Life with a diagnosis can change many things. It can change your entire life. For better or challenge you for a time.
When I became diagnosed with epilepsy at age twenty-two, just four months after marrying the love of my life, I progressively began to lose aspects of my independence that most may take for granted. The simplest of desires within life.
What Were Some Aspects Lost:
- I could no longer safely operate a motor vehicle
- Try as I might, I could no longer hold a job
- I could no longer walk alone without the thought/fear “Would a seizure strike?”
- I could no longer swim or do physical activities on my own
- I could no longer stay home alone without family fearing for my safety
In the beginning of my diagnosis, this frustrated me. Down right made me angry. Especially at epilepsy. The only word I could see before my eyes was a gigantic mountain-sized word, CAN’T and I didn’t feel the motivation to start climbing over.
I am so thankful to my Lord and Savior every single day for my loving and devoted spouse who has been with me from the very beginning of this journey and my family who has stood by me through the avalanche. For reaching out and being the light I needed when my spark went out. Encouraging me, motivating me, inspiring me as I took those first steps filled to the brim with positivity and optimism, determined to climb that mountain and replace that CAN’T with CAN.
It took a bit of time, but I have reached the top of that mountain standing before me. CAN taking over.
I have turned the page and reached a new chapter in my life in which, I understand that yes, life may never be the same again, life may return to the way it used to be, I just don’t know, but until then I will not allow myself not to live life to the fullest.
If you must rely on others to accomplish a goal, get to where you need to go, do something fun, it’s okay! It’s okay to do all of these things with others. Your special someone. A family member. A friend. And don’t believe for one moment that you’re a burden on anyone in asking for help. Asking for help and sponging off someone are two different worlds.
There are a plethora of things that I can do independently. What I am not able to do right now has been a time of humbling and relationship strengthening. Family bonds have grown incredibly stronger than they’ve ever been as long as I’ve lived. I’ve learned to come out of my shell more, grow stronger emotionally and spiritually, and in accomplishing a goal, getting where I need to go, doing something fun with my spouse or family member is truly heartwarming.
Yes, it’s awful that epilepsy puts certain aspects of independence on pause. However, it’s up to us if we want to climb that mountain and claim the word CAN.
I can. How about you?