Here’s to another chapter..

“All I can is be me- whoever that is”- Bob Dylan.

There’s always that saying new year, new me and every year I tend to say it around this time on the hope that things will change. As I’m getting older I’m becoming more aware of my surroundings, the choices I have to make as an adult and the hope that common sense does prevail in all aspects of life not just my Epilepsy.

Life is about chapters in a book. People can say that your book is written for you however although there may be some element of truth in this particularly when you’re health is concerned however other chapters of your book can be written the way you want them to be written. It’s about knowing where you stand in the grand scheme of things.

This year has been a year where the word health has become a priority and the questioning whether making the right choices in my life will not only benefit my health but my happiness also.

Family health problems have also made me see that analysing things to the far ends of a fart isn’t necessary and that although thinking this way may have been destined for the start of this year this wasn’t the right way for me.

The quote chosen today basically simplifies what I’m trying to say. In a nutshell what I’m trying to emphasise is that only you can be you and whatever the circumstance you have to ensure that you try not to lose focus and to ensure that when all’s said and done that the correct decisions have been made to allow you to be happy.

My followers from the offset will be aware that in January 2013 I made the conscious decision to write a blog unbeknown to me that others would read regularly and be able to offer the advice I’d craved for years from people like me living with a condition I was.

On the off chance my voice would be heard the aim was to potentially offer some form of Epilepsy awareness to the ones who have provided us with the continued support and make them realise that they too aren’t alone.

This year to me has been one of great importance and one at the age of 28 has made me notice that I’m not only getting older but that life isn’t necessarily about keeping people happy it’s about making the life long choices that will benefit not only myself but the people closest to me. It’s about letting go of the past and hoping that one day like a butterfly we can spread our wings and fly over the shit we have left behind.

It’s about differentiating right from wrong, understanding that actions speak louder than words and although a mental struggle attempting to cut loose the baggage that I’ve allowed to dominate my life for many a year.

Mid 2013 I was given the opportunity to go back into counselling/therapy to undergo six weeks of treatment that along with advice from my nearest and dearest started to come to terms with the fact that my condition was a part of me it wasn’t me entirely. It was about putting the past twenty years of worry to bed and knowing that we all have stressful situations however it’s the way the stress is controlled is the most important.

As a youngster I remember thinking to myself that asking for help wasn’t my greatest quality however as the years have progressed saying that you need help is far braver than sitting in a corner worrying about a situation. Everyone is entitled to that assistance as and when required and under no circumstance should we bare this this pain alone.

On January 6th 2014 will be the day where I can hopefully say that I’ve gone 5 years seizure free. Although the shakes have frequently occurred the knowing that I can go seizure free is something I’m grasping with both hands and hope if it isn’t happening to you right now that this too will happen to you.

My fingers are well and truly crossed as are the ones of my family and I’m hoping this year will be the year that the next chapter of my book can be written and the contemplation of bringing another edition into the family is one that we discuss more.

Being seizure free doesn’t necessarily mean that Epilepsy will no longer return as you are regularly questioning when the next attack will be however what is for certain is that in times where the episodes aren’t at their peak we can sit back and soak in what is most important in life. From a personal perspective I can appreciate that the smaller concerns pose no real relevance to the health issues I know I’ve had to and may continue to endure.

As for the remainder of the week…

The healthy eating has officially begun. Green tea (dare I even say those words) is being drunk however the coffee is also that is one thing I refuse to give up!! Food wise it’s only been three hours however I’ve eaten a bowl of cereal and waved goodbye to the chocolate I’m bloody sick of eating!!

My yankee candle obsession is starting to reach it’s peak with me buying approximately ten candles in two weeks! On the other hand my house smells like a rather delicious cupcake therefore in my eyes it’s money well spent!

To conclude today’s post. Unlike Jerry Springer I think today I won’t conclude my post with Saz’s final thought. I am however going to leave you with one final quote.

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you handle it”- Anon.

Doesn’t that not say it all?

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Let it be Christmas.

“Christmas my child is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give it’s Christmas”- Dale Evans Rogers.

Morning everyone and a very merry Christmas to you all.

By now Christmas will have come and gone with Boxing day beckoning it’s head all the while we sit here waving goodbye to the day that is without doubt my most favourite time of the year.

Christmas to me is something that makes me feel like a rather large child. Never have I ever been disheartened with the fact that Christmas was arriving and to be fair as far as I was concerned Christmas couldn’t come quick enough. Fortunately I have a remarkable family who although separated unite together at such a festive time and who throughout my lifetime has made my day extremely special.

When we think of the word Christmas what do you associate that word with? To me the first word that comes into my mind is family. Watching children open their presents, eating chocolate at WHATEVER time in the day (mind you I do that now not just at Christmas) and the anticipation of knowing Santa is coming whatever your age.

To me I’ll never forget the day my mam said “The day you stop believing in Santa is the day you stop believing in Christmas” and you know what never a truer word said by the person who made my Christmases ever so special.

The quote I’ve chosen today is one that makes me feel that whoever we are, whatever the circumstance and whether you appreciate Christmas or not Christmas should be a time where we come together and release that inner child in us.

