As everyone keeps telling me, I’m not going to meet anyone sitting at home. But, there’s no place to go that’s quiet. Bars/clubs are definitely out of the question and even private parties (like at someone’s home) are too noisy/loud. Then there’s the problem of, even if you do meet someone, where the heck do you go on a date? I can’t even find a restaurant to go for dinner that doesn’t have music blaring or just too much noise from all the people. Most “normal” people want to go out and go places, but when you have chronic migraines, you can’t go to concerts or sporting events or just about anywhere. It’s not even just finding that special someone, you can’t even make friends or maintain any social life. Since there isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not popping some pain killer, I don’t drink any alcohol which makes people either assume I’m a recovering alcoholic or that I’m a drag. Somebody needs to start a site or a social group for migraine sufferers! Sorry for rambling. I think with the holidays approaching, it’s just another reminder of the loneliness associated with living with migraines.
Migraine.com is a great place to meet and talk to other patients and caregivers. Hopefully you received a welcome letter from us that included links to different ways you can participate here, including our active forum: https://migraine.com/forums/
I do definitely understand the quandary of being chronically ill with Migraine, and the mountains we have to climb just to be social. It’s even tougher when you’re living in the country on a farm as we are. That said, this is not an impossibility – we just have to learn to think outside the box.
One way I encourage patients to become more social in a friendly atmosphere, is to volunteer. There are thousands of organizations, some local, others national. All of these organizations need people to help them with everything from stuffing envelopes to caring for children. Stop and think about the most quiet places in your town. I’m thinking libraries where you can teach people to read, the hospital or a nursing home where people are hungry for a smiling face and someone to read them a book, churches, charities. Sound boring? Far from it! Those are great places to go, help out, and meet great people along the way, who also happen to enjoy similar things. Let’s face it, if we find a friend that is only interested in the things we can’t do, that’s a relationship that’s probably not going to last too long or be a very good match, is it?
The wonderful parts about volunteering include: Something to do that is entirely controlled by you. You say who what where why when and how. You get to meet people that enjoy similar things – This is very conducive to great new friendships. It feels great to help others… when we are often the ones feeling like we’re sucking up resources, the ability to give to someone else is like filling up your gas tank. It feels wonderful!
There are some concerts you can attend and are quite Migraine friendly, if you are open to a wide variety of music types. One of the best things I talked my family into last year was going to the local university’s “Messiah” concert. Not only did we make a fabulous memory, but we arrived early so I could choose the best place for my Migraine situation. Colleges and Universities are always putting on plays, concerts and other activities that are usually great options for Migraineurs. Try ballet too. It might seem stuffy at first, but go once, and most people are hooked. Nope, it’s not rock and roll with strobes and a light show, but it is an option.
Sporting events aren’t out of the question either. Sometimes think more broadly is the key. Get involved with a local kid’s team. Choose your seating wisely, and retreat to a quieter area if necessary. You’re right, large sporting arenas are overwhelming for a Migraine patient, but thinking small is sometimes just the ticket.
I’ve never been an alcohol drinker per-se, so I’ve rarely gone to bars etc where drinking is expected. That said, it is an enormous trigger for me, so when I am in this situation (usually conferences etc) I just chuckle and say “How about a soda instead?” Honestly, I don’t care anymore what others think. I can’t afford to. Those that know me understand why I don’t drink. Those that don’t know me will either get to know me and eventually understand, or they won’t. Those that won’t, don’t matter anyway.
Wow, Ellen – thanks! I love your “tough” attitude! I do need to work on my ability to forget about pleasing everybody else and worrying about what they’ll think when I can’t do certain things or go places.
It’s okay to feel badly sometimes too. We all need the chance to mourn the things we’ve lost sometimes. But where does that get us? I think it’s best to try to focus on the things over which we do have control.
I thought this was a fabulous topic, so I’m actually going to blog about it. Thanks for a great idea!
I think this a great topic too. My son’s world has gotten progressively smaller as he deals with escalating Migraine attacks. That uber isolation leads to depression and added stress. My solution is to urge him to do the things he likss when he can. When he can’t, so be it. Easy to say, tough to do.
I love this site! I would never wish a migraine on anybody, but it’s nice to know I can come on this site and learn from others and not feel like such a “weirdo” by living a pretty pathetic life because of the unpredictable hell of migraines. Thanks!
I was just going to suggest searching Meet Up as a place to look for other people with migraine – that’s also a good starting point.
One word on concerts of any type any where – if you are sensitive to sound as I am even the most classical of concerts may be too much to tolerate. Having performed both in the chorus and orchestra for Handel’s Messiah, this piece like any music can get extremely loud. There are many events in all our areas, if you go it may be a good idea to bring ear plugs if sound sensitivity is an issue for you.
Keep us posted on which events you go to to meet others like us!!
I always say, every Migraineur experience is unique. Yet, there are similarities on many levels. Truth be told, I have not considered the aspect of sound as a trigger because my son doesn’t have that issue. But clearly it is worth keeping in mind when setting up the Look AHeads meeting venue. Thanks.