Every time I sit in front of my computer to write an article about epilepsy, I become bombarded with thoughts and emotions.
How It All Began
I developed epilepsy at the age of five.
At five, I had contracted a sore throat and an ear infection. My mother brought me to the doctor’s that evening and the pediatrician had put me on penicillin and told my mother to have me rest. No one thought much of it at the time.
I rested in bed and I was on the penicillin for about ten days. On the tenth night when she put me to bed, my lips were more red than usual. The next morning at about 8:00 A.M., my mother woke up because she heard unusual noises coming from my room that sounded like I was choking on my saliva. She walked into my bedroom to find me in my bed turning blue and having a grand mal seizure. This was the first time I ever experienced a seizure.
During the seizure, I fell to the floor, my eyes rolled to the left and my whole body began to shake. My teeth began to chatter. I started to foam at the mouth, then I choked on my saliva. My skin color began to turn blue because of the lack of oxygen I was enduring.
My mother ran to the phone to call the ambulance and had me rushed to the hospital. They brought me to the emergency room and hurried me to the isolation ward. The medical doctors had no idea if any type of serious or contagious illness brought on the seizure.
They administered many tests to try to diagnose the cause of the grand mal seizure. The doctors finally concluded that the grand mal seizure came from a virus. This was not an ordinary virus. It was a virus known as encephalitis.
The doctors had told my parents that the bacteria from the ear infection had traveled to my brain and that the virus was still in my brain.
They were told that the viral encephalitis had to leave my brain naturally on its own. I was in an induced coma for four days.
After the 2nd day, my parents were told that if I survive, I would probably have severe brain damage or I could become paralyzed and paraplegic.
My parents were devastated, but they never gave up hope. On the fourth day, while I was in a coma, my father lay by my bedside and began praying to a saint in Greece. As he prayed, he was visualizing the statue in front of his old church.
In Greece, water would roll down this saint’s eyes. As my father raised his head and opened his eyes, he looked directly at me to find a teardrop rolling down my face.
Immediately after I woke up. They tested me right away. I had no brain damage, but the infection had traveled to my brain and caused scar tissue damage, which left me with epilepsy. For years, I endured endless seizures.
Living with Epilepsy
For me, living with epilepsy has definitely been a roller coaster ride with many ups and downs.
In this article, I want to discuss how to cope with your feelings, learning how to deal with the endless emotions you experience living with epilepsy.
When I googled epilepsy on the Internet there were lots of articles on, what epilepsy was, the symptoms of epilepsy, the medications for epilepsy, etc., but there were very few articles about coping with your negative emotions caused by epilepsy.
This topic is so important because when you have epilepsy in order to do well, so you can live a happy, healthy and productive life you need to learn how to cope with your emotions and change your outlook on life.
Epilepsy is a disorder that doesn’t go away. For some people, they become one of the lucky ones who are able to control their seizures, but those individuals still need to take care of themselves and live within their limitations because anything can set a seizure off.
And for the others, who are not controlled they live with the endless emotions of fear, anger, depression, hopelessness, and frustration that circulates from their heart to their mind throughout their soul.
Searching endlessly for answers. Some clueless where to begin and others too embarrassed to speak about their illness because of the way society has stigmatized epilepsy.
Epilepsy is not talked openly in the media like cancer, heart disease, or diabetes. It’s an invisible disorder that’s hidden in the woodworks. And the only way things are going to change is if we come together to make a change.
But before you can help others you need to help yourself.
How to Cope with Your Emotions
Accept Epilepsy into Your Life
To accept epilepsy into your life, you must look at it positively and realize that there is no such thing as a perfect person. There is no need to feel a sense of embarrassment because you have epilepsy.
Each day of our life that we try to master the daily troubles that come our way, and how to overcome the problems that have already occurred in our lives, should be considered a triumph. Ignoring your problems, not dealing with them, is the easy way out, to face them and deal with them are accomplishments.
Accepting our problems and dealing with them helps us grow mentally, physically, and spiritually. When I opened up, telling people about my seizure disorder, I was shocked to find out how many people had epilepsy or knew someone who had the disorder.
Put Your Weaknesses Aside and Focus on Your Strengths
Each individual has his or her own beliefs. I believe that everything happens for a reason. You need to love everything about yourself and realize that everything happens for a reason. We may not understand now, but eventually, our questions will be answered.
This does not necessarily mean that the answers will be laid out on the table for you, but eventually, you will put together the pieces to the puzzle.
Yet as time passes, we can usually see things more clearly and comprehend why everything turned out the way it did. Personally, I feel that God walks with us during these troublesome times, and he gives us the tools we need to get through these times.
As these problems are occurring, we are learning also, so we can help others struggling. It is our decision to choose if we are going to use the tools that have been given to us.
When we go through hard times in life it helps strengthen our inner souls.
Each individual consists of three parts, the mind, body, and spirit. We can do anything we put our minds too. The mind is a powerful and vital part of our body. Many underestimate its capability.
