My name is Vicky, I am 23 and I suffer from chronic daily headache alongside chronic migraines and daily episodes of chronic fatigue.
Up until a few years ago, I was a fairly active person. I was into anything and everything and I would always be the one to put my hand up and say yes at pretty much any given opportunity. For me, this is what made everything seem so much harder at the time.
I became confused. How was it possible to go from this to spending my days inside almost overnight when my first chronic headache struck? I had experienced occasional headaches before you know when you’ve been watching too much TV and your parents are nagging you to turn it off or you know you really should have listened when your mum told you to drink that extra glass of water kind of headache? But I had never experienced anything like this. How was my brain suddenly making me stay in bed when I could be outside? Why didn’t I want to go out? Why didn’t I want to be social? My friends would be there. Why wouldn’t I want to be there? WHAT WAS WRONG WITH ME?
All of these questions circled my head and just like that, I became a girl who was full of fear and panic. (I’ll come back to this another time)
Having suffered for just over 6 years now, to say I am fed up is an understatement. However, in that time I have grown up a lot quicker than most, my thoughts and opinions have and are slowly changing and I have realised that you can’t let these fears and feelings get the better of you. Yes, I know this is easier said than done but it is okay to put yourself first sometimes and it is okay to have experienced different things in those years than other people have.
Okay, maybe I didn’t attend university and maybe I don’t have degrees or qualifications that other people have but that doesn’t make me any less of a person. That doesn’t hold me back anymore and goals are still achievable. I’ve managed to obtain a job for the past 7 years and for me, that is a massive thing.
There are days where you have negative thoughts, you take one step forward and then a million steps back but in order to progress, you have to have setbacks. Not everything is going to work, not every treatment you try is going to be a miracle cure as much as we all would like it to be. However, you definitely get the days – maybe far few and in between, where things are okay and you think, yes, actually I have got this and I can do it and this is what we have to focus on. You are in control.
Those that know me, know that I like everything to happen pretty quickly. I am not one to be very patient at times and this has always hindered my situation. However, instead of constantly thinking about a permanent fix, I have learnt that it is about reducing and managing each day as it comes and that is why I want to share my experience with other people. What has worked for me, may not work for others. Things I have tried, may make no difference but without sharing, we will never know.
So that is my aim. Put out there what I have been through, share my symptoms, tips and tricks and raise awareness that migraines and headaches are not the same thing, these illnesses are real and that it is okay not to be okay.
Believe me, I am along way off from where I want to be but that is okay.
I am hoping that by doing this, it will make things easier for others, little by little, taking it all one step at a time.