Migraines or any type of chronic pain pretty much affects everything you do including the relationships you build with your friends. For the most part, our friends understand us as much as we understand them but that can all change as soon as your friend starts having chronic pain. Your relationship may not be the same anymore or may start to fade away completely because although you may think you understand their pain unless you are going through it you don’t! I have lost more friends than I have gained because of my migraines but I consider myself lucky because of the one friend that has stuck with me since I started getting migraines. Migraines have not physically put a strain on the relationship I have with Karly but they have affected some aspects of it.
Affects the plans we make- Unfortunately, I do not have as much energy as I did before I started having migraines and all the coffee in the world will not help. (Actually coffee barely has an effect on me except for the fact it helps reduce my migraines) With that said I do not do well with long outings, it puts a huge toll on my body and nine times out of time it takes me a week to recover from a migraine that was caused from a long outing. It is very rare that I won’t get a migraine from a long outing so if I can avoid making plans two days in a row I avoid it like the plague. I don’t avoid hanging out with my friends I just know my triggers and try to make plans around them. What kind of friend would I be if I didn’t ask Karly on her opinion on how she thinks our relationship has been affected?
Sarah’s migraines affect our friendship in a few different ways. It makes me very aware of the kinds of plans we make. I feel too bad to plan to spend all day out if I know she’s in a lot of pain, especially if she wouldn’t get the chance to take a break. Sometimes I’ll want to suggest things like coming over to play video games, but then I remember that’s probably not a good idea. Aside from that, it just affects the friendship because I spend a lot of time worried about her. It’s hard to know your friend is in pain. That said, I wouldn’t say that it puts any strain on our friendship at all, it’s just something I try to keep in mind.
I’m always angry- For anyone that knows me or is friends with you probably could agree that I am a generally a very happy person. Since I started having constant pain the happy Sarah is gone! I always feel angry because of my pain and it takes a lot of self-control for me to not snap at people for no reason at all! Just because I am in pain that doesn’t give me an excuse to treat Karly with disrespect because she still deserves to have a great friend that is always there for her no matter how much pain I am in. If the tables were turned I would want her saying the same thing.
Lose friends- Have you been struggling with finding and keeping friends because of your migraines? I have lost more friends than I have gained because of my migraines and although Karly is a very supportive friend and I would do anything for her she is not always available when I need to talk. Join a community of other migraineurs! When you are losing friends it can cause a lot of stress, anxiety and sometimes depression and joining a community of other migraineurs will help you cope with these feelings and have a friend to talk to that has some understanding of what you are going through.
No energy- Karly and I have been working on a few projects together that we hope to someday launch unless I continue to not do my part of it then we will never launch it! Writing even a simple blog post that should take two hours takes all day so although it may seem like I’m just being lazy and just need to sit down and do it it’s so much more than that. Even small things take every bit of energy I have in me and luckily Karly understands that. I will eventually do my part(I’m not that lazy) it just takes me way longer to get motivated because I know using brainpower of any kind causes migraines.
Migraines are a neurological disorder that has no known cure and may need to be treated by a qualified neurologist. If you want to help your friend when a migraine strikes just be there for them. Don’t be that friend that feels the need to tell us about all these magical remedies that will cure us of our migraines because as frustrating as migraines can be unless you are a medical professional you are probably are not telling us any new remedies we have not heard of or tried. Migraineurs have your migraines affected your friendships?
Life with Spina Bifida is a personal blog that is all about my life with a disability, chronic pain as well as encouraging hope and positivity for those who are suffering. You are not alone!