In today’s society we usually associate Christmas with family, friends and the ones we love however on the flip side there’s that stress and strain of bracing the high street dodging the crowds, ensuring the presents are purchased and wrapped on time, the debt we can get ourselves in to put a smile on someone’s face and making sure the Christmas lunch goes down swimmingly. All the while it wouldn’t be Christmas if we weren’t doing that would it?

Each Christmas since I was born I have been lucky to spend the day with all my family on both sides however I can appreciate that everyone’s different and that there are people who under no fault of their own have to either spend Christmas alone or without the ones they hold dear. My love goes out to each and every one of you and I do hope that your day was as merry as it could have been.

At times like these I feel like when you mention Epilepsy and Christmas in the same sentence that to me personally it has to take a back seat to accommodate this day as however I’m feeling I won’t allow anything to get in the way. People may question my judgement on this issue as an episode could strike at any time however this day to me was a one of great importance, love and family time.

When I was originally diagnosed my worry was that should a seizure arrive that I would be the one to dampen Christmas. Instead of making a fool of myself over the festive period I would be making a fool of myself by convulsing and worrying everyone senseless when they should have been merry and bright.

The ensuring that my medication was taken at regular intervals and the knowing that a seizure wasn’t far away was something that put me on edge and wished that Christmas wouldn’t have any interference.

Fortunately that in 20 years I have only ever had one episode at this time of the year however was comforted and made aware that my situation didn’t alter the festivities around me and under no circumstance should I concern myself with negativity because Santa still came regardless!

On a personal level Epilepsy is a condition that we address daily and for once we are hopefully allowed to take a day off and spend that day the best we can with the ones we love. To me that’s what Christmas is all about and I truly hope you’ve all had a lovely time.

As for the remainder of my week…

On the topic of Christmas my Christmas eve was spent jumping into my Christmas pyjamas, burning my Yankee Candle (The candle was called Christmas eve coincidentally) Benny eating from his new bowls Santa had brought and my husband sitting scoffing his face with whatever treats given.

As for yesterday well I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Doing my usual and waking up at 5.15am I ran downstairs to the presents Santa had brought and my husband and I joked amongst one another reminiscing about last Christmas in which I received a Cliff Richard calendar (trust me I’m not a massive fan of Cliff much to the contrary of my friends who think I have a massive crush on the fella) and receiving a chocolate in the shape of a Penguin who shall be formally known as Paulo Penguini! He was ate immediately with a cup of coffee in my new Starbucks mug!!

After receiving DVD’s, a new dress, a new mug and some gorgeous makeup we got dressed and made our way to my mam’s house who like every year goes to town with the present buying. Irrespective of my parents separation my mam and dad have always allowed me to have the Christmas every child should deserve and have never spilled any differences they once shared in front of me.

After opening my presents one of which was the ultimate surprise a Tiffany’s necklace from her recent visit to New York. Extremely giddy and overwhelmed my husband and I wrapped our arms around my mam and thanked her not only for her hospitality but most importantly her consideration towards us and the love she has always brought to the table.

Afterwards off we toddled to the in laws in which they too provided us with that sense of family atmosphere not to mention the English breakfast (complete with Christmas crackers and Bucks fizz) and more chocolate! I was starting to become sozzled by 10am!

Before long we were at my Uncles talking whilst watching my cousins building train sets and watching the younger generation bask in the glory Christmas brings. Watching their faces made me smile with delight because their love of Christmas was so apparent and made me see that irrespective of my battle with my condition that life is for living and shouldn’t just be postponed for Christmas.

Living our lives should be something we do every day and something to be thankful for as there are millions of people outside of our circle who unfortunately don’t get that opportunity.

Let’s just say yesterday was a success and a one that I am extremely proud to be a part of and hopefully tradition permitting that this will continue for a long time yet.

I’m not even going to write a caption about food and exercise as it’s safe to say apart from the exercise I completed on Christmas Eve I wasn’t thinking about either yesterday and the same rules apply today! Roll on tomorrow.. not.

To conclude today’s post. And another Christmas is over. Love one another the way you want to be loved. Eliminate the worry not just for one day. Be proud of who you are and let’s enter 2014 with a bang as you too are allowed the opportunity to shine. Let’s keep spreading awareness and showing ourselves that we too can be proud of who we are.

Clutter & Epilepsy? Do they need to be in the same sentence?

“Out of clutter, find simplicity”- Albert Einstein.

Clutter, schmutter! The more I say that the more I think is it as simple as that?

Clutter to me is what I would call the bain of all evils as I have viewed it as being outside the usual caption you would associate with the word.

There’s the good old saying “A cluttered house is like a cluttered mind” however the ultimate questions are; is this really true? Surely we are entitled to have a cluttered mind and If so where does our condition come in all of this? Is it our Epilepsy that has caused this clutter or is it something else?

This evening’s quote is a one that has had me thinking for years and made me question why I have allowed my life to be more complex than what it could have been.

Feeling like an outsider looking in on her former self I have drawn the conclusion that on a personal level clutter does not benefit me one iota in fact it makes me grumpy, insecure and very frustrated with myself.

Over time Epilepsy to me has made me wonder who I am and whether as an adult I would have been sensible enough and have gained sufficient momentum to be able to cope with the condition I for years was in denial with. It’s only now that I can say this because the denial is no more.

Although I had many conversations about Epilepsy with the ones closest to me and providing them with awareness there was this part of me who became quite introverted behind closed doors and would attempt to put on this brave face out of fear that if I didn’t my condition would have beaten me.

As a child growing up having seizures, shaking episodes, regular headaches/migraines along with the many other side effects Epilepsy had brought into my life there was this feeling that hopefully one day I will be able to de-clutter the mind of all negativity and just allow myself to be me. There’s been to this day many occasion where I’ve sat there and wondered what life would be like without Epilepsy being a part of it.

Many of you will read the remaining extracts of this post and think “Is she mad?” however the more I think about it the more I think why keep running? Why keep blaming my condition for cluttering my mind? Epilepsy doesn’t define me, it restricts me from time to time however shouldn’t prevent me from being happy and this is something I want to share with you all.

Over the years in depth conversations have taken place with my nearest and dearest to which when the question of “How would you feel if you grew out of your Epilepsy and would you do things differently” my initial response is “Yes it’s been a bloody nightmare” however that response was given nine years ago when my seizures returned with an almighty force and to top it all off the shaky bouts had too made an appearance in my life.

Nowadays I look back and think although there would feel like there was this weight lifted off my shoulders would I have been any different to what I am now? Would I have always been this worried person but instead of Epilepsy being in my life would something else have taken it’s place?

Many may disagree with what I have to say however from my perspective although my condition has brought an overwhelming sense of worry it has to a degree kept me grounded and has allowed me to go through the relevant procedures to address additional issues not just the fear of what my Epilepsy has had/still have in store for me.

At one stage of my life Epilepsy and I weren’t friends, we still aren’t however if Epilepsy was like you and I we would have to be civil to one another because I am a part of it as it is a part of me.

I can sit here and blame my condition for cluttering my mind however if I knew then what I know now I would have handled things differently and instead of dodging issues about how I think Epilepsy has dominated my life I would maybe have tried to accept it all.

I would have possibly approached the younger me and told her to be caring about the ones she loved and carefree about everything else because when all’s said and done the seizures will come and go however your pride is something that no-one or nothing should take away from you.

Simplicity is not the real word to sum up life because as I’ve said on numerous occasions life is like a rollercoaster.

There’s bound to be more downs than ups. We would all want our lives to be simple however condition or not there are scenarios that are completely out of your control and no amount of kicking yourself in the arse about what is, has been and could have been is going to change the past and the emotions you’ve felt going through it. You should be who you want to be and if you’re happy with that then who cares?

As for the remainder of the week.

Christmas buffets, Christmas lunches, making meals for the family and counting down the days till Santa arrives.

Domestic goddess.. here I supposedly come!

No parts of this post will be related to my eating habits as the last sentence pretty much sums up what my week has contained. I can however assure you that the exercise regime is due to recommence tomorrow for the next 3 days and then Christmas day will remain exercise free as I intend to eat every morsel of food going!

One thing I will say is that after careful deliberation and convincing from some of you I managed to do something technical that I never thought was possible. I managed to do something that brought me such delight and when listening back made me sound rather posh considering my accent is rather strong for a northern girl.

For those who don’t live in the UK will be unaware that come Christmas day at 3pm after everyone is completely stuffed following their gargantuan Christmas lunch the Queen comes onto our TV sets to provide us with her Christmas message. By this point the majority of people are asleep or would prefer to stick on some festive tunes than listen to her reflecting on the year we’re drawing to a close.

Instead of our monarch coming onto the big screen Saz (that’s right me) broadcasted her own Christmas message on instagram for all of 14 seconds! Get in there!

On this subject I was given the opportunity to say a massive thank you to you all, my friends, followers, supporters of Sazzle’s blog and extended Epilepsy family for your continued support to this worthy cause. In January 2014 it’ll be it’s 1st birthday and I cannot be prouder of you all.

Epilepsy awareness is getting better however not everyone is heard. It’s about time 2014 was the year where we were all heard and whether that be through writing blogs, helping one another, seeking advice etc everyone associated with this condition should be entitled to receive the help they deserve. Everyone deserves that chance so let’s continue.

To conclude today’s post. Clutter is just a word.

What I would say is that Epilepsy and clutter to me now are not in the same sentence anymore.

Clutter is not required because as long as you have the support network around you then clutter shouldn’t come into the equation unless you let it.

Simplicity may be a word that’s not readily used however if you want your life to be simpler then (and as I always say take it as you will) my advice is focus on what’s most important, try to free yourself of that worry and allow nature to take it’s course.

Give yourself that chance, hold your head up high and always remember you are loved.

No one can teach you how to be you..

“There are no classes in life for beginners; right away you are always asked to deal with what is most difficult” Rainer Maria Rilke.

A question for you? What is life really all about?

To me life is a word that people tend to either get themselves bogged down with or take with a pinch of salt. The one thing that tends to draw a conversation is when we divulge information about our own lives to others to see if there’s any similarities and whether we as individuals can come together in order to assist and help one another.

When I say what similarities we have I’m not just talking about people who have Epilepsy it’s about people from all walks of life, different nationalities, fashion sense, children, partnerships, emotional connections, relationships etc you kind of get where I’m coming from right?

The saying is that whoever you come into contact with will result in you leaving some form of impression on them. You’re not living that person’s life however you have given that person a slight insight into your life as they have theirs and whether you believe this or not you have put your stamp on it because you’re involved.

