We aren’t all the same..

” All a girl really wants is for one guy to prove to her that they aren’t all the same”- Marilyn Monroe.

Evening all. I thought I had to write a blog post after seeing this quote, in fact I thought it was quite prevalent to questions that were raised last week by some who’d questioned dating with Epilepsy.

We all look for that perfect partner the person who wants to give us their everything however what happens when we throw Epilepsy into the mix? Should the word Epilepsy ever interfere with our happiness?

In my early twenties I had a tendency to categorise all guys in one bundle like they’d all been taught at the same school.. unfortunately that was age and inexperience for you.

The reason behind choosing this evening’s quote was solely due to the fact that today’s society puts a great amount of pressure on people to be a certain way whether it be the way they behave or the way they look.

Whatever the pressure that is added being you is the most attractive quality albeit it taking a few years to realise this.

I’ve written a similar post to this previously however thought it was necessary to reiterate this again over a year later.

Take age out of the equation; When it comes to partnerships as individuals where do we stand?

This is a tricky subject that over the years I’ve learnt to realise is quite a complicated situation that stems a tad deeper than just our condition again it’s a pressure thing. My dad used to get well and truly pissed off when I used to say:

“Dad do you ever think people will love me because I have Epilepsy or do you think they’ll run a mile?”

Immediately Dad would get on his high horse saying “Sarah you’re beautiful my darling, if they don’t like you for you then fuck them, they’ll never see what I see” Straight away I’d be like.. Of course you think like that I’m your daughter for petes sake.

With me it was always a sticking point having Epilepsy and dating, would people like me for me? Would people understand my condition when I told them or would my insecurity show and they run a mile?

These questions tend to raise more so in the younger generation however it has become apparent with people of all ages.

The way I look at it is that you have many a quality therefore why run? Why should we not stand and see what happens?

Surely if the individual wants to know more then why not allow them or is it purely a worry about being hurt?

Tonight’s quote was a one that tended to hit a time of my life where people didn’t fully understand what Epilepsy meant to me and how far I was prepared to go to share about my condition.

There was this worry of not being accepted and loved for the person I was instead of people walking on egg shells to accommodate my condition. Going through my teenage years there was this concern that people would automatically walk away as soon as the big E word was mentioned.

Ultimately it was the “How would they cope if I had a seizure or would they make an excuse to dump me?”

Whatever the scenario there was a part of me that wanted to give my all however worry out of the risk of being hurt. It wasn’t a place I wanted to be associated with.

For years there were people that entered my life for the right reasons and others for the wrong. Being in a relationship isn’t all about the taking it’s about that element of compromise and wanting what’s best for you both not just one sided.

Over the course of the past ten years in particular I have watched my life change beyond comprehension and to witness what is in front of me. The worry of not being accepted would unfold and the fear of being at peace with myself was an issue that I’ve now managed to eradicate. For being a bubbly person the idea of me being introverted wasn’t an option. It’s only now that it’s starting to surface what my true feelings were.

When I met my husband  I had the opportunity to educate the person who wanted to be with me for the remainder of my life about my fear. It was only when he witnessed a grand mal seizure did he truly understand what Epilepsy meant in my life and why from the offset was it a sticking subject.  Irrespective of him seeing a fair few seizures/shaky bouts he wanted to marry me, he wanted a life with me and he wanted to be mine. As the months progressed the panic would subside.

Many have asked me how I cope with being rejected and whether Epilepsy has anything to do with it. To me the answer is no.

Epilepsy is a condition that effects over 65 million people who prove to the remainder of the world that we can cope and that we won’t be defined by our Epilepsy.

Compared to me as a youngster I’ve grown to believe that if someone loves you they love you for you nothing more.

Trying to change your partner will never happen therefore stop trying to change them. You can attempt for the remainder of your life to accommodate a situation you don’t want to be in however ultimately you and your partner are responsible for your own actions and Epilepsy shouldn’t even come into the equation when decisions like that are made. Maybe I’m an old romantic but hey ho that’s the way I am.

If you want to be with someone you’re with them full stop. There’s no if’s, what if’s or buts about it. You should be on the same wave length.

Whether you’re 16 or 76 you’re allowed to be happy condition or not. Nothing should prevent you from being the fabulous person you are and if expressing your condition to others is a concern then seek advice from a support group or the people closest to you before making any additional steps. Everyone’s entitled to be happy.

As for the remainder of the week..

T25 has been in full force as is the healthy eating… thank goodness for that!

As for Benny he’s been on no further jaunts other than lounging on the decking. He’s just basking in the sun. As for everything else well it’s going swimmingly well.

