Tag Archives: Friends

My Biggest F*cking Aha Moment

Today I had the biggest fucking aha moment. I was standing in the kitchen with my mum, after a dinner that my dad had prepared.

I have been going through a rough patch recently, with constant low mood, which has put a damper on my every day quality of living. On some days it is an accomplishment if I make the 15 minute walk to the Starbucks near my house. The depression feels like it eats me alive sometimes…and although I don’t lie in bed and cry, my body feels numb. I can’t feel anything. I tell people that the mental health aspect of the epilepsy is harder to deal with than the epilepsy itself. I have burnt myself with hot tea due to a seizure. No problem. I was able to rise from the ashes like a phoenix with four months of bandage changes, and a period of time on morphine and Tylenol Arthritis. The physical pain was awful, but I could still get through my every day life.

I have gone into a tail spin when I saw that a peer has gotten their Master’s degree in Social Work. As I told my mum so many times, “This wasn’t supposed to happen!” I wasn’t supposed to have my diagnosis changed to Refractory epilepsy. I was supposed to be normal, able to go out without worrying about what people will think when I ask for the disability seat, and not feel like my soul is drowning in depression on the really bad days. You can tell it’s been a bad time when you see me in the same outfit multiple days in a row, or when I need to put clothes on the floor near my bed so I can easily reach them when I have zero motivation to do anything.

Regardless, while we were in the kitchen, my mum put her hands on my shoulders and said “You are doing so, so, well. For someone in your situation, I am so impressed.” I was flabbergasted. What? I was doing well? ME!? On the days that I hide under my covers? The fact that I am not independent? “Yes,” my mum said. “You still get out there and socialize, and you ask for help when you need it. You could just be in a hole, but you make the effort not to be.

WOAH. My mum is right. I could just hide and be in my own little world. I’m not though! I am taking a pre-requisite at a community college, am an active co-organizer of a queer women’s Meet Up group, see friends, practice yoga, ask for help when I need it,  and spend time with my family….to name a few things.

Holy shit guys, I’m not letting life pass me by! I am living it- chronic illness and all!! I am not a failure!!

Love,
Sita and JoJo xox

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Saying Goodbye to 2016

Let me start this off with by saying that 2016 was a hellish year for most people I know. It was a very difficult year, politically, and  Canada accepted over 39 thousand Syrian Refugees. We lost so many influential celebrities- and for me the loss of Canadian Poet and Musician, Leonard Cohen was the loss I felt the most. He has always been special to me and my family. This is my favourite song of his It touches me deep in the heart.

I don’t really want to go into the politics of the year, but for me personally 2016 was dynamite!

pride-week-logoIn 2016, I finally had the courage to come out to all of my friends and family as bisexual. (Or Queer, as I like to call myself). That lifted a huge burden off of my shoulders, as I had been questioning my sexuality since grade 7. I didn’t understand if I liked women, as I also have a big interest in fashion…so it took a lot of questioning to know whether I liked a woman based on her style or…that she was cute. I had the opportunity to date some fabulous women, and for the future, I know what I do and do not want in my relationships. Through coming out, I have made some spectacular friends, whom I am in contact with on a regular basis with. (I even run a meet up group with one!) I was so scared about coming out, as I was afraid that because I was bi, I would experience biphobia. That is not the case, as I was embraced by everyone. I could not have been happier! I did not experience discrimination from the people in my community, which made me so happy!

2016 I also did my Ted Talk which was amazing and so rewarding! I had worked frantically to produce an excellent talk, (and up to my standards). I expected that my talk might make waves at the conference, but baby, it made a splash! I also had the opportunity to meet so many incredible people, which in and of itself was amazing! I dabbled in entrepreneurship for a bit after that, but then realized that my true calling was Addictions Counselling. Which is my venture that starts this Friday January 5!! I am so excited!! To be heading back to school is truly amazing!

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Also- in 2016,(last but definitely not least)  I started to regain my health. I went for long stretches without seizures, and was even able to travel to Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto by myself for my friend’s wedding. It was amazing to reconnect with friends that I hadn’t seen in two years or more.

I think the big take away from 2016 for me is that I have gained direction for my life, and what I really want to be doing. It is such a relief to finally have a direction, and to stick to it.

May I go boldly into 2017 with gratitude and confidence.

Lots of love,
Sita and JoJo xox

Finding Mentors Through My Friends

15338761_10154262379411925_743627914102019830_nI am continuing on with the “Mentors in My Community” theme. This week I am looking at mentors in my personal friendships. This was a particularly hard one, as it was hard to choose just *ONE* friend who is a mentor, as ALL of my friends are mentors in one way or another.

I met so many new friends this year, who have had such a positive impact on my life.  I met my good friend Kathy at a Femme Friday meet up, which used to occur at this cute little Cafe- for all female and femme LGBTQ identified women. It was one of the more casual evenings, and one of the organizers was reading her tarot cards as that is something that she is skilled in. I brought some of my mum’s tarot cards- not because I can read them effectively-but because I thought they were fun. I ended up reading a tarot reading for everyone at my side of the table, which included Kathy.