Learn to Love Yourself
Self-love may be the greatest and most important love you will ever experience in your life. Learning to love yourself may seem like a difficult task to achieve. Many people try to show a facade. They go around acting happy like nothing is wrong and life could not be better, but inside hey hurt emotionally. They have emotional chains wrapped around their hearts. Love cannot enter their hearts.
Their hearts are locked so they cannot let the gift of love flow from their hearts into someone else’s heart. They walk around with pain and emotional suffering because they are angry, perhaps because they have epilepsy. They may feel different because others can drive and they cannot. For whatever the reason, they are drowning in hidden pain that no one knows about, but them.
Now you can stop all this. It is time to find the key and unlock the locks wrapped around your heart. It is time to learn to love yourself once again. An important way to love yourself is to take care of yourself emotionally, physically, and spiritually. You need to take time out for yourself. Go out and get a massage, a facial, a pedicure, or something that strikes your interest that you enjoy to do.
You need to go out and have fun. Go out to dinner, go dancing, and go see a movie go to a baseball game, take a walk on the beach. Set aside time and plan a vacation. Go vacation somewhere relaxing and fun.
Do not analyze yourself. Do not criticize yourself. You may get angry and call yourself stupid or say I cannot do anything right. You need to stop those negative thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts. For example, “I made a mistake that is okay no one’s perfect.” We learn from our mistakes.
When you begin to think negatively, immediately stop yourself, and change your thought into a positive one. If you are telling yourself that you are a failure, you are much more likely to fail than if you picture yourself as a success. There is nothing wrong to give yourself a pat on the back. You need to give yourself a little boost to be a winner.
Reward yourself when you do something to better yourself, give yourself something special. Take time to each day to tell yourself, “I accept that I have epilepsy”, “I am no different than anyone else”, “I am beautiful and bright” or “I love my myself,” “I am loving, caring, and worthy of love” or “I believe in myself.” Write these quotes down and put them where you can see them every day
You must realize that what is most important is not what others think about you it is how you feel about yourself. In order to feel good about yourself, you need to accept yourself. You must look at yourself positively and realize that there is no such thing as a perfect person.
What is most important in our life is that we try to master the daily troubles that come our way, and overcome the problems that have already occurred in our lives. Now, this should be considered a triumph. If you are unhappy with yourself then you need to do something about it.
Ignoring your problems and emotions, not dealing with them, is the easy way out, to face them and deal with then are accomplishments. Accepting ourselves helps us grow mentally, physically, and spiritually.
Remember, it is not how we look on the outside that is important. It is how we feel on the inside that matters the most. In this life in order to survive, it is important that we accept ourselves for who we are, feel good about ourselves, and carry an inner strength so we can live a healthy, happy, and productive life.
When we are young, we have people in our lives that help to mold us. They help us develop the strength, wisdom, and knowledge we need to survive in this world. Yet many of us forget what we learned and focus on what is unimportant, such as how we look on the outside.
The results are in the end you are going to end up feeling emotionally drained and unable to live a productive life.
Everyone is on this earth here for a reason. We need to pass on what we have learned along to others.
It is selfish and pure laziness to pity ourselves because you may not have that model figure. You must learn to accept and love yourself. You are not alone; many people feel unhappy with themselves.
Listen to what your heart is telling you. Your heart will never lie to you because it only tells the truth.
You must have the courage to ask your heart why you refuse to love yourself the way you are. Usually, when we are unhappy with ourselves, it is because we are embarrassed about whatever we are trying to hide.
Your body is not something you should be ashamed of having. You need to help yourself by accepting yourself and loving yourself for who you are. This is the first step in order to heal yourself and feel good about you. Ask yourself the question, “What level of self-approval you have I reached on a day-to-day basis?” I have listed seven steps to help you learn to love and accept yourself.
7 Steps to Help You Learn to Love and Accept Yourself
1- Accept yourself for who you are and learn to love yourself for whom you are a person
2- Understand yourself mentally, physically and spiritually
3- Learn to control your mind, body, and emotions
4- Strengthen your inner self and make it apparent to others
5- Begin changing what you do not like about yourself
6- Notice the change in your self-esteem and self-confidence
7- Have a tremendous amount of pride in yourself
People realize that to change and strengthen themselves they must accept themselves and learn how to live with themselves in a productive manner. You need to look at life in a positive way. You need to say to yourself, “OK, I’m not happy with the person, I have become.
I need to change and this is what I am going to do about it.” Stop being lackadaisical. This is the first step to healing and strengthening our souls and self-esteem. Be proud of who you are. Be thankful each morning that you can wake up and feel the warmth of the sun and the beauty that surrounds us all.
Love yourself, be good to yourself, and treat yourself well. The more you love yourself, the more you will be able to give love to others and the more others will want to be around you and give back to you. Loving yourself will help the lives of others around you, as well as your own life.
Remember, everyone in this life has something. No one is perfect. Accept who you are, love yourself, use your strengths to make yourself a better person, and then use those strengths to help others. And the most important focus on the positive things in your life. Negativity will destroy you. Positivity will bring you to new levels in life. A positive journey awaits us all.