To conclude today’s post.

Dating and Epilepsy doesn’t have to be that complicated. I can understand the apprehensions people face with all conditions having to explain what you have however there’s nothing for you to be ashamed of saying that you have a condition.

As I said earlier if they don’t love you for you then it’s not worth it. As my mother would say there’s plenty of fish in the sea and by gosh there is.

 

Strength by numbers.

“I may not be the strongest, I may not be the fastest but I’ll be damned if I’m not trying my hardest”-Anon.

Success. Merit. Worth. All three words can depending upon the context make or break a sentence. It’s whether you remain optimistic as you say those words that can sometimes determine what path you take.

To some of you reading that may make no sense whatsoever. To me it’s normal, I think it’s because each day like the millions of people across the world wake up each morning wondering what the day has in store for them and whether each day will be better than their last.

Having Epilepsy can question your own ability at times, can challenge you in ways you least expected but most importantly it can on occasion challenge your own beliefs when your self worth is involved. Some excel when it comes to accepting your condition, some it takes a little longer and for me it took that little bit longer than planned.

I selected the quote this evening for many a reason possibly down to the fact that over the course of the past two weeks my shakes have become more frequent more so towards the back end of last week. To shake is one thing, to have a seizure is another and the medication side effects another after that.

Whatever enters your mind you’re mind is always on the wander wondering whether you are going to sink, swim or just manage to stay afloat.

The other day I spoke about my blog with a relative of mine explaining why Sazzle’s blog was created in the first place and why I felt that it was about time that I put my feelings down on paper for all to see.

From previous posts written Epilepsy initially was a chore. To me it wasn’t going anywhere in a hurry therefore I had to identify the trends, start to release the negative energy I thought Epilepsy was imposing on my life and release that energy to my family, friends, online friends and Epilepsy community.

To say “I’ve got a problem” can be one hell of a task.

The saying of “Admitting you’ve got a problem means you halfway to resolving the issue” is so right however to tackle the uncertainty that Epilepsy can bring is harder.  What I admire most about people is when they admit that life is not always a bed of roses.

Irrespective of what the problem may be to admit defeat can actually become your lifeline to success. It can become the one word that although perceived as failure can in fact be the word that spurs you on to accept yourself.

Many reading may disagree  however since having Epilepsy I’m growing to realise that life changes frequently.

Of course there are limitations with all conditions that makes you feel like you’re not giving it your all and I can sympathise whole heartedly with that however what I do know is that giving up is never an option.

Strength comes from having the knocks and knowing you have the power to get back up, strength doesn’t come from being handed everything on a plate. It’s about never giving up and knowing that the decisions you make in life are going to benefit you and your health.

The reason why I decided to write about strength was because recent media coverage of a certain incident last week made the world stand up, listen and take notice. This can be summed up in two words Flight MH17.

As I sat there cup of coffee in hand I was fixated at the television completely and utterly shocked at what had unfolded in Ukraine. To embark on a journey of hope for it to be shattered in an instant made me see that we never know what’s round the corner and that family are so precious.

Amongst the many who died in that plane crash were two men from the North East of England not too far from where I live going on a journey to support their football team. Immediately I felt such upset for their families.

For those who know me already know that I am extremely proud of where I come from.

To come from a little city where people say hello in the street as they go for their morning paper, to be a quick bus stop away from the beach where I can pop for a bag of chips doused in vinegar before finishing it off with a Minchella’s 99 cornet (which isn’t 99p at all it’s £1.79) makes me proud to be from the North East. Fair enough not very many people know what we’re saying half the time however I like that.

What struck me was irrespective of people’s personal issues as soon as it came to light that “two of ours” were killed that was enough for the cities to rally together and show our support in a way that we always have. It was safe to say that it was strength by numbers.

As I sit here now merging the recent events with my previous insecurities I think to myself how fortunate we all are to be here, to be given the chance (should we wish) to say how we feel, to lay our cards on the table and to hopefully express our feelings towards Epilepsy in a positive way.

As for the remainder of the week..

Hells bells where do I start. I’ll get the boring stuff out the way first.

Healthy eating… Next. Got better today.

Exercise.. Shakes have been playing up so it was only a four day exercise week for me.

Work.. It pays the bills along with my love for vintage clothing.

Finally..

Benny. That cat he’s a marvel.

For those who are newbies to my blog will be unaware that Benny is my cat. He’s a five year old rescued tabby who is without doubt one of the handsomest men I’ve ever come into contact with. Maybe I’m biased but it’s safe to say I absolutely adore him. He’s got a swagger about him and it’s safe to say he eats more food than I do whilst keeping his boyish physique.

