Patient Blogs | Migraine
What My Social Life Is Like With Migraine
photo of woman sleeping under blanket on sofa

I’m on the outside looking in at a life larger than me. Migraine requires a departure from a society that doesn’t wait for me to be well again. Time moves forward with or without my involvement.

I volunteer at a local cat rescue. I’m part of a group of women of various ages coming together to save cats and bring people and felines together. It’s a facility filled with scented oil dispensers, which I refer to as the enemy out to steal my day.

I know it’s my problem, not theirs. A little compassion would be nice though, especially when the AC was broken for several weeks. Temperatures soared up to 87 degrees inside the building, and I was breathing through an N95 mask while spending hours cleaning the home of my furry little friends.

Eventually, I accepted the risk and removed the mask. I medicated the consequences later in the air-conditioned comfort of my home in the middle of the night.

Often people will tell me I can quit volunteering; I don’t have to go to the outdoor concert filled with cigarette smoke. I don’t have to meet friends for dinner at a time past my window of opportunity for eating. I don’t have to see the movie filled with strobing lights. Sure, I don’t have to be part of society.

I want to participate. I want to enjoy talented musicians. I want to share food and conversation with friends, I want to view a cinematic marvel, and I want to experience the rewards of community involvement. I want to be normal, whatever that is.

Over the years, I’ve identified my triggers and can recognize early symptoms of my episodes. Without hesitation, I administer medication as soon as possible, and I can continue to function on the edge of a life that is larger than me.

On the occasions isolation removes me from life, it’s easy to relinquish to self-pity and feel others have abandoned me. I’m only human. It’s OK to visit a state of despair, I just try not to take up permanent residence there.

It’s not that people don’t care about the plight of those who have migraine episodes. Everyone has their own priorities. In this way, we are all normal. The trick is finding the people who value you as much as you value them. It’s not easy, but it’s doable.

I’m fortunate in that I’ve found friends and family who accept what it means to care about a migraine warrior. They know when to lower their voice, dim the lights, and be patient. They understand I’m doing all I can, and they quietly wait for my return to our social circle.

It’s taken years for me to learn to accept the realities of living with migraine, and I’m sure I’m not finished learning yet. With each new social circle I encounter, there will be trial and error. Migraine management is a daily balancing of risk and reward.

Migraine is part of my social life whether I like it or not. I don’t hide it and I don’t apologize for it. I’m not for everyone, and that’s fine. Knowing a few true friendships and lots of cats are on the other side of migraine pain is all I need.

Tap into a community of fellow migraineurs on Facebook. Learn, share, connect in our Migraine Support Community.

Photo Credit: izusek via Getty Images

Tell us what you think of this post?
0 Like
0 Sad
0 Cheered up
0 Empowered
0 Care
WebMD Patient Blog © 2022 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

Important: The opinions expressed in WebMD Blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. Blogs are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.

Do not consider WebMD Blogs as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.

Tammy Hader

Tammy Hader

Diagnosed since 1986

Tammy Hader has been a migraine warrior for over 5 decades. A staunch proponent of migraine management, she has developed the knowledge base to help her navigate relationships, an accounting career, and many lifecycle changes. Hader lives with her husband and cat in southcentral Kansas and enjoys writing, cooking, hiking, and football season. Follow her on Twitter, Medium and Bizcatalyst360.

Latest Blog Posts From Tammy Hader

Weathering the Midwest Storms as a Migraine Warrior

Weathering the Midwest Storms as a Migraine Warrior

I was born and raised a Kansan. My parents taught me about weather awareness at an early age. Living in Tornado Alley requires a few safety precautions ...

Read more
Migraine and Relationships

Migraine and Relationships

Relationships are strange creatures composed of similarities and differences bound together by an invisible connection ....

Read more