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Have Chronic Daily Headache & Migraine Absconded With My Spunk?

Watching the crowd at the music festival bounce in unison, seeing fans passed from hand to hand, I knew the crowd was infected by the intense energy of Gogol Bordello. I wished I felt good enough to join in.

“You’re the kind of person that would be right in the middle of it” was Hart’s bittersweet reply when I told him this. Tears pricked in my eyes. I had to wonder: If I’m not up to being part of the crowd, am I really that kind of person?

The thought has haunted me since Saturday. I have to think that my fundamental nature hasn’t changed. I’m positive that if I felt OK that night — and Saturday was a particularly bad day — I would have been in the middle of the crowd.

Thinking and rethinking the situation all weekend, I concluded that I’m not that kind of person anymore. Today I’m reconsidering my position.

I danced with some guy at Vegoose last year and noodle danced until 4 a.m. the year before. I danced at a show earlier this summer even though the floor was so sloped I was afraid I’d tumble to the stage. I’m dancing in my chair as I write this.

I still have my spunk. I am the kind of person who will celebrate with the crowd. I have no doubt.

This isn’t the first time migraine and chronic daily headache have caused me to question my very self. What a relief to look deep and see core traits unchanged. And, as cliched as this is, having a chronic illness has made me appreciate who I am and the time I have.

4 Responses to Have Chronic Daily Headache & Migraine Absconded With My Spunk?

  1. Amanda Marlaena says:

    Yes, you ARE that kind of person. Chronic pain has to alter your lifestyle, of course, but it doesn’t change who you are. You are tons of fun. And you bounce on the inside all the time.

  2. MJ says:

    I just wanted to say that I completely understand your feelings. I also have both CDH and frequent (more or less weekly) migraines. The Topamax that worked so well for me for 2.5 years no longer does, so I’m trying to find another preventative regimen that will. So far, nothing. I’ve asked myself the same question seemingly a million times – has my chronic illness changed who I am?

    I don’t think it has. Every so often, when I have a good day, I’m right back to my old self. So, for now, until I find something that works, I’ll just have to deal with my migraine personality, and hope that my treatment starts working soon.

  3. Donimo says:

    I can certainly relate. I have always been a dare devil and someone who craves intensity. When I “just” had Fibromyalgia (before all my car accidents), I could rock climb, ride motorcycles, dance in a mosh pit and climb trees – that sort of thing. People ran red lights in their cars and changed my life. My exploits did nothing to harm me. As the years have gone by and the injuries have limited my activities, I have had to let go of all those things that made me feel so physically and emotionally alive. I don’t have good days where I can dance or run or climb, so I struggle with my identity big time. I know it is a core thing: inside, I am the same edge-walker I always was. Nothing can change that. Sometimes, in stillness, I know that my self is intact. Sometimes, this stillness drives me crazy as the longing to move and push my body clamors around inside me.

    I understand your tears. I think it’s okay to grieve. I understand also that we are who we are inside, at the core. I suppose the trick is to find other ways to tap into that dancing self when the actual dancing can’t happen.

  4. Kerrie says:

    Thanks for the support and for sharing what you’ve been through. I love Donimo’s comment “I suppose the trick is to find other ways to tap into that dancing self when the actual dancing can’t happen.” Sounds like a good mantra.

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