If people would stop asking…

Every time I have to talk and explain to people (especially the SAME people) what my headaches are like, it not only is annoying, but it hurts too. Just because they don’t know what it’s like, they easily forget what I say about it. Because they can’t “understand” me? Because they don’t care enough to listen when I tell them? Because I don’t show my pain on the outside?

I have a freaking headache that never went away since July 17, 2013. The neurologist has diagnosed it as New Daily Persistent Headache. I don’t even want to tell people about it, in case it changes their perception of me. But then I have to make excuses when it acts up. In school, I use Access and Diversity to communicate with profs so that I don’t have to elaborate and everything. They might not even “believe” my condition. So what does it feel like? I wish I could just copy and paste this on my forehead or something. My headaches are normally at a 2-3/10 for pain every second of the day like a tension-type headache. Then, there are times when the pain gets worse and it becomes like a ┬ámigraine in nature with pain that goes up to 10/10 and I even get lightheaded from it. I don’t get nauseous or vomit, but I would be unable to think, unable to do anything, unable to sleep even. And with school and work, I try so hard to get through the pain and endure it so that people won’t look at me like a patient. I want to finish school and become a pharmacist like any normal person can. I don’t want to be looked down upon because I suffer from chronic pain. But at the same time, I wish I could be understood when the pain gets too much for me. Because I can’t help it. There have been so many times when I just want to bash my head against the wall and rip my head open. Medications don’t work, or they have side effects that are even worse than the pain itself, not letting me function. So I endure it. I just hope that one day, no matter how long in the future. One day, I can have freedom from the pain. To have no headache, I don’t even remember what that is like anymore. It’s like someone’s put a steel lock on my head that the key cannot be found for.

Talking to my mentor, she thinks that surviving the headache and migraines and being able to live like I do is because I’m strong. I’m not. Ever since I was in elementary school and got headaches after playing outside in the sun, I would call my mom to take me home. It happened often. And now, I would skip class and go home. I would cancel appointments and commitments. I wouldn’t want to go out with friends nor care about them. It’s like a jail for me. It makes me give in and sucks all the energy in me. It stops me from so many things: studying, spending time with people I care about, enjoying things, just living a normal life.

My parents always asks me about my headache. It’s like…what do you want me to say? The whole spiel over and over again? Yes. I have a headache. I will never NOT have a headache. It hurts, leave me alone. But because I don’t want them to worry, I don’t keep complaining about it. It doesn’t mean that it’s not there. Like a shadow, it’s always there. I try so so so hard to live a normal life. I went out with my family this weekend and spent more time out of my room with them. My head gave me unbearable migraines, but I held it out. Even when they took a long time at the loud restaurant when I had already finished eating and was just waiting for them. Even when they wanted to go places after places after places. Because I wanted to be able to show them that I love my family. That I don’t isolate myself from them because of them. But because the pain locks me in and I just can’t do anything else. I collapsed after the outings, but I think it was worth it. To just spend time with them is precious. So I hope that they can one day understand me. That they can understand my effort and suffering. Because I don’t think I can hold it out for too long. It’s much too draining. I’m tired. My mind, my body, is tired of this headache. But I’ll keep trying, because some little part of me holds on to the belief that it’ll get better, and that I CAN live through this, no matter what this “normal life” for me becomes.

My decision.

So recently it’s been really hard on me regarding my thoughts about my family. It’s been causing me to spiral back into that dreadful spiral of depression, crying myself to sleep and sleeping all the time to avoid reality. I went to my family doctor knowing that it wasn’t something I could keep doing and was hoping that he’d have a solution through medications or something, since counselling made things fine for a while but it’d just go back. And living with my family meant I had a reminder pretty much all the time. I was already always in my room all the time away from them, but they were there…beyond the door. It’s a deadly repetitive cycle, depression. It just sucks you in when everything else is going well. Like school is chill with 4 courses ONLY (had 9 courses in 1 term before) and it’s the end of the road nearing graduation, I have a job and all. I guess I’m just prone to making problems for myself, like life just ALWAYS has to be hard…But anyways.

So I’ve been told multiple times by multiple people that I needed to get away from my family. Whether for a short vacation or to move out or whatever. To have a different environment where I won’t be trapped with their opinions and to find who I am. Me as a person. Not as a daughter who has to be obedient and a sister who has to care for her brother and parents. But as a single being. It took me weeks to decide. Because freedom seemed so tempting, it seemed like the perfect solution. My parents had to let go someday, and I am legally an adult so I’m not technically doing anything wrong. It might just be short term and might change things. It seemed doable.

But as I thought more about it, thinking about my dad’s not-too-great health and the worrisome overprotective parents they have always been, I feel like me leaving them would hurt them beyond what time could heal. I don’t know how much longer I get to spend with my parents as they’re already in their mid-50s. And knowing firsthand the regret with my grandmother’s death. I don’t think I can ever live with the regret of making the decision to move out if and when they pass. So I’m just going to stick it out. Hey, life only gives us what we can get over. Since we’re strong enough. So I just gotta believe that. And believe that we can make it through together, as a family. Holding each other, supporting each other. That one day, they’ll feel me trying and reciprocate.

So here’s a goodbye. As of February 28, 2017 12:34AM. A goodbye to the one person population in my world. A goodbye to “me”. A goodbye to my dreams. Or actually, temporarily put on hold. I’ll just live for them like I always have. And I’ll work harder to be part of the family and reach out that hand. Since they gave up so much for me and my brother, I think what I’m going through is soooo little to nothing compared to that. They stayed together despite both their family issues and when it got hard, they just tried harder. So likewise, I want to make it worthwhile for them. To show them that their harsh lives were for this. To be able to look at me and feel content. To feel proud. I’m ready to work harder than ever to make their dreams come true. Their dreams will become mine. And one day, maybe I’ll be able to make my own dreams come true and live for myself.