On Thursday Benny decided whilst I was at work to go on his own Gulliver’s travels i.e. jumping on a parcel shelf underneath a van exhaust before travelling 80 miles down the motorway to a destination unbeknown to him as “a place where he could eat more food”.

Take into account the Epileptic shaking and the fact my cat had clung on for dear life down the motorway of course made me panic.. Well panic’s a bit of an understatement. It’s safe to say the words coming out of my mouth weren’t ladylike and on his return my face was a picture. He’s happy and now safe and sound.

To conclude today’s post.

That quote today can sum us all in a nutshell if you want it to. I can’t speak on behalf  of you but I know I can with me.

I’m not the strongest but I fight. I’m not the fastest but I give it my best shot and trying my hardest well.. I’m getting there. I may not be the whole package to others but for my circle they’re happy with me condition and all.

Never underestimate your strength. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. Be proud of who you are and where you come from. Be appreciative of you and what you represent. Start feeling worthy instead of worthless and know that whatever the scenario bouncing back is so much prettier.

 

 

Aren’t we all still learning?

“I’m still learning myself”- Mulan.

Throughout life one of the main questions I’ve heard uttered from the mouths of others is “When do we ever stop learning?”. My answer to that is.. I don’t think we ever do.

During my time with Epilepsy one of the biggest questions I’ve asked myself is “Will I ever grow out of my Epilepsy?” to which I’d respond by thinking.. Probably not.

Unlike the first question Epilepsy is a condition that some grow out of and others wonder whether that time will ever reach them. In some cases no Epilepsy may never leave you however is that such a bad thing?

Those reading that last question may think I’m utterly mad to possibly see Epilepsy in a slightly positive light however with me the journey I’ve been on with my condition as a whole along with the psychological elements that my condition has imposed on my life has been a battle to me that’s been a hard one.

It’s safe to say that it effects people in different ways.

With me it was about the looking down at my health issues like there was no way up because all I could see was my life changing for the worst.

There was no light at the end of any tunnel, the positivity would waver and the questions would constantly be raised in my head as to whether I had anything more to learn about my condition because in my eyes I’d experienced it all already.

For those who would say “There’s light at the end of the tunnel” I’d be like “Yeah” whilst thinking “Fuck off you don’t know what I’m going through”.

How negative was I?

The more I read about others feelings towards their condition the more I thought that I wasn’t alone. Don’t we all feel like that at times?

In my mid twenties and as I approached the fifteen year barrier there was a change in me.

For years I had watched Epilepsy come in like a tornado causing havoc on the ones around me.

Apart from receiving a bike when I was diagnosed (I was chuffed at the time, mind you I was only eight years old) the seizures were a burden, the shakes a mare and the medication taking a chore.

A change where I knew that if I didn’t do something then my life would remain a battle. I was sick of leading charge on that battle. I was bored, I was tired and I couldn’t be arsed anymore.

To me Epilepsy was stopping me from having a life or was it?

As I’ve just said there many may disagree with what I have to say next but I think it ought to be said.

I know it’s helped me on a personal level and I truly hope it helps others. Again I may be wrong.

As I grew up with Epilepsy I had a hatred towards my condition a one that would come out immediately after a seizure.

As I’m getting older I have thought to myself  on many occasion that maybe Epilepsy changed me in ways I never thought were possible. Maybe having my condition made me more sensible.

Instead of getting as pissed as a fart drinking bottle after bottle of wine I chose to be mindful (the majority of the time) of what I drank incase it increased the possibility of me having an episode, I didn’t smoke, I was wary at all times of my surroundings and I chose to do this because of my condition.

I chose to exercise, to be strong should an episode arise so I could bounce back stronger.

The big question is would I have been like this if I didn’t have Epilepsy?

Would I have been determined to want to look after my health in the way that I do if I didn’t have Epilepsy?

The big answer is. I truly don’t know.

My opinion of failure to accept what I had and to believe that I could find out who Saz actually was truly a hurdle I wanted to jump over however didn’t know how to.

This was possibly down to the fact that I’d became too familiar with the mundanely feelings of apprehension as soon as I thought about how Epilepsy would have an impact on my day.

Merge this feeling with feelings of growing up and I didn’t want to know.

As I’ve said previously I’d talk about Epilepsy should it crop up and if I was feeling a tad unwell I would have to explain my condition to others in order for them to gage an understanding of my condition that would ultimately make me feel worse.

