Standing up to worry.

So we are halfway through the blog posts about overcoming worry, anxiety and coping with epilepsy.

So far you have seen the worries that I’ve had to face and heard of the people who have seen it all. We have identified the problems. Therapy was a success before the wedding and I managed to sort of face up to what I had been diagnosed with. My partnership with my husband was flourishing as was settling into my new home however I wasn’t entirely satisfied.

People may think what I’ve just said is ridiculous because to a vast amount of people I have everything so why worry anymore?

The answer is. I got used to worrying. For the majority of my life I have worrying beyond my comprehension. It is something I’ve just got used to.

My worry had ranged from people not picking up a phone to that manifesting into me thinking they didn’t like me. On the other side of the spectrum I had questioned my ability to hold a job with a medical condition and wondered whether I would lose my sanity worrying constantly about my seizures/shakes. I felt like I had rewound 16 years and was back in my bedroom at my mam’s house questioning my future.

As mentioned I would recommend CBT to all. CBT can boost your confidence and allow you to face your fears on the basis you allow that to happen. CBT had changed my life considerably however the problem with me was that old habits died hard and I couldn’t shake them off (pardon the pun) therefore I sought additional therapy provided by my employer.

Compared to the waiting game I had with previous therapy I managed to see this new therapist within a week of submitting my application form. I was contacted over the telephone to discuss my concerns. This conversation lasted an hour with all my details remaining confidential to this private agency. When I came over the phone I uttered a sigh of relief and went about my evening as normal.

I questioned why I would want to go back into therapy. Prior to getting married I knew I had changed into a newer version of me and I promised myself that I would overcome anything without the help of therapy. When I left CBT it had dawned on me that I had nothing to worry about anymore. A life without some form of anxiety was something I was unfamiliar with.

The day came when I was to confront this new therapist. Out of respect I will not give personal details of this therapist however will refer to him as Bob.

My initial meeting with Bob was one filled with apprehension. I think I am quite a good judge of character and Bob was unique from the get go.

I had heard so many rumours about the agency he worked for that I was intrigued to find out more and to see how this person would play a major role in my life.

Bob was an individual like many in the medical profession who would arrive with the usual fact based worksheets, jotter and stationary for him to make the necessary notes. My first appointment with Bob is a one that unlike the therapy beforehand made me question my life in a different way, in a way that caught my attention and made both myself and family realise that he meant business.

Bob asked me what my fears were. He wanted me to explain in detail what was upsetting me and why I allowed my condition to take priority before anything else.

I explained to Bob that since diagnosis I have been a girl who has never allowed myself to let go of her past and focus on her present. I have always had the fear that the past would come and bite me on bum. Whether it be a fault of others my epilepsy to everyone was a prominent figure in my life.

My condition was at the forefront of everything I did and like before was the first thing I thought of when I woke up and the last thing I thought of before I went to bed. Just before the wedding I thought contrastingly however now my project was over this pattern had emerged. What I wanted was to release that stress from my shoulders, be a newlywed and enjoy my life with my husband.

Bob asked me what I thought about my life to which I said I was relatively happy.

Bob said the very words that would make me break down and cry uncontrollably for 20 minutes. He told me that from my explanation of my feelings that I had hidden behind my epilepsy for so long that I didn’t know I was anymore. I had lost my identity to a condition that I couldn’t control. I had allowed my condition to rule on so many occasions that Sazzle was no more. I was a figment of my own imagination. I was oblivious as to what my life SHOULD be like. I was the one who was not allowing myself to live my life, not the epilepsy.

To hear those words from someone outside the box (when I say “the box” I mean immediate family, friends, colleagues etc) was hurtful and refreshing all in the same sentence. I always knew that there was something preventing me from letting go. Bob had hit the nail on the head. He was to the point and he said it in a way that made me see clearly.

I was told that my sessions would last a period of 6 weeks. I would see him every Wednesday for an hour every week and that’s all I needed. Bob could see that he had pushed a button and I was ready for more. He told me that if I wasn’t prepared to embrace this new therapy then we might as well say our goodbyes now.

Bob could see something in me as I could in him that wanted me to do well. He could see that I was sick of putting up with this shit and that my life would remain stagnated until I was accepting of myself condition, faults and all.

I walked away from that appointment and sat in the toilets for ten minutes crying before breaking my heart to my husband, family and friends. Let’s just say I was crying out of relief. They were happy tears, not tears of sorrow. Bob could see something that I couldn’t. I wanted to go to those sessions to see it there was anything else he could unravel.

Epilepsy is a condition that others should be aware of. Medication, therapy, testing at the end of the day it’s all trial and error. We all may never find that solution to rid it completely however when we all club together we are making a difference right there. We are helping one another.

Bob had my attention and I was eager to see how the remaining 5 weeks were gonna pan out. Let’s put it this way I thought I needed tissues after this appointment I would need an entire tissue aisle for the ones yet to come..


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