Thursday, April 19, 2012

Denial isn't a river in Egypt

Denial is something that chronic migraine sufferers live with daily.  We pretend that we don't feel as badly as we do in order to get through the day.  We fake feeling good so we can attend parties or other gatherings, or we have to miss them altogether.  

We are living a lie and this takes a toll on us physically.  We push through our pain so that we can be the spouse, caretaker, sibling and/or mom.  There are responsibilities that have to be met and the fact that we are suffering doesn't stop them from having to be met.  So we pretend that we are okay and go about our day.  People see us and think that we must be feeling good if we are out and maybe even look like part of the human race.  They leave us not knowing that inside we are crying and can't wait to be back in the comfort of our dark room.  

We get very good at this.  So good in fact that when we say we are sick people don't believe us or think it couldn't really be that bad.  Just because we are upright and breathing doesn't mean that we are feeling good.  People tend to project their own feelings onto the people they are with.  If you are angry you might snap at someone around you for instance.  When we meet up with someone and they are feeling good they think we must be feeling the same.  Even if we are asked "how are you", we play that question over in our heads before answering.  Do we tell the truth and explain all the things going on in our life, or do we give the short answer because we don't think the person we are talking to really cares to know.  More often than not, we lie and give the short answer "fine".

Worse than the denial we feed ourselves is the the denial from our family and friends.  They can't comprehend that we could be THAT sick EVERY day.  They have never experienced the level or duration or pain that we do, so we might as well be speaking a different language.  They think "how bad can it be, I've had headaches and went on with my life".  This isn't a headache; according to the World Health Organization and the Migraine Trust, "Severe migraine attacks are classified by the World Health Organization as among the most disabling illnesses, comparable to dementia, quadriplegia, and active psychosis  (Shapiro & Goadsby, Cephalalgia, September 2007)."  Imagine dental work with out pain medications or being numbed first.  That is crazy, right????....Yet we are told every day that our pain can't be that bad, and we are just seeking drugs.  Well, we are, but it's to end our pain.  It is real!!!...It is AGONY!!!!  

Please, we beg you to try to understand things from our point of view.  The pain, day after day, with little or no relief.  It is like being a prisoner being tortured day after day.  Not only does the pain wear on our bodies, it weighs on our minds and spirits.  We need those around us to leave this state of denial that things aren't that bad and join us in reality. 

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