Woke Up From Sleep

A girl in the 10th standard in school asked me once, "Why does your voice always sound like you woke up from sleep?"
I didn’t have an answer at that time. I didn’t have an answer for a long time.

I remember people commenting on my voice since I was 6 years old. It started with my aunt who asked me, "All your cousins have nice voices. But you don’t. Why?"

Judgment from a young age

Imagine a 6-year-old child having to hear this nonsense from an elder. Wow! She wished me to be insecure about my voice (merely one of the amazing things that elders do of passing down their insecurities to the young ones). Imagine the impact that question can have on the psyche of that child. This is what I have come to know now as “child abuse”. What else would you call it?

Migraine affects all of me

Having two dozen symptoms does things to your behaviour. My brain doesn’t work properly. I have limited control of my mind and body. I know this from the two dozen symptoms I have from a neurological condition. This affects my voice. I know I sound “not okay” most of the time. There’s not much I can do about it. My voice doesn’t sound lovely. It’s not clear sometimes. Words come out in phases mostly, thanks to brain fog and various other symptoms. The dryness in the mouth and throat makes it worse. I don’t know anyone whose mouth is as dry as mine. No wonder my well-wishers find it impossible to believe me.

Fighting the migraine stigma

"Why does your voice always sound like you woke up from sleep?" This sounds like a valid question coming from inexperienced souls. Only if they were capable enough of accepting the answer that I have now. What is more important than having a reply is the presentation. If I tell it in a plain and boring manner, the answer won’t be accepted. It will be downplayed. But if I present it in a professorial way, it sounds wonderful, yet incredible. There lies the funny part. No matter how well I present, it is never enough.

The stigma in society is real about brain-related illnesses. Just like there is a stigma against drinking and smoking. I can do it in private. But it must remain a secret. No one must know. The same goes for my neurological condition. No one must know. I need to suffer in silence. I need to not show the outcome of the two dozen symptoms I have. I need to act like a robot who is programmed to behave like normal mortals do. But it is impossible to behave like normal souls. I tried for 3 decades and I failed all the time in everything I did. If someone does it somehow, he deserves the highest honour ever bestowed upon a homosapien.

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