Happy Three Year Anniversary to Life at Full Volume!!!

DSC_0532Hey friends! SO as you can see, I have some pretty exciting news to share: today marks the third year anniversary of this blog “Life at Full Volume!“ I can’t believe how I have managed to consistently keep my blog up to date, and the community that has formed around me, based on my different thoughts and ideas. It makes me happy that I may have made even the tiniest morsel of a difference in someone’s life. Maybe a person living with Epilepsy, maybe a parent, spouse or loved one. Throughout these three years, I hope one person said “aha! I am not alone! What I am going through is totally normal too! Sita is going through it herself!” (The boy is also pretty happy about it too!!)

I am not even sure where to start with regards to how I can thank my loyal followers. Just thank you, thank you, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. Taking time out of your busy day to read my blog posts means a lot. You are totally awesome and let’s celebratteeeeee!! Exciting news to come next month!!

Lots of love xox

Coming Out of The Depression Closet

depression-in-her-eyes
So this is not an easy post for me to write at all. If you know me in real life, you will understand why, but the majority of you don`t so I will give you a quick run-down. I am a perfectionist, too hard on myself, and nothing is ever good enough in terms of my own achievements. (Well sometimes they are, but they feel short lasting and I must always strive for better). I also disregard my achievements and say they’re “not a big deal”.

Okay let`s keep that in mind. The short of it is this: I am depressed. I know there is a huge stigma in our culture surrounding depression, and it is not talked about very much. Well I am going to take my ax and burst down the wall of stigma and along with many other internet bloggers, I am joining the conversation of mental health.

I’ve learned that through my experiences with depression, different people have different ideas of what depression means or looks like. People who are struggling with depression are often mislabeled as unmotivated, and lazy, to name a few. This isn’t conducive to the healing of people with depression because calling a person with depression unmotivated  will feel even more unmotivated to do something that needs to be done. Honestly, some people with depression wake up in the morning and have zero clue why they feel shitty. People might ask- did something bad happen? Are you okay? Well maybe nothing really “bad” happened, and there is no straight explanation to their mood. People who are depressed don’t want to be depressed. If they could, they would “snap out of it” in a second. It”s not that easy though.  Like I said, depression isn’t all about feeling sad. It’s about lack of concentration, increased or decreased appetite, sleeping too much or too little, and unexplained aches and pains.

Check out this info graphic from buzzfeed to illustrate what I mean http://www.buzzfeed.com/annaborges/depression-101-yo

I have been great at wearing masks in the past- and to be 100% honest, I still wear masks from time to time. When I say I wear a mask, I essentially mean that I have been severely depressed but you would just think I was the most chipper person you knew. It`s a drag being depressed, and I don`t like dragging others through the mud of depression with me. Some people can see through my facade of upbeat moods and smiling. One thing about depression though- people are not always sad. There is a whole host of emotions that happen when someone experiences depression. Some of them are very heavy emotions such as guilt. Try carting guilt around with you every single day. It gets tiring. My depression goes in direct correlation with my Epilepsy, which is most likely because they are not well controlled.

With my Epilepsy, I have experienced depression on and off ever since 2011. It hasn’t been fun, but I just wanted to tell you.It is very hard to describe how I feel. I forget to eat lunch. Always. I sleep too much, and I have little triggers that can set me into a melt down. I have depression. I am working very hard to get better. Feeling better seems like an exceptional plan.

Love you lots xox

The Frustration of a Three Day Recovery

Hey guys! Hope you are doing well! Hopefully you’re not working this weekend- or if you are and that’s a good thing then hey, that’s great!

lying on floor

I have been in bed all day recovering from not one, but two falls this week. They were my first major breakthrough seizures in a little while. Today has been discouraging because I thought the collapsing seizures were over. Unfortunately, I got food poisoning on Wednesday which lowered my seizure threshold. Being  ill makes you more susceptible to having a seizure. Not in all cases, but in this case absolutely.

What does it feel like in a post-ictal recovery? Well, if you fall, generally there are bruises, and sore parts. For me, my neck, shoulders and head hurt like none other. I had “cotton brain” where my brain felt like I had a cotton ball rubbed all over it. It’s taken three days to recover so far, and I am not sure if I need more recovery time.

So okay, recovery time isn’t a waste of time but it feels like it is because you are just relaxing, waiting for your brain to calm down so your neurons won’t misfire. It’s just disappointing because I had so many plans for this week and even today, Saturday. It seems as though my brain knows when I have social events planned. It just likes to sneak in and throw everything off.

You see me so much in a positive and optimistic tone, so I just thought it would be authentic to show you my more vulnerable self.

Lots of love! xox

Holy Shoot Things Are Amazing!!

Hey Everyone!! Hope you’re well- seizure wise, work- wise, partner wise.

courtesy of Elephant Journal
courtesy of Elephant Journal

My seizures have dropped dramatically over the past few months and I can confirm that things are improving because my neurologist said things are getting better. My depression is easing off (finally!!) and I have an interview for a volunteer position on Wednesday. The position? To help someone with a head trauma with motivational writing. I got this, guys!! Even though I am not ready to work, volunteering is a good step in the right direction.  Sometimes things don’t work according to “plan”, but maybe the trick of life is to go with the flow and ease through the tough times. You need to be a fighter sometimes (health, in this case), but things do work out!
Holy fart. This is happening guys!

Lots of love xox

Educating Friends and Family About Epilepsy

courage to let go

So I thought that this would be an important blog post to write about. I know that I am not the only one who needs to educate others about my Epilepsy. I have been grumpy about educating people about Epilepsy because- hello! Google! But then I realized some important things when I was talking to my boyfriend’s family about my Epilepsy and Seizures.

1. First of All, People Care
I know that sometimes I felt frustrated about people asking me about my seizures because I felt that my Epilepsy was all that I am. That is so not the case! People ask me because they want to know what to do in the event of a seizure, and what to expect. People also care about my well-being, which is a really important factor to remember!

2. Teaching Seizure First Aid is Crucial
This point may not be as crucial if you *only* have nocturnal seizures, but if you could have a seizure at any point- whether in the mall or on the couch, your friends and family need to know what to do. Seizures are scary, and from personal experience- I know that having people know what to do in the event of one makes it much better.
In case you have forgotten here are the first aid steps:
1. Move any dangerous furniture or items
2. Loosen any tight clothing
3. Do not restrain the person
4. Stay calm
5. Time the seizure- if over 5 mins call 911
6. Put something under their head if they fall and roll them on to their side (sometimes there is a build up of saliva during a seizure which could make it difficult for the person with epilepsy to breathe).
7. Be reassuring after the seizure, and stay calm as they “come to”

3. Stigma still Exists!
Talking to people about your Epilepsy, and also that you are able to do so many other things is so important! It is important to talk about other interests, so people know what to do, but it is not a secret that you feel ashamed of. Shame is a very heavy emotion. Also sweeping Epilepsy under the rug is not healthy, and is contributing to more stigma- perhaps due to internalized stigma. Let’s get rid of stigma! We all have our limitations and challenges!

4. Being Vulnerable Builds Bridges
I know I have talked about this before, and Brene Brown, Social Work PhD studies vulnerability. But think about this- if you are able to be open about your own struggles, maybe the other person will come out about their struggles- whether they are chronic illness, mental health, children with either of the former, financial issues- the list goes on and on. You never know what will happen when you open up, but you may find a lasting connection with someone.

I hope you are all doing well! Keep fighting the good fight! xox