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.


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