Imagine coming out of consciousness and someone telling you that you lost control. Someone asking you, “Are you OK? Do you remember what happened?” They might also ask, “What day is it?” And you’re just sitting there, confused. I can’t remember what day it is… or what time it is… and then you think, wait, am I OK? Then you try to stand up and almost fall down because your muscles have done their part for the day, and you feel like you’ve worked them out for six hours straight. You look in the mirror to see you now have a swollen lip and maybe scratches on your face. Then you just think, not again… When did I miss my medication? Why did I miss my medication?
You look at the people around you and see their looks of worry and concern. They go out of their way to help you, but you feel like you can sense the disappointment and their fear. Great, I let them down again, you think as you lie down, trying to get rid of the immense migraine and pain. It’s hard to describe the feeling after a seizure. It’s like another reality. You’ve now stepped into that reality you wish you could just end. That reality where you wish it was just a dream and that you could just wake up and it didn’t happen. But it did. And now you need to accept it and learn from it.
Why didn’t I take my medicine? Forgetfulness. I waited to take my pill because I wanted to drink my coffee first, and if I take my medicine with my coffee, I feel dizzy. Sometimes my medicine makes me dizzy, tired, confused… just plain out of it. Not all of the time, though. But what I have had to understand and remind myself multiple times in my life is that my life depends on this medication. This medication is helping me. I know my medication works, and when it does, I feel like I can live my life independently. That’s one thing since I was young have always admired in others, and I have strived to have it for myself.
Epilepsy has not been my best friend throughout my life. It has cause me a lot of physical and emotional pain. It has caused me to feel guilty because I can see the emotional pain in the people I love, and I often wish I could just take their pain and worry away. But the reality is, I can’t. They will always worry about me, and I can’t blame them for that. But I also need to realize I can’t always blame myself. I can’t blame myself because I did not choose this illness.
Even though my epilepsy is not my best friend, it is my stepping stone and my mountain. On a daily basis, I climb the mountain in my normal routine. Sometimes I get to the top and reach the peak where everything is controlled, and then sometimes I fall down and get hurt. But I have made a promise to myself to always climb back up, and that is one thing I need to give myself credit for. This illness is chronic; I have accepted that. I have accepted that I may be forever climbing this mountain, and sometimes the mountain may be taller, and sometimes it may be smaller. These mountains have been a journey, but this journey showed me the love others have when they try to help me and even almost save my life. It showed me there is love in the world and hope where there is struggle. This mountain is my life.