Support and the silent someone.

“When someone is going through a storm your silent presence is more powerful than a million empty words”- Thelma Davis.

Support. Something that speaks volumes and shouldn’t cost a penny.

Whether you be silent or outspoken having the right support network can be vital. It can give you that sense of certainty at a time when you feel that nothing makes sense. That presence gives you the feeling of hope.

I’ve chosen tonight’s quote because there comes in everyone’s life that time where help is required. Although you’re sitting there thinking you don’t want to impose on others sometimes you have to be guided slightly in order to find the right direction for you.

For as long as I’ve written Sazzle’s blog I’ve mentioned on many occasion how support can tend to go un-noticed. It can also be something that’s taken for granted.

Support doesn’t have to be speaking the loudest or making your feelings known. Something as simple as just a hug, a nod of the head or a hold of your hand after an episode is sufficient.

Whether you suffer from Epilepsy or not there is always that one person that makes you feel happy inside, that makes you feel appreciated and looks at you for more than just the condition you have or the flaws you see in oneself. They complete you. Simple as. Have a think… Who’s your person?

It doesn’t have to be someone you’re in a relationship with or you have to associate yourself with they choose to be there because of who you are nothing more.

Like the millions of individuals that have been diagnosed with Epilepsy there are moments throughout your journey where life tends to get a tad too much and things can get a little overwhelming.

There’s that element of the seizures never feeling like they’re going away in a hurry, the shakes making an appearance at the happiest of times and that feeling of just not being yourself can be a difficult prospect and one that can take years to accept.

Not portraying myself as the person that requires sympathy I sit here giving you an insight as to how my Epilepsy has effected me over the past 21 years and how although seizure free now for just over five and a half years there’s still that sense of wonder.

Wondering whether the grand mal seizures will return, whether my shaking episodes will eventually turn into the seizure I’ve so desperately wanted to remain dormant or the questioning whether my former self will return. All are insecurities that I’m managing to slowly break away from. Without that support network around me none of that would have been possible.

My shakes are still with me challenging me regularly however there has to be light at the end of the tunnel and that’s a fight I refuse to lose.

As a youngster I was a person that so desperately wanted to be independent. My grandmother had a nightclub in the sixties and the stories I used to hear were magnificent. I longed to be like my gran.

The woman with the voice, the one that oozed elegance and that had made a name for herself for all the right reasons. That woman to this day is one of my inspirations. Although extremely persistent when it comes to something she’s passionate about still has that class at 84 years of age and who has supported me throughout albeit not necessarily seeing eye to eye on occasions.

Although I was very fond of my family and valued their opinion there was sense of me wanting to portray to the world what I was made of and I’d be damned if my condition got in the way.

Falling more times than I actually won the knowing that I’d given it a go is something my parents instilled into me that gave me the incentive to want to know more about my condition and to eventually put it into words for you all to read. Fair enough I don’t have all the medical jargon however I can speak from experience.

Support is a funny old thing and in today’s society can come across in quite a negative manner.

I usually find support can come into three categories. There’s the people who support you that expect something in return. There’s the one’s that allow themselves to be walked all over and then there’s the people in between the ones that offer the advice, never expect anything and who when all’s said and done just want you to be happy.

Whatever the person that’s not for me to judge however what is apparent is that support when you’re low can raise one’s spirits and can make you feel good inside.

I think we have all had those moments where you know family will repeatedly be there to lend a hand if you need it, that they’re a quick phone call away or a drive in the car for them to cuddle you when you get to your destination however what I’ve noticed within myself that there have been times where I haven’t thanked my parents enough for their support.

Many may read this and think that there’s no need for me to address my parents and show my appreciation because I’m their daughter however it takes nothing to say two words.

Two words that many can’t even say when they hold a door open for someone or offer their seat on a bus. Those words are.. Thank you.

It takes nothing to say other words such as I love you, thanks for being there, thanks for coming or thanks for cheering me up. It’s those simple words that have the most meaning.

A couple of questions for you.

When it comes to your support network have you ever thought to yourself that they too need support and that due to them being strong for us occasionally need help to prop them up at times? It’s just a thought.

