Sometimes I get to participate in the world. Engage with it. Other days I am stuck watching it pass. Chronic pain bad days are days for my own self-care.

With pain comes isolation. With winter comes hibernation.

I see a psychologist for pain management who is rather insistent I socialize more. Good for mood. I, on the other hand, have a hard time of it because every time I do something the pain just amplifies. And I have a hard time enjoying that.

He asks me, after not seeing me for three months ‘Have I been getting out more?’

I reply, ‘I went out of coffee with my mom, went to play cards with friends and went out with a friend one night.’

He says, ‘Three times. You remember three times.’

I laugh. Yes, indeed that is all I remember. Unless doctor appointments count. He said, no, no, they do not. But it is winter and it is not exactly encouraging for socializing for me. Not to mention I am introverted and once a month is actually cool for me. And with the pain, this seems a practical amount of time.

When I was in University freshman, back in the day, I did socialize a lot and I suffered for it. I couldn’t keep up with everyone else. I ended up taking a year off and when I returned I modified my social time to once every two weeks. Some of which would be at home with friends over. And this modification was a vast improvement. This was pre-migraine though. Once the migraines kicked in I modified that again. And then I went all out hermit for a bit in order to try and maintain some semblance of work, with no energy to spare for Anything else. And now I am up to once a month, or once every couple of months. That isn’t all our hermit. Considering my everyday pain levels I think it is pretty impressive really.

He is really into this idea. I am really not.

I suppose I would be if the migraines were not daily. My body would reconsider the idea then. As it is, I am tentative on socializing. Restrictive. And careful. I understand his notion. I will be in pain anyway. Might as well have a life. But I think he fails to grasp just how magnified a migraine can get in certain environments that are not controlled. It can be downright aggressive. There is potential on triptan days, of course. But aggravating the brain on a triptan day pretty much guarantees the migraine is going to come back. Still, I have used the triptan ‘window’ to socialize.


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