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