To My Therapist, Who Can Empathize With Me as a Fellow Migraineur


To my therapist,

How can I begin to thank you?

How can I begin to describe the ways you’ve helped me?

When I think back to that warm, sunny afternoon when I called therapists listed on my insurance website, I never realized how thankful I would be to have you as part of my healthcare team. At that point I was desperate, stuttering and sputtering due to aphasia and shivering from allodynia so severe even the slightest breeze felt like a million razor pricks on my legs. You were patient, you listened to me, you treated me like a human.

A recent California transplant, a place where talk therapy isn’t as commonplace as it was in New York, I’ve continued to find solace in airing out migraine-related anxieties and receiving an objective perspective. And I’ve learned that therapy addressing chronic illness is a bit different. Anxieties stretch their unwieldy arms to include fears about walking down the street or riding the bus. Will my legs collapse under me as I walk my dog? How can I be prepared if struck with aphasia in the grocery store, during a job interview? What do I do if I start convulsing on the bus? My insurance has cancelled service and I don’t know how to cope. I forget how simple and banal healthy life once was. But I never forget how badly I want to regain that simple life.

It takes a special kind of empath to understand these overwhelming bursts of bizarre symptoms and circumstances. And you, a fellow chronic migraineur, understand my experiences. Every week I arrive with a new set of challenges, goals and achievements (job interviews! riding the train! taking a day trip!), and every week you guide me with respect, kindness and perspective. I appreciate that we can compare our warped vision, auras or light sensitivities. I remember every doctor recommendation, every coping tip, every word of wisdom you’ve shared with me. And I truly value these tips you share with me. I have yet to meet a chronic migraineur as tough and hardworking as you, and I strive – one day, in my own time – to achieve a sliver of what you’ve achieved. Thank you for everything you’ve done for me and given me. You’ve given me more hope for the future than anything or anyone else.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via Wavebreakmedia.

TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Migraine

How Changing My Diet Has Dramatically Helped With My Migraines

Guys. I promise this isn’t a clickbait article. I promise this ramble doesn’t end with me eating pizza and a side of Voodoo donuts. I promise this article doesn’t trivialize the adventures and misadventures of elimination diets. Because we all see these titles, roll our eyes and know how they’re going to end. This will have [...]

How Migraines Can Infiltrate Every Aspect of Your Life

Chronic migraines are an event that many would describe as traumatizing. Headaches are no fun in their own right, either. But if you’ve experienced migraines, you know you are dealing with something that goes far beyond your general headache. There’s no question you’ve entered another realm of experience. Many of you reading this may know [...]
Girl stands outside alone.

Isolation: The Unspoken Side-Effect of Chronic Migraines

Three years ago I was happy, healthy, and thriving as a fashion, media and tech insider. Dizzying New York nights unfolded, giddily over glasses of champagne, laughter, and friends. Between work and a bustling social life, dull moments were savored and celebrated for their quiet and calm. Then one cold November morning I awoke dizzy, [...]
Woman with a headache, eyes closed, hand across forehead

It’s Not You, It’s Not Me — It’s My Migraine

I don’t want to feel like a disappointment. I wish I could make it to every appointment on time. I wish I could work at a job without all the stimulating fluorescent lights, talking people and stressful deadlines triggering my migraines. I wish that waking up in a post-migraine haze wasn’t such a chore for me. [...]