When I wrote about “migraine hell,” it was a rhetorical device. Despite the play on Winston Churchill’s words, I did not feel like I was in hell all the years of severe chronic migraine. This distinction may not seem like a big deal, but it’s very important to me.
One of the greatest accomplishments of my life thus far is that I sought to live a fulfilling, meaningful and happy life with debilitating chronic migraine. I didn’t always succeed, and sometimes I was just too sick to try. Sometimes I did feel like I was burning alive for months on end. Most of the time, though, I was able to see at least a little good. When I couldn’t, I (eventually) realized my emotional turmoil was adding to the physical symptoms and knew I needed to improve my outlook. (That’s what was going on when I began “three good things.”)
I definitely had times I felt like I was in hell. And times I believed I would never find relief. But I balanced those with a fierce dedication to living as good of a life as possible, even if it was a life spent in bed. This was a choice I made and tried very hard to stick to, even though it sometimes felt impossible. It is a choice I believe kept me alive.
So, yeah, it’s a big deal that I make the distinction.