I never thought like that until a few years ago when I saw my parents getting upset over a cluster of shaking episodes I had and them being powerless to stop them. Listening to their perspective made me open my eyes.

As much as we’d like to be a superhero where nothing phases us and we can miraculously change the wrongs within our lives and the lives of others unfortunately there has to come a time where we have to acknowledge who we are, acknowledge the condition we have and be there for the people that take the time to be there for us.

As for the remainder of my time away…

Exercise is kicking on strong. I haven’t exercised as regular (thanks to the shakes) however when I have I’ve given it my all.

Food wise the odd rather large portion of steak pie and potatoes have been one of a few meals I’ve had that’s made me feel a tad bloated and sleepy however if I stick to one not so healthy meal a week then that’s good enough for me. Let’s prepare in advance and crack on with my fruit and veg! Nutriblasts all the way!

As for Benny he hasn’t made any further jaunts on vehicles around the country however is eating like a rather small horse and is costing me a small fortune. Mice are the top of his agenda at the moment and trying to chase a mouse around my kitchen is one sure way of keeping me fit even though I’m mortified it’s dirtying my new (ish) kitchen!

To conclude today’s post…

Support should never go unnoticed. Everyone has battles in their lives, everyone in their lifetime needs that sense of encouragement at some stage and everyone is loved by someone.

Never underestimate the power of you and the people around you. They’re the ones we should be thanking as they are the ones that keep us strong.

I’ve dedicated this post to you all as I know it’s been a while since I’ve written. Love to all my supporters of Sazzle’s blog, my followers, the Epilepsy community but most importantly my husband, family and friends that same support network that show me I’m loved and that give me the incentive to be Saz, no-one else.

Problems… Get them out.

“Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction. Break the habit and talk about your joys” Anon.

Haven’t we all fell into this category? Chatting to anyone and everyone about our problems striving for the solution to be right under our noses.

I know I have on many occasion whether it be about trivial things in life, about general things that quite literally get on my wick but most importantly my Epilepsy is usually the topic of conversation. The Epilepsy aspect of it is a serious subject.

As I sit here with a glass of wine to the side of me I think about times in life where I have got into the habit of saying the same random thing knowing the solution but not actually putting it into practice.

Lately the shakes have dominated every situation. Although they have filtered a little they have got on my nerves. Without whinging saying how bad life is I’ve chosen to actually embrace the way I feel and to think to myself that life could be far worse.

Throughout my life I have wondered why I cannot relax. Again this is another habit that for whatever reason I cannot break. I’ve been like this for as long as I can remember.

A little like OCD I can tell others whether it be the people closest to me or the people following my blog online that relaxation along with acceptance is the best policy however the biggest question is why can’t I follow my own advice?

Why can’t I relax and just chill out like everyone else can? Let’s put it this way I haven’t got the foggiest.

Over the years this has been one of the topics of my conversation. Whether it be a councillors opinion or someone closest to me although the opinions are given I have wondered why can’t I relax. A perfect example is me sitting watching TV. Before long I’m up tidying up, sorting out finances before cleaning benches and sorting my wardrobe. I mean come on! What’s that all about?

I have no explanation but I cannot stop myself from doing it. WTF?

Is it my epilepsy meds that’s causing the problem or is it the fact that there’s something else bothering me? Is it me trying to break my thought pattern about my shakes hence doing all these additional chores?

Everyone in their lifetime suffers from the general stresses and strains of life however I literally cannot relax. Yes I can go to bed for a nana nap of an afternoon and I can watch the occasional episode of Sex and the City whilst eating nutella with a spoon however when it comes to total relaxation I simply can’t do it. I can try but for some strange reason it’s taking a lot longer than expected to break this habit.

I think there’s only one reason and I don’t know whether you will all agree with me. During my Epilepsy journey I’ve had no warning when it comes to the seizures or the shakes therefore I have attempted to overcompensate my daily regime incase the inevitable happens and I’m stuck shaking and feeling lifeless for the remainder of the day.

