Friday, April 5, 2013

Diamonds in Rough Times

Since my chronic migraine really got the part underway, in the early fall of 'o1, a lot has changed. I was 13 and full of, slightly naive, optimism regarding life for the most part. Sure, I had bad migraines, but I'd had them all my life. However, I had my life and my band of three best friends all there, coasting alongside me, as I aged appropriately, achieving milestone after milestone on the walk of life. Everything was fine.

Then I got the migraine that never went away; and everything changed.

If my life with status migranous were a gift from Santa, it would be a very LARGE lump of coal. I'm not sure what I must have done to be naughty enough to get that much coal, but it could have been lots of little things that piled up over time. It's immaterial for this blog, in any case. It simply was as if, on Xmas Day, instead of getting a wonderful new book or great CD, I got a grimy piece of coal. Period. The next few years were what I suppose you could call "interesting". Just as that piece of coal would flake off dust onto my hands, my life started to turn to dust. I started to lose things I didn't even really realize that I had. Finally, when forced to withdraw from school, I lost contact with my friends. I was devastated. The migraine coal I'd gotten had left a huge smear across my life. I just dropped it where I had stood, laid down, and played "invisible". 

That's when the strangest thing happened. When I gave up on being invisible, and came, sat up, and looked around for my lump of coal of a social life, I didn't find it. Instead, there were beautiful diamonds of all kinds of shapes and sizes surrounding me. I was monumentally confused, but then, slowly, I came to realize something:

My life was now filled with shining, enduring friendships. There was no list of requirements, a checklist that a person needed to fulfill in order to be my friend as there almost universally is in mid school. Instead, if you could withstand the intense stress and pressure that was my life with status migranous, you were in for keeps. 

I look around at the kids I'd been friends with in middle school who I've caught on Facebook. Their friendships seem to be so transient, with a great deal of drama and backstabbing. It makes me sad to think that they are missing on some of the kinds of diamond friendships such as I have with my friends. What sometimes worries me is that I too might have such friendships if not for my migraines. 

So, despite the pain, agitation, and stress that my life has gone through with the pain of chronic migraine, I've got some of the truest, most loyal, trusting, and perhaps most importantly, understanding friendships I've ever seen. And I am incredibly lucky that, while the migraines are no picnic, I have gained some truly remarkable people who are important in my life in a way that they never could have been otherwise, and feel blessed.


  1. That's really beautiful. It's terrible, the things chronic migraines can do to our lives, but there are some unexpected silver linings and I definitely think I appreciate people and experiences much more immediately and deeply than those who don't go through pain each day.

  2. I loved your description of coal being turned to diamonds. People can take chronic illness and let it ruin their lives and be bitter about it, but you learned that life is valuable as a precious stone and to live it to the fullest. You go girl!


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