Monday, April 20, 2009

MIgrainous Events

I had a migraine related meltdown at a recent family gathering. Good times! I have a large extended family. The combination of lots of breeding and the occasional divorce and remarriage have made holidays crowded, noisy, and full of shenanigans. My uncles and cousins are rambunctious. We like to eat, drink and laugh. Well, I used to. This last get-together pushed me over the edge.

It was sunny, but cool in the backyard. I was doing my best to keep myself in the game. I was drinking plenty of water. I had one earplug in. I had my mentholated cough drops on hand in case of a grandma-perfume-scented-hug-emergency. I was staying mellow, no yelling or jumping on people. I made it three hours. Hour one was easy, a little bright and talky, but I was feeling good and was pushing through any pain and nausea easily. Hour two was touch and go. There was a search for non-religious colorful ovoids stuffed with candy, which involved a lot of shouting cousins and a frequently bellowing uncle or two. I kept it calm and took pictures, but the activity was starting to get to me. I was rapidly running out of spoons. There was nothing I could do at this point. I tried a cough drop and chugging some water, but I knew nothing short of drugs was going to help. I didn't want to take drugs at the party, it would dull everything and I see everyone so rarely, I just couldn't do it. I really should have. Hour three, I started sliding downhill fast. Nauseous, disoriented, irritable and tired, one uncle turned up the music and there was nowhere quiet to hide. I tried to turn it down and another uncle, this one inebriated and having too much fun to realize what was going on with me, ran up to me screaming "NOOOOOOO!" in my face. He didn't mean any harm, he was an innocent jackass. But, I cracked. I turned and screamed, "YEEEEEEES!" back in his face as loud as I could. My head freaked and pounded back at me as loud as it could. I started to cry, said, "I'm done, I think I need to go home.", turned and ran for the bathroom.

Half of my family was watching and I was/am so embarrassed. No one reacted much. I talked to the screamy uncle afterwards, and we're ok. My mom helped me get through the next half hour of the party, which I don't remember much of, other than smiling for pictures and thinking I might throw up on my cousin. I got a few pats on the shoulder, and a couple relatives told me to take care of myself, meaningfully, as I was leaving. Those gestures had the best of intentions, I'm sure, but I left feeling pitied and sad.

I'm dwelling on it too much. It happened, it was out of my control, and I need to get over it and realize that I may never have a "normal" family gathering ever again. And I think that is why this has hit me so hard. Yes, it was embarrassing to melt down like a child in front of half of my family, but the worst part is that I am sure it will happen again. Unless I go totally reclusive and move myself into a bubble, I will continue to encounter triggers en masse. Those lead to headaches, which, when not dealt with promptly and appropriately, lead to me freaking the fuck out. I have to accept it, and move on.

I will not let my head win. I will leave the house at least once a week. I will not miss major family functions. I will take care of myself, but I will push myself, so I never take my limits for granted. I will never stop trying.