ADHD, Creativity, Migraine

Traverse Davies
2 min readSep 4

I have ADHD — I’m not sure if my creative pattern is due to that, or due to something else.

Today I have written more than I have in the last year, and I’m still going. The writing is effortless, not flawless, but my best. I’m not dropping all of it on the same day, so this will show up a few days after I write it.

That’s always my pattern. I develop a need to create, to pour out my feelings, to express the things that are bubbling inside of me. I sit down and write, or draw, or paint, and I do it like I’m possessed. It lasts until I’m done, and I don’t know where that will be. That moment is clear though. I keep going, trying to draw, or write, or paint, and it doesn’t work. The thing I’m making is poor, a feeble attempt at what I was creating a few minutes earlier.

Shortly after that comes the pain. My head starts to ache, sharp, piercing, throbbing. I am nauseous, weak, unable to function. The migraine has me in full grip.

I stopped hoping for a different result many years ago. Now I hope the pain holds off as long as possible, so that I can create more. See, that creation is who I feel I am, what is at the core of my being. The pain, that’s a small price to pay for it, and if I knew I could have the creativity again in a day, two days, soon, I would welcome it, accept it. The reason I dread the pain isn’t because of the pain, it’s because it means I am done for now, that I can only produce the feeble imitation of myself that I have access to day to day.

This isn’t bipolar, not manic depression. As soon as the migraine leaves, the physical weakness leaves, I’m not depressed, not sad. I’m drained, but often happy, fulfilled. These episodes are not even manic. Sure, I produce a lot of good work, I get hyperfocused, but I’m still reasonable, for the most part. I’m just… more creative, better than myself, able to do what I want with minimal effort.

This is my pattern, and I have never found a way around it. How much of that is my ADHD? Hard to know, but I know others who have a diagnosis and have the same thing, including the migraines.

I don’t know what it feels like to not have this, so I can’t compare — but I do know that I hate having my slower mind. I love the fast mind, the ability to think and write as fast as I can type, the way my art just works for me.

If you have this, at least know that it’s not just you!

Traverse Davies

I do survival, self-publishing consultation, and writing. Check out my blog: