When I was in high school with severe chronic migraines, I was confronted with many different issues. My peers didn’t understand why I missed so much school. Teachers thought I was absent too much. They saw me on good days, when the pain was low and tolerable. I looked like any other normal kid. People started wondering, Is her pain real? Is she doing this to miss school? Is this for attention? Maybe it’s depression and the pain is “all in her head.” They probably wondered, Why can’t she suck it up, take a couple Advil, and be normal? I missed out on a lot of high school.
As an adult? I have real responsibilities. Real bills. Trying to get a career started. But no matter how awesome I am on my good days, I can’t hide it anymore. And now, I am letting people down again.
Migraines steal my happiness. Torturous pain.
Migraines steal my memory. Stupid meds.
Migraines steal my reputation.
Migraines steal my energy. Less energy to do the things I love.
Migraines steal time with my friends family and loved ones. Missing out.
Migraines steal my plan-making abilities. Unpredictable.
I don’t know how much longer my job will last. My work says they understand I’m having a medical problem. But my absences are “excessive.”
Like I really want this to happen to me all the time.
I feel like I’m back in high school. My coworkers don’t seem to understand. They just know how many extra hours they’ve had to cover for me. My employers wish I could just suck it up and stop missing work.
They only see me when I’m fine. Or worse, when I’m pretending to be fine. But I am not fine.
C’est la vie.
On the bright side, no matter what, I will never give up. I can’t let the migraines take the life out of me. They won’t take the hope out of me. I’m strong enough to handle this. I’m going to stand up for myself and my disability.
Just taking it day by day.