My experience with migraine began as a brand-new twenty-year-old who had just started her sophomore year of college. Thankful to have an awkward freshman year under my belt & ready to return to life with friends I hadn't seen all summer, I thought little of the stubborn headaches I began experiencing once a week and allowed myself an afternoon nap to keep them at bay.
From headache to migraine
However, as the year went on and I developed dysautonomia, I found those weekly "headaches" becoming full-blown migraine attacks that never went away. Maintaining the 4.0 and perfect attendance of my freshman year became a distant concept, and I found myself moving home to finish undergrad while my parents' cared for me and I prioritized my health.
A decade of discovery
Ten years later, after a decade of too many hospital visits, new neurologists, & getting to know my brain and its sensitivities, I still haven't returned to that newly-minted college sophomore's level of functioning (recent time off work to prioritize gaining muscle strength and attempting to break a rebound cycle has only made me more aware of this!). However, I can say my current self certainly experiences deeper gratitude over things my twenty-year-old self took for granted.
I once felt like a slacker for running less than thirty minutes, I now jump for joy overrunning (any distance) for fifteen minutes without taking a break. My twenty-year-old self tried to make and keep as many friends as possible, and let's get real, my current self still likes to do this, but now I lean towards valuing going deeper with those in my inner circle. I once needed every minute of time scheduled, I now treasure being present over maintaining a busy schedule.
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