Chronic migraines impact every part of my life.
Add in the depression and anxiety, those comorbid disorders, and you end up with a steaming pile of … well, you end up in a sucky mess.
I’m not sure many people can even tell how miserable I am sometimes. I like to joke around. I’m sarcastic and witty. I amuse myself which tends to amuse others.
I seem like a normal, happy, fun person.
At least, I think I do.
Then there are those people who know that I’m good at hiding just how crappy I feel. That I can function in a mostly normal fashion even when I’m in terrible pain or feeling incredibly anxious or depressed. Those people it’s harder to convince that I’m fine. I’m ok. Well, I’m ok enough.
I was describing to a friend the other day how I can push through many of my anxiety attacks, and no one is the wiser. I’ve had a lot of practice. I recognize what’s happening and can breathe through and ride them out. Most of the time.
But I still avoid my biggest triggers. And I let them swallow me when I’m home and safe when I’m tired of fighting them off.
It’s similar with depression. That monster is so familiar that I tend to let him hover for a while and talk it through with my husband to keep me from letting it completely distort my thinking.
I have many coping mechanisms I’ve developed over the years that work pretty well. Although I wish I didn’t have to do all these mental gymnastics to get through life, I am grateful that I have them and I do get through.
I have less control over my migraines.
After 20 years they are still an enigma.
Sure I know some triggers and have a lot of tricks in my bag to deal with the pain but I have yet to find a way to really, truly cope with them.
I function. I function pretty well to the outside world. But at home they know how crippling my pain can be. How I can sit on my ass all weekend because doing anything just makes it worse. Plus I have to save up my fight for the week when I have to work and get the kids where they need to go.
You know, when I have the outside world to answer to.
I often feel like I am letting down my family. They suffer as much as I do from my lack of function. Maybe more.
I had some good weekends over the last few months and I actually felt normal. I participated. It was great.
But it was fleeting.
Chronic migraine is a bitch.
I wonder how I can continue to let those I love most down. I wonder when they will give up on me. Maybe they should give up on me.
Maybe I should just be alone.
I don’t want that.
I’d say that is my greatest fear.