Hey Friends! So I kinda forgot to mention something SUPER important! Two days ago (July 29, 2014) was my two year anniversary of this blog! You know what that means?! I managed to have the dedication and love to continue to put energy and effort into this blog! May I continue to put energy and effort into this blog- which has become an integral part of my life. Thank you so much for reading it! I couldn’t have done it without you!! xoxox Have a beautiful day!!
Okay, I have something that I need to confess. It’s not easy, but I know that this blog is a #safe space. Yes, I just used a hastag in a post. But it’s my confession so I can use whichever words I choose. Okay….here goes. I am addicted to coffee shops. I have my favourite drinks at the coffee shops I go to. Some places are better for their fancy drinks, while others are better for the tea and lattes. Wanna hang out? Coffee shop please. Need to get some work done? Coffee shop is coming up! There is something so endearing about a coffee shop. It usually has a positive atmosphere with friendly smiles, asking me my name so they can label the coffee cup correctly. Albeit, I’m sure these baristas are paid to look friendly, but a smile in the morning, noon or evening is always a nice touch to the day.
You know what the ironic part of this whole story? I don’t even like coffee. Yes, there you have it my friends. I love coffee shops but don’t drink coffee. Yeah, maybe there is something wrong with me, but regular old coffee makes me all jittery and I feel more like I am going to have a seizure. Yikes. Not cool, coffee, not cool. So instead of coffee I will sometimes have a green tea latte, hazelnut latte, and in the warmer weather a shaken iced tea. I make it my mission to get through every flavour of shaken iced tea- pomegranate, blackberry, lychee, mango, and coconut. I just need to try something different every time. Same with the lattes. During the holidays I make it my personal mission to get through every different type of holiday drink. This includes, but is definitely limited to- Gingerbread lattes, Candy Cane lattes, and Smores hot chocolate. I’m not going to lie, but gingerbread lattes are my favourite Christmas latte at most coffee shops. It is sweet and subtle, yet so, so satisfying. I cannot forget the Pumpkin Spiced lattee, which is a hallmark of the beginning of fall. If I could, every friend hang out would compose of this: chat in a coffee shop for an hour or so, and then wander around in the beautiful sunshine. It would be perfect. Especially in the coffee shop that isn’t overcrowded or unncessarily loud. It would be the coffee shop that has enough business but you don’t feel bad about sitting there for an hour or two.
SO, that is my confession. I LOVE coffee shops, despite not even drinking straight up coffee. Lattes are basically milky, flavoured coffee, which is something I can handle. Who could say no to a delicious caffeinated beverage?? Not I, my friends. Not I.
I hope I did not offend anyone with my use of the word ‘addicted’. I apologize in advance!
This post is awesome because you only have to look at pics! You don’t have to hear me go on and on and on. Also, ever wonder what a week in my life looks like through photos? Well, now you can see for yourself!!
Pic 1: A Shameless selfie after doing some yoga practice
Pic 2: Me standing in front of this crazy art thing when hanging out with my friend Alexis
Pic 3: Blogging and drinking shaken iced tea in my favourite coffee shop
Pic 4: Looking for turtles in the nearby pond in the park by my house
Pic 5: My friend Kelsey eating a delicious Brownie
Throughout my life I have needed to ask for help, and it didn’t ever occur to me that it might be an embarrassing or shameful experience. When I was in in school I needed help with understanding different concepts, and I wasn’t embarrassed! I always figured that I needed to get the work done, and I couldn’t get it done on my own. I had the drive to succeed, and if it took a couple of extra brains to help me understand, I was okay with that.
While I was going through university, I also needed help with school work, and as things progressed I needed help to get my mental health state at a more stable level. There was no way I could sit there by myself and manage my anxiety and or depression on my own! The whole reason that I wasn’t leaving my room was due to two of those factors!
With regards to my seizures, I needed to seek help from so many health professionals: doctors, nurses, etc etc. Since I am training to be in the field of “helping” although not in the medical field, I feel that this experience has added to my perspective on how I will help my future clients. I feel like asking for help will be of tremendous aid to providing help. I know what it’s like to be on the flip side of being the recipient of help. It makes you vulnerable. It makes you scared. It is also deeply humbling. You need to open your arms up to everyone and say “Hey, this is me. Things aren’t going so great. I need YOUR help.”
