I know sometimes we feel like chopping our heads off and flushing them down the loo.
There's no denying migraines are horrible. There's no denying they turn us into self-pitying crying messes on a Saturday night when everyone is out on the town. There's no denying we feel forgotten about because people no longer invite us to things as they know we will decline the invitation. It's enough to drive a sister crazy!
Recently, I've see a lot of people on my international migraine support group saying things like 'oh, my aunty complained of a headache, who does she think she is?' or 'my friend has a headache, oh how laughable!'
Even the 'my sister has a migraine, ha! If only she knew what it felt like to live with one every day!' has made an appearance.
Seriously guys, who DO you think YOU are?
STOP. Stop this right now!
Just because you suffer more than others does not belittle anyone else's experience of pain. Sometimes I see migraine sufferers one-upping against each other like there are points to be scored.
Hemplegic 1 - episodic 0 - round two, ding ding!
Side note - I blog regularly about migraine to raise awareness and provide a platform for discussion, as well as to give information to the newly diagnosed - not to belittle anyone else's health.
Sometimes your colleague might go home sick with a cold and you think to yourself 'ooh they'd never cope being me. Look at me, I have a migraine every day and I'm still here!'
Where does this attitude get anyone? How do you expect people to support you when you are belittling their situation?
Yes YOU might feel like absolute crap, but moping about telling everyone stuff like this confirms to yourself that a) you suffer more than ANYONE else and b) just makes you a teeny bit heartless.
Stop feeling like you are the worst-off people in the world. For all you know they could be dealing with anything and haven't told you - for this very reason - that you'll just reply with one of these lines or tut at them.
Remember back to before you were diagnosed, if you can (yay for prescriptions!) A cold, the flu, perhaps even a hangover was enough to see you bedridden for the day, or at least marooned on the sofa under a blanket. But as a migraineur, you can't always do that, life still happens and we probably won't feel better tomorrow. Bills have to be paid, children have to be taken to school and the rest. A snotty nose? Oh, that's cute.
PAH, we think migraine gives us a license to mock anyone who has a sore tummy, or asthma, or anything else. That's if they dare tell us about it.
What gives us the right to think that nobody else suffers like us? If someone is complaining about something, it matters to THEM. Whether it's your husband, your family or your colleagues. Nobody likes a mood hoover!
Everyone has their own things, their own struggles, stuff you probably don't know about because they know you'll just go one-up with 'oh well, my migraines...etc.' when for all you know they could have something much larger than 'just a headache'. How can you expect support when you don't offer it out yourself?
You yourself know what it's like to have people not understanding, going 'oh another migraine? Have you tried avoiding chocolate?'.
How about get off the internet and go do something positive instead of wanting others to put you on some migrainey pedastal and climbing up there yourself?
Use this opportunity to educate instead of putting people in a corner, of course, once your friend/whomever is feeling a bit better.
When people feel sorry for me because of my chronic migraine diagnosis, I feel bad inside. I don't want pity. I just want people to understand. I always reply positively with something like 'it could be worse'. At the same time I am reminding myself that I CAN smile, I AM dealing with this.
And to be honest, rubbish as my situation is, it really could be worse. Get some perspective. Be grateful for your mere existence, your access to healthcare, your freedom of speech or whatever else you want to be grateful for - especially if you have some ice cream left in the freezer!
Pull yourself out of this thought process and instead, pat yourself on the back for being as strong as you are! You deserve respect, not pity.
Sometimes it *is* impossible to see forward and get yourself out of this thinking quicksand, especially on a bad migraine day. If you're not ready to try and change your attitude, recognise why and make small steps to turn your outlook around when you have a good day.
Positive thinking often increases your personal resilience and your health.
We're not dying, we are migraineurs, and we are BETTER than this.