I have had migraines for the past eight years and there are three challenges I face on a daily basis: feeling powerless, feeling discouraged, and having a low self-esteem. The overall challenge is not letting the pain control my life. [Tweet this.]

After living with migraines for so long, I feel powerless. I feel powerless when a migraine is more painful than usual because I have not been able to find anything that really helps. After a while, I start getting anxiety because the pain is so bad. The anxiety often makes me shake. Most of the time I do not realize I am shaking. Even if my anxiety level is low that day, I shake with my leg, or tap my hand. On the days my anxiety level is high, parts of my body shake or twitch uncontrollably. On the days where my anxiety is really bad, I get panic attacks. It does not matter how many doctors I have seen, the amount of medications I have tried, or the amount of tests those doctors have run. They have all come to the same conclusion: nothing really helps. The pain tends to consume you, and most of the time, you cannot control it. Therefore, the pain makes life depressing because it tends to control me. So as you can see, there is not a whole lot I can do about feeling powerless because the pain is so bad, it is hard not to let it control me.

Once I feel powerless, I start to get discouraged. Over the past eight years, I have seen a pediatrician, two neurologists, a neurosurgeon, several physical therapists, a chiropractor, a pain management specialist, and a few emergency room doctors. You would think after seeing all those people, someone would be able to come up with something that would work. However, no one really has. They have been able to fix small individual pieces of the overall challenge, but not the overall migraine. I have had migraines since I was in the fourth grade, and I am a senior in high school now. I get very discouraged. Especially when the pain is so bad that it stops me from living my life.

Because I feel powerless and discouraged, my self-esteem is not the best. My self-esteem is low because I get depressed, am treated differently, and people assume things that are not true about me. I get so depressed because the pain is unbearable and it can last for days, even a week, at a time. When I get a migraine, the pain is so bad I cannot focus or function. This causes me to get depressed and when this happens, I tend to give into the pain and let it control me. I do not purposefully give into the pain but most of the time it is unavoidable. I get special treatment when it comes to suffering with migraines. An example would be at school. I miss so much school, my teachers and the administration know what is going on. Also at school, I have a special hall pass so I can go to the nurse anytime I need to. These things are convenient but sometimes I just wish I could be a normal high school senior.

I have never been normal or been able to fit in with most of my peers because of my migraines. People assume way too much these days, and these assumptions hurt. I am nothing like what they think I am. Some of my peers assume that because I miss a lot of school, that I do drugs, or I just skip. Some assume people with migraines can control the pain level and how they act or function while having a migraine. Let me tell you from experience, that is definitely not the case. I personally feel I have just started the long process of learning how to not let pain control my life. There are times where I do not have any hope at all, but then I get everything back together and I feel like there is some hope after all. [Tweet this.]