“Do what is right, not what is easy”- Anon.
Today’s blog post is a one of reflection. A one of choice and a one of chance.
The quote above symbolises to me the changes we all make during our lifetime to be better people, more successful in our quest to have a happier life and the knowing that you’re doing your utmost to do things in an orderly yet positive fashion.
Yesterday I was to have my first shaking episode on record for over a month. Highlighting immediately on my symptoms I returned home to shake for over an hour and then sleep thereafter.
Instead of feeling sorry for myself questioning the why’s and what for’s of this epileptic episode I decided there was no questions to ask as they’d already been raised time and time again. To be honest there were no answers because my shakes have been in my life for what feels like a lifetime. In fact the shakes themselves are approaching their tenth birthday.
Over the years I’ve gone to the far ends of a fart wondering how I can cope and why for a significant amount of time I chose to ignore the tell tale signs that were preventing me from moving forward.
I lived in denial and instead of addressing issues about my Epilepsy I chose to question everything in my life that didn’t pose any relevance and would result in years of endless worry. Saying that out loud seems silly but it’s true.
To feel normal was the prominent issue, the losing everything around me came a close second and the endless concern that a seizure was round the corner wasn’t far behind that.
As I write tonight’s post I sit here with care for the ones I love, the family I adore, the friends I hold dear, the variety of emotions I’ve had for the condition that I have had in my life for over 20 years and the awareness that each and every one of us can bring on a condition that effects so many.
The one thing that we have in life is chance and unfortunately taking chances on people or situations that don’t deserve that chance is something that I have had to let go of.
Today after a lengthy session at the hair salon I had some time to kill and before I knew it I was walking along the beach near to where I live looking out into the North Sea just like I did as a child wondering what life had round the corner and whether I would grow out of my Epilepsy once and for all.
I had the odd moment where I would visit the sea front alone jumping on a bus and waiting to get there so I could get away from things and maybe play on the odd arcade game while I was there!
Memories were created with relatives along that sea front with my shoops (granddad) in particular. You may have read about my Shoops in previous posts. For those who haven’t he was a gentleman with a heart of gold and a man I idolised. In February gone it would have been his 87th birthday.
Within moments of walking down past the local seaside café my mind went into overdrive. A smile on my face, the odd whinge because it was bitter, photos taken and views shared with my closest friends online I started to wonder and the memories came flooding back as though I was a young child enjoying her first experiences at the beach.
Nothing was left to chance. There wasn’t this central worry about Epilepsy all I could think about was childhood humour and enjoyable times.
As I walked alone I closed my eyes for all of a few moments and I realised that life had and still has so much to offer.
There I was toddling down onto the warm sand bucket and spade in my hands with my three quarter shorts on and my shoop’s bright blue capri trousers reflecting off the sun are the things I remember most.
The endless conversations, the sandcastle making, the photo taking, the sand changing colour as our feet touched the surface beneath us and the laughter at the seagulls pinching my chip shop chips whilst we were applying SPF are memories that no one can remove from your life. The simple things, the moments that make you feel happy inside.
The grabbing the odd bargain when getting an ice=cream and hoping that the flake didn’t come out of my 99 cornet (for those that don’t know a 99 is a cone with a scoop of ice-cream and a flake applied) resulting in me bursting into tears because all I wanted to do was eat the chocolate are moments that I will always treasure.
As I walked along the same route that my shoops and I walked before his death over ten years ago I started to remember how far we have all come as individuals, how mistakes are made, how people change and how what was deemed as a priority all those moons ago have evolved into something else.
As I watched it become high tide and as I witnessed the sea crashing up against the barriers a wave of emotion swept over me. I looked out to the sea, stood alone and had a conversation with the man who made me laugh in those capri trousers.
As I stood there I knew that I could do one of two things I could either cry or I could continue chatting.
My shoops wasn’t there through my Epilepsy journey because unfortunately he died during it however today I felt overwhelmed knowing that he was alive through the memories I’ve just described.
I didn’t need the worries about my condition while looking onto that sea view because he knew deep down he couldn’t prevent what was happening, neither could I and neither can you.
He knew that there was more to life than just Epilepsy because we aren’t defined solely by Epilepsy. We are defined by who we are as people.
I think the main thing that hit me overall was how we all the trivial things in life to take centre stage.
Two things should be the most important your health and your family. Nothing hits you harder but what is the most apparent is that nothing challenges you more. The strength that you all have is marvellous and is inspiring to others.
To conclude today’s post. You never have to say goodbye to the things you love, the memories you create and the pastimes you enjoy. Epilepsy is a condition we live with however it’s a condition that won’t defeat us.
Sometimes doing what’s right isn’t easy. Letting go of stress is difficult however knowing deep down that you can overcome these worries in life should be something you should be proud of yourself for.