This afternoon’s quote is one that made me chuckle because when I was younger I thought that when you hit a certain age that there would be some form of instruction manual to enable you to get through all situations and that this manual would be a dead cert for me being able to cope with life.

Unfortunately naivety clouded the younger me and the scenarios that were to follow particularly with my Epilepsy would be ones that would not only test my patience but would also be thought provoking and make a major impact on the twenty years that were to follow.

For those who have read Sazzle’s blog from the beginning will have a rough idea as to how I got here, my emotional distress with my Epilepsy, the repeated attempts to be someone I wasn’t and the hope that one day Epilepsy would wave goodbye to me and the stress it had left behind. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case and to me it took a long time to accept that life wasn’t what I’d envisaged and that compared to other people I was different to an extent.

Going through bullying as a child and the worry of my parents separation took it’s toll and although I’ve failed to admit it over the years it left a lasting impression for a long time.

The feeling like I needed to justify my reasoning to others was an insecurity I put onto myself because I didn’t connect with my condition till I got older therefore I was left frustrated and agitated at what Epilepsy had done to me and how this had an impact with the people I approached. I therefore wanted to protect the people I loved the most from this insecurity I thought I couldn’t stop out of fear that they would leave.

At the age of 28 I’m now at a stage in life where the feeling of being alone isn’t something I’m afraid of anymore and love speaking with anyone who wants to chat. Having a partner doesn’t necessarily eliminate the feeling of being alone. Many may disagree however negative thoughts can play a dominant part of your life far more than what a partner can.

The worrying whether the people I love will walk away isn’t something I look upon as a matter of fact.

As far as I’m concerned if you want to be a part of my life then come along for the ride otherwise get off my rollercoaster at the next stop because I cannot afford with petulant behaviour making me reminiscent of my childhood.

People may read this and think “Well of course she’s not worried about being alone because she has a partner there who supports her” however as much as this is something I too have considered you never know what’s round the corner and like the shakes making regular appearances in my life there was this feeling that my world could crumble quicker than it was built and as a result I cannot be complacent and take anything for granted.

No one can teach you how to be you just as no one can replace you because you are you.

There shouldn’t be any second rate version of yourself because you should be who you want to be.

Until a couple of years ago I wanted to be someone else god knows who but someone who couldn’t give a shit, someone who wanted to prove a point however not quite knowing what that point was. Maybe it was being a prick and not accepting that falling is just a part of life. You’re bound to have downs than ups. Sometimes you come up trumps and other times you fold and that’s just normal.

I used to be (and still are at times mind) a person who would read or listen to someone talking about how fabulous their life was, the no worry approach as though they had everything they needed right there and then. Sitting listening I would automatically think “I wish that was me” however like what I’d just mentioned there you don’t know what happens behind closed doors. Everyone has their own life to lead and as my dad will repeatedly say to me

“You know Saz do you really think people are sitting at home worrying about you when they have their own lives to lead” As much as I never wanted to admit it to him he was right. They didn’t have that manual as no one has therefore why worry?

Life isn’t always about the days merging into one and happiness coming at every available opportunity, having those knocks make me appreciate on a personal level that when the good times come you grasp it with both hands. When the bad times arrive then these are the moments where you relax, reflect and not put that emphasis on yourself to be someone you’re not because in doing so isn’t going to achieve anything it just makes you feel worse.

As for the remainder of the week.

Before I even give a brief account of my weekend. 10 more sleeps to go 10 more sleeps till Santa. I’m like a rather large kid waiting desperately for Christmas to arrive. I’m bouncing about like tigger from Winnie the Pooh!

The chocolate was out after Friday I resisted chocolate yesterday for one reason and one reason only.. I daren’t admit it I have an obsession with Yankee Candles. Every time I see a candle I cannot resist having a sniff plunging my nose into the jars. At least one thing’s for certain sniffing them isn’t calorific! Why didn’t I think of this sooner? I’ve already bought three.. I need to stop!

Exercise wise I’ve been exercising and trying my best to stick to my exercise at least 4 times per week regime. Squats, situps, cardio, resistance bands, I’m raring to go and allowing the adrenaline to take over! I’m quite literally feeling the burn.

As for the food well.. I’ve had my ups and downs however come to terms with the fact that a regimented approach may not be the best approach for me. Saying no to everything only makes me want it more therefore little and often. Drinking low fat options instead of throwing bars of chocolate down my mouth and feeling bad after.

To conclude today’s post. I’m going to leave you with a quote that I hope tally’s in well with this post. Do as you will with it.

“Our limitations and success will be based on our own expectations for ourselves. What the mind dwells upon, the body acts upon” Waitley.

Letting go..

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be”- Lao Tzu.

It’s safe to say that this post could be perceived as being a continuation from the last post I wrote on Sunday relating to regret and preparation however tonight there are other things I thought would be beneficial to address to see if any of us are on the same wave length.

I thank you all for the latest comments and likes on my previous post. Like all posts I log you’re continued support is much appreciated so thank you.

Right best crack on..

The past few days have been one of reflection and one of where I as an individual are coming to terms with the fact that letting go is quite literally the best way to go.. for me. When my journey began back in 1993 there was this part of me that entered the whole Epilepsy situation with literally no knowledge, a child wondering what the bloody hell was happening and my parents as oblivious to all of this as I was.

