Feeling Isolated and Alone In My Suffering

Isolated and Alone In My Suffering

I can count on one hand the number of people I’ve met in my life that struggled with migraines. Hard to believe right?

In the United States it’s projected that some 30-40 million people suffer from migraines, so why have I not run into more of them?  Part of the reason is because of the way this condition is viewed compared to other conditions.  You will often hear most migraine sufferers say they suffer in silence and feel isolated.  What this means is that most people can’t relate to what they are experiencing.  Some think a migraine is just a headache and that is far from the truth.  When I call into work or leave for the day because I can’t function, my co-workers don’t understand.  Personally, I only know a hand full of people who actually live with this condition so how is this possible out of 30-40 million?

Why The Feeling Of Isolation?

Truth be told, I can’t explain why so few of my fellow migraine sufferers aren’t connected to each other.  I’ve seen some connection through forums and social media groups but there is still a huge gap. Migraines can keep us at home and isolated from the rest of the world.  Most of us do suffer in silence and keep our struggles with this condition to ourselves. The truth is most don’t understand nor can they understand this pain or the related conditions.  For us, a typical day is spent trying to manage our symptoms while at the same time fighting to take care of our responsibilities. Knowing most can’t relate to what we are experiencing causes some if not most of us to feel isolated and alone.

Whenever I've met someone who suffered as I did I felt like I was meeting a long-lost twin.  Finding out you are not the only one going through the pain then meeting someone who can actually relate to your pain, brings a sigh of relief.  As most know, migraines can easily sideline you from your job, your family and other social events.  They can actually suck your life away. These life-related sidelines add to that feeling of isolation because of the lack of being able to connect with real people on a regular basis.  Yes, I know there are support groups for most of the chronic illnesses out there but they seldom work well for migraineurs.

Navigating through life with migraines can make us feel alone and isolated especially if we don’t know anyone else like us.  Even the sincerest person in the world can’t grasp what a migraine is if they’ve never had one.

Someone Who Gets It

Meeting someone who understands the challenges we face is amazing, to say the least.  This means less time having to explain all the details to them of what we are experiencing and how it's affecting us.  What I’ve found is that living with migraines brings with it a need to explain and educate others about our condition.  We often have to defend against hurtful comments or even a hurtful question regarding our migraines. Feeling a need to explain why we aren’t at work or why we miss so much time is difficult for others to understand.  What an amazing feeling it is to connect with someone who, “gets it.”

Immediate Connection

Every time I meet someone who lives with this chronic condition, something magical happens.  For me, there is almost always an immediate connection with that person.  My heart breaks for them because I do, “get it” and I do understand what they are going through because I am going through it too.  This connection has been very nourishing for my well-being and for the other person as well.

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