When I made the decision to seek counselling, to write down my emotional connection with Epilepsy and to see the worry that was standing before me I thought to myself why didn’t I start accepting who I was far sooner than I did?

Why did I think I know it all? I didn’t know half of it.

Instead of listening to my peers and acknowledging their compliments I felt like part of me wasn’t allowing myself to be happy because I didn’t know where Epilepsy would stand in the grand scheme of things.

As I think about the past 21 years of having this condition I realise now that whether you suffer from Epilepsy or not we are all learning on a daily basis.

Whether it be the understanding of your partner, being good at your job, money issues or the obstacles you may face when tackling an episode that is outside your comfort zone what we should understand is that somewhere someone is going through exactly the same things as us.

We aren’t alone therefore why feel like we are alone?

In my previous blog post I referred to not looking back and accepting who I want to be.

I asked you all if you were with me and from the feedback received many were in unison with me to hold onto that positivity in order for that to transfer into our general wellbeing.

Ten days on I’m still applying that method and I hope you are too.

As for the rest of the week…

This house is quite literally pissing me off. The kitchen is gorgeous and my healthy eating is at an all time high.

My preoperational skills in the kitchen are improving (thanks to the newness of the kitchen) and as for the exercise well Shaun T hasn’t got nothing on me.

Weather wise it’s been rather glorious. There I’ve been on my days off lying in the back garden with my Zuszhh tan accelerator on basking like a French fry in the sun (SPF included of course).

The tan is coming along (gradually) and there are no burnt bits! As for the family my parent’s are still as crazy as ever and I cannot stop laughing at how I’m turning into them. It doesn’t matter how much I write about change.. That’s one thing I cannot avoid!

To conclude today’s post.

As the quote I said earlier indicated that I’m still learning. We all are. There’s nothing the matter with falling nor is there anything the matter with wanting to learn more about yourself. I know I’ve had a lot of learning to do.

You get people in life who are adamant that they have no regrets, they have been there done that however that’s them. You are you and you alone.

To me learning is all about understanding the decisions you’ve made and coming to terms with the choices life will throw at you for the rest of your life. It’s all about experiences and noticing the trends that makes you not feel like yourself so you can tackle the issue and move on.

We don’t always have to appreciate what decisions we made at the time however you have to put you and your loved ones first. That’s the most important thing.

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t look back.

“I never look back darling, It distracts me from the now”- Edna Mode (The Incredibles)

I’ve chosen today’s quote from Disney Words a twitter account that I follow because it reminds me of films I’ve watched during my childhood. It also comes out with some quotes that made me think about what it was like to be an adolescent and to see that life can change at the drop of a hat.

The quote I’ve selected sort of contradicts what Sazzle’s blog is all about because by now you can probably see that the majority of the material I write about is about my past and how the world of acceptance can be a place where we tend to deviate from out of fear of the unknown.

Today I decided to take a different direction a one where the thought of looking back is something I’d like to choose of my own accord and not because I failed to accept myself for me.

Ask yourself the following questions before reading on..

Are you a person who dwells on their past?

Do you find you get into this pattern of wishing you had more whether it be in a materialistic way or that you could just click your fingers and be a different you?

I know I have. I know I have compared my life against others and thought to myself “What if?” to be honest as I look back I think to myself what the bloody hell was I thinking.

Yep I wanted slimmer thighs, to fit into shoes that I adored only to be disappointed that I had the flattest feet known to man, to  erase Epilepsy that at the time I could have quite happily given the middle finger to, a little win on the national lottery and the drive to want to pursue a degree however what would it have achieved?

Would I be any better of a person? Would I have been happier or would once I had this be striving for the next bigger and better thing?

We could all sit and live a life of what if’s however what you see on the outside isn’t necessarily what’s going on behind closed doors. As I’ve said in the past Is the grass always greener on the other side?

As I read what character Edna Mode came out with it can be greeted with a mixed response.

This is partly down to the fact that we can smile at the fact that the past has brought so many memories that we don’t want to remove however the future is a one that can lead to great expectation, an expectancy on yourself to be bigger, better, stronger; A one where we are yet to get to the finish line and aren’t quite certain what’s in store for us hence the mixed response.

Lately I went to Paris with my husband for a mini getaway. Before hand we went to London to blend in with the hustle and bustle whist seeing what our nation’s capital had to offer.

As I arrived in Paris a couple of days later and visited the various sites I stood before the foot of the Eiffel tower and thought to myself what it would be like to leave the past alone. What it would be like to accept the positives and negatives in life and pass them off as an experience.

