Telling "My Story"-Navigating Dating and Friendships

9:18 PM chronicmigraineellie 0 Comments

I've come to realize how terrifying it is to tell people about my migraines. What people don't realize is that my migraines are a very personal, painful and current part of my life. Especially when things could possibly get romantic, it terrifies me to think that someone might leave me because of my migraines. Even if someone is just a friends, it terrifies me because I feel like I have to filter what is going on with me so that way I don't freak them out or make it seem like I'm some sick person who needs their sympathy.
It frustrates me, because sometimes I just need someone to talk to about my problems. I'm very lucky to have friends at home who were very involved and supportive of my illness. Yet uprooting and moving across the country has created a whole host of new issues. It's definitely hard when I'm just starting to get to know people to feel comfortable talking to them about what's going on in my life. Frequently, I find myself putting on a mask and pretending that I'm better than I actually am or downplaying symptoms. While I know that this isn't healthy, it reinforces the loneliness that I feel. I recently joined a Chronic Migraine Support Group on Facebook, and it''s helped a lot in providing visibility into other people's struggles. Yet even though I know that there are other people who struggle, the number of people in my life who personally suffer from migraines is very small, especially to the severity that I experience.
Having migraines is very anxiety-inducing, and even the most calm people will feel stressed and impacted. There is an overlying notion of the unknown which affects every part of your life. You never know when the next migraine will hit, when it will stop, or how long you'll feel the side effects. The unknown is the most terrifying part, because you can be relatively stable and enjoying life and the next moment you're lying in bed in pain.
As I'm writing this, I'm personally stressed out as I've had energy problems for the past week and an increase in frequency in my migraines. I'm working out transportation to go see my doctor at Yale on top of my class work and everything else that I have to do. And to be quite honest, I'm absolutely terrified that I will snowball again and become so sick that I can't function again. It feels weird, because this is so personal and I wouldn't tell this to half the people that I know. But it is accepting this vulnerability and showing it to others that informs people, and lets them know what is going on with migraineurs. As my parents have told me, communication is key. I am the only one who knows how much pain I'm in and how much I'm impacted, and if I don't say anything about it, I only suffer in silence. To everyone out there, migraineurs or not, it is important to convey how you are feeling, because you will feel better talking about it. I feel better even writing this post.
This is not to say that I don't have fears about dating and friendships, but I know that out there somewhere, there is going to be someone who understands and supports me. Sometimes, it's important to show that vulnerability. Sometimes it's important to hide. It's all based on how you feel, but always know when to ask for help.
I hope that this post made sense, as I'm quite emotional and tired. I hope everyone has a lovely migraine free week! And who knows... this may not be my only post for the week!

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