I find that social situations make my anxiety rise for a variety of reasons. Simply leaving the house raises my anxiety some days.
Did I pack my medicine? Will I have to leave early? When I come home will I be triggered? What if I get a full-blown attack while I’m out?
How will I be able to leave if I feel a migraine rising? What if I need to lay down? How can I make a quick exit without answering questions, avoiding judgement, and not causing attention upon myself?
Once I’m out, I have a list of triggers that goes through my head, which makes me anxious.
Will the lights be too bright and my migraine light sensitivity can't handle it? Will the noise be too loud? Will I need to speak louder?
What foods will be served and what is in each option? What if there is no food?! Will there be water I can drink? Will I be sitting or standing?
Judgment always gives me apprehension. Will I be told that I look good and I must be feeling good? Should I explain how I really feel?
Will I be told I don’t look good and understand that I’m not hiding it as well as I thought? What if I have to cancel going? Will the host understand? Will the guests talk about how I’m absent and all their wild accusations about my health and their assumptions of it?
If an event is particularly important, I have anxiety as it approaches and get anxious about missing it. I have missed so many important days in people’s lives and it really frustrates me.
I think of myself as a good friend and family member and hate that it’s not in my control to show support for others. Missing an event not only brings up all the judgment feelings again but also saddens me that I’m forced to miss wonderful times because of migraines.
As I said, not having my medication with me causes anxiety. But the medication itself actually causes me to worry.
Medications give me bad side effects. If it’s listed on the long list of side effects, I get it — plus more. Taking medication often makes me feel worse in different ways than the reason I am taking it.
A new medication brings new concerns. An old medication brings realistic views and anxiety of the side effects that I had in the past and fear that they will return again.
Taking medication correctly also makes me worry. To begin with, treating my migraines correctly can be tricky. I can only take certain medications at certain times, so many times a day, week or month.
Along with that, I can’t mix some medications with others. I am always so cautious not to overmedicate or give myself reactions for differing medications. It’s a fine line to walk.
The medications I’m on are not always easy to take, and I tend to throw up my pills. I take the pill to relieve my migraine, and a few minutes later I’m in such pain that I’m sick.
Now what? Do I take another? Do I wait to see if this one is in my system and will kick in? What do I do now?
I take an injectable for the immediate relief of knowing that the medication is staying in my system. But injecting myself is not an easy task — I have my husband inject me but am unable to tell him the directions.
He is a pro at this point, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat there waiting for him as he reads every word of the medication “pamphlet” — which might as well be called a book.
While I’m sitting there with a full-blown migraine, my anxiety rises waiting for the injection. The injection hurts and gives me a horrible rush that makes my heart race, my skin crawl and sometimes spikes my migraine.
I eventually get relief, but struggling through the worse-before-better stage is always anxiety-ridden.
Once I have had a migraine I feel quite uneasy about it coming back. Going through such pain is so scary and knowing it will return makes me walk on eggshells in fear.
I am constantly surveying my surroundings and how I feel. It doesn’t go away since my migraines don’t go away.
I hate feeling out of control and that’s exactly what migraines and anxiety are. So, like I said, I control what I can. I breathe, I stay calm, and I prepare myself the best I can.