HAWMC Day 7: Starting My Advocacy Journey

We all need people in our lives who push us to do and be greater. Sometimes it’s hard to accept advice that someone has to offer, but most of the time, it’s worth it to hear them out.

I never even thought about sharing my story about living with chronic daily headaches, because I never thought anyone would really need or want to hear and read about it. The thought never crossed my mind.

That was until one day, during a pretty dark and frustrating period of my life when I was experiencing 6+/10 head pain every single day for a long string of time. I was living with my older sister at the time, so she knew and could see that I was living in constant pain and that I was having a difficult time dealing with it. One day she suggested an idea that turned out to be my motivation behind creating The Headache Heroine. She said “Why don’t you write about all of this?” She suggested I use it as a coping mechanism, since I already had a love for writing. Why not take my love for writing and do something positive with it? She helped me realize that it could be therapeutic for me, which turned about to be very true.

At first, I was worried that sharing my story would just make me sound like I was throwing myself a pity party and was inviting people to bring gifts of sympathy. But that’s not what I was going for and that’s not the kind of vibe I wanted to throw out into the world.

What actually ended up happening, was that I got an outpouring of encouragement and praise for being “brave” for being vulnerable enough to start opening up about my health and really putting it all out there. I had been hesitant to share my blog posts on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, because I didn’t want to bug people and add things to their newsfeed that they didn’t want to look at/read. But then I realized, that if people wanted to skip over what I shared, they would, and if people wanted to read what I wrote, then they would. I eventually created a separate Instagram account for my health journey, but I still tried to tell myself not to worry about what others thought.

After a few months of being worried that people would judge or roll their eyes at the stories I was posting and sharing, I slowly grew much more comfortable with sharing my story. I realized that I was actually reaching people who really appreciated and benefited from my words. I became less concerned with those people who didn’t care about my story, and focused all my attention on the people who did care and who actually benefited from hearing my story and my advice.

While advocating and getting my voice out there actually helps me cope and feel more positive about myself and my life with chronic daily headaches, I also know that I have helped other people who are facing similar health journeys. That fact alone keeps me writing and sharing, and it should help encourage you to do the same!

HAWMC Day 6: Superpowers Wanted

I’m never able to settle on just one answer when I’m asked “What superpower would I want?” But for today’s purposes, I chose flying.

Cliche? Yes. Practical? Yes. Awesome? Yes, yes and yes.

How would I use it? The real question: How wouldn’t I use it?

It’s crazy expensive to travel the world, or even travel through the country. It’s even more of a stressful decision when you have medical bill after medical bill rolling in, staring you in the eyes.

I dream about visiting different cities and countries, exploring the vast world around me. I hate knowing that I’ve seen so little of this world. But I have to force myself to be realistic and save my plane ticket money and use it to keep collections from hunting me down.

But if I could fly, well I could see the beauty around the world and still have money to pay off the inevitable debt that medical bills create.

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#HAWMC Day 4:Wishing For A Concrete Diagnosis.

This isn’t the answer you were hoping for or expecting. Well, the lack of answer, actually. You were hoping to hear a clear cut diagnosis so that you could then begin whatever treatment was available. But it’s not that simple. It won’t be that simple. Instead words like “new daily persistent headache,” “chronic daily headache,” and “chronic migraine” will be thrown at you. They’re all very similar but very different.

It’s going to be hard to find treatments that work for you. Your life will become to feel like a science experiment. But trust me, you need to keep on going. Give different treatments a chance so you can figure out what really will not work for you and your body and you can also discover things that can help you, even if it helps just a little bit.

It’s going to be an up and down roller coaster. You won’t be able to predict or control when the curves are coming or how shaky it’s going to get. What you can do, though, is control, is how you react to those curves and shakes.

Stay strong. Stay resilient. Your mental strength will waiver, your physical strength will at times feel imaginary, but you have the highest pain tolerance of anyone I know.

Even though you won’t be getting a concrete diagnosis, just remember, that you are taking steps forward in this journey of ours.

Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge: Day 2-How I Write

My writing style isn’t necessarily a style, exactly. I don’t follow one set pattern or stick to one particular habit. Most often, I get inspired and just start to type away. I let my brain and fingers do the work and I don’t stop until they’re done. When I’m in this inspired, must-write-right-now kind of mood, I just hit publish and send my words out into the vast internet universe.


However, sometimes I am a bit more calculated. Sometimes I read over every word, every punctuation mark, every sarcastic remark. Sometimes I plan out ahead of time what I want to write about and sometimes I work on a piece for a couple days.

More often than not though, I write on a whim. I write when a light bulb goes off in my head, or I write when my head pain is so bad that I have to write in that exact moment to pull myself together.

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Whatever your writing style may be–whether it’s habitual or sporadic, you just keep doin you!

Health Activist Writers Month Challenge: Day 1-Why I Write

I didn’t plan on sharing my story with the the world. Not until I was encouraged to do so by a loved one who saw me struggle with my health and the consequences of my health problems every day. Before I started writing, I never really believed that there were other people out there who lived with chronic daily headaches like I do. I had never met or talked to anyone who lived with anything close to what I live with. I live with chronic daily headaches and migraines. For me, this means that I have a headache 24/7. It sounds like an exaggeration, but I promise you that it’s not. I have some type of headache all of the time. While the intensity varies and changes frequently and without warning, the frequency is the same: it’s always there. It has made me change my way of living, from an active young adult always looking for adventure, to a wishful young adult who lives a rather stagnant lifestyle yearning for more adventure and more answers.

I started writing because I needed a coping mechanism. I had to find some way to release all of the frustration that had been building up over time, weighing me down. It has helped me more than I ever expected. When I find myself feeling very low, I turn to my writing. It helps pull me out of the darkness. As I found myself climbing out of the darkness, I realized that maybe I could help pull others out their darkness as well. I realized that while I was helping myself cope through my writing, I could also help others like me who really needed a hand to help them up.

I write to help people feel supported. To help them feel less alone. To help them remember how strong and brave they are.

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