I know it’s been a while, things have been hard recently. In August I ended up in hospital again after having seizures without regaining consciousness. I also had intense vertigo which I have never experienced before. I felt like I was constantly on a roundabout that I couldn’t get off. I was signed off work for two weeks but got back into the swing of things again a few weeks ago. I feel like it is a huge balancing act at the moment, we’re trying hard to get the right medications to suit me so I can have a seizure free streak again.
The urge to run
Do you ever have the urge to run away? Not run away from home, not run away from the people you love, but to run away from the problems in your mind? Not the urge to pack your bags and go. I get this urge less frequently than I did in the past when I suffered from severe anxiety, but it still brews within my mind sometimes. I have a desire for adventure and trying new things, but at the minute I am stuck. A lot of things are hard when you’re feeling low. Getting up in the morning can be hard. Finding the energy to do everyday tasks can be hard. But changing yourself and your thoughts is especially hard.
Mood and Epilepsy
I want to talk about one of the things that can come hand in hand with Epilepsy. That thing is mood. I don’t often talk about these things so I’d like to break some of the views that I am always a bubbly person. I don’t mean that to sound negative, I want it to be realistic because a lot of my readers often say they feel bad that they’re not as positive as I am. I work out between 4 to 5 days a week. I eat healthy meals, only occasional bad foods. I drink over the daily amount of water needed. I take good care of myself—on the outside. On the inside, I have been hiding my problems. I use quick-fixes. I have been convincing myself I am okay. I haven’t been taking care of myself emotionally. I am very much ‘I will deal with it later’.
Keeping It Secret
Other than talking to Dan and a few family members and colleagues, I’ve kept my struggles mostly secret because I don’t like drama. When I began treating my low mood and anxiety these past couple of months, I had to confront my own thinking patterns. The negative thoughts were not helping me. I promote positivity, but forget to put myself first sometimes. If I wanted to be the usual happy Emily, I had to learn to think more positively, or, at the very least, realistically about things.
Instead of telling myself ‘Today is going to be bad,’ I had to begin telling myself ‘Today will be a good day’
Change of Perspective
The change in perspective has helped a lot. Though it’s not a perfect fix yet, it is getting there. There’s a bit of a learning curve to it, but eventually it starts to feel natural to challenge the negative thoughts. The main cause for me feeling like this recently is the balancing act of medications.
That’s the thing with Epilepsy, it isn’t always easily controlled. You can’t just have medication, you can’t just have brain surgery and everything is solved. It can be a whole different game. Did you know out of the 600,000-people living with epilepsy in the UK, around 288,000 are still experiencing seizures? It is estimated that with better treatment 108,000 more people could become seizure free.
Watch for my next column on 4 reasons why you might be in a bad mood and a few tips to help!
25 yr old monthly columnist on Living Well with Epilepsy. Full time worker of NHS England.
Emily’s Perspective is a snapshot of what life is like living with Epilepsy. I was diagnosed with Epilepsy at the age of 10.
Based in UK.