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It's all in the head or on the head?

(I meant to post this last week but got caught up in other stuff and forgot, better late than never)

It makes me laugh that I happily said “no migraine yet!” in my last post and the very next day I had an absolute cracker! My head felt like it was going to explode, I was vomiting, I had the light aura.  But  actually the day after I found myself feeling very positive. Part of that was huge relief it was over, it was horrible while it lasted but it was only for a day and the next day I had less of a hangover type effect than usual.  Another factor in my positivity was  that usually my migrainous episodes are not so well blown and I am left wondering, do I actually have migraine or is it just a useful medical label, am I medicalising myself / hypochondriacal? Well this one had all the bells and whistles, right down to the vomiting of undigested food (despite it being several hours since I ate).

Another good thing.  Although the pain was EXCRUCIATING (compared to labour pains at a 10/10,   it was a 7 or 8) I tried relaxing into the pain, dissacociating from it and  then sleeping to block it out. It started at around midday and by the evening I still had a bad headache but was able to walk around and speak. So I was pleased that I had handled bad pain (no choice, but whatever). I did actually take  paracetomol but the tablets reappeared fairly soon after!  And several hours later, it eased. I feel incredibly lucky to have a condition that peaks then passes.

Having been aware that a migraine was already likely, I knew what the final trigger was, that tipped me into it. I had had a difficult experience previously with my hairdresser. She has been cutting my hair for years and we are good friends. I just let her style it however she wants, I trust her judgement. She is obviously neurdiverse (ADHD) and very creative and cuts instinctively. This is not a hairdresser I want to change! Anyway she was really difficult last time I saw her, not hairwise, personality wise. So much so that I had felt so upset when she left I had cancelled my next appointment, but then after a few weeks rebooked, still uncertain of what to do. So I was very anxious about my next hair cut but the minute she arrived I could see that she was regretting the way she had been. It turned out her family had also complained about her behavior. We talked it out, I didn’t specifically mention my experience, I kept to her family’s comments, but I think we both knew she was sort of apologising and I was sort of telling her how awful she had been.

It is always stress release  that sets off a lurking migraine. I was hugely relieved I can back off from looking for a new hairdresser, it would have found it very hard to return to a salon after years of getting my hair cut at home and we have become very good friends over the years, shared a lot of stuff.

My hairdresser and I are very different from the outside,  she is LOUD, at her most comfortable in a crowd, expert at razor sharp repartee.  However there are hidden, strong similarities between us. We both protect our vulnerabilities with anger, a defensive strategy acquired as a child, but out of place in an adult. Anger is a useful energy to lift your mood out of despair but the key as an adult is to recognise it and face the vulnerability instead.

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