Living with migraines is hard enough without the constant barrage of misguided ‘help’ that’s thrown at you every time your world is thrown into a spin.
Despite being arrogant, self-absorbed and highly disagreeable, there are some things that Jane Austen’s gallant hero would never say to you about your migraine.
Don’t you just wish more of your friends could be like Mr. Darcy?
Here are 11 things Mr. Darcy would never say to you about your migraines…
1. "My dear, you hardly look sick."
Well Mr. D… “From the first moment I met you, your arrogance and conceit, your selfish disdain for the feelings of others made me realize that you were the last man in the world I could ever be prevailed upon to marry.” (yes I did steal those words directly from the mouth of Elizabeth Bennett).
Migraine is often referred to as an ‘invisible disease’, but its outwardly visible symptoms are unfortunately completely unrelated to the level of pain and discomfort I’m feeling. Say that again and I may have to see to it that you look sick yourself.
2. "Perhaps it’s simply all in your head."
Well, that I won’t dispute Sherlock. My migraine attacks are in my head. But they’re in my head for real, not as a figment of my imagination (like your manners and understanding of social grace).
3. "I know how you feel, I get headaches myself."
I’m sure you’ve had a headache (possibly worrying about which estate to trot around this afternoon), but while my migraine can often manifest into a type of headache, it's a completely different level of pain from your vintage estate wine induced fog.
4. "You should stop _________."
Drinking alcohol. Eating gluten. Eating chocolate. Tightening your corset.
Mr. D. could fill in the blank with numerous patronizing or condescending yet well-intentioned suggestions.
I’m aware of my triggers and understand the benefit of tracking them, but migraine is a biological condition and I can assure you I know my body much better than you do. And I intend to keep it that way as long as you keep telling me what to do.
5. "My best friend Bingley’s butler’s wife’s aunty tried sniffing horse dung (or insert any other obscure treatment) and it worked. You should try it too!"
While I’m sure Bingley’s butler’s wife’s aunty is a lovely lady and I empathise with her migraine suffering, I’m not really in the mood right now to sample the sensory overload of your mount’s rear end!
I would though quite like it if you could get your horse out of my room as his hooves are making a terrible racket on the floorboards. And a little quiet does have an effect on my migraine.
6. "Barely tolerable I’m sure, but pucker up young lass… they won’t kill you.”
Thanks pirate shirt. The fact that they can lead to me losing my job, my education or my spouse doesn’t make it a serious enough issue, you have to point out it won’t kill me. I’d barely tolerate your comment except that it’s also wrong. Being old yourself, Mr. Darcy you’d remember when migraines were actually called suicide headaches. And that is hurting my heart as well as my head.
7. "Most ardently I suggest you drink more water."
And most ardently I suggest you go jump in the lake (again) and drink some yourself. I understand the benefits of remaining properly hydrated and getting sleep and eating healthily. I understand it all and I do it as best I can everyday.
Your habit of stating the obvious is really making me wonder how you got so rich (but not making me wonder how you had so few friends).
8. "I wish my outrageous wealth allowed me to just stay at home and hang out like you do when you have a migraine."
Wow, you really have a gift for insight into the life of someone living with the chronic pain and struggle of migraine. Trust me, there is a lot of life I miss out on and I know it. And I wouldn’t choose to lie down in a dark room to miss it. Unless of course it’s hanging out with you and your horse if you speak to me like that.
9. "Clearly my dear you are just not well equipped to handle stress."
Well back in your day Mr. D. there was a theory that migraine primarily afflicted neurotic women and high-achieving men. While I get that stress isn’t particularly a great thing (I’m getting some practice spending this time with you), I can assure you that my ability to handle it has nothing to do with my migraines. It’s a bit like you at your pompous worst, you may be a trigger for an attack but you are not the reason I have a migraine condition.
10. "Might I suggest it's a struggle you’re having with your sinuses."
No thanks Mr. Opinion, I’m pretty sure it’s not. It’s not the first migraine I’ve had and I know the difference between this and a cold. I also know the difference between a rich guy in a puffy shirt and a doctor.
11. "Unfortunately, you’re a woman?"
And despite proving yourself to be quite an upstanding man, unfortunately you’ve forgotten to turn on the filter between your brain and your mouth today. Focus less on trying to look so smoldering and focus on treating me like a person not a cliché.
Though the loveable heroic Mr. Darcy would never say anything like the comments above, it’s remarkable how easily you could imagine those words rolling off his tongue. And with variation in dialogue, how easily you can imagine so many similar comments coming from family and friends.
When they next do, share this light article with them and before you know it you may be surrounded by less ‘over-helpers’ and more quiet, gentle and strong pillars of friendship and support.