Are you intimately aware of that feeling of isolation when it comes to migraines? Have you ever really thought about it before – that you feel isolated and alone when you have a migraine?
I think of the times in the past when I had such excruciating migraines and have had to forego social activities and other types of engagements. Yet, there are also family times in your own home that you can miss out on.
One of the first examples that comes to mind is when some of my immediate family came by for a visit. I remember hearing them at the door, and worrying about what I was going to do because all really I wanted to do was stay locked up in my room and let the world pass by while my migraine also passed by (very quickly was the hope). I remember on that occasion hearing my husband tell them, “Oh, mom has a really bad migraine and she is in bed resting.” I remember feeling helpless to really know what to do. Despite the way I felt, l was also experiencing that sense of responsibility that I should get up and spend some time with them – even though I would rather stay in bed. I did go out into the living room to visit with them for a while despite their assurances that it was okay just to stay in bed. While the conversation was going on all around me, I could barely participate, and I felt withdrawn and isolated. I would nod my head and try to make the appropriate responses. It didn’t take long before I excused myself and went back to bed. I heard them talking and laughing together, and remember how miserable, alone and distraught I was.
Of course, that feeling of isolation has nothing to do with who you are with when you feel that way. My family was definitely not intentionally excluding me. It comes down to the way, as a migraine sufferer, you are feeling in that moment. You feel withdrawn, empty and alone, as if you are disconnected with people.
If you are familiar with this sense of isolation that comes with migraine, you also know that feeling of aloneness, as if part of you is missing, and you can’t even let those closest to you into that space that you are in during that period of time. You don’t have it in you physically or emotionally to be of any good to anyone. This is intensified if you are heavily drugged – almost catatonic at times — from all the pain medications you have had to take.
I have to say that I am very fortunate to have a great family who, for the most part, understands the impact of chronic migraine. Some of them have had bouts of suffering with migraines themselves and know the feeling.
In those times of feeling isolated you have to grab onto the truth that in reality you are not alone. There are so many out there who live with chronic migraines. Sometimes it can give you comfort – especially if you are in support groups and forums with fellow migraine sufferers – knowing you are not alone and that other people out there know exactly what you are going through and the feelings and emotions you are experiencing. [Why not join my Migraine Support Group on Facebook and join with those who understand you. >>JOIN HERE<<]
Oftentimes, we don’t feel we fit into a “normal life.” We often feel scared and angry about having this chronic illness and having to miss out on so much of life. It just doesn’t seem fair when you have to miss out on life, does it?
I know those feelings and my heart goes out to you as a fellow migraine sufferer. Yet you also know my story of victory.
As a result of what I have experienced in my own life, I am here to tell you that you can make changes that can help you through the chronic pain and move you to a new place in your life. I am not any different from the majority of chronic migraine sufferers. I got to the point of desperation in my own life – a place where I was so sick of the suffering and pain that I knew I had to make some changes. Change is scary and never easy in my estimation. I had to make a determined effort to make those changes come about. In my mind, I could either continue going down the path of pain and misery, or try to see if I could make some changes that would make a difference. As you know, for me, that was a pathway to freedom from the daily migraine/headache to 2-3 migraines a month — which are generally weather-related.
There have been some very simple changes I have made in my life to bring me to this place of healing, things as simple as:
• Change in diet
• Relaxation exercises
• Staying away from known triggers
• Physical therapy and stretching
• Adding some essential oils into my tool kit
Although they sound like simple things, these are some of the very things that brought about change. It didn’t happen overnight, but as I was consistent in my use of natural prevention. My reward is that the migraine frequency lessened and now if I experience a migraine, the intensity is far less.
Whereas at one point I would reach for a pain pill, I now will reach for something in my “natural toolkit” to help me get through. Don’t get me wrong – there are definitely times when I have to take medication. But the addition of some simple natural solutions can make a world of difference.