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Dreaming big in difficult times

The topic for this blog was hopes and dreams for the next decade, which is a really scary prospect when you have a medical condition which isn’t necessarily going to stay stable. This is particularly relevant in this age of Coronavirus and the increasing number of cases of COVID-19.

NOTE: Join Jessica and Hayley on Instagram Live 3/24 at 12pm PT/ 3pm ET/7pm GMT as they chat about how this story is relevant to so many now!

However, I do think it’s a great incentive to those who have epilepsy and other chronic illnesses to be forward thinking and positive, as we spend so much of our time (especially if our seizures aren’t controlled) living from one day to the next, never knowing when plans might need to be cancelled.

Dreaming Big

I’m 37 and my biggest dream is one which existed before my epilepsy became unstable and is kind of ironic as now, I’m currently not working, I might actually have more time to work towards it. I really want a PhD by the time I’m 50.

Don’t ask me why, I don’t need one for any specific purpose, but I love learning and academia. And yes, it’s entirely possible to learn without working towards a PhD, but that is my personal goal. I was a teacher and as soon as I’d completed my teaching qualifications, I began contemplating what I was going to do next. It’s also one which I like as since, barring the odd very slight memory lapse, I don’t really have any cognitive impairment, it’s not something which I can see epilepsy getting in the way of (plenty of other things, such as my husband, might get in the way, but not epilepsy!). As far as hopes and dreams go it’s tangible and a little bit ludicrous at the same time.

Related:Leila’s Ideas: Don’t Give Up on Your Dreams

Setting Goals

My next dream is to make the contributions I have made towards the epilepsy community continue to count. I’ve never been driven by money (this is probably a good things since most epilepsy organisations are charitable foundations) but I’d love to continue to see my articles being published and shared and be able to make a physical contribution to ending stigma relating to hidden and chronic conditions. I’m working really hard at this at the moment to establish myself as a freelance writer and my long term goal is to be used regularly in the healthcare sector for research articles and have also been reaching out to local schools and colleges (using my past work experience as leverage) to go in and give talks to students about epilepsy awareness, not so much from a medical perspective, more in terms of helping friends or family deal with it and giving practical advice which is often not covered (for example if you have a friend with epilepsy organising inclusive activities every once in a while which don’t involve late nights or alcohol and picking up missed classwork for them).

Making a difference

When I trained to teach, I did so because I wanted to make a difference, and although I can’t teach at the moment that continues to be my driving force and using my epilepsy and whichever direction it leads me in seems to be as good a way as any other.

To read more about my epilepsy journey, please visit my blog at www.fitsandstarts.co.uk

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