Body Blame, Shame, & Judgment

Dating always seems to target our deepest insecurities, especially when it comes to our body and our health. I'm sharing something publicly today that I have never shared before... I struggle with chronic migraines. And, it can impact every area of my life if not well-controlled.

And, the worst part of all... is that it can interfere with my dating life in a big way. I've carried so much shame, blame and judgment for a medical condition that I could not completely control for over 20 years. It felt like part of me was broken and that there was nothing that could "fix" it. It impacted my self-confidence and even made me feel that I was undesirable and undeserving at times. Those are some incredibly powerful beliefs that will take anybody out of the game! No surprise that it impacted both my marriage and, then, my dating life. 

I even reached a point over the last few years where I felt that I shouldn't make plans because of the fear of disappointing those in my social circle. Why? Because migraines are not always predictable. As much as I value planning real dates in advance, there are times that cancelling them is necessary. And, not everyone is equally understanding of the reasons why. I get it. I'm not a huge fan of rain checks either, but this is life. Life with a chronic medical condition. But, living in fear can become isolating very quickly and it's something now that I know to watch for. That maybe I need a little extra grace when it comes to planning in advance. Maybe you do too.

In the past, there were times in which I would push myself to go out even if I was battling a migraine, but it always backfired because sharing a meal was not an option nor was listening to loud music. And, those two things just happen to be what I love most about Nashville- amazing food and live music. Now, if my body is demanding my attention, I know how to handle my other commitments in a way that feels truly aligned.

As I write this, I can honestly share that I have reached a place where I feel that being totally transparent is the best policy if I have to cancel social plans. In the past, I would have played it cool and acted like everything was great but now I'm in a place to be straight up about my body and its demands.

I share this with you in hopes that you won't let the same things stop you from creating a life you love (and find lasting love). Everything isn't great every single day and I no longer pretend that it is. And, you shouldn't have to carry the "perfection" burden either. Honesty and transparency are the keys to freeing yourself of any shame, blame, or judgment you've been carrying around. 

By sharing my own story, I hope to help you alleviate some of the shame, stigma, or judgment you may feel because of your own health struggles. If I cancel a date, I am totally upfront about why and recognize that having a migraine does not mean that I'm broken. It means I'm human, my body isn't perfect, and that listening to my body is incredibly important. And, that I am still completely worthy of lasting love and a life-long remarkable relationship. Migraines and all.  

Laura Wood