Blogger Erica Carrasco discusses how her brand came to be and how she uses it to advocate for others
Migraine advocacy takes many forms. There are real people behind this disease, each with their own lives and passions. In an effort to make a difference, some people take their skills or abilities and use them to help others living with migraine. One of those people is Erica Carrasco.
As a writer and person living with migraine, Erica saw a unique chance to help advocate for the migraine community. Her experiences led her to start Achy Smile, a blog where she catalogs her life and treatment efforts.
“I smile all the time whether I feel good or not,” she says. “It’s just so natural for me to smile, even though I’m always in pain somehow. That’s kind of where I came up with the name Achy Smile. That’s where the blog started.”
Achy Smile is a partner of the American Migraine Foundation. Erica recently sat down with AMF to talk more about how blogging has helped her cope with migraine and create a community where others don’t feel so alone.
Blogging as Treatment
Erica started experiencing severe migraine symptoms in 2004. Prior to Achy Smile, Erica’s migraine was making life difficult and affecting her emotions. She began to see a therapist, who suggested that she start keeping a journal to help her process how she was feeling.
“I’m not really good with handwriting, my hands hurt pretty easily,” she says. “For me, typing is easier than handwriting. So I figured I would just do a blog because it’s kind of my outlet. It wasn’t anything that I was advertising or anything like that—I kind of just started a blog for my own purpose, but I figured I could share it. If anybody reads it and it helps them or they can relate, then great.”
While Erica’s original mission was to create something more personal, Achy Smile became a more-involved project as time went on. She started an Achy Smile Facebook page and began sharing her articles with a wider audience, eventually moving on to other forms of branded content and connecting with people in other meaningful ways.