Kathy instantly reminded me of one of my friends from Ottawa: charismatic, friendly, and had a presence. Oh boy, she has a presence. We soon realized that we both had a love for tea, so after that evening we arranged to go her favourite tea house where we drank cup of tea, after cup,  after cup.

It also became evident  that Kathy was greatly involved with the LGBTQ community here in Vancouver, as I would bump into her at Pride, as well as the Vigil for Orlando. (RIP). Kathy helped me understand my orientation, and even though there are still tons of question marks, she gives me advice when I want to talk to a lady that I fancy for the first time. It helps that she knows practically everyone, so she has a connection to mostly everyone I want to talk to.  She understands her orientation better than I understand mine, and although I am not upset about my orientation, I get very confused at times. Kathy will listen patiently, and even console me when I feel like no one will ever want to be with me. “Girl, you have girls falling all over you! What are you talking about?!” She’ll say to me. Her comments assuage my insecurities.

Today we are organizers for a Lesbian meet up here in Vancouver, for women in their 20’s, 30’s and youthful 40’s. Kathy feels like one of the older sisters that I never had, and I know that she will protect me if something bad ever happens to me.

I am so grateful for Kathy’s loyalty, protective nature, and honest friendship. It means so much to me!

Who is your Mentor out of your friends??

Lots of love,
Sita and JoJo xox

Travelling Alone with Epilepsy

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Hey friends!

As you may have noticed I have been MIA this past little while. That’s because I have been on a holiday to Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto. My friend was getting married, so I decided to make a whole trip of it.

I have been staying with friends my entire trip, so I have no Mom or Dad to run to if something goes wrong. Fortunately, my friends are very supportive of my Epilepsy and know what to do in the event of a seizure, but I have been working hard to avoid my seizure triggers. Today was a particularly seizure-filled day. I ended up having a cluster of 5 seizures within five hours. Yikes! Thankfully my friends were supportive and actually managed to catch me when I was close to falling.

I also have SUPER exciting news! As of July 29, 2016- Life at Full Volume has been running for 4 years!! I am so grateful to you, my reader, who has been able to help me keep this blog going!

I hope your summer is going AMAZING!! Love you lots xox

Hello. My name is Sita and I am an Epileptic.

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Hi Sita! I have never had a group of people say that back to me, as I have never introduced myself to a bunch of people like that. This blog is all about talking about the tough stuff. Ripping out the painful parts of your life and examining them. Were certain experiences meant to teach us something? Are we really on a track with a chronic illness? What does a track for someone who is chronically ill look like?

After moving back home when I got my degree, I slept for several months and then spent 7 weeks in hospital to try and figure out what was causing my seizures. I have had extensive testing done on my brain, and as of right now I am not a brain surgery candidate. It is discouraging. When I went to the hospital for 7 weeks last year I thought they would figure everything out and it would be a panacea for all of my seizure troubles.

I am a very extroverted person, and I will talk your ear off. Except when it comes to mentioning my Epilepsy to a potentially new friend. I have told you my experiences with stigma, and the myths that people have about epilepsy. When I tell someone new about my epilepsy, I worry I will be dropped like hot rocks. This has prevented me from continuing to try to make friends. I was also bullied through my entire schooling, except for university.

I refer to authenticity a lot throughout Life in Full Volume. Show your true colours. Tell your story. It’s just scary when you might be dropped like a rock if you are vulnerable.

Lots of love xox

 

How I’ve Learned That I’m Never Really Alone

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Hey friends. Okay I am going to be brutally honest. This week has been rough. I found myself in bed on Monday feeling so depressed that I needed to talk to someone. Of course, this depression washes over me at the most inconvenient of times. It was 12:30am where I was, and some of my best friends were in another province and in a deep slumber at 3:30 in the morning. There was no the fuck way I was going to call them that late.
So I thought. My parents were asleep (and I am sure they would have talked to me), yet  I didn’t want to wake them. I thought of who I could call in my area that wouldn’t mind talking to me so late.

One of my bestest friends currently has a very bad cold and an ear infection. I felt so bad about calling her, but I knew she would understand. We talked for maybe over half an hour, and she told me that I could call her at any time. No matter where she was, and if she got a missed call from me while she was working, she would message me right away.

Feeling less alone when you are trying to pull yourself out of mental health issues (ie depression) helps soooo much.If you are ever in that situation, try to think of a friend you can call, or your area’s crisis line. Thank you, dear friend. You are helping to pull me out of the quicksand that is depression. With Epilepsy, I am at a higher risk of developing mental health issues (just a fact, not playing the victim card) so I really appreciate all the support I get.

Please, please please keep my story in mind if you find  yourself in a tough position.

Love you all! Keep fighting the fight! xox