The last appointment with my therapist was a one that made me wonder. It was a session that made me question my inner being and ask myself if I could be seizure free for the rest of my life?
That question of “What would you do If you never had another seizure?” rattled around in my brain for two weeks before my next dose of therapy. Have you ever asked what you would do if you were seizure free? Would you live your life the way you want foot loose and fancy free or would you be a cautious version of yourself?
This was the situation I was facing. The idea of anyone coming out and asking that question was crazy. Me not having epilepsy was like having a slice of toast without butter. It doesn’t taste the same.
Therapy was changing me. It made me face up to my demons and appreciate that there’s more to life than my condition. I was getting there gradually and my therapist was a model figure to make me face up to reality. I was on the road to self acceptance. Like me she wanted me in that wedding dress dolled to the nines. Only this time I would be a more confident me, a one who wanted to be at peace with myself.
During my CBT sessions at my local hospital I come to think. Is therapy really that bad? Not necessarily. In fact it was enlightening. It would make me understand why I was insecure and how I had got to this place.
My therapist was a woman who would piss me off at times with her “words of wisdom” however as the sessions continued her words actually made sense. After every session my therapist would write down our discussion points and summarise into a word document the topics of the day that she would allow me to take home. Homework was given that I had to follow. Usually this revolved around feelings and breathing techniques. Fortunately my entire therapy stint was made easier by the lack of seizures. I was in a place where I felt free and I was overjoyed at that.
I know I bleat on about motivational quotes however they all have a hidden meaning. The quote of the day is
“Never be afraid to try something new. Remember amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the titanic”
And look at what happened there the bugger sank. No I’m only joking there. A little light hearted humour doesn’t hurt anyone does it? Nah joking aside I see whole heartedly what that statement represents.
Epilepsy in my life was like that awful neighbour that seems to interfere into everyone’s business. It’s the condition you cannot shake off when you’re feeling blue. It stays with you and you have to overcome that anxiety whenever the word’s mentioned.
The word loss is something that sends shivers down my spine. Loss is not necessarily when you lose someone you care for. It’s that feeling of having something taken away from you that you feel in your heart you will never get back. The seizures were the pain in my side and I wanted so desperately to shake this off.
When my therapist asked what loss meant to me I looked at her day dreaming for the thick end of 10 minutes. I couldn’t emphasise the importance of loss in my life. The loss of my parents relationship, the loss of some of my relatives to natural causes and the way epilepsy had taken over to my life to the detriment of everything else.
What people don’t understand about therapy is that your therapist listens to you and evaluates your problems.
Let’s give you an example.
During a shaking episode I have a tendency to sit on the floor.
So there I am sitting on the floor white as a sheet shaking like a one of those jibba jabba toys I got when I was a kid (basically weird looking troll toy that’d shake making a funny noise when it shook). There I would sit and hope for the best rocking backwards and forwards trying to calm myself down. I would attempt to think positively and ride out the storm. It was a bloody awful experience however you have to take the rough with the smooth.
When my shaky bouts were concerned I got into that same routine of sitting on the floor wherever I may be (usually at work as I spent the majority of my time there) and shake away. I was too scared to sit in my seat just incase I had a seizure at work like before. There was nothing to say that my shake couldn’t turn into a seizure hence sitting on the floor.
My therapist asked me to step out of the ordinary by clenching my fingers together to make a pyramid shape as this may stop my entire arm from shaking and restrict the shake to just my hands. She asked that I picture myself in a place where I was at my happiest (i.e Lying in my pyjamas eating chocolate in front of the fire with my Life on Mars boxset) so I did just that.
I would be a liar to say that I wasn’t sceptical at first however thought I would give it a go. My therapist was helping me so the least I could do was try.
The day would come when I would test this new technique. Fortunately it was one of my lesser shakes.
I was rather hostile with everyone and was feeling a little under the weather. Before long a mini shaky bout happened to which I responded by sitting on the floor, removing my necklace and clenching my fingers together in the pyramid shape.
I thought about sitting with my chocolate only this time John Simm (For those who SHOULD know who John Simm is he plays Sam in life on Mars or The Prime minister in Doctor Who, a very good looking older man for me anyways) had jumped out of my TV and onto my sofa where him and I would have a chat about seventies music and fashion.
Within fifteen minutes of visualising elsewhere the shakes had diminished and I was back to normal. It worked! Bloody hell! Thanks therapist. You are a diamond.
The confidence was back for ten minutes and it felt brilliant. My colleagues were there to witness the event and my family were filled in later with my achievement. Everyone was thrilled. How could something so small alter the length of that shake?
The therapy continued for a further four sessions. To the delight of my therapist this slight change was a milestone for me. We were both proud of our achievements. I knew from our discussions that I was getting better. If you couldn’t beat the condition you better find a way of coping with it. So I did just that on the smaller shakes.
Would this work on my larger shakes or would I have to cross a larger bridge to conquer these ones? Were there any more techniques up her sleeve?