No visible signs of hereditary Epilepsy ran through the family with me being the one to break the mould and challenge what was to be some of the most difficult periods of not only my lifetime but the people who made it a priority to help contribute towards maintaining my positivity when times were low.

The quote above is one that I may interpret differently to others.

I think letting go of who you are shouldn’t be letting yourself go entirely to the detriment of your wellbeing however letting go of what you are allowing to topple you over, the letting go of past issues and knowing within yourself that you are capable of what you want from life on the basis you allow yourself to.

Letting go for me is a hard one because I have for as long as I remember challenged myself on so many levels, being sarcastic to myself during this process, over analysed to the point of no return and questioned my other authority when making decisions to ensure it didn’t result in me losing friendships, upsetting family members and just in the main being a yes woman.

What I wasn’t realising was that the people who loved me for me were doing just that. I had nothing to prove, I was just trying to prove to myself that I could be normal with a condition.

As I’ve got older these traits of mine have become more apparent making me question some time ago why I was thinking a certain way and whether the past had become so much more than just the past. Was it dominating me completely hence the not being able to let go?

Had my longing to be someone different become so great that it was toppling me over? The answer to that question was yes it was.

Maybe it was the Epilepsy talking with me and her battling against one another however to this day I put it down to experience and even at (should I say it smiling) the tender age of 28 we all still make mistakes and have those moments where you wish you could alter the past.

I don’t know about you all however when it came to my Epilepsy other than the remembering to regularly take medication out of fear you will have a seizure or logging every eventuality in your mind out of the worry you’d be unwell was my feelings towards the seizures.

The shakes were a struggle however my seizures were ones that would embarrass me. Many may question what there is to be embarrassed about when you have a seizure because you have no control over them, it’s basically your body’s way of saying it’s had enough, you’re overloaded therefore it needs to have a bit dance first to let go of the energy within you.

With me I remember once when I was at work I had a seizure, it was late on this very evening and I had been at work for about eleven hours making time and glaring at a computer screen all day taking odd breaks to get away from my screen.

Whilst on the phone my mind was perfectly fine, I’d just drank my milky tea and had a piece of chocolate moments previous. Before long I was sitting on the floor glaring up at my remaining colleagues, my manager and two paramedics who were looking at me trying to grab my attention.

The first thing I do when I have a seizure is do what I would call a “mini body search” patting every part of your body searching for cuts, bruises, pain. Then it’s my teeth because I have a fascination with my teeth chipping don’t ask me why maybe I get this trait from my mother because she’s exactly the same. The final yet embarrassing thing is the worrying that I’d peed myself.

Many may question why I’ve just written that sentence however it can happen when you’re convulsing as your body will do what your body wants and as I’ve had experienced previously are fully aware that this can happen anytime.

Without further a do I checked myself when my colleagues were satisfied I was ok praying nothing would happen that could result (and I know wouldn’t however wasn’t focusing properly at this stage) in petty childish behaviour as it did once at school having a seizure when I was first diagnosed.

To me soiling yourself isn’t something to be embarrassed about however it can go through your mind and to this day it makes me wonder whether it may happen should I have another seizure in the near future. Like I’ve said in previous posts maybe it’s the child in me thinking this way. To me letting go of this particular part of my life is something that has taken over 20 years to do and now I can write that this isn’t such a problem anymore.

Some people may think whilst reading this writing in about this particular topic is ludicrous however we all have condition or not these worries that when you think about them long enough you believe will happen or at least are capable of happening again. Maybe it’s the brain’s way of coping, detecting a problem whatever you call it however the big question I’ve asked myself and you can too if you wish.

Why hold on to this worry?

My thought is what we fail to realise is that these instances may never happen again therefore if this is the case why worry?

Why can’t we not look at what we have in front of us right now, try our utmost to be happy with what we have or what we want from life and start being at peace with ourselves? Why has it taken till the beginning of this week to let go of parts of my life I’ve held onto for so long?

As the quote mentions can we just be what we might want ourselves to be that’s content with ourselves, having the knockbacks but being able to say that this is just life and that if our episodes cannot be prevented then surely we can come together and express our emotions to understand more about what we have.

I appreciate this post tonight isn’t everyone’s cup of tea however if it is then if talking helps let’s utilise this tool in order to let go of this worry.

As for the remainder of the week.

Monday was spent with my best friend eating and drinking coffee. It was a perfect mild day catching up and having a laugh. Loved it!

Today I’ve been out with my work colleagues to celebrate Christmas and have a three course meal. We all ate like kings me wolfing down a melon medley, a full pork carvery, some ice cream and to top it off some of my friend’s custard, that’s not including my mini glass of wine! Let’s just say I felt like I ate a rather small horse and will definitely be back on the healthy eating regime tomorrow!

My stomach is still so full that I can barely move! My headaches are here as we speak (I’m not blaming the food or wine as these were required!) therefore I’m writing this post from bed! I couldn’t put my blog on the back burner because I had too much to ramble on about! Ha!

Exercise wise I’ve been keeping this up chopping and changing routines and trying to stick with the Squat challenge. Apart from today I’ve been squatting away!

Family wise we cannot wait for Christmas. We are all like rather large children with me standing at the front eager to see what Santa’s brought! 14 sleeps to go, 14 sleeps till Santa!

