The anniversary effect

It is common for anniversaries to bring up alot of emotion, both good and bad. For happy occasions like weddings it’s a chance to look back and remember a wonderful day (assuming it was 😁) and to take a bit of time out to celebrate the years of marriage since. For the loss of a loved one, it can be a sad time, one where you are forced to deal with their loss again.

The anniversary of an illness is a strange thing. It has now been two years, almost to the day, since I fell ill. I remember the onset particularly well as it came after a wonderful hen weekend away to Barcelona, with some of my best friends. It was the first time in years we had all been together, without the many children we now all had between us, and we all made the most of being free of responsibilities for a few days by drinking, dancing, and celebrating. I came home from that weekend feeling hungover and tired, but that was to be expected – we weren’t students anymore and 3 days of drinking would take a few days to get over.

I had no idea that this would be the last time, to this point at least, I would feel ‘normal’

The fact that I was able to talk with friends, laugh, drink, walk around the city, be in a nightclub, eat whatever I fancied… it almost seems like a different person looking back, as all these things are either impossible or extremely challenging now. It’s either exhausting, physically or mentally (talking, laughing, dancing, walkng), or it makes my symptoms much worse (eating ‘off plan’, drinking).

Sightseeing in Barcelona, the week before I got ill

It’s hard, on a daily basis, trying to adapt to my current limitations but something about the anniversary makes it particularly challenging. Facebook is showing me ‘this time two years ago’ pics of me enjoying a wonderful weekend, and I have brilliant memories of it, but it’s also tinged with sadness at how much has changed since. It’s grief in a way. Grieving the person I used to be, or at least the things I used to be able to do. It doesn’t help that I am currently dealing with a week long migraine that is hammering me even more than usual, reducing my world to bed, sofa and a few flashes of work/socialising/parenting that makes the pain worse but I refuse to give up in order to keep my emotional state propped up.

A positive aspect of the anniversary effect is that I can look back over the last two years and note that, migraines aside, I am making slow, positive improvements. As the months go by I am able to do that little bit more, with a few set backs so hopefully this time next year it will be less grief, and more excitement at further improvements.

The operation I mentioned a couple of posts ago is booked in for this Thursday and although I am trying not to pin all my hopes on that magically curing at least my migraines, it’s hard not to hope for that. So I guess that’s what I will do and if it doesn’t work then I’ll figure out my next plan of attack (which will likely include a daith piercing, more meds and a change of diet / supplement regime). It’s always good to have a backup plan 😊

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