“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Wishing is not enough; we must do” – Johann Von Goethe
Therapy had allowed me to enter a brand new chapter of my life. A chapter that I had never dreamt would be possible. When someone puts you into a position that you cannot get out of what must you do? Do you sink or swim? This applies to anything. Give it a good go. Try your best.
Bob had thrown me into the deep end; All I could do was swim, because I would be damned if I sank. If I was going to carry on with this therapy I didn’t intend to do a “half arsed job”- I say this saying quite a lot.
For all those who have never heard of that saying is that if I’m going to do it I’m going to do it properly.
At the time of my last appointment I wasn’t at peace with myself.
If anything I was constantly battling the one thing I thought was a demon in my life, that was my Epilepsy. I wasn’t focusing on the advantages that life was bringing such as love, support and happiness I looked at my condition as dull, scaremongering and unjust. That was not a way to live life, at times I felt like I was just existing.
When I was originally diagnosed I was a youngster a girl who didn’t understand what this “thing” was. I associated adults taking medication because of several health problems not a young girl who was taking it to help regulate her seizures. The only medication I had ever taken was an inhaler to help stabilise my asthma. Everyone I knew had asthma but only the minority had Epilepsy.
The last appointment with Bob allowed me to open my eyes and see life for what it was worth. It made me see that my epilepsy wasn’t something to be fearful of, in fact it was something that has now geared me towards a better life. Let me explain.
My third appointment with Bob was a one in which I was asked to list the pluses and negatives of my condition.
I would be asked to compare notes at the end, i.e. we would draw that one conclusion about my Epilepsy.
By writing this small dossier this would enable me to see in writing the likes and dislikes of my personality. I started to write a list, one category would be the dislikes about my condition, the other would be the alterations made to accommodate my epilepsy.
Taking medication on a daily basis
I am anxious the majority of the time
Wishing I could drive
Constantly worrying when the next seizure/shake was going to arise
What the severity of the shake/seizure would be
Where would this episode take place? Would it be in a supermarket/shopping centre?
Would I be alone?
The fear of the unknown
The upset brought onto my family because of this episode
The restrictions I had when my condition was involved
The plus points that Epilepsy has brought:
I hardly drink as I am concerned the more I drink the more I cancel my medication that can lead to a seizure/shake. This could also lead to other things. If I am forgetful because of drink could this lead to tricky situations I cannot get out of?
I don’t have to drink to have a good time
I don’t smoke because I am asthmatic
I try my best to look after myself
I try not to let my seizures dominate my entire life.
I eat relatively healthy and remain active, this helps my frame of mind and alleviates stress
I am cautious when out making sure I only take the bare essentials
I don’t drive because there is the possibility that if I was to have an attack I may injure myself/others
I try to remain positive
I am a helpful person always trying to assist others. I did that more since diagnosis.
The more I was writing the more I could see that my condition allowed me to have more of a life than the dislikes I had written prior. So no I wasn’t allowed to get myself blinding drunk and stay out till late having a wail of a time however I was cautious and didn’t like the idea of being in situations I couldn’t get myself out of. Bob made me see that it wasn’t all bad.
I highlighted a time to Bob when I was 18 years old when I couldn’t categorise my advantages. The seizures had returned and I wanted to let my hair down in a nightclub. I had been socialising with friends from 7.30pm till 3am.
I did the complete opposite, I drank to excess without my parents knowing before returning home with pizza and chips in the early hours of the morning. I was a mess and my mother was displeased. I was told to take paracetemol, drink a pint of water and go to bed. I knew I would be getting told off the following morning.
The following morning I woke up to find myself on the floor face bruised, tongue bitten and my mam sobbing. I had had a seizure all because I allowed myself to get rat arsed, I had allowed my stupidity to spill onto my mothers shoulders and it wasn’t on.
Bob asked how I felt to be on such a high to hit this almighty crash? I replied by telling him that it was the worse feeling in the world. My mam had nurtured me growing up and had always told me to be careful when I was out. She would remind me every time I was out to prevent this from happening. I should have thought about her feelings before my own.
I was wasting a day by getting in this state. I wasn’t happy. My night was a blur and I was drinking excessively to hide the insecurity of my seizures returning. I wasn’t an alcoholic, I wasn’t dependent on drink because this was a first for me and I swore never to allow myself to be THAT BAD. Don’t get me wrong as I have got older I have had a couple of mishaps but nothing that that extreme, not to the point where I convulse. It’s not worth it no matter what age you are. People make mistakes however when you keep on making the same mistakes you cannot keep blaming others. You know fine well what you are doing.
Bob could see my frustrations and asked where we go from here.
Bob asked how I felt following this discussion along with our previous meetings. I told Bob that I had started to want what was best for me. I could see that I had restricted Sazzle from enjoying her life. I had hid so much behind my condition’s shadow that I lost all sense of who I was. I had hid behind debt, the occasional drink, taking medication and negative people to try and establish who I was when in fact I was just a young adult who wanted to be happy without all this unnecessary worry in her life.
I told Bob that I needed to apply a strategy something that would make me appreciate my condition along with everything else in my life. Bob asked if there were any other topics I needed to get off my chest. I informed Bob that there were a couple more. One of them was people. Bob knew that I had a tendency to please others to the point where I would make myself unwell.
Bob asked me how I would feel having a conversation about these “people”. I was on a roll. My acceptance towards my fits were evident. It was now a matter of letting go. It was retaining my true friends and letting go of everyone else who made me feel uneasy.
I asked myself. Could I handle the next session? What would Bob’s words be this time? Heaven knows, he was a man with a great deal of surprises.