Friends. There is something amazing about the true friendships that we make through mundane and day-to-day events, such as going to school, work, and picking up an afternoon espresso at the coffee shop. I was lucky to meet my friend Shari though one of my women’s studies classes this year. The class was awful and I’m glad it’s over but Shari is amazing and she is always there to hear me out and offer a kind shoulder to cry on. One of the first times that I told her about the Ep she told me that her other good friend had epilepsy too. It seemed almost amazing to me. I had to meet this friend of her’s. I’ve only met one other person with epilepsy and I needed to hear more.
A month ago at Shari’s birthday I finally got the opportunity to meet her friend, Karen. It was a little weird. I didn’t know if she knew I had epilepsy, and if she knew that I knew she had it too. Although we were among people who were kind and caring, I decided not to bring it up. Sometimes I don’t know how to gauge social boundaries so I just left it, just in case it might be a really awkward thing to talk about. Some people are very open about their medical conditions, but others would rather leave it. I wasn’t sure if Karen was one of those people or not. Even though I didn’t know much about Karen, I had this intuitive feeling that we had more in common than just the epilepsy. I had no evidence to back it up, so I decided not to say anything. I just enjoyed the evening out, and celebrated Shari’s 21st birthday with her.
Since I had only met Karen once, (well twice if you count seeing her in passing), I never really had the opportunity to talk to her. Well we did talk a bit here and there, but it was all surface conversation. We related in the sense that we are both studying social work and have Shari as a mutual friend. If you know me well, you will know that I generally have deep and intense relationships with my friends. I wanted to know more and I wanted to know if we could relate because of our epilepsy. I figured I would take the matter into my own hands and use social media to talk to her. This is the great thing about technology: you can talk to people who you barely know and strike up a perfectly good friendship. This is what my facebook message looked like:
Oh hey this is Sita I dunno if this is awkward for you but I have epilepsy and I know you do too so would you want to talk about it? Sorry and I understand if you don’t want to.
Okay, it wasn’t that awkward but you get the drift. Thankfully Karen is also studying Social Work, so she understands the whole concepts of boundaries and how I wasn’t trying to make her feel uncomfortable. She “talked” (we were on facebook chat) my ear off and told me all about her epilepsy and the types of seizures she has. The seizures are not like mine, but they do have an impact on her life and she expressed the embarrassment of having seizures in public. She also expressed empathy to my situation, and I knew that she had felt the same frustration that I am currently feeling. As we kept talking I started to develop some ideas. I know everyone on this blog has heard my point of view of what it’s like to live with epilepsy, but wouldn’t it be amazing to hear Karen’s story? I think so!!
Anyways, my point is, Karen has agreed going to be featured in my first ever guest interview on Life At Full Volume!!!!! My hope is that I can help people share their experiences with epilepsy, and that Karen’s story will resonate with people with and without epilepsy.
Keep your eyes peeled for my interview with Karen in the next couple of days. Love you all xox.