Only a few people in my real life know I'm blogging. I try really hard to keep the pain separate, compartmentalize it, act normal for a few hours a couple times a year and pretend I'm ok.
But we all know the truth, don't we? I vent it all here, which makes me feel less isolated, and more in control, but I'm still alone with my pain, no matter how many blogs I subscribe to, or how many abstracts I read.
I am not in control.
That can be frightening, but the strides I've made since we moved away from the city have given me hope for the future, which I may not control, but I can see the possibility of my life chaotically careening to a place that could be okay for me, so that's reassuring.
My friends and family ask me how I spend my days. New acquaintances almost always start the conversation off with, "What do you do?" Before I started back at school, I had no idea how to respond. Honesty didn't seem like a good idea; "I writhe around in pain and watch Doctor Who to check out of my horrific reality" isn't really party talk. This conundrum was actually a small part of my motivation for going back to school; I mean, I needed to do something with myself during my lucid-but-too-fragile-to-move days, but it couldn't be anything too demanding and there weren't any part-time, remarkably flexible telecommuting gigs popping up on craigslist, so not wanting to talk about my head at family parties was only a teeny, tiny factor, but I do remember thinking about it, and the feeling of relief I had that finally, I'd have something to say to that damned question.
But, before there was school, there was blogging. While I have told a few people that I write, that statement tends to lead to more questions, so I don't even say that anymore. As far as almost anyone in my real life knows, I haven't written anything publicly in years.
I think I haven't shared this blog with many people because I don't want to be judged, and I don't want to have to censor myself. I'm probably afraid of rejection, too, or pity. If I tell them how bad it is they might feel sorry for me, they might make light of it, or they may not believe me, and I don't have the energy to help the stubbornly ignorant through accepting my current reality. It's also pride, and probably guilt, that make me avoid sharing freely with those around me. Besides, I have a million more interesting things to talk about than how bad my head hurts today.
To be clear, everyone who knows me knows I experience chronic migraines. I do talk about it to those who are close to me, or seem interested, but I refuse to allow my pain to take center stage. I do like having my so very public private place to share all my migraine-addled thoughts, but irl, I just want to enjoy the moments.