Epilepsy Lifestyle Travel

Would You Change?

I’ve been asked time and time again, if I could go back into the past, would I take away my epilepsy? I recently got asked to look at a topic for my video about life without epilepsy and it got me thinking a lot about going back into the past. Over the past week or so, I’ve felt extremely run down and my body is feeling pretty fatigue. I’ve been so exhausted I’ve struggled going to the gym as regularly and my diet has been horrendous! So as you can imagine, it’s been a vicious circle for me and difficult to snap out of. Without realising, I’m going back down the root of comfort eating a crazy amount of chocolate and I know that’s a bad sign! I’m always having to be careful with my diet, especially since my side effects of medication has meant weight gain. I’m ten times more self conscious about my body then I was before my diagnosis (and not to mention the chub I have to show for it)!

As you can probably tell by now, I’m having a pretty rocky time, and my absence seizures have come along for a little visit due to my mood swings, exhaustion and stress what a surprise! I was sat watching Netflix earlier and felt like I’d missed out on a whole scene of the programme, my mouth tasted funny and I felt my teeth clenched on my bottom lip causing a massive lump. I had a massive cry and decided to write this post. Despite my tears, hating the condition, weight gain and hurdles in every day life, there are many positives that epilepsy has given me. Like what? Here’s just a bunch I’d like to share:

I’ve grown as a person: having epilepsy meant I had to leave my young careless adulthood behind and quickly grow up and learn how to look after my body. I learnt what was right and wrong for my health. Learning about myself has allowed me to be more comfortable in my own skin and it’s therefore given me a base to build on my confidence. Looking back on who I was before my diagnosis and comparing to today, would I have the same outlook on myself.

Through the good and bad comes the support: the past five years of my diagnosis has really tested my support network including family, friends, colleagues and even doctors. I became more aware of who my real friends were when I was diagnosed. It’s a shame it takes a badly perceived condition to show me who my friends were. That said, they’re bloody incredible.

I have a passion: before my YouTube channel, I was going day by day and enjoying my teenage life but nothing really stuck with me in terms of a passion. I had hobbies and activities that I got up to but nothing that was extremely close to my heart. With my condition and determination of wanting to raise awareness and allowing epilepsy warriors to smile and laugh, I’ve become so passionate about Upon A Sunshine and caring for others. It’s been the most rewarding two years and I’m eager to continue and create new material for everyone, including perhaps some non-epilepsy-related videos too.

Despite having epilepsy, I get to travel: I’ve volunteered on a wildlife reserve in South Africa for five weeks, I’ve travelled to New York City to raise awareness of epilepsy across Brooklyn Bridge, I’ve travelled around Europe and New Zealand and this will continue in the future. Sure there’s some hurdles, but life will throw them at us anyway, so why wait?

I have a wonderful family and partner: talking and opening up to my family and partner about epilepsy was definitely difficult, but it’s brought us all closer and I’ve grown to be so grateful about those I have around me. My family and partner love me no matter what and support me every single day.

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I wrote a lot more on this post originally, but I thought I’d cut it down to these main points. If I could take away epilepsy, I’ll hold my hands up and say I would because it’s not a pleasant condition to have. With all the positivity around me, I genuinely can’t imagine what my life would be like if I wasn’t diagnosed. It’s just simply crazy to think about. Although ask me again in a few years and I might give you a different answer!

What I’d like to get across in this post is the acceptance of our condition. It’s going to be tough, and we all go through those bad days and those bad months but you don’t have to go through it alone. Surround yourself with positivity and love and I assure you that you’ll see another side. You’ll see happiness and hope. I took a step into a happier environment and I’ve never looked back.

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