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A New Beginning

My temporary home

Happy New Year, Epilepsy Awareness Supporters!

This is going to be the first blog post in a new series on this website. I have been thinking about adding a blog to this site for a long time now — and trust me, I’ve had plenty to write about, but I’ve been putting off when to start.

Every week I would tell myself, next week, something will inspire me to begin. Something will make up my mind as to what to write about. But, after months of deliberation, I  decided to reflect on what was making me put off a project  I was so excited about. Was it the fear of being judged for what I write? Was it a fear of not living up to my own personal expectations? Was it the fear of not being a good epilepsy advocate? I finally concluded that there was a common denominator within all these ideas: fear.

It seems that I was afraid to do this project by myself. When I first started with epilepsystories.com, I was in grade twelve, living at home, with the full and constant support of my family, and was able to learn to become an epilepsy advocate with their loving arms guiding me in the right directions. This time last year, I could move into this project with grace and ease because physically, my family were all there to ease my fears. Now, I am in my second semester of University, living  500 kilometers away from home,  and figuring out how to be an epilepsy advocate away from everything that I’ve known.

Living in Ottawa, there have been many ups and downs with my epilepsy. I have had seizures, plenty of them, in residence. I have had to figure out how to talk to doctors about my epilepsy by myself. I have had to learn how to deal with pharmacies on my own. I have had to learn how to wake up from a seizure and know that even if I can’t be with my mother, she is still there to support me from a distance. Learning all this has made me pick myself up, dust myself off, and walk to lectures in pyjamas like never before. But still, in all that, I was afraid to type this blog post.

Nothing has really changed in the past two months since I finalized this project with Universus Media and Epilepsy Ontario, except that now I finally feel ready. I finally feel like I can start this project with an open mind and an open heart.

So where did this motivation finally come from? I’m not really sure, to be honest. All I know is that I am geared up to share this new journey with you. As usual, my experience with epilepsy has set me on a path to accept fear, process it, and start something new. Because of this, I am now prepared to share the ups and downs of living with epilepsy, on my own, with my own terms.

In keeping with that, I will now tell you where I am starting this new project from. I am currently in my second semester of my first year of studying Cognitive Science at Carleton University. I miss my horse, Echo, terribly, and stare at the pictures of us on my dorm room wall all the time. I have wonderful friends that are putting life into great perspective living all around me, who support my journey with epilepsy. I call my mother on average about five times per week, and our conversations last about an hour each time I call (thank goodness for free long distance minutes).  I have recently taken up beginner MMA to keep my fitness up, as well as boost my confidence, and am loving it. I am dealing with my absence seizures, auras, and the odd complex partial seizure as well as I can, and I am on the whole, feeling pretty good. With this good feeling, I will continue write blog posts about dealing with various parts of the whole epilepsy experience.

I know that this project is not going to be easy, and it may be rocky to start with, but I can make a commitment that I will try my best to be honest, expressive and positive about letting epilepsy into my life.

Until next time,

Lia

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