Think you don’t know anyone with migraine? Think again.
There’s 1 billion people in the world with migraine. That may surprise you.
You may think: “But I don’t know anyone with migraine?”
I’m going to say, yes, yes you do. It’s just that they haven’t told you. Because for many of us we keep it hidden.
Hiding in plain sight?
I did for years. I’d almost prefer to tell any kind of lie than tell the simple truth:
I have migraine and right now I have symptoms.
It should be no more remarkable than saying I’ve twisted my ankle & I can’t run at the moment.
But. It’s not.
Migraine isn’t the only condition that comes loaded with disbelief. Where it’s considered okay for someone to roll their eyes and say why doesn’t she just take a painkiller like everyone else?
What’s the big deal with speaking out?
People who don’t have the condition think they know migraine. No offence people, but you have no idea.
It’s not just the symptoms. It’s the excess baggage of shame and guilt that entraps you little by little.
It’s the worry of letting people down. Of not being invited because you know, what’s the point? Of being recognised for all my work, being told it was outstanding. And yet still worrying that come promotion time – will that count against me?
I’m not sure if it’s imposter syndrome or not. Perhaps it shares a similar flavour?
That my achievements would instantly be discounted if my colleagues knew I had migraine. The risk of that does exist. It may not be universal and to imagine everyone would respond negatively, is not true. But to deny the risk exists helps none of us.
Even when I choose four years ago to focus my practice solely on working people with migraine, I still felt deeply uncomfortable saying out loud that I have migraine too. Slowly, I’ve come more & more to terms with that.
(You may have noticed 🙂 )
Yet, some days it taps me still on the shoulder. When that happens writing, making videos and doing all that other marketing social media stuff fills me with glue.
I can’t remember where I heard this, but it’s a great quote: Shame is like mushrooms; it needs shit & darkness to grow.
Talking about migraine helps bring it into the light of day.
But remember the choice is yours. You don’t owe anyone an explanation.