A letter to people without migraines.
For those who suffer from chronic headaches and migraines it can be near impossible to fully explain the effects to loved ones. While not all migraine sufferers share all of these symptoms I found that this was an impactful way of describing migraine pain.This letter was created in hopes that it would bring simple, unfiltered light onto the real impact migraines can have on someone life.
If this sounds like your life or someone you love please seek medical help, there are many options out there your sure to find the right one for you.
Dear people without migraines,
Imagine for a moment you’re having a dream.
In this dream you’re trapped in a room with no doors, no window and no light.
It’s pitch black.
But there’s someone else in the room.
Someone who’s wearing night vision goggles whilst you remain in the dark.
What you can’t see is their firm grip on a metal baseball bat, ready to swing.
You’re hit in the head and drop to the floor. The attack causes dizziness, vertigo, and confusion.
Eventually you vomit from the intense pain. Your speech is slurred. You can’t concentrate.
You frantically search around this small dark room, feeling only solid concrete in every direction.
There is no escape.
Some time passes… it could have been hours or even days.
Just as you can begin to rise to your feet, you are struck again in the head.
The attack leaves you completely debilitated. Worse than the first.
The pain is so intense you feel you might pass out… but somehow you don’t. Cruelly, you’re left conscious with all the pain.
Your head is spinning. You feel pins and needs in your fingers and your face.
Bright lights which aren’t really there, blind your vision.
You beg for it to stop.
But it won’t.
This is how a migraine attack has been described to others without migraine.
It’s a nightmare that you don’t wake up from.
Only it’s worse.
No one believes you.
Over time, migraine can take everything.
Many of us with migraine need all we have to deal with the physical suffering and mental stress caused from constant and debilitating attacks.
When I’m at my weakest and most vulnerable from another attack, I’m forced to face another unexpected monster.
Discrimination and ridicule.
I’m told things like: “Why did you leave work? It’s just a bad headache. You don’t see me leaving when I get a headache.”
It’s difficult to describe the frustration and disappointment from such a patronising statement.
Migraine are commonly met with skepticism, stigma and discrimination.
Migraine has broken up marriages, families, relationships and careers.
If you're reading this letter from someone who shared it with you, it's because I don't want our relationship to fall apart. You’re important to me:
I’m sharing this letter with you because I care about you and our relationship.
This isn’t a request for pity or sympathy.
I’m simply asking that you try to understand:
...I’m not trying to get out of the housework.
...I’m not taking the day off work to go shopping.
...I’m not trying to avoid your friends' events.
I’m simply doing the best I can with what I’ve been dealt. There’s always someone worse off than myself and I’m grateful for what health and support I do have.
But I didn’t ask for this.
This is one of the most complex and challenging battles life has thrown me.
Help make the fight easier by removing the guilt and shame.
Sincerely - A migraine sufferer