“I’m So Sorry But I’m Going To Have To Cancel”

I dread to think how many times I must have repeated this phrase to friends and family over the past few years. I hate when you have to make a decision as whether you’re going to don your bravest smile, dose up on pain killers and cope with the torture, or whether it’s best to admit defeat, put your best comfy pants on and adopt “the position” on the sofa. Neither is ideal, but a choice you cannot escape.

When my migraines first began I really struggled with this on a daily basis. The anxiety would start maybe even the day before the plans I had scheduled . Thoughts like “Will I be well enough to attend?”, “I can’t let them down again” and “They are going to be so disappointed with me” used to dance around my head leaving me in a spin of anxiety  and stress which I now know only made my headaches so much worse.

The more I learn about myself and my body during my recovery, the more that I understand I need to limit my body’s stress responses to as little as possible, hence why meditation has been so successful for me.

The body is only able to heal itself when it is in homeostasis (in natural balance) as during a stress response the body changes in to “flight or fight” mode, which after a prolonged period of time will leave you open to illness and disease. I used to feel on edge and plagued by anxiety and stress when making decisions about attending social events, however this was only perpetuating my symptoms and prolonging my suffering.

So about a year ago I would say I slowly began to accept that I HAVE to come first, no matter what! It was hard to get my head around the fact I had to be selfish and think of number one, but after having braved so many social events for the sake of my friends and families and then suffering for days after, it suddenly become a no brainer. Whether it’s a close friend’s wedding or a birthday night out with the girls, it doesn’t matter what the occasion may be, my health always comes first.

After all, I tell myself that of course I would want to be there if I could, but sometimes it’s just out of my control and i’m slowly starting to accept this which then reduces my guilt and stress. This can be a fine balance though as to make changes you need to step out of your comfort zone but at the same time don’t attempt something that you think will upset your migraines. I kind of got used to missing special occasions and grew to almost expect it, but I learnt that by only expecting the worst, the worst would then of course always happen. The good old law of attraction is back working it’s magic once again!

I wanted to write about this topic as I’ve struggled with this again recently on my visit back to the UK and I know it’s something other migraineurs will be able to relate to. Even though I understand now that my health comes first, it never gets any easier letting people down. I still get that huge wave of guilt, disappointment and then finally a bad case of FOMO (Fear of missing out!).

woman looking at sea while sitting on beach
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Living in Dubai I find this only makes matters worse for me as I am limited to the time I have back at home, therefore I then start to develop anxiety that if I become ill then won’t get to see everyone. On a few occasions this has really stressed me out but the old me would have let it develop into a full blown migraine whereas the new me takes a pew on my bed, plugs in my headphones and puts Dr Joe’s meditations on in which I mange to find some calm and peace within myself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not perfect at this by any means, but it’s a step forward in the right direction. After all, we are all human, we live and learn by the mistakes we make, and trust me, I have made this one plenty of times before.

The other day I had organised a huge family dinner which was mainly for my benefit to catch up with everyone whilst I was home, and guess who was the only person that couldn’t make it! Yep, me! Luckily I have such incredible friends and family who completely and utterly understand and support me no matter how many times I seem to cancel on them. After worrying that I might lose friends years ago from this debilitating illness, I have now come to find some peace with this. I know deep down that true friends will always be there come rain or shine, whether we can see each other or not, or whether I’ve cancelled on them a hundred times before.

I found this quote and for me it sums up exactly what i’ve learnt through this roller coaster ride I have been on…


#Migraine #Friends #Family #Support #Love #Compassion #Learning #Headaches




  1. I really do feel you there. At school I get headaches on a daily basis and the occasional migraine and it’s so hard to put on a fake smile to show my friends that I’m fine when they already know I’m not and it then shows when the sick room has become my new home. I’m also amazed that I haven’t lost my job by the amount of times I’ve had to call saying I can’t make it because I’m getting a migraine. I guess reading this has also made me realise that it has been okay to do that because I’m always a person who puts people before me