To conclude today’s post. Let go or not it’s your choice. What’s to be achieved from worrying? Nothing. I’ve done it for far too long and it isn’t worth it trust me.

Sometimes people question why they’re frustrated and like you I’m exactly the same however knowing taking that leap can make a massive difference. Merge the advice from others with what you want from life and you might get the answer you desire. Do what you feel is right for you.

Preparing vs regretting.

“It is better to look ahead than to look back and regret”- Jackie Joyner-Kersee.

This morning I have chosen a quote that I feel I have done for many years and something that I tend to go back to particularly when I’m shaking and at my most vulnerable. In this quote three words stick out like a sore thumb for me LOOK AHEAD & REGRET.

Ask yourself this question when it comes to any aspect of your life is there something that you regret doing? When it comes to your condition if you could turn back time what advice would you tell yourself and would you do anything differently to benefit yourself?

When it comes to life I’ve drawn the conclusion that the majority of things happen for a reason. When it comes to people and their perceptions of you only the ones closest to you should matter the rest is irrelevant.

Out of my lifetime it’s probably taken about twenty four years to look in the mirror and stare at this in the face because I have had the tendency to look for the good in people instead of seeing what’s in front of me.

As I grow older I’m coming to realise that life is what you make of it and although I reminisce in this blog of my experiences I know that the person I am becoming is different to that of the person I once was. My mannerisms have altered somewhat (My friends will tell me I’ve probably got worse turning into Mrs Forgetful, I’m not going to deny this) and my outlook on life is changing and becoming far more realistic than I’d hoped many moons ago.

Basically what I’m trying to say is that when it comes to Epilepsy my mood has changed into a one of fear, unexpectedness and apprehension to someone who although cannot quite fathom how I got here are starting to comprehend with what Epilepsy is and how it has entered my life. When it comes to Epilepsy the blame I once had is starting to fade into the background revealing the Saz I want to be, the one it’s taken a while to accept.

Regret is a very strong word of which the majority of people in life have regrets whether this be the way you’ve handled a situation, you’ve allowed someone to dominate a situation however in my case the one that’s most prevalent is the way I had allowed my condition to dominate me so much that I lost a very large part of my personality to a condition out of my control.

In the past many have asked me ” Can you not prepare for a seizure, is there nothing you can do to help yourself”.

Initially I wanted to express my frustration and ask them if they were in my situation could they prepare for a seizure. The more I condense that question down the more I know that we cannot prevent a seizure from happening, however what we can do is know that hopefully an episode will pass and on the premise that we understand that this is a blip in our life’s cycle that this is exactly what it is.. a blip.

Even with our bodies sore and negativity at times questioning our ability I know from the people I’ve spoken to within the past year that you all have that sense of hope, that longing for more but most importantly you are sharing your concerns with ones who want to listen thus helping others. That is a power no one can take from you.

I think when it comes to life in general in the back of my mind I had the fear of being alone should a seizure happen and in the worst case scenario what would happen if I never woke up?

Alone with my thoughts and wondered whether I’d ever be able to accept what Epilepsy was. As much as I have such admiration and love for my mam I’ve watched my mother be alone with me and when moving out have her own thoughts within her four walls. With me I used to question whether I’d have the power to push past that feeling of self doubt.

My mam used to sit with me regularly and advise to leave the past alone because it isn’t worth dragging up. Whether it be the negativity I had towards my condition especially after a seizure had taken place or whether it be the longing to change my past she made me see that the past is just another chapter in your book that although we can look back at occasionally should not be the catalyst of what I want my life to be.

My mam couldn’t always put into practice what she was advising her daughter however what she did do is give me the tools to want more, to get my feelings onto paper and to leave regret at the back door. This is the thing with parents you daren’t say it out loud however they’re usually right in most scenarios.

On a lighter note.

The week has went over quite quickly.

My gran is still telling me tales of her latest holiday venture on her cruise of the Mediterranean, my mam on the other hand is raving about New York and making me extremely jealous in the process. As all tourists should do she returned back home with an “I love NYC” mug for my husband and I. I couldn’t help but laugh after she left the pricetag on the bottom! Daft arse!

The remainder of my Christmas presents were purchased yesterday for family members. Dodging Saz was back in force bracing the crowds and doing a little “one two step” around the customers to get to the till. The aim is to have your father in one queue and you in the other, whateve queue goes down quickest then jump in with that person!

Food wise it’s getting better. I had a major slip a week or so ago to which I was pouching chocolate everyday. This weekend hasn’t been too bad so far. I’m still allowing myself to have something sweet however not to consume what I have done lately. At least I’ll be good until Christmas eve and then maybe I may have to have a little ice cream..

Exercise well I’m onto a winner! Woo hoo!!!

After speaking with many of you and reading my last post I started to think that my goals don’t come for free therefore I’m back on my exercise DVD whilst using the 30 day challenges sent by my friends for that additional push. It’s safe to say Saz Fonda is back, not in the lycra of course! Not a pretty look for me at all!

To conclude today’s post. To prepare for life is one thing you can prepare till you’re blue in the face. Having an episode should hopefully not dampen that preparation.

It may knock you over from time to time however from what I’ve read from all of you and the determination you have given me to continue should show yourself how important you are. As for regret well leave it at the back door, what’s the point in looking back when you have your whole life ahead of you?!

