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10 Confessions of a Chronic Migraineur

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Being chronically ill doesn’t necessarily make us kinder or more understanding of others, but it can if we let ourselves take that lesson from it.

For that to take root, it has to be cultivated. And cultivated. And cultivated.

How does one cultivate compassion? By first being honest with ourselves…even when it’s not pretty.

These are my confessions as a chronic daily migraineur:

1. I sometimes get jealous of my friends. Healthy ones, because they’re healthy, and ones who aren’t healthy but have pain-free days, because they have pain-free days.

2. I feel immediate guilt for thinking they are somehow luckier than me, because logically and emotionally I know better than that.

3. I give myself a mental kick in the butt for that knee-jerk feeling, because one of the main reasons I advocate for awareness is that I hope it may help others from ending up like me.

4. I try my hardest to never show my friends when I feel this way, but I’m often worried I’ll fail at it.

5. This is a hard thing to admit and I feel like a jerk.

6. This doesn’t mean I’m not happy for them when they share good news or have a good life, and definitely not that I want them to stop sharing either good or bad things with me. I still want them to not feel guilty about confiding in me.

7. I think many who are chronically ill can relate. And that they hate being able to relate.

8. I think a lot of us are afraid to admit the less pretty side of what being constantly physically miserable can make us feel.

9. I think we’re afraid of being seen in a negative light, especially since we feel the sting of stigma already.

10. Being honest is important, especially to ourselves.

What do we do with this kind of honesty and self-discovery?

We work to counter it.

Sometimes we fail, sometimes we succeed. And whichever it is today, we give ourselves the compassion and the room to be human and fallible.

And then we pass that same compassion and understanding along to others.

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Thinkstock photo via triocean.

Originally published: May 23, 2017
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