Whether it be Epilepsy related or not I wondered whether this small change could make me realise that life has so much more to offer than homing in our negatives and allowing this to defer us from the path we want to make for ourselves.

I also thought what it would be like if we all looked at ourselves and thought you know what we may not always have to like what we see however you’re unique in your own way therefore instead of looking back why can’t we just be? Why can’t we just say “Hey I don’t want to be like everyone else, I don’t want to just be a number I want to be me therefore why can’t I be proud of who I am”

Let me give you an example.

En route to Paris my husband and I bumped into two women from the North of England who were both in their seventies. They had medical issues however they never allowed it to prevent them from doing what they wanted. They were an absolute pleasure to be around.

Their zest for life was impeccable and throughout their journey of the French capital had more what I would call “get up and go” than most people my age. Their spirit was remarkable and without sounding ageist they probably explored more than us in the same duration something I wouldn’t have expected for people in their late seventies.

They maximised their entire holiday and whilst staying at the same hotel than us would be the first up of a morning for breakfast, would be returning from days out as we were going out for the evening and made me think why do we as people have to be so downhearted all the time? Why can’t we be more like them and have that spirit?

To me they are my inspiration to move my arse. If I could be like that at that age then wow!

They are the people who made me think that life is more than questions because in the small timescale I was with them listening to their stories I learnt that although they have been through rough patches themselves they picked themselves up, dusted themselves off and got on with it. They didn’t look back and they wanted to live their life to the full while they still could. They were doing what THEY wanted to do.

When we think of our Epilepsy only three words enter my mind. Uncertainty, doubt, fear.

To take medication can be a fucking nightmare particularly when you’ve been dashing about and forget to take a tablet because you’re mind can feel like it’s bouncing off all four walls because you’re wondering when the next seizure will happen.

These are two of the many questions that enter can become the norm when you’re tackling a condition and it can become rather overwhelming at times. As I think of those examples instead of thinking of what I turned into I think to myself that you can only do what you can do with the tools that you have.

Everyone makes mistakes and when it comes to your condition you’re bound to at some stage make decisions that you wish you could eradicate however at the time they were right for you therefore all you can do is accept this and move on.

Many reading will look at this and say “Hold on a minute Saz you’ve been down this road before, what’s right for you may not be right for me” and you’re absolutely right however as I’m growing older it’s become apparent that dwelling on the past can only lead to additional worry  therefore accept what is and move on otherwise this can in some cases have repercussions on your health something no one wants.

Epilepsy is a condition that can cause havoc on your mind and can on occasion give you that sense of holding on to the moments where you were at your strongest in order to move forward  however as many people have written before me Epilepsy shouldn’t define you.

On a personal level I’ve thought for a while now that you are your own person with your own thoughts. Your personality should be your drive not solely the Epilepsy. Your condition is a part of you however you are who you want to be not what your Epilepsy wants you to be therefore let’s do this and have that drive those women had.

As for the remainder of my week….

Well I think I pretty much summed it up just there. The holiday was a remarkable experience and a one where although dark clouds brought out the umbrella on occasion I have to say that I fell in love with Paris.

Being one of the most romantic capitals of the world I witnessed the language that made me have to second guess what people were saying and before dabbling in with a few Bonjours, sil vous plait’s and a couple of merci’s myself whilst asking for a beer (or two) I looked at the Parisian way of life and thought to myself that I could quite happily return to visit yet more of the sites France had to offer and possibly buy a beret next time to compliment my nautical blouse.

As for my exercise this resumed on Tuesday and immediately I’m feeling better. The Nutribullet is being used and my fruit intake has increased since returning.

Eating bread after bread after bread has bloated me senseless. Combine that with copious amounts of brie, steak and potatoes can only lead to one thing… Me feeling rather beige, nice at the time but beige. Throw in some chocolate for good measure and it’s safe to say the diet was rather shit. Since returning I have been doing rather well and hope to keep it that way.

To conclude today’s post. Win by being sensible but ultimately live for the now so you can help assist your future.

There’s no need to look back because you’ve been there, done that, worn the Tshirt and probably watched the DVD a fair few times by now. There’s a sense of beauty when you see someone who’s confident and appreciative of who they are whilst being humble, to see what they stand for without aggression, to delve in to what they’re passionate about and to see them oozing what I would call the acceptance factor that can only derive from experience.

Looking back can be a marvellous thing when thinking about the times that stand out for all the right reasons however kicking yourself for times that aren’t so good cannot be what defines you. If we all looked back where would we be? I have therefore made the conscious decision to not look back. Are you with me?