Tag Archives: Stress

What an Unproductively Exhausting Weekend

WP_000488 (1)Well I can’t believe that it’s 5:45pm on Sunday evening already. The weekend just seemed to fly by! I spent most of my time in bed or on the couch, cuddling with my insanely adorable Chihuahua Pug mix, JoJo. I have been feeling a strong sense of vertigo as well as nausea. I looked up Epilepsy Auras (as discussed in last week’s Epilepsy 101), and both of those are related with seizures as well as anxiety. When I get stressed I tend to hide it from myself and it comes out in forms such as a bad stomach ache, or like I said above, extreme dizziness and nausea. I am also exhausted so I have little will to go out and do anything. Although JoJo and I went out for a nice long walk on Saturday, I just couldn’t do anything today. Anyways, I just wanted to check in and I hope you had a more exciting weekend than I did!

Lots of love! Keep fighting the good fight! xox

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Asking for Help: A Humbling Experience

heart holding handsThroughout 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

ALSO: Puggles!! SO CUTE!!!!baby puggles

Epilepsy: It Is What It Is

   VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100  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

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I Don’t Look Sick: Inspiring Words of Wisdom from Others with Chronic Illness

Hey Friends! How are you doing lately? I saw this page today and I thought many could relate and or benefit from it. I didn’t write it, but I love it. It’s called “I Don’t Look Sick”. 

The graphic is originally from this site:

“I don’t look sick”. Please share this brilliant graphic from Donnee Spencer telling us about life with an invisible illness

What do you think about it??!

Love you all! xox

Woes of Unemployment

stuck in a rutSo I think I forgot to mention a crucial milestone in my past few posts. I have graduated from my Bachelor’s degree in Social Work!!! All my hard work finally paid off. Now I have to deal with the fact that I’m a: no longer a student, and b:since I am not a student I need to look for employment. Yikes. Looking for jobs is tough, and since they can be scarce and competition can be stiff it’s hard not to get discouraged. I’ve been looking online as well as doing some networking with organizations that I would be interested in working for. So far it’s been going well, although today was an exception. Instead of writing an essay of thoughts I decided to write a train of thought poem of how my networking session went today. I haven’t written much poetry in awhile so hold on to your seats.

Woes of Unemployment

Today’s meeting didn’t go
so well.
Or maybe it did
I’m not sure
I got flustered when I got lost

Those were the most vague
Directions ever

The lady didn’t seem very
engaged.
It’s a small company
don’t hire often
Felt discouraged.

Got my shoes wet and muddy for a 20 minute
talk.
What was the point?
You have to work to find a job. No  one
will just hand it to  you
This is part of the process. You need
to put yourself out there
What kind of work am I even
qualified for?
Why do so many jobs require a driver’s license?
So unfair.

Stop whining you mofo
Whinging just takes up breath
Maybe I’ll get an interview for
one of the jobs I’ve applied for?!

Maybe I’ll be the exception to the
rule of not getting hired to the first
job I applied for.
Graduating is so stressful!
I wish I could have eased into it.

You’re seeing friends and feeling better
so that’s important
Your health is improving!
You are exercising!!!
You are strong.

Just keep carving your path
Sometimes certain things happen for a
reason.

You are like a tea bag in hot water
Just add that zest of Sita to these
tough times.
You are not alone
Friends and family love
you

You perform well in interviews
Everyone goes through tough times
Just breathe.
Remove that guilt
Pat yourself on the motherfuckin’ back
You have gotten through so much
so keep at it

Hug every day
Dance like no one gives a shit
Smile at the silly things in
Life.
I am proud of
You.
.

So there ya go! Ultimately self love came of my woes, thank god. What did you think? Are you going through similar stuff? Any suggestions? Hope you are doing well! Love you all! xox

Long Overdue Update & Tips On Keeping Your Chin Up!

DSC_0247Update! Holy Crud. I have been away for so long! What happened to the time? Well, now that I think about it, I know what happened to it. This past November I spent a couple weeks in a Neurological Hospital doing extensive testing to find out where in my brain the seizures are coming from. I did so many advanced tests, some of which I had never done before. Although the stay was long, and at times boring, I kept myself occupied by watching shows on Netflix. My new personal faves, by the way are United States of Tara and Raising Hope. Thankfully the hospital had wifi, so I was able to watch them from the comfort of my hospital bed. But I digress. The stay wasn’t all fun. I was monitorized 24/7, and had many seizures. I was hooked up with EEG wires that were attached to my head, and then there was a wire that I connected with a plug in my bed so the EEG techs could see my brainwave activity at all times. Whenever I felt a seizure coming on, I pushed a button that activated a camera so the doctors could see what my seizures were actually like. The seizures weren’t fun, (obviously) but I was so glad that I had so many because it gave the doctors (as well as the rest of the medical team) a good picture of what my epilepsy was like.

Ultimately, the doctors were able to confirm that all of my seizures are epileptic (as there was prior thought that some of them might have been emotionally based), and they were also able to tell me where in my brain the seizures were coming from. This was a huge step for me! I finally felt like I was getting some answers. The doctors also told me that they wanted to do more extensive testing, which would maybe happen sometime next year. In addition to getting this news, I got a change in my medication regime, which so far has been helping! I was exhausted by the time I was finally discharged, but also so happy to be going home. My amazing boyfriend came to see me on my discharge date, and we travelled home together which was comforting, as I still had so much information to process. It was also just nice to have his support, as I had received really amazing news.

