Migraine Awareness Month #26: “From the Outside Looking In” -OR- “A Misunderstanding’s Perception”
“Write about what you think your family, friends and others think a day in life, a day with Migraine Disease is like.”
This one is tough: the details always are since really nothing in Migraine Disease is black & white, predictable, or average. We, as Migraineurs, know this… And we know that we really are misunderstood, labeled and sometimes even ridiculed.
When we aren’t shining as the butt of a joke, being fired because we can’t guarantee our attendance, or getting laughed at behind our backs – when there IS understanding, we are grateful for it – every scrap of it. But we are also aware that this delicate understanding is just that: fragile, easily lost – lightly veneered…
I don’t mean to say that the understanding Migraine Disease has gained is fake or contrived. When our disease attracts followers, converts, and anyone who cares enough to stop and listen to what we – and research – has to say, it’s a good day and we all need it. But understanding is not the same as living, feeling, and being completely immersed in “Migraine” on a daily basis… and we are.
I believe that anything – everything in life is like this. I believe that no one really understands the plight, good or bad, of another… Until they’ve actually lived it themselves. Death; disease; fortune – good or bad; growing up; paying bills; living through disaster or adversity; becoming a parent/losing a parent – the list goes on. Not one of us really understands what ANYTHING is like until we actually DO IT/LIVE IT/EXPERIENCE IT.
Yes, I know – this is my opinion. It is, and it’s another example of perception: a word that speaks of infinities – the inexhaustible, never-ending multitude of opinions, reference points, and consciousness that we all contain. No one really knows what another feels or how they perceive or look at how they feel. This infinite level of perception explains two things for me:
- The reason why we must attempt to forgive those who don’t understand our disease. Since life feels so different in so many ways to so many of us, it really is hard for those who haven’t lived through this type of pain and disability to understand. Combined with the stigma and misunderstanding of Migraine Disease, total understanding is a rare thing indeed – we should be grateful for all we can get.
- The reason why it’s so easy to question another’s pain, decisions, or reactions stems from the fact that we all come from such different places. Our perceptions are as different as our fingerprints. Our outlook and history frame such different ways of viewing life that we may as well be from completely different universes. When added to the various experiences and confusing media each one of us has been exposed to, it’s no wonder that we just can’t get others to “see it our way”.
These views stand because it’s sometimes hard for me to understand it when they’re not understanding me (try saying that backwards really fast!!). I also find myself very angry when any form of “that stigma” kicks in. My immediate perception jumps to the conclusion that, “they could never understand; they’re probably making some dumb joke about me; they think I’m a whiner… blah, blah, blah.” My history, my way of looking at things and my emotions go down a road that someone else may not take. This is the essence of what makes us criticize and sometimes draw the wrong conclusions, but it’s also the reason for our unique natures – our perceptions – and what truly does make the world ‘go round’.
So just what do I think my family, friends and others think a “Migraine Day” must feel like?
Well – the answer to that is about as complicated, unique and timeless and there are people in this world. All I can hope is that someday, ” A Day in the Life of Migraine” is just an old sitcom or lesson in a history text about a life-altering disease that is simply… no more.
“National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger’s Challenge is initiated by www.FightingHeadacheDisorders.com “