“Sometimes the bad things that happen in our lives put us directly on the path to the best things that will ever happen to us.” – Unknown
Diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 22, a newlywed married only 4 months, my husband and I’s birthday and Christmas, were a stones throw away from the very moment of hearing those words “You have epilepsy.” tumble out of the neurologists mouth as I had sat rigid as a pillar in my seat waiting for the news in 2008. At that time, I thought my life was completely over. (Read “In The Beginning”) Life decided it was time to alter the course of direction, immediately following my epilepsy diagnosis. Soon after, we lost our first home we had hoped to expand our live together in. Dreams of flower gardens and children would just not come to pass within this home. My thoughts became flooded with doubt and consumed by the many things I had lost on a personal level and the many things we had lost as a married couple. It was a dark and depressing rainy road of travel in the very beginning. Not knowing anything of what was happening within my brain and not knowing what lie ahead.
We had lost virtually everything just as our lives together were beginning to start. Thankfully, we had not lost all. The greatest of family and friends rallied around and stood alongside us in our time of need. My loving husband took a match to the embers of my dim lit soul and ignited my will to stand up once again.
“When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person that walked in. That’s what the storm is all about.” — Haruki Murakami
In regarding the abundance of love and support from friends and family as I made my way to my feet emotionally and spiritually, as both Chris and I made our way to our feet once again, I felt the love of God wash over me like that of a cool spring rain assuring me that everything would be okay. Without question, I bee-lined straight for a relationship with The Lord in every way, shape and form. Placing all of my faith and trust in Him.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” — Proverbs 3:5-6
In strengthening my relationship with my Lord and savior, I began to take notice a strengthening within the relationship amongst family too! We began to grow closer than we had ever been before. My heart swelled with so much joy at this.
Learning all I could about the condition that I now lived with became of much interest to me in the early stride of my journey. So much so that, I wanted to help others who lived with the very same condition as I. And so the seed for advocating had been planted and the love for it continues to shine through each and every day with every breath I take.
As time progressed and I exchanged a bad habit for a good habit, or a not so positive outlook for a positive outlook, all in an effort to aid my situation with epilepsy and to better my life as a whole, my thought process began to shift in a very unique way.
I began to look at my epilepsy condition with a whole new set of eyes. No, epilepsy is not by any means easy to live with. Epilepsy is challenging and frustrating at times. Epilepsy causes you to forfeit some things you wish you didn’t have to and modify your lifestyle in some aspects. I could continue on with many things epilepsy takes away and robs us of. However, in looking at my condition and what epilepsy has given me oddly enough, I found myself somewhat thankful to be humbled by it.
The Gifts Epilepsy Has Given Me
- Always find the beauty in everything
- The importance of always saying “I love you.”
- Taking special notice of the little things
- Taking care of your body/health
- Listen more/talk less
- Spend time with family & friends
- If you don’t already know God, build a relationship with God. Don’t waste another moment
- Laugh. Have fun. Enjoy life. Every single second of it.
- Live selflessly.
- In all you do, give your all.
After my epilepsy diagnosis, I took a good long look at my life and the direction in which I was headed. I found that there were some aspects that needed to be laid down for my journey ahead. This journey for me, would be a journey of absolute pure strength and positivity alone. It’s astounding, how you can find a silver lining even in the dark storm cloud along your journey. How blessed I feel along this journey, as the storm clouds have since sailed away behind me, to have such phenomenal support from family and friends. Blessed that God has given me the eyes to see the way forward in such a way that I have. It is my hope and prayer for everyone on their very same journey.
Have you discovered silver linings within your epilepsy diagnosis? If so, what silver linings have you taken notice of?