Whether you are going in and out of epilepsy testing, battling seizures or even experiencing side effects from the treatment you are taking to battle your seizures at times, turn to your epilepsy and smile. Smile within the challenge you stand. Living with epilepsy can be a beautiful journey for so many reasons.
Epilepsy is a beautiful journey.
1. You rediscover the many amazing options, aside from driving, to get around
When becoming diagnosed with epilepsy, it’s recommended not to drive. The most common requirement for those living with epilepsy is that they be seizure free for a certain amount of time and submit a physician’s evaluation of their ability to drive safely. Another common requirement is the periodic submission of medical reports, in some states for a specified period of time and in others for as long as the person has a drivers license.
Embrace the variety of options available to you to get you where you need to go, which in fact are a healthier choice when opposed to driving! What are these options? Consider taking a nice long walk, a brisk jog, or get some fresh air and great exercise by biking! Public transportation such as Taxi’s, buses and subways are also great modes of getting where you need to go!
2. You’ll see the beauty in every day life
Before my epilepsy diagnosis, I was pretty careless and living life not as healthy, physically and spiritually, as I aught to be. After my diagnosis common sense took me by the shoulders and the chin, put everything to a screeching halt and showed me reality. I looked around. I woke up. I began to see the beauty all around me. Every day, I saw beauty in everything I looked upon and I was thankful for my life and everyone who was in my life. Never again would I flip the pages back. I was flipping pages forward, and forward and forward. I was starting anew.
3. Living with epilepsy brings out your courage
If you were to ask me 6 years ago, “Do you see yourself standing up and being a voice for over 65 million people worldwide?” I would have told you, if you’re looking for me, I’ll be hiding under that rock right there. I was once, and still am at times, an extremely shy person. Intimidated by what people think of me and so fragile when it came to criticism. Being diagnosed with epilepsy builds you a kind of armor. Over the course of 6 years, I began to challenge my own self as I began the journey. To face all that I feared. I overcame what kept me down. It began to amaze me witnessing the strength I had begun to develop. The courage arising within and shining out. My epilepsy diagnosis had brought out so much courage that I had never had before.
4. You’ll begin to notice a change & so might others
You might notice that your physical appearance might change due to the medication you’re on. Maybe your medication might cause you to gain more weight than you’d like, maybe you might lose more weight than you’d like. You might discover you can no longer eat or drink certain foods like alcoholic beverages as it can interact with your epilepsy medication. Which, having to give up alcoholic beverages is not a huge loss! So you can’t “get trashed” on the weekends. Oh well. In my case, not long after becoming diagnosed with epilepsy, most of my friends took off never to be seen or heard from again.
When an epilepsy diagnosis enters into a persons life, changes can take place in life, physically, emotionally, spiritually and socially. It’s important to recognize these changes, be prepared for the changes and have a positive plan of action for the changes.
Positive Plan Of Action
Eat nutritionally, get a full 7-9 hours of sleep per night, avoid stress, drink plenty of water, do regular exercise to keep fit.
Speak openly about how you feel with those closest to you, grow your circle of friends, learn more, develop a passion, meditate or practice Pilates, have fun and learn to take things with a grain of salt.
Listening to God; Spiritual journaling, private worship, Bible reading/study, obeying God’s commands, stepping out in faith when urged to do something, serving others, fellowship with others.
Engage in social interaction, volunteer your time, pick up the phone and call a family member or friend, plan a day to spend time visiting one another, join a group or club.
5. You Can Be You
Though you have epilepsy, don’t think for a moment that it takes away from you being you! You’re still the amazing person you’ve always been. That has never changed. As a matter of fact, you’re getting better and more amazing every single day. Don’t let epilepsy stop you from putting on your favorite shade of lipstick or styling your hair in a new and fun way, or wearing that great shirt you saw in the store window. You can be you!
6. You can spend a little extra on yourself
A nice new outfit, a small pint of ice cream every now and again, I could go on and on! With the money you could save on gas to fill up your car that you most likely aren’t driving, you can spend more on a nice outfit, dinner, or whatever makes you feel happy on the inside!
7. Epilepsy draws attention
Being someone with epilepsy is a unique characteristic! You’ll notice that you will come together with people on the very same journey from around the world! Advocates, parents, supporters, and many others. Those who have no connection with epilepsy will want to know more about the condition you live with which provides you a unique and special opportunity to educate about epilepsy.
8. Confidence is a beautiful thing
There is just something about battling epilepsy, defying epilepsy and overcoming epilepsy that can make you feel so afraid yet at the very same time filled with confidence. You’re going to conquer it no matter what it takes, you’re in this battle, it’s inspiring without a doubt, and it causes you to feel an immense amount of empowerment compared to when you look at other aspects of your life. Confidence is such a beautiful thing, it truly is.
9. Living with epilepsy makes people think
Coach Kill is the head football coach at the University of Minnesota. Jerry Kill’s first seizure was in bed in 2000; the next one, in 2005, saved his life. He was coaching at Southern Illinois University when he had a seizure during a game. He was rushed to the hospital and stabilized.
Coach Kill is quoted as saying, “I’m not a freak and neither are they. We are normal people and I’m going to work my tail end off for the people that have the same situation I have.”
It’s all a matter of how you decide to look at the situation in which you are facing. You can either look at it as an opportunity or an opposition.
Which way are you looking at the situation?