“Make no apologies for your personality”- Anon.
I’ve chosen this quote for one reason and one reason only. That’s for you to just be yourself.
After looking through various material this morning I stumbled across this quote and you know what I just liked it. There was no hidden agenda I thought yep this’ll go well and decided to write away.
What comes to mind when you think of people, life and just general wellbeing?
There’s the things that niggle us, the things that frustrate us but most importantly it’s the grievance we have within ourselves about what we bestow on ourselves. This can on occasion turn into the whole “Let’s do what everyone else wants us to do” statement.
Let’s all be a sheep and do what everyone else wants to do. Let’s all look the same, act the same, be the same. How bland eh?
For as long as I can remember there has always been THAT person that’ll to put it bluntly “Have their say” it doesn’t make a difference whether it’s positive, negative, constructive whatever the circumstance there will be a person that you will come across in some stage in your life that’ll have that say, whatever they say is final and you’ll never get that apology if they’re in the wrong.
To be honest people like that used to well and truly piss me off to the point where I would think is it any of your business what you think of me? Who are you to point the finger, surely your life isn’t perfect? On the flip side I’d be like Have I done something wrong and how can I make this right?
Recently I’ve been reading various material about not people’s psychological attachment to their lifelong conditions (Epilepsy included) but how their past and present can have an impact on their personality and by extension how they treat others.
There are the fair few that are introverted not saying boo to a goose preferring to keep themselves to themselves. Then you’ve got the extroverts that make damn sure their presence is known in the room and then you’ve got the one’s in between that are happy to mosey on sharing their opinion at the appropriate times.
The big question is what happens when you don’t fall into those three categories? What do you do? What way should you react?
When I was diagnosed with Epilepsy back in the nineties I felt this urge to apologise to people after I’d had a seizure, a shaking episode, a medication lapse you name it. This was my mind wanting to make sure everyone was fine considering I’d just put them through this situation.
Feeling fragile and a tad deflated I would get angry at the people that would repeatedly have their say without any care, would be wondering why the introverted people preferred not to share their opinion and so desperately wanted to be the person in the middle that contributed by being open however knew when to hold back whilst not giving a toss about what people thought of them.
The biggest hurdle I came across was when I was fourteen sitting in an Epilepsy support group at my nearby doctors clinic discussing various types of seizures and thought patterns each patient would come across. These sessions would usually last about eight weeks. On hand would be a councillor, a neurologist and a nurse.
Along with their thoughts would be the opinions of others (mainly family and friends) that chose to come along to the sessions to offer their support.
Taking my mind back thirteen years the first image that comes to mind is this same woman usually dressed in black with a mouth on her like a Rottweiler chuntering on about the same old bollocks and passing it off as support for her niece.
Within the group this young lady (same age as me that suffered from absent seizures since birth) was explaining to the group what her Epilepsy diary entailed, the amount of seizures she had and the worry she was enduring every time a seizure arose.
Engrossed in her journey I would sit there listening before asking about how she coped and how she found that inner strength to remain happy even though she was having an average of six seizures a week. We bonded immediately, became friends and started chatting about clothes, music and just the usual things teenage girls chat about.
Within five minutes of my friend opening her mouth her Auntie would belittle her because her personality supposedly shone above that of her niece. She had to be right, end of. It was her way or the highway.
She knew what was best for her niece and she’d be damned if anyone got in her way. Nothing her niece would describe was good enough and to be frank I could feel myself getting more and more agitated watching her try to overcome her Auntie’s criticism.
What I fancied like shouting (amongst other things) was “Who the hell do you think you are, let your niece talk, how the hell do you know what she’s going through you ignorant bitch! If you loved your niece you’d just shut up” Immediately I felt bad for allowing myself to feel so negatively towards someone I didn’t know on a personal level however I couldn’t help it. I was protective.
As the weeks progressed and the sessions became less frequent I could see my friend becoming more and more resentful towards her Auntie before one day on our penultimate session my friend snapped walked out the room, gave her auntie what for and actually had a voice.
Before long I along with others in the session stood up and started clapping because finally our friend had realised enough was enough and that she no longer had to apologise for being a certain way. Ignorance was shown the door and I was overjoyed.
Due to her Auntie constantly pressuring her to be something she wasn’t she decided that she was no longer going to apologise for her personality. She’d broken free from what others expected her to be and decided that she was going to dig deep and let her personality shine for a change.
As we approach Epilepsy awareness month I tend to take a little step back and digest how grand a scale awareness should be before I start writing. Epilepsy awareness month isn’t just about educating others. It’s about educating yourself.
It’s about seeing how important it is to write your blog posts, retweet a message you’ve seen about awareness or just to have a chat with someone about Epilepsy as a whole.
Whether you suffer from Epilepsy or not you’re bound to come across people in life that’ll never fully understand your personality and why should they? You’re allowed to be unique.
As long as you’re not breaking and repeatedly acting like an arsehole then you’re allowed to have your say on the basis you take on board the criticism you dish to others you’re prepared to get back in return.
It takes a lot to apologise. It also takes a lot to accept an apology but what is certain is that you can rise above and be who you want to be.
As for the rest of the week..
Work, Work and more work. Exercise is going rather well and as for the food if I eat any more vegetables I will burst! Chocolate wise that’s still a part of my life however as I’ve now reduced the coffee intake then I can stop relying on caffeine to live life and to focus on happiness instead.
To conclude today’s post.
Don’t apologise for being yourself. Apologise when you know you’ve done something wrong but don’t lose that fight inside of you. That doesn’t achieve anything.