Instead of realising that the routine I’ve documented for myself can wait until tomorrow there’s this overwhelming sense of achieving my goals within that specific day. Instead of releasing this concern to the people closest to me I choose to bottle this up and not release what I should be releasing.

As the quote I’ve chosen today mentions surely I should be evaluating my joys and embracing the things that make me happy instead of getting myself frustrated about these things.

This is the thing with people we all have our own lives to lead however what I am finding particually in today’s society is that we care too much about what people think hence not releasing those problems. You suffer from Epilepsy and there’s nothing the matter with that.

You have a condition and it effects over 65 million people in the world today. It’s not something to be afraid of it’s something that in time you will accept and embrace. Many may question whether this is possible however I know it’s possible as thanks to the support from the people around me along with you all have given me the incentive to accept myself for me and to show the world what Saz is made of.

Instead of sitting in a corner worrying about everything and nothing I’ve chosen to write how I feel and to realise that we all suffer from problems. That’s perfectly normal and saying how you feel should be rewarded instead of shunned away. You have a voice therefore use it.

Epilepsy can be a drag it really can however instead of sitting wondering what’s in store why can’t we just be ourselves? This is something that like my relaxation habit can take a while to break.

It’s only now 21 years on that I’m coming to terms with the fact that Epilepsy is a part of my life however it isn’t everything that my life consists of. It contributes towards my welfare however shouldn’t dominate my personality and to be honest if you can it shouldn’t effect yours either.

As for the remainder of my time away from you all…

Exercise. It’s been on the back burner to be honest. Today I resumed my exercise and have continued with the healthy eating regime I’ve set for myself. A mini roll glared at me this morning and I was rather proud as I glared at it back and left it in the biscuit tin. One to Saz.

With regards to the family all’s well. Everything’s been chipper and apart from my headaches the spirits are up and I’m plodding on as normal laughing and cracking on.

To conclude today’s post.

We all have our moments however there’s times where problems need to be shared with others. Whether they be Epilepsy related or not there comes a time where you need that additional support and that’s fine.

There’s many people I’ve crossed within my lifetime that have said it’s better to cope with a problem alone because by burdening others it doesn’t achieve anything.

Wrong. My answer to that is that everyone needs help and by closeting a problem doesn’t achieve anything in fact it makes you worse. Embrace what you have, the qualities you have and the joy you share with the one’s that appreciate you for you.

Life is to be lived, to be treasured.

Thank your past for all it’s lessons and try to move on. What’s stopping you?

The joys of laughter and looking up.

“Laughter is the brush that sweeps away the cobwebs of your heart”- Mort Walker.

Bloody hell how long has it been since I’ve been on here?

I think my laptop is officially giving me a grilling because I haven’t blogged for so long however better late than never I suppose.

First and foremost where on earth do I start?

As Julie Andrews said in the Sound of Music let’s start from the very beginning a very good place to start.

Actually I’m not going to break into song like the Von Trapp family singers however what I will do is cut to the chase and explain why I’ve chosen this evening’s quote.

Well..

This evening’s quote has been chosen for a variety of reasons however the one that tends to stick out the most is that laughter is one of the things that makes the world go round. Preferably when you ask anyone that question they usually say money.

Yes money can bring you happiness however laughter is usually the one word that can make a day, can enhance your mood but better still can shift you off the sofa and make you move your arse like never before.

When I think of laughter I think of happiness, humour but usually the one thing that really makes me laugh hysterically is when someone farts in the corner. People may say that’s ever so uncouth but I’m a northerner and a significant amount of simple things make me laugh. I cannot help myself. That’s just who I am.

People may question what on earth farting has to do with Epilepsy awareness however I thought I’d slot that one in because it’s about laughter isn’t it? Never mind.

Another reason why I’ve chosen to incorporate this quote into tonight’s post is because lately I’ve been on a right downer.

My mood hasn’t been the usual bubbly cheeky sort of Saz you all know but a one where my shakes have dominated the situation, my mind has been over analysing and in true Saz fashion the insecurities have dawned their stubborn streak and made me doubt where life is going for me.

