“You’re doing everything right,” a friend wrote to me two years ago when my migraines were at their very worst. That sentenced has sustained me through many difficult patches. It has been so helpful for me that I want to tell you that you, too, are doing everything right.
The next 10 days afford many opportunities to talk with (hopefully) well-intentioned friends, family or co-workers who will tell you about the person they know whose horrible migraines were cured with a sun lamp/energy cleansing/daily enema. Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to encounter someone who tells you that all you need to do is think positive thoughts and your health will improve. Before you explode, try to take some deep breaths and remind yourself that this person probably means well but doesn’t understand the magnitude of your illness.
Then, instead of jumping on the guilt and self-doubt train that awaits folks with chronic illness (“I’m letting people down” or “I need to seek new treatments more aggressively”), remember that you are doing everything right. That’s really the only truth that matters. Whether or not you live up to someone else’s judgments, real or perceived, is irrelevant. Maybe you cancel plans or show up at the party without the requested potluck dish. So what. As long as you get up every day and try to live your life around your illness, you are doing everything just right.