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah i’m sorry you suffer too. Yeh it’s so hard to act like everything is ok and for me then I suffer for even longer than if I had just given in to it. I was exactly the same and would never say no, I’m still not amazing at it but i’m learning that it’s to look after yourself. I thought lots of people would be able to relate to this as it’s a daily struggle for me. Thanks for your comment and wishing you all the best x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s a difficult to live with a daily headache and also its something people can’t see. I have a family husband two kids both active and the guilt and disappointment causes great anxiety. I know my husband gets upset and frustrated in turn causing more anxiety. Most times you grin and bare it until you have sensory overload. Always a learning process and I hope everyone can find relief soon.


    1. Hello, thanks for your comment. I know exactly how you feel. I got to a point where I was getting so stressed by it and I almost had to just accept that for now my life is different and I can’t do these things. It must be so hard for load ones to understand as it is the invisible illness. Your right, it’s a learning process and its taken me a long long time to finally get some peace with this. Maybe try meditation as thats whats helps wth my anxiety as once I get stressed my migraines and headaches only get worse. Wishing you all the best hun x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Self-care can be such a powerful healer and it’s great that you put yourself first. I don’t suffer from migraines, however, your story strongly resonated with me insofar as having to constantly cancel on friends/events and the importance of putting yourself first (self-care).

    Self-care rituals helped me overcome my stress and anxiety which in turn, healed my gut health issues. I was housebound for two years and like you, constantly cancelling events, visits to family and catch up with girlfriends. Those closest to me knew how bad my situation was, however, there were quite a few who questioned my illness as they didn’t see it. I was at my wits end as GPs couldn’t cure my problem, telling me that I’d have to live with it forever! A relative suggested I see a naturopath and I’m glad she did as it was this naturopath who helped me overcome my intolerances to a degree. It was her suggestion during my consultation that I learn relaxation techniques to settle my mind of my ‘learned expectation of being sick’. So I put myself first and completely stopped people pleasing (a necessity for me in my recovery as a co-dep). I began meditating and was eventually able to include mindful walking at the beach everyday. Re-focusing ‘my expectation of becoming sick’ to ‘being grateful for the trees/sun/rustling of leaves etc through meditation’ calmed my stress and anxiety. Today, I’m able to live a life where I can work again and go to events and catch ups with friends and not cancel anymore. Sending you positive thoughts and wishes on your journey to overcoming migraines x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow thanks so much for your message and your story. That is so inspiring and if you can do it I can do it. Yes I think anyone with a chronic illness can relate to the cancelling part. It’s hard but this only causes stress. That’s fantastic about seeing a naturopath, I am going to google it now. It is amazing to see other peoples success’s over illness through listening to your body and reducing stress and anxiety. I also totally agree with you on the expectation of being sick. After being ill for a lengthly period of time anyone would start to think this is my life forever more and its hard to get out of that way of thinking. Thats when our mind comes in to this as it’s so powerful. It’s brilliant to know you were using gratitude too as that I am sure is key. Thank you so much for your empowering message, keep in touch and I’m so glad you have healed yourself and found health again. All the best, Christie x

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m in the process currently of being diagnosed with Chronc Miagrane and the relief I have about finally having a name to the daily headaches and weekly miagranes is unbelievable.
    The stress, anxiety and depression I’ve been coping with was so hard and after reading this I’ve realised I need to put myself first! I’ve never cancelled plans before or called in sick to work but more often than not I wish I had of, from not on I’m going to start putting myself first because this constant pain in my head is becoming unbearable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Caitlin, I am so sorry to hear you are struggling with migraines and headaches. I know just how bad it can get. Don’t worry there is hope and help out there. Have a flick through my previous blogs as one might be able to help you. I’m glad you took that away from my blog and as hard as it is if you don’t put yourself first you will only suffer more. You have to come first to get better to be able to be ok to spend time with your family and friends. True friends will always understand. I really hope you start to get some relief soon from your pain. Sending you healing thoughts xx


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s