Migraine’s Badge of “Honor”

Throughout my migraine journey, I feel like I’ve become increasingly introspective.

Getting a degree in theater

Growing up, I had always liked putting on a show and becoming the center of attention. Whether I had an especially good joke, or I had put on a home-made costume, I always loved to act and make people giggle. That, naturally, translated itself into a hobby, and thus a career. (I use the term career lightly at this point). COVID-19 has done this cool thing where I haven’t been able to act since the industry has been paused. I am all for health and completely in support of precaution, I just miss it.

Acting teaches empathy

Getting a degree in theatre is like getting a degree in feelings. Something I always used to say to any naysayers. Anytime one of my best friends went on about how difficult lab was in his biology degree, I would always try and relate with the struggles of being emotionally available and using sense memory to harken back to childhood in order to produce an authentic living.

Getting graded on self reflection

Most classes would require exit exams. Mine were reflections. It’s hard to grade work that’s so subjective like art, so a reflective paper on our own process ended up being the grading medium by which we were evaluated. I was never an avid researcher so an essay all about ME was naturally my favorite.

Self reflection in talking about migraine

Dealing with my migraines has become the next step. Everywhere I turn, I have to self-evaluate, especially with these articles. I look inwards, and as always, find joy in self-reflection. Doing what I do best and talking about myself…

Migraine isn't included in introductions

Migraine is not something to be joked about, nor is it my favorite part of myself. It sure isn’t what I would use to introduce myself to strangers that’s for sure. “Hey, I’m Sawyer. I’m an actor and little known fact my brain sometimes feels like it was train-smashed.”

It takes humility to talk about migraine

Migraine used to be something I was proud of, like it was something that made me special. It was a label that I could wear proudly, and talk in detail, but after taking time, and ironically enough, reflection. It’s something that is more important.

Thing is, this isn’t just about me. I am but one voice in a community of other sufferers. Some individuals can’t live a day without pain and I get to live many.

Migraine doesn't define me

I guess what I’m trying to say, is that just because I have a platform doesn’t mean it’s all about me. That egotistical part of me, that gets to have center-stage has a place and a time. Migraine is a part of me, but it isn’t what has to define me, especially when I can be a conduit for good. If there’s any takeaway from my introspection, it would have to be this.

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