The child in me.

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once that child grows up” Pablo Picasso.

Today has felt like a funny old day where nothing seems to be going right and the repercussions of yesterday’s events are evident to see in my facial expression.

I thought tonight was crucial to not impose my feelings onto others but to see if anyone can share my current thoughts and putting it bluntly provide me with the kick up the arse I well and truly need.

The quote I’ve chosen today is quite ironic and poses great relevance to the past 24 hours.

Throughout my journey I have tried my utmost to bare my life to you all and give you an insight as to how I really feel in order to contribute towards Epilepsy awareness and hopefully give others the strength to say how they feel.

My intention is not to reap sympathy but to provide you all with that feeling of knowing that there has to be something more than just Epilepsy, that you as an individual should have that sense of self worth.

Yesterday was like any other working day. Waking up at what feels like the crack of dawn, wiping the buildup of sleep from my eyes before eating my bowl of cereal, taking my meds and getting dressed for work. No worry was involved all I could feel was excitement to have an earlier finish and to see my gran like I do every Tuesday.

On the way to work a part of me changed. Something I couldn’t quite put my finger on. No warning just doubt.

A headache emerged from nowhere and I started feeling warm and uncomfortable. A

After telling myself to take deep breaths and to get fresh air was my top priority, that and trying to think clearly because my mind was drifting into all types of directions resulting in me seeing bouts of double vision. Trying to pull myself round I entered the building that felt ever so stuffy that and trying to convince myself that all would be well irrespective of my body shaking like a leaf.

Within fifteen minutes my legs felt like giving way with my colleagues assisting me into the medical room for a lie down. The sensation in the left hand side of my face completely gone and me wondering what on earth was happening all the while still trying to crack the odd joke to make myself and everyone else feel at ease.

It was like I was drifting elsewhere partially aware of what was happening and knowing that rest was required.

Part of you may question why I chose to write the narrative before telling you my feelings in full. I say this because over the past 24 hours I have analysed something I never thought could be possible however using the experience given by my therapist and after consulting family are now in a position to tell you my interpretation of this story.

A question for you before I continue? When you are in times of trouble who is the first person you call to help you? Is it your parents? Is it your partner? Your kids perhaps or are you quite capable of coping single handily?

What I’ve noticed particularly over the past couple of years is that every time I have a large shaking episode two characters tend to emerge.

One is the positive Saz adamant that she will overcome the worry and knowing that the episode will pass not caring about other people’s perceptions of me. On the other hand the negative Saz will be in collusion with the positive me and between them both they battle one another for the championship title all the while my body feels tired, my face as rough as a badgers arse and my mind all the shop.

After a lengthy discussion with my husband yesterday evening it finally dawned on me. The negative me wasn’t someone I should be battling with. The negative me was the child in me, the child who wanted to be loved, the child that wanted so desperately for my condition to be eliminated but most importantly the child who needed that reassurance from her family to know that deep down everything would be ok.

The bond I share with my parents is one that cannot be broken however has a one of great challenge and perseverance. Although my parents never prevented me from having a life due to the resentment it could cause in the future my parents were very protective and at times made me question whether they were doing this because I was their child or whether it was because Epilepsy had entered their child’s life.

At 28 years old and after having Epilepsy for over 20 years there’s still this part of me deep down who asks for my mam every time a shaky bout happens. As if a cuddle will make it all better.

If my mam isn’t available then my husband and my dad are a close second. Maybe this is because they are the main people who have seen me convulse. It’s like without them then I’m truly alone. Partially aware of what I’m doing there’s this part of me that when shaking loses this inhibition and hopes that the key to lock the door holding this shaky bout will be clasped firmly in my parent’s hands.

Whilst writing this I am finding it rather difficult to acknowledge that this has been my behaviour and that as an adult why is this happening? Is it the trauma my Epilepsy has brought me or is it the fact that only now am I coming to terms with being the adult I’ve always wanted to be and therefore have to accept that it will take time to change my thought pattern when my shakes are involved.

My motivation as a result of these unfortunate mishaps has been shot to shit along with my concentration. My body is tired however I feel like I need to run a marathon to prove to myself that this large bout hasn’t dented my confidence. Does that sound ridiculous saying that?

After talking to my online friends, my family and colleagues I know that as I’ve said before you cannot do everything yesterday. You have to admit you’re going to have times of struggle and that until you pick up on those signs then this pattern isn’t changing in a hurry therefore what can we do to change it? I’ll leave the ball in your court.

As for the rest of my week.

The in laws provided me with a gargantuan feast on Monday evening much to the dismay of my attitude after I ate the entire table. It was rather healthy apart from the crème brulee sitting winking at me across the table.

Exercise wise I’m plodding along however know that change is needed. Thanks to the girls I’ve restarted the squat challenge this evening therefore I’m keeping calm and squatting on. I’ve merged that and the yoga from slim in 6 to woop this tush into shape!

To conclude today’s post. Do you revert back to the inner child in you in more ways that one? Step aside the fun, laughter and childish behaviour and what do you uncover? Are you someone who’s suffered from Epilepsy from an early age and can associate with my occasional mannerisms and if so how do you cope?

What is required is this. Tell someone, address the issue and see where it gets you. Talk to the ones you love and see if they can see something in you that you’re not quite noticing.

