Mrs. Migraine and the Seven Stages of Grief

 I'm no relationship expert. In fact, I'm quite the opposite. I'm a 46-year-old stay-at-home mom with two of my four kids still at home and in the past had weekly migraines so debilitating that they landed me in the hospital on more than one occasion. So, when it comes to advice on how to keep your relationship strong in spite of migraines, you'd be better off asking anyone but me. That being said, I have been through the ringer when it comes to migraines and relationships, so I feel like I have at least a little bit of insight to offer.

Migraines and the Seven Stages of Grief
If you've ever been through a break-up, you're probably familiar with the seven stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, testing, acceptance, and hope. While you might not think that migraines and relationships have much in common, the two actually share a lot of the same stages of grief. Here's how:

Denial: This is when you first get a migraine and you try to pretend like it's not happening. You pop an ibuprofen and carry on with your day like normal. But we all know that migraines don't work like that. Eventually, the pain becomes too much to bear, and you're forced to face reality.

Anger: This is when you're angry at everyone and everything. You're angry at your partner for not understanding what you're going through. You're angry at your boss for giving you too much work to do. You're angry at the barista for getting your order wrong. You're just angry. And when you're dealing with a migraine, everyone and everything is a target.

Bargaining: This is when you start making deals with God or whoever else will listen. "If you make this migraine go away, I promise I'll never drink caffeine again." "I'll go to church every Sunday if you just make this pain stop." "I'll give up chocolate if you let me sleep for just one hour." We've all been there.

Depression: This is when the migraine has taken over your life and you can't see any light at the end of the tunnel. You cancel plans because you know there's no way you can function socially with this level of pain. You miss important deadlines at work because you can't focus on anything other than the throbbing in your head. All you want to do is curl up in a dark room and ride out the storm until it passes.

Testing: This is when you start testing your limits to see how much pain you can actually tolerate before breaking down completely. It's like playing a game of chicken with yourself where the prize is passing out from sheer agony. And we all know that's not really a prize worth winning.

Acceptance: This is when (hopefully) you finally come to accept that migraines are a part of your life and there's nothing you can do to change that fact. But acceptance doesn't mean giving up; it just means coming to terms with reality so that you can start finding ways to work around it instead of against it.

Hope: This is when find yourself starting to feel hopeful again despite everything that migraines have put you through. Maybe it's because spring is finally here and allergies aren't triggering as many headaches as they were a few months ago. Maybe it's because you've found a new supplement or program that seems to be helping. Or maybe it's because you've finally come to accept that migraines are just a part of who you are. Whatever the reason, hope is what keeps us going even on our darkest days.

If there's one thing that I've learned from my years of experience dealing with migraines, it's that they definitely take their toll on relationships—romantic ones, friendships, family bonds, work connections, pretty much all of them. But even though migraines can put strain on any relationship, they don't have to be a death sentence for those bonds. With patience, understanding, and communication, even the strongest relationships can weather any storm—including Mrs. Migraine herself.

By the way, I've gone from 16 to 24 migraines days per month down to less than 1 by decreasing inflammation along with alternative treatments.  Does this still sound overwhelming - like how do I even start?  There is a FREE 11 Day Jumpstart next month where it walks you through step by step and has easy to follow instructions to get you started (all you need is the vitamins and minerals that do the work).  Click Here for details, leave a comment, and I'll get you in! 

1 Comment

  1. Great article, Eunice!

Leave a Comment