Over a decade. It has been a long journey and within this journey, I have learned so much, experienced so much, wrestled so many emotions, have had the opportunity to forge so many long lasting friendships with others who too know what it is to be on the journey with epilepsy personally and aside someone that they care for. Discovered motivation to lead a life of advocacy in which warms my heart and soul passionately daily.
Each day as one who takes on epilepsy, I am reminded of many things which I will share below. May you too be reminded and carry them with you on your journey, as weapons of positivity and optimism.
1. Epilepsy Reminds Me To:
Be thankful that I am alive. The morning of my second grand mal seizure, leading to my diagnosis, I happened to be driving. Crashing my car, thankfully I was not hurt. However seizures became an unwelcome guest in my life. Countless seizures that I could not, cannot control. Making themselves present when they please. Several times, I have come close to dying. Thanking God each day for my life. Especially as an advocate, aware of lives stolen at the hands of this very diagnosis as a cure is still being searched for.
2. Epilepsy Reminds Me To:
Be mindful of my health. Before my diagnosis, health and wellness were on the back burner and I lived as I pleased. Not considering what I was doing to my body in any way, shape or form. The only thought floating bright in my mind was, “You only live once, live it up!” Following my diagnosis, I immediately hit the brakes. Life as I knew it would forever change. It was time to get my priorities in line and close the door on my previous life that was sifting into ashes. I decided to adopt a new thought process and set it on fire free in my mind. “Love yourself enough to lead a healthy lifestyle.”
3. Epilepsy Reminds Me To:
Draw close to family and friends who will lift you up and not pull you down. A diagnosis has the potential to reveal those who will truly stand by you through good times and bad. Fill you up or tear you down. As we take our epilepsy journeys, we don’t want to find ourselves hanging our heads in sorrow watching tears hit the ground. Feeling our heart crack and break within us, hope and faith drifting far from our grasp. It’s solid meaningful friendships and loving family that help us to hold our heads high. Ignite our spirits with joy, hope and faith in the midst of the dreariest of difficult days of our journey. When we turn to the left, turn to the right, there we can find them standing by our side.
4. Epilepsy Reminds Me To:
Take time to stop and enjoy the little things in life. So often in a day, we are moving a mile a minute. Constantly working, our faces in our phones or on social media, watching television etc. I am reminded just how beautiful this big, wonderful wide world is and there is so much more to it that begs to be given attention to if we just take some time to do so. How refreshing it is, how stress relieving, decompressing it is, to take a hike in the woods. Lie in the grass and watch the clouds drift by. Find a creek bed and listen to the trickling of the water.
What weapons of positivity and optimism do you carry? What does epilepsy remind you? Epilepsy believed when it knocked down my door that it would shatter me entirely when in fact it refined me into a much stronger person. I don’t believe I would be where I am or who I am today had it not been for epilepsy pulling the rug out from under me.
So as a matter of fact, epilepsy reminded me that even in the toughest of times, you can become a tougher person if you choose to take that journey.
Have you taken that journey? Will you take that journey? It’s never too late to change course.