As a 23-year-old living in the city I tend to face some obstacles having a migraine condition and also wanting to have a social life. I mean, can you blame a girl? This isn’t an issue that is new to me, however — I’ve been battling my inner social butterfly since I first was diagnosed with migraines in the 8th grade.

In each stage of my life my migraines have brought on different consequences. In high school I missed a lot of school because of my migraines, and surpassed the 20 days we were allowed to miss a year.

In college my hangovers lasted a whole lot longer than anyone elses. It was hard adjusting to living in such close quarters in the dorms. My roommate didn’t understand when I needed complete darkness and silence, which I couldn’t expect her to, and often took it personally, which made me feel guilty for being such a grouch.

Now as I am in my 20s it has come down to choosing between a social life and feeling well. I have come to learn that I can no longer drink. It’s just not smart for me. About a year ago, I had an ulcer in my stomach that ruptured and I was in the hospital for two weeks after having major surgery. If I had gotten to the hospital a few hours later, I might not be here today. During my recovery, my doctor informed me that I could no longer have distilled liquor — vodka, tequila, rum, gin — nothing! The only drinks allowed were wine, champagne, and beer. The funny thing is wine gives me headaches most of the time. So, really I shouldn’t be drinking at all. It has been a major adjustment for me. It seems like such a small thing but everyone my age seems to be getting less and less mature by the minute. Everyone is still in that college mindset and they don’t seem to be getting out of it anytime soon. I actually can have a pretty good time sipping on a water with lemon all night and hanging with my friends. Plus, it looks like I’m sipping on something much stronger. And with my personality, people usually end up thinking I’m drunk anyway. But the reactions and interrogations I still get about it boggles my mind. It’s like what’s more important? My health or getting wasted? Seems like a no-brainer to me.

Even without drinking, I still tend to get headaches being in noisy restaurants or staying out too late after a long day. The right amount of sleep and keeping a similar routine is key, while not always practical. I still need to learn when to just go home and call it a night. I tend to have a guilty conscience though and feel that I need to stay out and spend the time with my friends. I don’t want to be labeled “that girl” who is always leaving because she has a headache. I need to learn not to worry what others are thinking about me and instead worry about that migraine that is coming on. It’s definitely a balance and you need to know your body and listen to it. It’s something I am learning and understanding more with each new day.


9 thoughts on “No-Brainer

  1. im like you except im 40.ive had migranes for 8 years diagnosed. One year on a preventative and without alcohol or coffee. You give up what makes u sick and still get sick. I still just had a seven day attack due to going thru perimenopause and estrogrn dominance which causes migranes and a few sleepless nights due to my hormones that led to my migrane attack . I feel like a beat up rag doll.Im tired of feeling so sick just because the weather changes. 😦


  2. I feel for ya. I have had CDH and Migraine since I was nine. I moved to Chicago last year and had to do some real soul searching. I’ve had to accept that I was no longer going to have the social life I once had and that I needed to keep with the life style changes that made me feel better. I am still struggling with even my close friends not understanding and pressuring me to do things that are so simple for them but could have devestating effects on my migraine brain. I just have to remember that I know my body better than anyone and to just say NO.


    • I still am struggling with the “just saying no” and coping with the fact that my social life cannot be what I would like but I am trying to take it one day at a time. Thanks for sharing! If you did it then hopefully I can too!


  3. i am 43 have them most all of my life .through pregnancy and childbirth, runny noses ,bumps bruises,school for the 4 of them and me i am a nurse asst. ,but have not worked much, my marrige is always a mess. and through all of this i would not change anything ,i love my husband and my children. and all of my family…my life has had a lot of pain and even some missed moments but i survive and go on for the next day to see what it you do the best you can with what you have been given and i remain greatful because i know there are plenty of people who have it worse than what i have.i am a lucky person.


    • You are so right. There are definitely people out there that have it worse and we should all be grateful for what we have and take advantage of the good days with no headaches! I am inspired by your take on life and your family!


  4. I am a mom whose daughter had a 24/7 headaches for almost a year. Having been to the ” experts” in Chicago, she tried many meds, treatments and lifestyles changes without sucesss. Then we read about nerve decompression surgery. This is not the answer for everyone, but it is worth looking into as an option. None of my daughter doctors supported the idea of surgery. But, Dayna, my daughter, was a willing patient having exhausted all options. Two surgeries later, she has her life back! The headache has subsided. More information can be found at


    • I have heard of this surgery but it seems like a scary and risky endeavor.. that’s so great to hear that it’s worked for your daughter! I will definitely check out this site, thanks for sharing!


    • It is so difficult for anyone to understand unless they are going through it or have a loved one who is, and even then it is hard to completely understand. I just hope with my writing someone can relate to it and we can all come away with a better understanding of each other. Thanks for reading!


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