Before I go I thought I’d write the following, whether it be the adult in you or the child in you see if this makes you smile.

As Mrs Pott said in Beauty in the Beast “Cheer up my child it’ll turn out alright in the end” and you know what I think she’s right!

It all starts with W..

“The six W’s: Work will win when wishing won’t”- Todd Blackledge.

I’ve chosen today’s quote for one reason and one reason only. It’s the work you put in that provides you with that essence of satisfaction. Work isn’t necessarily about monetary terms it’s about reaping what you sow and putting the legwork in to get what you want from life.

Growing up my family imprinted a work ethic onto me that showed itself approximately twelve years ago. My mam in particular always told me that “There was nothing in life that came for free” and apart from receiving advice from the ones I love then yes she was right.

Unfortunately not all of us can work for many reasons ranging from disabilities to high unemployment. People think that because you aren’t working doesn’t mean that you cannot want anything for yourself however this is so untrue. We are all entitled to something from life. We all have dreams to which we wish for something great to happen. It’s the putting the wishing into practice that makes it all worthwhile.

Entering my first job as a part time sales assistant at 17 was something that frightened me incase my Epilepsy interfered with it however as time went on and job roles changed I started to realise that Epilepsy shouldn’t have prevented me from living my life and excelling in the job my employer believed I had the capability of doing.

My life should have been a priority that and gaining the independence I now have. After believing I hit my sales targets and went on my merry way.

Wishing for my condition to diminish was never going to happen. Today I’m extremely fortunate that although not shake free and cured entirely that I have been seizure free for over 4 an a half years now and are now thinking to myself that whatever episode may arise in the future that I have been very lucky to be seizure free for as long as I have.

Whilst flicking through my twitter timeline I noticed this quote and questioned my life against it. A question for you. Have you ever felt like you’re trying your best but not actually moving anywhere? I know I have on more than one occasion.

I had a moment like this at work on Friday. The build-up to Christmas is something that I long all year for. The Christmas shopping, the endless food that you seem to eat from the moment 1st Deccember hits and the smiles on everyone’s faces knowing Christmas is due to arrive is something that makes me beam with delight.

On Friday I had a moment that I haven’t had in a very long time. Within half an hour of looking at my work I felt like my heart couldn’t stop racing, that the room was caving in and that my anger levels were soaring.

Although I knew in myself that there was work to do, meetings to attend, a weekend to plan and family to ensure were feeling better I got up off my seat and threw a complete wobbler. Immediately my mind went into overdrive and I thought I was going to convulse. I didn’t shout at anyone, I walked out and was frustrated at myself. I was disappointed in what had just happened particularly when lately I know I’ve come a long way.

My immediate reaction following this was that I was behaving childish and couldn’t cope. After speaking to my work colleagues and discussing this later with my mam I realised that we aren’t superhuman and that as much as I wanted everything to be completed yesterday that evidently this was never going to be the case.

In times like these it’s not a matter of Rome has to be built on a Friday it’s a matter of accepting that you can’t be expected within yourself to do everything at once therefore should this situation happen to you then sit yourself down, breathe and tell yourself that whatever you don’t achieve can be left till tomorrow. You know why? Because there is a tomorrow.

To this day I can only put down Friday’s experience as being a mini anxiety attack so to speak. What I’ve never understood is why I allow myself to get that way. Maybe it’s what happens to us all this time of the year who knows. What I do know is that I hope not to be entering that situation in a hurry! Cue coffee time!

Yesterday we saw the end of Epilepsy awareness month in which millions of people have given their input to a personal cause very close to many of you reading this. Whether it be via social media, word of mouth or fundraising each person contributing has their own battle to face against this condition to which you should be extremely proud for providing others with that advice in order to help themselves.

For those reading this should remember that we all have to start somewhere. Whether it be looking in the mirror and telling yourself what you want from yourself, taking a chance and opening up to others or if you can’t get to that point coming onto social media and speaking to people with your condition can be the release you need. By you having faith in yourself can allow others to have faith in you.

As for the remainder of the week.

Food- Dipped in and out of chocolate so I’m not even going to lie saying I’m eating healthier. My food chart is on my fridge so today I’m making a sunday dinner with no Yorkshire puds, roasties or mash.

Exercise- This has taken a downturn too. Exercise is planned for this morning so I’ll be slimming in 6 for sure. I exercised mid week only to have my tracksuit trousers to rip down the seam. Cue embarrassing moment. Thank god only Benny was there to witness this!

Shopping- I’m nearly done. The madness of any shopping centre on the buildup to Christmas is absurd however yesterday I was on a roll! I felt like I was on roller skates weaving between the hoards of people standing there chatting over everything and nothing! Black Friday on the other hand should be called barmy Friday the amount of sodding people flapping over bargains and acting like whingey kids in the aisles is something that isn’t pretty!

Family- We are all getting there and are doing well. My mother on the other hand is living it up in NYC as we speak. Don’t worry she has a list as long as my arm therefore hoping for at least a couple of treats on her return.

To conclude today’s post. Don’t wish just go for it!

Make your day start with W however before you say anything out loud ensure that you put your best interests at heart. In times of worry focus on one thing and concentrate on that for a minute. By all means wish but help yourself in the process. Do what you can with what you have. Believe in you.