You are stronger than you think
In this post I will be discussing, my update in what is happening in my life and how it is affecting my health and when your body needs time to rest and zone out. And trying to balance life with this all going on, with tips and advice.
So, as you can tell I haven’t posted in a while, that is due to starting a new university, new flat mates, and living in a completely new environment. For anyone it is scary starting anything new, but for someone with a chronic illness and anxiety it is increased a level or two. Its that fear of will my new friends understand my condition, as I’ve experienced in the past people who are mean and don’t want to continue a friendship as they struggle to understand the condition and how it affects a friendship. So combine all of this mentally and physically it has been exhausting. Thankfully the people my new close university friends have been very understanding and respectful towards me needing rest and managing my health, in which i am very grateful for.
However, due to the intensity of the work load, and everything combined with the past few months my body has gone into all I want to do is sleep, curl up into a ball, and the cherry on the top is currently a combination of a cold and food poisoning from chicken…happens to every student, right!? But when you live with a chronic illness life is about balance I spend every day making sure I take my tablets on time, eat on time to keep my blood sugar levels up, balance my hours and work at university, still making sure i socialises, and get a good night sleep.
When something irrupts this as simple as exhaustion, a cold and food poisoning, it affects me a lot more than an average person, suddenly that control and balance I have gets shaken. For example I couldn't keep my tablets down due to food poisoning yesterday, and it is terrifying that, what is controlling your seizures, and making you function on a day to day is not going into your body. But thankfully after a lot of trying it was okay the end. Also, I’ve hardly wanted to eat for the past 48 hours so i’ve been living off toast, rice and dry cereal, which to anyone else wouldn't really matter but then your brain automatically goes into panic off well my blood sugar levels are going to be so low, its like waiting for a seizure to happen. The only way I can explain to someone who doesn't have a chronic illness is my body is fighting a battle every day, so when something else, even something small is thrown into that it is mentally and physically exhausting.
I am also one of those people who hates letting people down, I get very anxious and worried that the person is going to hate me and not want to talk to me. So letting friends, my boyfriend, family or even my teachers at uni down, I find that a huge challenge. For example this weekend I was meant to go visit my boyfriend but I felt too ill and exhausted from food poisoning to do so, this was hard for me to accept and frustrating. But you then realise it isn't your fault, and if that person truly loves you and understands all they want is for you to be okay. And I am so, so grateful to have people now in my life like this now. I had little friends in my early teens and have lost many to them not understanding my condition, so it makes you appreciate even more those people in your life presently.
However over the years I have learnt I have to accept that it is not me doing this it is my body, and my body needs the rest to get better. And the people who love me, and care for me will understand and I am hugely grateful for the people who surround and support me. So my advice for when you have to cancel last minute or plans going all over the place due to feeling ill, a seizure, a panic attack or feeling low, stop think my body needs this rest, I’m fighting here it deserves this break, its screaming for a break and allow it to do so. Also its important to mentally have a break so you can stay calm and relax, and zone out of that mental battle. And believe me your loved ones just want to be there for you and to help you through it, wether a big or small situation.
Overall, what I am communicating to the epilepsy warriors and to people who know someone with epilepsy. You are fighting a battle every day of your life you deserve to zone out, relax and let your body have the rest that it needs. If this means postponing a lunch with a friend, educational work, an event. You can catch up with that work when you’re better. And you’re going to do a much better job at it when you’re re-charged. You have to try and teach your mind that is is okay to rest and it will be okay in the end. I heard a simple but such a good quote the other day which was 'it will pass'. This fear you're letting people down, or having a bad day, or a bad seizure or anxiety, it will always pass. Hope and strength gets you through it. And it is always so important to step back look at the positives around you and realise how grateful you are for people, and certain things in your life. And never forget how far you have come, and give yourself a hug pat on the back or if a loved one has epilepsy give them a big hug, and make them aware of how amazingly strong they are.
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