a try. Keep trying as there is always hope. I know that’s easy to say but you have to try to stay positive. Don’t try to plan too much in your schedule and celebrate the smallest accomplishment, even if it’s just getting out of bed! I’m serious…….. I have a special “helmet/hat” that is kept in the freezer and that goes on my head first thing every day. Hopefully you can stay the path and find what works for you. Be safe.

  • blancj8
    1 year ago

    Debbie Hang in there. I know almost what you are going through. I had a 7 month long migraine last year. Every day to know as soon as I got up the pain was going to start building… Even when I didnt get up it would show up an hour or two later.
    Are you being treated for Concussions and Migraine? I had my third but mildest lifetime concussion last year at the end of my cluster headache cycle and I wish I would have gotten checked out. I didnt think anything of it, I only lost 3-6 minutes; just a light tap in comparison. But that third one is a doozie.
    Just know there are over 2 million other chronic migraineures in the US alone and I bet we all miss the person we were.

  • debbieleq author
    1 year ago

    Thanks for the response. I am so happy I found this site because it was allowed me to meet people like you that can at least understand my situation. There has to be a breaking point for people, and to be honest I am terrified that I will reach that soon. Feel literally like the pain is actually driving me insane.

  • blancj8
    1 year ago

    On my phone today so please forgive the whatever it does.
    I think I broke more than once last year. But people aren’t eggs, we can put ourselves back together. Some famous coach I think once said ‘if yp ure going through help, don’t stop, keep going.’ We all struggle and unfortunately there is such a stigma to migraine from those that don’t have them, that we all hide. What was it that the W.HO. said, that migraine is the 10th most disabling disease. For such a small percentage of people who have chronic migraine that is huge. The only thing we can do is keep on moving forward and trying treatments until we find things that work for us personally.. BUT I know how hard even that is when you are so crushed that getting up seems impossible.

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