I shared a chart of my recent migraines with you all the other day under a singularly depressing title. When I woke up this morning yet again feeling like vomiting, “everything will be terrible forever” seemed like an even more appropriate description for my migraine log than it did last week. However, as overwhelming and awful as being chronically ill can be, I feel like last week’s chart left out some rather important data. I’ve corrected that oversight in the graph below:
Yes, I’m getting more migraines than I want to. But as long as I’m getting migraines, it’ll be more than I’d like. And not so long ago, the colors on this chart would have been reversed. Maybe lovely years like my first in Epiphyte City will be the exception rather than the rule, but things are still pretty darn good relative to 4 years ago.
Yes, migraines are slowing down my PhD. This is really stressful, but only when I’m thinking about my advisor being disappointed or my long term career. But I am still working, slowly and when I just sit down and work, I take great pleasure in what I’m doing. So I might not be a fantastic grad student, but I like what I do and it’s going to be interesting and useful to other people – it just might take me a while longer or be smaller than I’d hoped. And isn’t that true for all grad students?
Yes, I don’t get to spend as much time with the people I love as I would like. But when I do spend time with my friends and partners, it is wonderful. And I have people in my life who spend good time with me no matter how I feel.
I’m still really sad about and frightened by my migraines, but I have to remind myself that my life isn’t as awful as it seems when I’m in the middle of one.