So, what’s the point of this banter?? If YOU yourself are struggling with a mental health issue, a chronic health condition, financial problems, it is OK to ask for help! In my case people have been more concerned than judgemental. Your friends and medical providers want what’s best for you. I don’t know your situation, but that’s what has been my situation. The more I talk about it, the more it feels a huge burden has been lifted off my chest. It’s okay to have a chronic health issues! A ton of people in this world do, too! Sharing your story makes others feel more at ease (well, depending on the person, haha) and they want to do whatever they can to be able to help you.
I have become deeply humbled by asking for help through all of these years. I think it has helped to shape me into the person I am today. Knowing that it’s OK to ask for help is one of the first big steps into recovery.
Love you lots!! xox
So I can’t believe it, but I have finally reached the point of accepting my Epilepsy for what it is. It’s not a curse. It’s not a life sentence. It’s a chronic illness and that’s it! Yeah, I know that the past couple of years have felt bleak at times, but now I know that I am so much stronger than I ever could have imagined. I have endured so many accidents, along with mental health problems. I think they should actually be called “mental hell” issues because that’s what it felt like. The pendulum was constantly swinging back and forth between anxiety and depression and I felt like I was just stuck in a life that revolved around this chronic condition. I felt completely and entirely defined by it and I was just sinking further and further into the quick sand with no way of getting out. Today though, I feel that I am standing stronger, with my head held high and I am completely and 100 percent proud of how far I’ve come. Tackling anxiety has been a huge feat (and I will admit, I do still struggle with it from time to time). Although I realize that when I get the feelings of anxiety- for example sometimes I feel like I’m being choked and my airways are being blocked- I know that it’s the anxiety speaking. It’s not me! I am able to self-talk my way through it and use some of the coping strategies that I have developed over the past few years. I’m not trying to say in any way that this has been easy. For awhile I was angry, and sad that I wasn’t in the point of my life that I wanted to be. Why wasn’t I out there with my Master’s degree doing social work? Why was I still doing my undergraduate when the majority of my friends had already graduated and moved on with their lives? Why, why, WHY!
Well, this is MY path and this is where I am supposed to be. Who cares that I graduated a bit later. It’s not like there was someone sitting there timing how long it took me to complete my undergraduate degree. It was only me who was judging myself for how “successful” I was. All of my internalized thoughts of what it meant to be successful were dragging me down and were not of any use to my well being or success. Plus, it’s not like anyone really cared! It didn’t matter! All of my friends were there cheering me on when I graduated, and they all saw it as a huge accomplishment! It was like it was their success too! What an amazing feeling.
With regards to having seizures, they have been under better control lately. Every single day I wake up and try to be as healthy as possible. This includes getting enough sleep (which is not tonight, I must admit as I can’t sleep), eating regularly, and exercising for 45-60 minutes for at least 6 days a week. I have been keeping a log of what I have been eating and how much I have been exercising and I have created health goals for the following months. You know that old expression, Rome wasn’t built in a day, but I am really trying hard to listen to my body and when I am tired, I will rest. I won’t try to push past my limits and then fling myself back into another round of seizures. Sleep is so important for seizure management, so I am working to not overdue it when it comes to socializing and being out and about. I am also trying to be more cognisant of how possible stressful situations can build to cause seizures. I just am trying to talk myself through it, and in some cases the things I have been stressed about are not actually worth the time and energy fretting about. Things will happen as they were meant to be. Also, I’ve realized something super important. If you have been following my blog you will see the shift in attitude for sure. And if not…then well I have no idea where you’ve been. Epilepsy is Epilepsy. So what? I can still lead my fulfilling life. I am planning for the future based on what I want to do and not on what Epilepsy might want to do. I have hopes, goals and dreams and I know I will succeed in whatever I want. Sure, I might have to modify some things, but who cares? I may have Epilepsy, but it sure as hell doesn’t have me.
Love you lots! xox