CBT was well underway and my mind was going ninety to the dozen. I felt invigorated after a therapy session and like a decent exercise session I was on my way to feeling better about myself.
Going to therapy for me at the beginning was like opening a can of worms. You don’t want to go back to that dark place you hid from for so long. It all has to come out and you are dubious as to how it’s all going to pan out.
You find that on occasion you are trying your hardest to rattle off as much information as possible within an hour slot and you hope that the individual listening doesn’t think you’re sounding ridiculous.
One day I was explaining the concept of therapy to my dad who was intrigued to see how my sessions were going. I told my dad that I felt rather worried when going into therapy incase I looked like a pathetic ranting young woman.
My dad told me that therapists are paid to help people. Their role consists of listening and drafting a plan in which to aid my insecurity. They are also there to teach you about yourself, he acknowledged that a therapist is outside of the box they aren’t family and that they may see something the family have missed. My therapist was there to get an insight as to what made me tick and how we were going to prevent the ticking from turning into something worse.
The shakes were still apparent however I was learning to cope with them better. I was finding a balance.
Whilst browsing online today I came across the saying:
“You have to believe in yourself when no one else does, that makes you a winner right there”- Venus Williams.
Outside of specialist sports what does winning actually mean when life is concerned? Does it mean that you are on your road to recovery? Are you finally getting what you want in life? In my case winning was not having seizures and being medication free. Winning to me was accepting my lot and recognizing that worrying about my condition wasn’t getting me anywhere and that I had to move on.
My partner and I had booked a date for our wedding. Now I was seizure free I wanted to be a new person so I could thoroughly enjoy our wedding day. When I changed my name I didn’t want to lose my identity I just wanted to be the woman I always wanted to be; I wanted to live for the now and to never look back because that’s all I had done to this point.
One therapy session revolved around my therapist asking me questions about what epilepsy meant to me.
This was a session that would test my confidence and push it to it’s limits. Like doctors before her she would question the age I was at diagnosis, the medication I was/currently on, and my feelings towards my seizures.
I knew people suffered worse than me however when you are trying to live your own life you don’t see what others have to go through. I have been fortunate to speak with others in the past about epilepsy however always found that I had no reason to complain as others were finding ways to cope. What was stopping me?
Right a quick question for you all.
I ask you all how do you feel about your epilepsy or the episodes your loved one has? Are you scared of the condition or are you more concerned as to how it will interfere with their chances of moving on? Do you constantly worry at what the future may hold? That’s exactly what I was thinking.
Trying to tell a woman you don’t know about your condition is a weird process. Trying to explain to my therapist that my epilepsy scared me more than her words of wisdom. Explaining that I felt restricted and put on a show was difficult to explain. I did just that when I was younger. I put on a show to hide the fact I was struggling.
When my therapist would use the word “elaborate” it would put me on edge. How can you elaborate on something you fear? You can’t necessarily put it into words, the feeling is just there.
Words can’t describe what epilepsy felt to me back then.
Like now there is that discussion of what if one happens tomorrow? What way am I going to react? I haven’t the foggiest, it’s been four years and a lot’s changed in that period. Back then my worry was my husband and my family watching me fit/shake.
There was that possibility that I would have a seizure that could put me back into hospital however this time with a broken leg or worse. I just didn’t have answers for her.
How am I supposed to say to my therapist that I am shit scared of fitting on a bus where someone could mug me or having another seizure on my mother when she is driving. How do I tell her that I have to go through a daily ritual before I go anywhere just to get me through the day incase the worst happens?
My therapist asked me what my life would be like without this excessive worry to which my reaction was “heavenly”.
My therapist asked me why I worried about my condition to which I told her that I did because I was weak. I didn’t know how to cope with it.
Behind closed doors it had caused so much turmoil on my life that I was afraid of going up against it. I continued by saying what I have mentioned in previous posts that the fear of the unknown dominated my life. To be constantly battling with yourself over something that is out of your control isn’t a pleasurable experience. It is worry that you put onto yourself.
My therapist looked at my folder and looked at the positive aspects of my life ranging from my GCSE grades to my continuous contribution to help others in need. She could see something that I couldn’t see and she asked that I home in on those qualities and write them down to refer to when I was uptight. She knew from my determination to beat this that there was more to me than I knew. Unfortunately all I saw was my epilepsy I couldn’t see where she was coming from. I was in the monotonous routine of worry, medication, worry, medication before sleeping it off till the following day.
My therapist would monitor my progress in future sessions to determine whether I was gaining anything from the therapy.
One day she would discuss the topic of loss. This would be a bitter pill to swallow as my world revolved around loss. The loss of not losing people but losing a part of my personality. That upset me.
I was scared of losing my partner along with my job and everything in my little bubble. One worry would manifest into a thousand worries. She would ask me to talk about this to which I would crawl into my chair and chat about the one thing that concerned me the most. The fear of being alone with epilepsy. After going through an entire box of tissues she would assure me that I was fine and that the only one stopping me from living was me. If shit happens, it happens. What can you do?
Before I walked out the door my therapist asked me a question that left me hanging in the balance till the following appointment. It made me think.
“What if you never have another seizure, what happens then, have a think about it and let me know your answer next time”
I closed the door and carried that question home with me. What if she was right? What if I went years without one? Let’s be positive about this. It could happen. It’s happened before. Could it happen again?