Sunday, November 30, 2014

Really? Still...

I have been getting migraines since I was 14 years old. As I got older, they got worse. In may early thirties, they got so bad that I had to quit working. I was a high school teacher--as job I loved. It killed me to have to give my career up. Pretty much everyone who knows me, knows this about me. Certainly my family knows this, And, yet, when I have to cancel an engagement or I tell someone that I know that I cannot attend their dinner or the movie or whatever, I still get the judgement. I still get the audible sigh and the forced "get better." People still get pissy and judgey. It is extremely irritating, disheartening, demeaning, and downright rude! If I was blind or was in a wheel chair or suffered from multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy, no one would blink twice if I canceled or didn't show up. Shit! If I said I had the flu, no one would question my absence or judge me. So, how does the fact that my particular ailment, my disability, is chronic migraines, somehow give people license to judge me?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Unexpected Side Effects

Unexpected side, I am not talking about medication. I am talking about the unexpected side effects of being at home. You worker bees out there are scratching your heads and thinking..."what does she mean, being at home? I'd rather be at home than at work.." Would you? Would you, really? I suppose it would depend on why you were home. If you were on vacation, of course you would rather be home than working. But, what if you were sick? Wouldn't you rather be healthy and at work than sick and at home? Probably...right? These were questions that I never really bothered to ask myself when I was fighting for my disability. All I thought about was the pain and how much I needed to stop working, not because I wanted to, but because I could not work anymore.
Now, I'm home and I never expected to feel useless or worthless or so incredibly depressed. In my brain I know that I am not useless, I do as much as I can for my family. I take very good care of four spunky kids and one difficult husband despite my migraines and the fact that I am in almost constant pain. But I still feel it. Not going to work, not teaching, in my case, makes me feel less than. When I visit my kids' schools for games or plays or parent teacher conferences (especially parent teacher conferences), I can barely keep from crying. I feel like I should be on the other side of things. I belong on the other side of things. I feel ashamed when I have to say that I am disabled and that I'm not working. I feel worthless. I know I shouldn't. I do. But I cannot shake it. Some days I feel so depressed, I don't even want to leave my bedroom, let alone the house. Some days I am in so much pain, that I cannot do either, anyway. That just makes me more depressed. These are the unexpected side effects of being at home because you have to be.