Personality or Illness?

Laurie at A Chronic Dose wonders if she’s type A by nature or by illness. “Too much energy wasted on wishing things were perfect and making sure everything unfolds just so?”, she asks.

Laurie’s questioning is similar to the questions I’ve been asking myself in the last week. Do my insecurities in social situations stem from pain preventing me from being fully engaged in conversations? Is my (generally) more laid-back approach to life because I can’t be the high-energy, high-stress person I used to be, or have I simply grown up?

These questions also lead to reflections on the path I might have taken without my headaches. Would I have found a career that was as fulfilling as blogging? Would I be so eager to do things that we dream of now instead of after retirement, like traveling? Since I can’t do it differently, I’m glad that I feel like I’m heading the right way. Still, I have to wonder.

Even Hart’s life would be different without his episodic migraines, albeit in minor ways. He’d drink more coffee and enjoy the occasional glass of red wine. He wouldn’t have the fear of being struck down out of the blue.

Do you wonder what your life would have been like without your headaches?

3 thoughts on “Personality or Illness?”

  1. I don’t think it is as simple as wondering what life would be like with or without head pain.

    The headache-prone brain is different from the non-headache-prone brain, for better or for worse. How could one possibly know what the other state is like, any more than one can accurately know what it feels like to be female if you are male, tall if you are short, or other such differences? We can only speculate.

    Do we experience things the same? Do we process sensations in the same way? Do we even think the same as non-headache sufferers? Sometimes, I wonder.

    I don’t even think “headache” people are an entirely homogeneous group; there are some differences within the population as well as significant differences from the non-headache population.

    But I don’t think the differences are (mostly) about pain.

    Great questions.

    This one struck a chord with me: ” How could one possibly know what the other state is like, any more than one can accurately know what it feels like to be female if you are male, tall if you are short, or other such differences?” Sometimes I ask Hart what it’s like to not have headaches all the time. It’s so hard to believe that he just doesn’t notice his head.

    Like I told Josh, I know that I have changed as my headaches have become more prominent. It’s interesting to think that I might think differently than those without headache.

    It’s easy for me to lump us all together because we share some common experience, but I agree that we’re not the same.

    Terrific input as always. Thanks!


  2. I personally feel like some parts of my life are better because of migraine. It gives me a greater appreciation for when things are good. It keeps me from being too extreme in certain areas of my life (especially stress.) Migraine has forced me to live a more balanced life which I consider to be a good thing. A book I read on Migraine (I forget the name) tried to portray it as a disease with as many positives as negatives. I can’t imagine this is true for people with CDH.

    I agree.

    “Balance” and “moderation” were once foreign concepts for me. They’re still tough for me to grasp sometimes, but I’m definitely getting the hang of it.

    I, too, think my life is happier and that I’m a better person because of migraine. It sounds so cliched, but it’s true. I appreciate more and am more aware of my daily actions.

    Take care of yourself.


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