When I began this journey back in 2008, I felt completely alone. I felt stranded though I had family and friends. Abandoned though I had their support. I had never known any other person with Epilepsy and inside felt that no matter how much support that I could receive from friends and family, none of them could truly understand how I felt having this neurological seizure condition. I knew that from the bottom of their hearts they cared immensely how I felt and for what I was having to go through. However, they could never slip into my shoes and have a firm grasp on the entirety of the struggles that I faced and would continue to face for the rest of my life. I would like to think of my friends and family as my cheering squad standing on the sidelines encouraging me to stay strong, to never give up, never give in and keep my eyes on the sunshine and not on the storm clouds. I and I alone found myself to be on a journey from the moment I was diagnosed. A journey of learning about this condition, understanding who I was before the condition and who I now wanted to strive to be now that I have this condition and just how many others were out there who felt the way I felt. Thought the way I thought. Wanted what I wanted. Answers, understanding, peace of mind and most importantly a CURE. So I packed my spiritual and emotional backpack and set off on my way on the journey of Epilepsy. Not knowing what I was doing, where I was going, what to expect (or whom to expect even) or what would come of it all in the end. Most of you are familiar with The Epilepsy Network (TEN) that I created not long after my diagnosis. I am blessed to say that this network has grown exceedingly beyond my expectations hopes and dreams. I thank you all for your support each and every day as I strive to do all in my power in the name of Epilepsy Awareness. Having created this network, taking this journey, I soon began to discover more and more people on the same exact path that I trekked. Men women and children from around the world of all ages. Young and old. From infants to toddlers to teenagers to twenty somethings to adults and even the elderly. We, all meeting upon the very same path yet coming from all different avenues. Different reasons for being diagnosed. Different opinions of how we felt about being diagnosed. Different severity levels of our exact same diagnosis. I had begun knowing no one else with Epilepsy to discovering that over 65 million people around the world had the exact same condition as me. I would get quite exhausted counting 65 million of something! That is more people than I had ever imagined. Suddenly, I no longer felt so alone any more. What’s more interesting is along side those I’d begun to discover on this very same path were family and friends along for the journey as well. Mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives and best friends. It caused me to rethink on my family and friends and count my blessings. They may not know what I go through and may never have to. However, they say they would take my place without hesitation. They stay by my side when a seizure strikes. They pray over me before during and after and render no judgement upon me ever. Thank God for family and friends.
” The family is one of nature’s masterpieces” -George Santayana
As I continued to make my way along the Epilepsy journey, quite a few of my friends in the flesh began to fade away. Disappear like a mist. I wasn’t blind to the reasons why. Once becoming diagnosed I had a decision to make. Change for the better or don’t change a thing. I decided from that moment on, to eliminate anything in my life that was negative, hurtful or unhealthy. Not only was it a choice that I made willfully but a choice that I had to make if I wanted to try and get any better. Of course it hurt very much noticing that these friends were making their way to the exit door when I began to turn my life around. I became uninteresting and most certainly a hazard to be around. I no longer drank alcohol, I no longer smoked cigarettes. I could no longer stay awake late nights and had to be cautious with just about everything that I did. Simply put, I decided to be more responsible with my health and well-being. No, I never blamed myself for their exit from my life. I knew immediately that true friends don’t run the other way when times get hard or when someone decides to better themselves.
“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.” ― Elbert Hubbard
I certainly knew that God had my best interest in mind and he soon enough showed me that better friends were yet to come. Over time, I’ve made more friends along the way than I ever did in my entire lifetime. Friends from across the country and around the world. I’ve some of the best friends I’ve ever known who know exactly what I’m going through because they are going through it too! I’ve yet to meet most of them of course haha and that will be a great blessing indeed! Each and every friend I’ve made I consider to be extended family and most of you special blessings know who you are! I’ve not only built friendships along the way on this Epilepsy journey. I’ve learned so much about, well, so much! I’ve learned just how valuable and precious life is. I’ve learned how crucial and special friendships and family are. I’ve learned what a friendship is and most certainly is not and it has molded me into wanting to be the best friend that I can be to anyone and everyone. I’ve learned great lessons about responsibility and priority in which none of us should take lightly and should take the time to straighten out. I’ve learned that when storms arise in our lives that it won’t result in a flood and destroy us completely. Rather we should take shelter, ride out the storm, pick up the pieces when the storm has settled, become stronger and rise above the ashes. I was once meek and timid and I’ve learned to become vocal and strong. I was once quick to throw in the towel and I’ve learned to pick up the towel, dab my brow and keep on going no matter what. They journey began as a bumpy ride, smoothed out and I continually find myself discovering blessings along the way. Blessings in lessons and in the people I encounter. I pray this very same journey for you all along the way.
“Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.” —- Confucius
I am a happily-ever-after wife, an Epilepsy Diagnosee, Advocate for Epilepsy Awareness (The Epilepsy Network), life lover & Christ inspired! Life is a journey and I'm loving every moment of it. Even the bumps in the road!