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Epilepsy Blog Relay™: Shelby on weathering a crisis

101_1299This post is part of the Epilepsy Blog Relay™ which will run from March 1 through March 31, 2016. Follow along!

Shelby’s Story

“The Weather is nice outside today” is a topic that is dear to my heart and one that I believe can apply to anyone who is going through a crisis – whether from Epilepsy, or any illness or tragedy. So, my hope is that this post will be read by those who it the most – those who will say, “that is a great idea “and offer them a tool for peace and normalcy.

Peace and normalcy – when our son originally got sick, that is what I desperately needed.  As time progressed, I needed those two things even more.  Even today, when a “bad day” hits or I feel that “ache” from a question or situation and those two words seem unattainable –

“The Weather is nice outside today” was, and is, my salvation.

Well meaning questions

I find myself asking, “How are you”, to those in a crisis situation.  I actually said it to a friend the other evening, who is currently going through a health issue.  It is human nature that we wish to help those suffering, just like others helped me through our son’s illness.  But, then I stopped and listened to myself.  I was doing exactly what I didn’t want others to do to me at certain times. I was asking questions and, as well meaning as they may have been, it may not have been a time that she wished to talk.

There were times when I needed to talk and others that I needed to pretend that all was fine in the world – just to get through that moment.  Though, how in the world would people know when was a “good time” to talk and when was I having a “bad day”.  That is when I came up with my “mantra”. I didn’t want to offend anyone for loving me enough to care how I was doing, but also, needed to be able to kindly say that I didn’t it wasn’t a good time.  So, I came up with a response and it worked.

“The weather is really nice outside today”

I had come home from the hospital one afternoon, during our son’s initial hospitalization, and was aimlessly walking around Target with our other son and my mother.  A friend, who I had not seen since Clay became sick, came up and hugged me and began to ask how Clay was doing. Without thinking I responded, “The weather is really nice outside today”.  My friend looked puzzled, but then she smiled- we both smiled.  We didn’t need to say another word and she understood.  At that moment, I didn’t want compassion – I wanted and needed a normal conversation.

I have frequently used this mantra over the years and I am always surprised at how well it works.  I value questions more than ever and celebrate those asking about Clay, but there are still moments when I cannot breathe – and I never know when they will arrive.  When they do – I have my response. Most recently, I gave my mantra to a friend- the woman whom I asked, “how are you doing?”  I stopped her before she could answer, smiled and said to her, “the weather is nice outside today”.  She looked at me, puzzled at first, then smiled broadly at me and replied, “yes it is”.

Just remember, “Epilepsy will not win” – my mantra is yours to borrow as needed.

NEXT UP: Don’t miss tomorrow’s post on http://www.enduringepilepsy.com. For the full schedule of bloggers visit the March Participants gallery.

And don’t miss your chance to connect with bloggers during our Twitter Chat using the hashtag #LivingWellChat on March 31 at 7PM ET.


Follow Shelby McGrath Myers:
Shelby McGrath Myers has been married since 1992 and is the mother to 5 wonderful children – one of whom became an angel due to Epilepsy in August 2012. She is the founder of Clayton’s Hope Organization. She was appointed to the New Jersey Task Force and elected chair for both terms. In 2012, she was awarded the Epilepsy Advocate of the year by the Epilepsy Foundation of New Jersey/Family Resource Network. Most recently, her memoir “Out of the Bubble” detailing her and her family’s battle with Epilepsy was completed and published. Shelby's days are spent as a patient liaison for a home nursing/infusion/medical equipment company transitioning pediatric patients from hospital to home. She can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Linkedin. Based in USA.