June is Migraine Awareness Month and, as someone who suffers from chronic migraines, a spokesperson for No Time 4 Migraines, and a mom of three, there are strategies I use that help me combat my migraine monsters. However, I wouldn’t be able to do that without the people who surround and support me.
A great supporting cast is necessary when facing any struggle and, luckily for me, I am surrounded by people who understand how much my migraine attacks impact my life. In fact, most of the people in my inner circle can relate to this issue as well. For example, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve called my mother asking for suggestions and advice on how she used to handle her migraine attacks.
If you are someone who suffers from migraine, my best advice is to seek out a group of people who will catch you when you fall, dim the lights when you ask, and truly understand if you ever need to cancel an outing due to migraine. It is so amazing to have friends and family who don’t judge me when I tell them I’m calling it a night because the thunderstorm-triggered migraine won. Acceptance is everything.
Sharing My Migraine on Social Media to Help Others
I am thankful that the days of suffering in silence are long gone. I am one of my best advocates, because I refuse to lose control of my life. If you follow me on social media, I openly discuss migraine attacks. I share my triggers because I want to help parents to possibly define those of their children. I also share when I feel a migraine is brewing. It is possible for me to function during the beginning stage of a migraine attack—there are so many different levels of an attack and no two migraine monsters are the same. I could be standing on a soccer field for my son’s game, attempting to stay until the end as the sun is beaming right into my eyes. I do my best to stand strong for my son. There are days when I can’t get out of bed because I am nauseous, and even a glimmer from the cable box clock is enough to set me off. It’s always different. I share these stories to let other migraine sufferers know they aren’t alone.
The Benefit of Having Friends Who Also Deal with Migraine:
When I pick up my son from school, I usually find myself talking to the same group of parents—we like to call ourselves The Migraine Crew. This special network acts as a support system when a member of the group has had a recent migraine. We all come in with our personal migraine attack stories, which is great because it assures me that I am not alone. I recommend you try to find people in your town and community who you can speak with on a regular basis and open up to about things you have in common. It feels good to relate!
Friends Who Have Seen All of My Migraine Struggles:
I always like to share the story about my very first migraine. It happened when I was in college, studying for finals. I remember hiding under my friend’s comforter as she read the test chapter to me so I could pass the test. In a close friendship, you’re willing to go to the moon and back for someone.
When you have that type of friendship, you should hold onto it tightly.
Friends Who Help You in a Migraine Crisis:
When you are having a tough morning, make sure you have someone to call who can take over the child carpool. If a migraine attack leaves you unable to make it to the after-school child pickup, call the friends you know won’t ask twice about why you can’t be there.
We all need that support group to survive. Even though my support system doesn’t expect anything in return, I always try my hardest to show my appreciation by giving back twice as much. I know in my heart that if I need a few days in a row due to a migraine or something else, I won’t be in any sort of debt. I am lucky in life to be surrounded by the kindness and support of my friends.
My Mother is My Migraine Mentor:
If you didn’t know, my mother also had migraines growing up. She no longer suffers from them, which gives me hope. The fact that her migraines stopped one day gives me hope for a similar bright spot in my future. When I have a bad migraine attack, I call her for comfort and ask her to tell me in detail how and when they stopped. My mother believes that they stopped after menopause, though she isn’t fully sure. Most of her migraines were linked to hormones and after menopause she noticed a large drop in attacks. I listen to her migraine-free stories as a form of therapy during my worst of times. My mother’s personal migraine story gives me hope. I’m dreaming of a migraine-free life for myself.
My Husband: #1 Migraine Supporter:
My husband Bill is everything to me: he helps me live a better life. I am a better person for knowing him and I don’t know where I would be without him. When I have a migraine, I know he will help me in any way that he can. We could have an entire day planned, but, if a migraine attack begins to take over, he is sympathetic. He sees the migraine monsters I deal with and he understands my migraine. He is a wonderful husband and father; I’m very lucky. I’m not sure I could have found a more supportive man.
On bad nights, when I am helpless during a migraine attack and have to trust someone to drop everything and help me manage, I know I can count on my husband.
I feel safe knowing I can trust my husband to get the important things done. I couldn’t have asked for a better supporting cast member than my husband.
Build Your Own Migraine Support Cast
Have you thought about having a supporting cast made up friends, family, and/or advocacy group members? In my opinion, this is crucial for being able to successfully live with migraine attacks. By making more people in your inner and outer circles aware of your condition, you are equipping them to help other people in need as well. Help spread the word about this Migraine Awareness Month by starting today. You can also visit No Time 4 Migraines to learn more about migraine and the migraine monsters.
Along with support, there are multiple treatment options available to help ease your pain. Be sure to consult your doctors about what could work best for you. During my scheduled appointments with my neurologist, I always talk about what he thinks makes sense for my pain management. Having this communication is key. We never stop discussing symptoms and responses to new opportunities.
I’m sharing my personal migraine story in partnership with Promius Pharma as a paid spokesperson. The story, thoughts, and opinions above are expressly my own.