This post is part of the Epilepsy Blog Relay™ which will run from March 1 to March 31, 2018. Follow along!
Hi Living Well family, I feel like it’s been a while.
I’m OK though.
A couple of weeks ago, I sadly ended up in hospital after suffering a seizure that involved a nasty fall and bump to the head. I haven’t been on a ward since August so I was really discouraged by it. I’ve been wanting to take some time to myself to regain the strength I feel like I have lost after doing so well. I know it’s not the end of the world, but it does get you down sometimes. After some emergency CT scans and heart tests, I was sent home a couple of days later.
Someone said to me the other day ‘You could die tomorrow, so live for today.’ And another said ‘Try to remember that although some people have it betters than you, others have it worse’ and it’s had me thinking. If someone said that to me a couple of years ago I would’ve felt so upset by it, because why does knowing someone else has it worse make my situation any better? But I appreciate things more now and it made me feel positive enough about things, to keep going.
Life is unpredictable. I, or anyone, could be gone tomorrow, so why do I waste my time worrying and feeling down about Epilepsy? I have two voices going on; one saying ‘Stop Worrying’, the other saying ‘Why do I keep taking steps back. Will this ever get controlled?’
I feel like such a hypocrite giving advise when I can’t follow it myself, but I know how many people have found my tips helpful so I want to continue to help others with the hope that I can then read my blogs back and help myself, you know?
Live for today
Live for today, soak in every moment. Spend time doing all that you love, all that you enjoy and all that you appreciate. Love every second of it. Epilepsy can disable you from doing things that others enjoy doing, but don’t let it stop you finding things that you can do despite having the condition.
Allow your condition to make you feel happy with how you have managed to spend your time on earth, to feel strong enough to conquer life’s hurdles. Live for today so you can enjoy your future.
Do I keep going?
When I’m not making any progress, I keep going.
When I don’t feel motivated, I keep going.
When I feel like giving up, I keep going.
I’m telling you this so you do it too. Keep going.
Don’t allow your current feelings to stop you from proceeding to live.
It can be hard to cope with a long-term medical condition such as epilepsy. For some people, it can lead to feeling sad, anxious, embarrassed, or even angry. These negative emotions can lead to depression.
If you need a break, take it, but don’t walk away for good.
I want you to know that you are not alone on this difficult journey. Because Epilepsy is so difficult, but it is also rewarding. Look at how far you’ve come, even though you’ve more than likely felt like the condition has hindered you. Look how far you’ve come even when you have felt like you’ve actually made no progress. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I had stopped moving forwards despite wanting to give up years ago. Sometimes I feel like I have made no progress, but then I look back to a few years ago and I have made it a long, long way.
The biggest reason to take a little time out and concentrate on yourself is to avoid the negative consequences of not doing so. You time can make you a better person both inside and out. Taking a break can help you feel less tired, anxious or depressed.
The lack of time to yourself can cause you to build up problems that can harm you. You can feel angry over little things that then turn into bigger things.
I feel selfish taking the needed time out when there’s so much left to do. But my family have told me that if I run myself into the ground I am not going to be much help to anyone, and I won’t be able to be fully engaged in my activities anyway. My health started to slip and my family noticed so. Your health is vital, you need to recharge your batteries every once in a while.
You don’t need to take a holiday or spend money to have some time to yourself. You can simply sit back and read a book. Listen to music, or make music of your own. Maybe keep a diary, go out and do some photography. How about catching up on some series on TV, do some art or take a walk. I find when it comes to Epilepsy, enjoying the outdoors helps me mentally and also physically. I am always anxious going out alone as my seizures are occasionally unpredictable, but if I take a walk where there are people around I feel a lot safer.
Taking a little time for yourself refreshes and re-energizes you. It allows you to think more clearly and make better decisions.
You are very special and important and deserve to have a little time to yourself. Relaxing and having charged batteries helps you sleep better (which I have been lacking recently). Tiredness is a huge trigger for me so it’s a crucial part of reducing seizures for me.
This isn’t my greatest column, but the main thing I wanted to say is to not give up. Things get hard, but you can get through them.
“Embrace who you are and your divine purpose. Identify the barriers in your life, and develop discipline, courage and the strength to permanently move beyond them, and keep moving forward.”
― Germany Kent
I’ll be back again soon. But for now, hang in there.
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.