Migraines, I Hate You


By Lindsay Lee

Dear migraine:

I hate you. All of you. You’re unkind, unreasonable, and unfair. My entire life you’ve been the monkey on my back; restricting, exhausting, and stealing. You truly are a monster. This last year you upped the ante. You brought in extra force, and you sought to break me. You wanted to trample me. You delighted in every moment I suffered. My end would have been your victory. And even today, your mission remains the same, but my determination is all the more focused. I will not back down from this war.

You assault my body in countless painful and draining ways, but I will not let you have the final score. You see, every day, I win. After a long night of migraine and vomiting and self-administered shot taking, I get up, and I cook breakfast for my family, and we get out the door. I win.

Despite exhaustion and light-headedness and nausea, I stand with my family in church to worship. I win.

Amid auras, sensitivities including each of my senses, and generalized weakness, I shower, lightly brush my hair, and celebrate getting out of three-days worn pajamas. I win.

And even though the depression is dark and the anxiety flares and the loneliness chokes and the tears fall and the bills build, I get up, I show up, I love big, and I fight you, chronic illness, with every ounce of my courage and zeal inside my brittle but feisty bones, and in that, I am a hard-fought winning champion.

So while you will always try to bring me down, know that I will always claw my way back up. Know that when you bring your worst attacks, the warrior in me will arise. You may knock me down, but I will never give you the pleasure of taking me out.

Your Worst Enemy