100 Days of Gratitude-Day 2


Tonight I am pooped, but I just thought I would let you know that I am thankful for meaningful conversations and relationships. This was shared with me 4 years ago today, and still has just as much meaning.

There’s some people in this lifetime that make every day fuller, every blow softer, and every smile wider. Sita Gaia, I am so very, very lucky to have you as a best friend. On the days that I struggle, you grab the end of my rope and pull me up, even if you yourself are standing on the same platform as I am. As you head home to BC, (even though I know it’s for a good reason and that you’ll be back in a couple of months), I want you to know how much I will love and miss you while you’re gone. You’re my warm blanket in friend form, and I am so very, very proud of you for staying stron

Lots of love,
Sita Gaia & JoJo

100 Days of Gratitude- Day 1!


Hey friends,

My friend is doing a 100 day of Gratitude Challenge, and she asked me if I would do it too!
So I said sure, and here we go. Day 1 of 100 Days of Gratitude. (PS this is hard to choose ONE thing because I have so much to be grateful for!)

Today I am grateful for the ability to relax and read and spend time on the computer when my stomach isn’t feeling well. It is really nice to spend some quiet time and do some thinking.‚̧

Lots of love

Sita Gaia & JoJo xox

My Amazing Conversation about Shame

Hey friends,

picture-of-me-1I know I put Life at Full Volume on hiatus, but that’s because when I was looking back at my most recent blog posts, it was all about Epilepsy. I didn’t see Sita Gaia there anymore. This blog is called Life at Full Volume, but seriously, it was Life on Mute. It was Life on Sad.ūüė¶ I just have a diagnosis, and it is not WHO I am.

Truth be told, I have been drowning in Epilepsy. Between Doctor’s appointments, feeling ill, and picking up medications, I was sinking deeper and deeper.

I’m not here to tell you that I am cured, and it’s something I am working on. I do, however, want to share with you something that I love to do. I LOVE having deep, vulnerable conversations. Let me share with you something that happened recently.

I have been reading Brene Brown’s book “I Thought it Was Just Me (But it Isn’t)”. She goes in depth with her research about shame. Shame is a very heavy emotion to carry around, and everyone experiences shame in a different way. Brene Brown talks about “Speaking Shame”- the closer we are to NOT speaking shame, we have a tendency to act out or shut down. The closer we are to speaking it we express how we feel and ask for what we need.

I have a good friend who also has Epilepsy, but her epilepsy is different than mine. I always felt shame when she told me about the newest project she was working on or some new endeavour she was involved in. Prior to reading about this, I would shut down and sometimes act out. I told her in an honest conversation that I felt shame when we talked about her work, because I felt like I wasn’t measuring up. (Ridiculous, right?!) When I told her that, she explained to me that she felt shame about some things too. (WOAH, right?!) . It wasn’t a heroic act- let me tell you this. I finally had the courage to address something that I was noticing in my life.We were really able to get our hands dirty and have this open conversation about shame. In the end? I felt SO much better about our friendship and I have already noticed a shift.

I LIVE for these types of conversations. I feel like I have the strength and courage to be able to talk about things that mean something to me. Thus, I will also attract people who feel the same way. This is partly why I did my degree in Social Work- because I am not scared to wade into uncharted territories and see what will happen.

Expect LESS posts about Epilepsy in the future and more about me. It’s gonna be a good time.

Lots of love,
Sita Gaia &JoJo xox


Why do People with Chronic Illness Feel the Need to Excel??

Hey friends,

inspire-peopleIt is almost midnight here, and I am writing this in a post-ictal state. (Post seizure).  My tummy hurts and I feel nauseous. I fell face down on the carper while I was getting ready for bed, and hallucinated that my mum was there, telling me not to get up When I came to- my mum was nowhere in sight.

My seizures have come back in an aggressive manner. Not just a little Absence seizure here, but I fall flat on my face, and on public transit-to name a few. I am getting worn out by my seizures, so I am learning that I need to slow the f*ck down, which is hard for me.

It is hard for me because I am very extraverted. I love planning meet ups, (if you can go to one I recommend it!) seeing current friends and making new ones.Even if not much is going on at home I need to go to my local coffee shop to be around people. Otherwise I get lethargic and sometimes I get low mood. I NEED to be around people, (i’m okay being alone-but I always set the bar high for my achievements). When I was in high school? Even though my seizures were controlled, I was contending with a learning disorder and I told myself I would get high grades, despite the two. I graduated with Honors with Distinction and won the Writing 12 and Spanish 12 award.


My question is why?? WHY do people with Chronic Illnesses (myself included) feel the need to constantly be high achievers? Even when our health is at the bottom of the crapper!  I want to achieve something. Doing little makes me feel bad, as I have so many other ideas I want to execute. To even focus energy on two things takes a lot out of me. I know I have Refractory Epilepsy, (which to refresh your memory is hard to control Epilepsy), but I hate not contributing to society!! Even when I took a year off of university, I painted my nails regularly because it made me feel like i was doing *something*.

Do you have this issue? Can you give me any advice? Anything? Please??

Lots of love,
Sita Gaia xox

The Isolation of Epilepsy

Hey friends,

I hope you had a good weekend. My weekend was off and on. It started on Friday when I found out that there were cuts being made to the Epilepsy Clinic I go to and that my psychologist won’t be there anymore. I hugged him, and left his office absolutely devastated. It was a weird mix between devastation and seething anger. It was a stormy day, so I sat in the Starbucks attached to the clinic for awhile, and then braved the cold of the storm.

I ¬†soon realized that my anger distracted me- I ended up taking the wrong bus and then hopped off and went into a Chapters (aka Barnes and Noble). I picked up Brene Brown’s newest book, Rising Strong, and then hopped on ANOTHER wrong bus. GOOD HEAVENS!

I finally hopped on to the Skytrain and found that all of my pent up emotion was starting to come out in small seizure like bursts. I was sitting down next to a dude, and then I leaned to my left ON TO HIM and started to seize. It was a short seizure, and I embarrassedly explained to him that I have seizures. Thankfully he took it well.

That evening was a mess of more seizures. Today I lay in bed on a Sunday evening, where I slept soundly until 3pm. Today I have not left my house. Now one thing is very clear to me: Epilepsy is one hell of an isolating condition.

It is easy to not leave your house in fear of a seizure. This is for injury or for fear of embarrassment. To look like a fool. An outcast. You look ridiculous. All of that attention was not warranted when you toppled over. You just want to be normal in the world.
Even if you WANT to be part of the camaraderie that life has to offer, you might be too ill to jump up and join in. I am an extraverted person, so this can be very hard to take. I miss my friends. I stand by the river and watch.

This. This is the Isolation of Epilepsy.

A Blog about Living a Whole Life With Epilepsy