Tuesday, 7 May 2013
The Brave Face
It might be a cultural English thing, it might be a Daisy thing, it might be a Hufflepuff thing, it might be a combination of them or none of them, but The Brave Face is something I instinctively do and I often wish I had more control over it.
What I mean by The Brave Face is firstly when I'm feeling dreadful and I'm with people I will instinctively try to act as though I'm feeling much better than I actually am and secondly when I'm talking about my migraines I tend to laugh about it, make jokes and generally downplay it all. I believe I do these things to put people at their ease.
This is one of the most frustrating things that I do and I just don't seem to have any control over it. I'm ruled by this condition, my life feels like it's on hold, yet I'll laugh and make jokes about it when asked about it and I'll act like I'm fine when I can feel the pain building inside me or when I'm battling with a medicated but still present migraine.
I worry that people think I'm actually making a big thing out of nothing when I do this, as from their perspective surely if it was that serious then I wouldn't be laughing about it. And equally when I have to slink off home early, then I think the people I was just with will be thinking the classic "well she didn't look sick!" and think I've just got a headache and I'm making a fuss over nothing.
In actual fact, when I'm in pain, be it a daily headache, pain building to a migraine or a medicated but still present migraine, I just want to hide away from everyone and everything which is something that my husband has to battle against nearly every day to get to spend any time at all with me (he's the one person who I usually manage not to Brave Face with but even with him my instinct to Brave Face often takes over). Spending time with anyone is against what my body is telling me it wants so trying to act normal on top of that is actually a great deal of effort and really tires me out. I'm trying really hard not to do this anymore but especially at work I can't help but try and act normal.
When I'm talking about my migraines, I know it's not a nice thing for people to hear about, and given there isn't a cure it's also one of those 'no hope' types of conversations, so I instinctively want to please the person I'm talking to, I instinctively want them to enjoy the conversation, even though I know they shouldn't. I also know though, that when I'm laughing and when I'm making the jokes and when I'm trying to make light of it all, I know that if I wasn't doing that, the alternative is that I start crying as I talk about it and no-one wants that (not least because crying lowers my migraine threshold!)
I wish I had more control to be able to choose when to put my Brave Face on and when to just be able to be honest with the people I'm with or the person I'm talking to about how I'm feeling.
Photo credits: Laughing cat by *!~Freddie Freak~!* and Grumpy Cat by Bryan Bundesen