That being said, I missed 2 weeks of school, so I was super excited to be back at home and start up my regular University life. This past week has been crazy because I have working really hard to make up my placement hours. (In case you didn’t know, I’m studying Social Work and as part of our program we have to do a fulltime placement in a social work organization for one semester). I love it though, and I feel like I have been learning so much, which is awesome.

Anyways, today I was talking with a friend who’s also in the Social Work program, and we were sharing our experiences with living with a chronic medical condition. Although she doesn’t have epilepsy, we were still able to relate to the challenges of living with our different conditions. One thing that came up in our conversation was how  to maintain a positive attitude, despite feeling ill on a regular basis.
My friend said, “Sita you’re always so positive,  how do you do it?!”  I thought about it for a bit, and then realized that more people might want to know how I keep my chin up, even when shit hits the fan.

Here’s my list of how I keep my chin up:

Use positive self-talk. I have learned to stay positive by using a lot of self-talk. You know that little voice in your head that talks to you? That’s what I mean. Sometimes when days are rough, I try to tell myself that it’s only one day out of my entire life. That helps to put it in perspective because I know that the anxiety, sadness, anger and frustration won’t last forever. It’s my reality in the current moment, but life will change.

Talk to someone else. Whether it’s my mom, boyfriend, friend, or simply sharing my stories on here, it helps me to unload. My feelings are usually validated by the other person, and it feels so much better to have someone say, “It’s okay to be tired; it’s okay to be overwhelmed. Take it easy on yourself and go relax.” Sometimes that validation is all I need to calm down.

Listen to funny podcasts or watch Reality TV. They may not ‘fix’ my situation, but they help to improve my mood and take my mind off of what’s upsetting me.

Look at past Successes. Sometimes when I feel like my future is bleak, I think about how far I’ve come and how much I’ve been able to accomplish. I’ll think: Yay! I have great Social Work experience! I’m working so hard in university and I’m still going despite the challenges.  When I’m going through a stressful period, I’ll remind myself: You’ve done it before so you can do it again. Having my own little mantra helps, and it reminds me that I AM capable of whatever I set my mind to.

Treat Myself. I don’t do this on a super regular basis, but sometimes I’ll get myself a pompous coffee drink, or a little brownie, because they’re things that I enjoy. There’s nothing wrong with a little treat every now and then.

It could be worse. I know it sounds cliché, but in reality the situation could be worse than it is. For example: So, I had a seizure! But hey, at least I wasn’t alone. Or, I had a seizure in public, but at least some amazing kind-hearted people were nearby to help me out.

Talk to a Counsellor. I have talked with a couple counsellors, and by just having someone listen non-judgementally can really help. Counsellors can be great at giving you new ways to cope, and to help you look at the bigger picture.

So I’m obviously not perfect, and not all of these help ALL the time, but they’re worth a shot! I’d love to hear what YOU do to help yourself going in tough situations. Love you all! xox

Learning to Reduce My Stress Through Nature

Nature and CHildren

I love fall. The leaves are changing to brilliant colours of orange, green and red, and some of the trees look like they are on fire. I can’t help but be absorbed by the beauty of nature as I sit by the river to help de-stress myself from all my worries. There is something so amazing about the greens of nature, the grass, the trees, the fallen leaves, and the rushing water that just naturally lulls my mind into a natural state that my mind was supposed to be in. My mom told me that I am supposed to spend half an hour in nature every day. As a kid, that was easy, as I lived in an abundance of nature. I stepped out of my front door and I was surrounded by it every where I looked. I had less worries and gym class was outside. But now, as a university student, time is spent in front of this dreaded laptop, typing away, arguing away about some sort of thesis that I don’t actually give a crap about.

But since stress is so prevalent in everyone’s lives, and since stress actually has physically effects on my body, I need to find natural ways to calm my body down and figure out ways to tell my brain that everything is going to be alright. So, this past Tuesday after all my work I went and sat down on the grass and laid my jacket down like a make shift form of blanket. I set my backpack down that weighed like a small toddler, and then I finally sat down on my jacket and stared out at the water. The rushing sound of the water calmed every thought in my mind. Anything that was happening up there just completely shut up.

At one point I became completely immersed with how the waves were formed. It was fascinating. The colour of the water was beautiful too…I couldn’t help but notice it’s clarity. I looked around and notice that a bunch of my peers had the same idea as me. There was a guy close by to me laying on the grass, his head propped up on his backpack, just staring into the water. It was some form of meditation. I guess it was a way of clearing my head after all the garbage that came into my head throughout the day. After awhile I got chilly and so I had to put on my jacket and I decided to head home. Something about my nature experience my me feel refreshed. I felt almost relaxed and energized at the same time. I was more aware of my surroundings and wasn’t just walking around on autopilot, just bumping into people here and there. (Which, I might add, I am notorious for).

Maybe a way of coping with stress is going back to our roots-literally!! Be kind to yourself and give yourself time to unwind. If you are always out putting energy, how are you going to have time for yourself? That my friend, is what in part causes stress. I challenge you to notice the tiniest things in nature: a tiny leaf falling from a tree, a falling rain drop, a flying bird. This is a way of practising Mindfulness which will put you in the here and now, which will help reduce your stress. We can all benefit from a stress reduced life! 

beautiful river