The Tyranny

Suffering from Migraine

No greater burden can be borne by an individual than to know: no one cares or understands – Arthur H. Stainback

Migraine is a cruel tyrant. The people under his volatile rule periodically experience excruciating head pain (agony) in combination with dreadful nausea (misery) and extreme revulsion at the relentless persecution and invasion by the outer world in the form of glare, noise and odor (assault).

The Face of the Tyranny

It’s this unique combination of agony and misery and assault that rattles the self, the core of one’s being, the innermost center of spirit and soul, creating a sense of torture and defeat. And so migraineurs withdraw from life during an attack and hide in a quiet dark room, like a wounded animal in a cave.

Between the torturous episodes, patients are shaken by the latest attack and tormented by the primal fear of the next ride to hell. They feel vulnerable and abandoned for not getting the protection they beg for. This lack of care makes them feel undeserving and unworthy.

On top of that they struggle with shame and guilt, for being a disappointment to their children, for being a burden to their partner and for being unreliable and unproductive at work. In essence, they feel like a failed version of the person they want to be and could have been.

And then there is the intolerable horror of feeling not understood, of being a nuisance, a spoilsport, a party pooper, a drama queen, a nutcase with hysteria or a whining malingerer; partly unwanted and somehow outcast.

But the really sour icing on this bitter cake, adding insult to injury, is the hurt and humiliation caused by words that pierce the heart like a dagger, fuel resentment and fury and add something extra to the already callous burden. It’s the merciless abuse by dismissive words like:

“You’re exaggerating. It’s just a headache. You’ll have to live with it.”

If your experience with migraine is somewhat similar to the description above: What is it that holds you back? What prevents you from making the changes that end the migraine tyranny? Please let us know in a comment.


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