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Living with Migraine

Silent Migraine and Guilt

  • By Nicci

    Hi all and wishing you a pain free day. And yes, ‘pain free’ is actually my topic. You see, I have managed to reduce my symptoms from daily pain that ranged from 4-6 during the day to 8 to 9 when I went to bed. I’d wake up every day with a headache. (My headaches always worsen if I lay down.) Magnesium helped reduce pain to fewer morning headaches and far less pain during the day. But I suffer the ancillary symptoms to varying degrees almost all the time. I lose my words, have terrible depression, blurred vision at times, light, sound, smell and sometimes even sensitive to movement. Neck pain. Frequent nausea, but is that anixety? I don’t feel like I should have “any excuse” for anything unless I’m in screaming pain or puking my guts up. I often can’t tell if fatigue I feel is depression or migraine — they seem so intertwined to me at this point. I feel guilty when I don’t have pain, but I have other symptoms. I also know that many people suffer so much more than me — I do read the forums here and I admire you all so much.

    I feel like this incredible weakling and the negative self-talk is a very, very bad idea, I KNOW that. My self-confidence is the pits at this point. And I don’t know why. I don’t juggle children and migraine!

    It’s not ME I’m not confident with, actually. It’s the anxiety that symptoms are going to hijack me at some crazy moment. I’ve been working for years on a project that is about to either succeed or tank — and I’m terrified of both things. There are days when I lose days to migraine symptoms or PMDD (extreme PMS) and then everything backs up and I feel inadequate and incapable.

    If this project succeeds, it could be a ton of travel and driving at night is a big issue with headlights — and altitude is an instant migraine for me. It’s hugely stressful, political and backstabbing industry as well. I’m just not sure what to do anymore. I have a mission that means the world to me. Everyone says I have the smarts and the personality to do what others have not accomplished. They all think I’m so ‘put together’ — but they don’t know my dirty secret: migraine, anxiety and depression.

    I just don’t know what’s the next best move, or what is meant to be. And I feel very guilty about that, too. I feel like I should have a direction, know what I want, and have a plan to do it. I have the responsibility of public speaking and high-stress meetings and I’m seeing my memory fail me as well as being petrified I’ll ‘flub’ something. I feel useless, but I can’t feel like I can justify that without being in agony! Guilt. Pathetic, too.

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi Nicci,

    Welcome! Thank you for sharing your heartfelt story with us, I can’t imagine that was easy.

    Negative self talk is a problem many of us with chronic illness battle. It takes great effort every day to combat it and you aren’t alone – we understand.

    It sounds like you have a lot going on in your life right now, and good luck with your upcoming project. I wonder however, if you are able to set time aside for yourself? Depression and anxiety can feel like a “dirty secret” but it doesn’t have to be that way. Both these conditions can be comorbid, meaning they can occur at the same time migraine does, but are not caused by one another.

    Having a great medical team is just as important as having a great team at work. Depression and anxiety can be managed and not necessarily always with medication. Here is information that may help; https://migraine.com/blog/breaking-through-the-darkness/ and
    https://migraine.com/blog/debunking-misconceptions-about-depression/.

    Good luck with your project, let us know how it goes.
    Nancy

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