I like to think I know who I am, but when you think of all the fatigue, brain fog, neurological symptoms and pain that comes with migraines... exactly who would I be without them?
It is hard to imagine with daily migraines because you lose that comparison. Those non-migraine days. I seem to recall the last one I had, that is a migraine free day, involves a lot of energy and clarity of thought. So I imagine without migraines I would just be able to think more effectively... instead of through this mud with pain taking up half my attention all the time.
And let us not forget that being in pain all the time impacts how we perceive reality and our emotional states. My mood stability would be different. How I perceived time would be different. How I thought about reality would be different.
That is why when people say, I am not my illness... well, I know I am in part influenced by my illness. It and I have been linked for so long it has impacted who I am. Without it, them actually, I would be different. Just a fact.
When it comes to all pain I Know I do not know who I would be without it. I do not Know a body without pain. I understand most people are not aware of their bodies all the time via pain, but I am aware of my body during movements and sitting too long, or exercise, or standing too long... all these things will tell me a pained story. So I know I need to move, or stop moving. Or shift. Or adjust. It is a constant communication. I can't imagine that just stopping. I would wonder... what pain is normal then? What sort of pains I get would remain that are normal for my age because surely some must be. I also can't image the migraines just stopping. I am just so used to thinking through them. Knowing they are impending. Feeling the thick prodrome settle on me and my brain turn to moosh.
I think it is a pleasant fantasy, but since I will Not be without pain it is not something I should think about. More I should think about what I can do to help reduce the pain. What physio. What exercises. What will help my pain. That is all I can do. And all the things that can help with my suffering. Like they do at the pain clinic. Meditation and relaxation exercises.
I cannot know what I am without pain. I want to know how to survive it. That is a better question and challenge.