I Am Not a Migraine Sufferer, I Am Not a Victim

Do not call me a migraine sufferer. I have an illness called migraine, but I do not suffer from it. Having migraine is not a choice, suffering from it is. Suffering is an emotional reaction, a decision someone makes to allow the difficulties in their life cause mental torment. I cannot avoid the physical and emotional pain of migraine, but I can choose how to react to it.

I can hate that I have migraine and wail constantly that it’s unfair. I can obsess endlessly about how much has been taken away from me and how my life will never be the same. There’s no denying I feel like that at times. I can let those thoughts dominate my life, or I can indulge in short pity parties, then pick myself up and think, “This stinks. How do I make the best of it?” Time after time, I continue to choose the latter.

By calling me a sufferer, you assume I am a victim. I struggle with migraine, I am frequently disabled by it, but I am not a victim to this illness. I will not let it consume my life. It has tried. Oh, man, has it tried. Migraine has forced me to give up so much, but I remain committed to finding goodness and happiness and fulfillment while living with it. Is that the attitude of victim?

Despite the prolific use of “migraine sufferer” in common parlance, I refuse that label. I refuse to let anyone else decide whether or not I am suffering. I refuse to let my body or my spirit succumb to migraine, as impossible of a feat as that seems some days.

I am strong and courageous, persistent and proactive. Do not call me a migraine sufferer — I am a migraine champion.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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