It’s safe to say the shakes have tested my patience and made me feel insecure as to whether a seizure is standing there with it’s balaclava around the corner ready to jump out at me at any given time.

Medication wise I’ve been extremely tired and as for my demeanour well it’s a cross between being a worrier and being lazy. I can see this and quite literally isn’t my cup of tea.

Over the course of the past few months life has somewhat got in the way and happiness has taken a back seat.

Today whilst browsing through my phone I started to think about the words you guys have given me in the past, the advice from friends, family and everyone in between that at present have felt like they’ve been my lifeline spurring me on and giving me support. It’s the knowing that whatever happens there’s never a problem that cannot be solved.

Before long I started thinking about life as a whole and what obstacles we must face during our lives to fathom out who we are and what makes us happy.

Immediately the question of “How can my epilepsy make me happy” can jump into the equation however if Epilepsy is a part of you why should you stop being you because you have it?

Instead of feeling like a whirlwind has quite literally taken over your entire thought pattern why don’t we just laugh? Why don’t we look and gain experience from our episodes but while we’re well why not laugh?

Why won’t we just think of that moment in our lifetime where we have been in absolute hysterics and have that chuckle to ourselves to lighten the mood?

Surely being serious 24/7 isn’t going to accomplish anything (trust me I’ve been there) and by laughing isn’t this not the catalyst to seeing what sort of individual you are full of vitality, pizazz and strength.

Isn’t it about realising that we have to take the rough with the smooth and just be who we want to be?

Lately my strength has been tested in more ways than one. Things haven’t quite felt right because of my emotional connection with the shaking episodes and merge this with our general routine, elements of stress that comes into our lives and you’re bound to feel a tad deflated.

When I was diagnosed with Epilepsy I didn’t know how to react, who to tell, who I felt I could open up to and whether I could ever look at myself as normal. It’s safe to say my heart back then felt a little uncertain as to what was round the corner and the cobwebs would start to show because of my naivety when discussing a subject that I didn’t quite understand until I got older.

It’s only now I see that everyone has their own lives to lead and unfortunately they won’t always mirror with your own.

Whether it was discussing my Epilepsy or anything else causing distress laughter was the one thing that could bring me up from a rough episode and seeing people around me in support groups sharing the same condition but with that element of positivity made me see that life isn’t all that bad. It can only feel that way when negativity sinks in and life becomes a tad mundane.

Whilst thinking today I decided that in order to break free from my current thought pattern that I would need to take responsibility for my current actions, to accept that life can be difficult and that this is normal.

Instead of feeling pitiful and all woe to me I would decide to get up and to stop feeling sorry for myself. I would look at who I was and not what other people wanted me to be or what others perceived I should be.

I therefore decided to get my trainers on, exercise, make inroads into starting to eat healthier again, exfoliate like there’s no tomorrow and don my favourite vintage blazer and prove to myself that I won’t let this way of feeling affect me any longer. And you know what after I’d achieved all those mini victories I felt bloody marvellous.

Even if it was for only a couple of hours that in itself was my interpretation of actions speaking louder than words and knowing that whatever happens I’ll be ok and If I’m ok then I know you will be too.

As for the remainder of the week..

Well I’ve pretty much described it in a nutshell.

It’s been rather pants to say the least however I’m learning to realise that I’m stronger than I think and that whatever the outcome be with my shakes that there’s always someone in life going through something far worse therefore I ought to count my blessings and start to accept myself for who I am.

I’m off work for the remainder of the week therefore I’ve got just under a week to keep this momentum going and to make myself feel that bit happier. Hell I may even have to watch some of the old television classics to keep me laughing all day!

Exercise wise the intention is to start as I mean to go on particularly with Shaun T telling me to do the usual up centre back centre exercise regime. The same rules apply with the food. Goodbye chips, hello broccoli.

To conclude today’s post.

I’ll leave you with another quote that I think adds to the theme of tonight’s post and that is..

“Hope.. Sometimes that’s all you have when you have nothing else. If you have it you have everything”

Therefore merge the two quotes about hope and laughter. Isn’t that all we ever need? I’ll leave you to answer that yourself.