To those who suffer from chronic headaches or migraines, it might make perfect sense. Life with these disorders can be like experiencing a real-life horror movie… the fear of the next “attack” always right around the corner.
I personally have suffered from headaches for about the last 20 years. They manifested when I was in college and really became troublesome after I started my first major job. Since I was now paying for my own health insurance coverage, I decided to seek out help. A primary care physician referred me to a neurologist, who ran some tests and prescribed a few medications. When those didn’t work, I was referred to other specialists (pain, sleep, physical rehab, etc.) who all ran their own tests and tried other treatments and drugs. This went on for a few years, all with no real improvements. Most of the prescription drugs had more bad side effects than true benefits.
At one point, I even found myself regularly traveling to Chicago to visit a well-known headache and migraine clinic. But going there really made me feel bad, as most of the patients that they treated were far worse off than I was. While almost a daily occurrence, my headaches would eventually subside. But for a lot of these other people, the pain would last for days straight. I didn’t feel worthy enough to be there and ultimately stopped going.
At some point, I decided to stop chasing a personal cure. And only then did things start to get better. The stress caused by the vicious circle of visiting doctors, trying new medications, and being disappointed was probably only making things worse. I still get regular headaches, but a couple of Excedrin Migraine and some biofeedback techniques that I learned along the way are usually my best path to relief.
One day not long ago, while suffering through the fog of a particularly bad headache, my head was overtaken with a concept of an alien creature having taken up residence in my head to cause the pains. The headache eventually went away but the creature concept stuck with me. It has been a few years since my last graphic novel project and I was on the lookout for the next thing to work on. I’ve wanted to transition to film for a while and had been studying screenwriting and producing, and horror films have long been a good way to break into the industry. My headache monster concept was the way to go.
But it is not just my desire to get a film made. I would also like to use the platform to bring more awareness to the condition that millions of people like myself have. As bad as the pain was, the effects my headaches had on daily life were far worse. Missed work for the headaches themselves, or for visits to doctors, always made me nervous about how my employers would perceive me. Missing important events was a regular occurrence, and some family and friends never really seemed to understand. I want to help change that.