Have you ever wondered why you have Migraine or what you did to deserve it? It’s easy to get stuck in “Why me?” thinking and even harder to break out. When days drag on with no relief in sight, feeling discouraged, depressed, and downright miserable isn’t far behind. Once those negative thoughts start, they can take on a life of their own, spiraling down quickly. Before you know it, you’re stuck in an endless loop of self-pity.
Feeling helpless to change your circumstances, hope begins to fade away. Once you’re trapped, taking proactive steps toward better Migraine management seems impossible. You’re unable to think of anything except the failures and disappointments. Even good news gets warped into a depressing litany exempting you from any positive effect.
Like many of you, I’ve been caught in that trap more times than I care to admit. Over time, I’ve learned a few strategies that help me recognize and avoid the “Why me?” trap. Maybe one of these will help you, too.
- Find your joy. Spend some time each day doing something you love. Choose an activity that is purely for your enjoyment and not an obligation or task on your list.
- Music heals. It can lift your spirit in ways that nothing else can. Choose your songs carefully, creating playlists tailored for your changing mood.
- Challenge your thinking. You may need to recruit a friend to help with this one. The idea is to collect evidence for and against the thoughts in your head. Put them to the test. Seek another perspective. Discover the evidence to support your self-talk.
- Create solutions. What if you discover that your self-talk is accurate? Rather than wallowing in self-pity, look for small ways to counter your present reality. There is always another way. If you have difficulty finding solutions, ask a trusted friend to help you brainstorm.
- Look for opportunity. Try seeing those “Why me?” thoughts as a signal telling you to change course. True or false, those thoughts can be viewed as an opportunity to do something different.
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Reviewed by David Watson, M.D. © Tammy Rome, 2017.
Headache disorders advocate, blogger, and mental health therapist, Tammy Rome maintains a private practice specializing in behavioral pain management, as well as writing for her own blog, Brain Storm. She also volunteers as vice chair of the American Headache and Migraine Association and as president of The Cluster Headache Support Group. You can read more of Tammy’s work on her blog and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.