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7 Things Only Migraineurs Can Highly Relate To

7 Things Only Migraineurs Can Highly Relate To

Ouch, That’s Not Just A Regular Headache

I can still remember the first migraine I ever suffered. I was 18 and until that point had rarely experienced any headaches whatsoever. That was until I came home from college one day and noticed that my vision wasn’t quite right. I saw some sparks, a few flashes, and I couldn’t bear to look directly at the kitchen light. I lay down on the couch, had a glass of water, and tried to convince myself everything would shortly return to normal. It didn’t. Over the next half an hour, I felt increasingly nauseous. Suddenly, the dinner I’d been looking forward to all afternoon didn’t seem appealing at all.

Then came the pain. For most of the evening, I was in agony. The evening out I’d planned was no longer an option. Instead, I lay still on my bed and clenched my teeth, praying that the pain would soon dissipate. Eventually, it did – but only after I’d vomited. Now I’ve worked out a treatment regimen that helps, but I’ll never forget how terrible those first few migraines were. Worse, I found that many people simply didn’t understand how bad migraines actually are. In that spirit, here is a list of things that only migraine sufferers will relate to!

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1. It’s Hard To Describe The Pain

You can’t see the agony of a migraine, and it can be hard to describe. For some of us, the pain can be crushing. For others, stabbing. Some people experience it as rather like a hammer or ice-pick being driven into their skull. Either way, words are often insufficient to convey just how bad it really is. When migraine sufferers say that they are in pain, it is an understatement!

2. The Pain Interferes With, Well, Everything

It’s hard to plan a normal schedule when you frequently suffer from migraines. An attack can come on with little or no warning, and it can subsequently ruin your plans for the rest of the afternoon, day, or even the remainder of the week – some people are in pain for days at a time.

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3. The Symptoms Aren’t Just Physical

Along with pain, migraine can cause emotional changes. In addition, living with a chronic condition can take its toll not only physically but in a psychological sense too. Never being sure when the next attack will arrive is stressful and exhausting. For the most unfortunate sufferers, their pain and its management can come to form a large part of their identity. They – and others around them – start to see them as “someone who has migraines” rather than as a normal, productive member of society.

4. Migraines Make Even The Basics Hard

Eating, sleeping and even being able to keep liquids down can be made impossible by a migraine. The nausea, dizziness and visual disturbances can make even everyday activities next to impossible. For example, drinking a cup of coffee or eating a light snack can be enough to trigger vomiting in some people.

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5. It Can Be Impossible To Sleep

Whilst some sufferers can sleep with the pain, many cannot. This is exhausting – you are in pain, the pain is tiring, so you want to sleep – but you can’t. A truly vicious cycle can develop, because a lack of sleep can be a trigger for further migraines.

6. A Migraine Really ISN’T Just An Ordinary Headache

A migraine should never be referred to as “just a headache”. This minimizes the pain and suffering endured by those who suffer from them. A migraine is not simply an isolated, painful event – it is often a recurrent problem that has a devastating effect on the lives of many.

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7. There Really Is No Proven Cure For Migraine

Painkillers can work to relieve the symptoms for some people, some of the time. Some other people find that eliminating certain triggers such as stress, coffee and irregular sleep helps reduce the severity and frequency of their attacks. However, the simple fact remains that there is no universal cure for migraine headaches. Most sufferers would have visited medical professionals already, and nothing is more irritating than being told to “see another doctor” or worse, to just to “live with it.”

The next time someone needs educating about what it’s really like to live with migraines, why not forward them this article? It might help them lose some of their misconceptions and understand your pain a little better!

Featured photo credit: Gerald/Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Jay Hill

Jay writes about communication and happiness on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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