By Mason Gehring
Today is my last day on anti-seizure medication for epilepsy and tomorrow is my 38th birthday. It’s weird having to revisit an illness that hadn’t affected my life for 32 years. To look back to a year ago, it felt so heavy, this new burden and haunting uncertainty of my health and day-to-day life. And this was BEFORE COVID. I wasn’t able to drive because I had to be consistently seizure-free for 6 months and that feat seemed unimaginable. One year seizure-free seemed like a lifetime.
It’s kind of shocking how, at 37, this incident and illness had altered my patience and perception of time so much. It was agonizing, like a child, I was trapped in something that any milestone felt like FOREVER. I wanted to throw a tantrum every time I had to figure out how to do something like get to a doctor’s appointment or being alone and taking a shower. (I had my bad seizure in the shower) And yet, here I am over one year seizure free, driving, thriving, and a whole new perspective on life.
And to think of all that we have endured this year as a collective. We all have so much grief and trauma, I know I’m not alone. And strangely COVID brought us all together, made us appreciate living and life differently in such a dramatic sad way.
Things I’ve learned from the past year:
- Be gentle with your brain. If it’s difficult to think, feel, respond, or talk, just let go and relax.
- I am not responsible for other people’s reactions or feelings when they hear about what i’ve been through, that’s their problem.
- When things get too much in my brain, too fuzzy, fast, and anxious – go walk outside in the sticks, leaves, and grass barefoot, get a foot massage, or do some cardio exercise for 15-20 min.
- You are way more resilient than you think you are. Try to cultivate that and know it in your bones.
- Life’s too short to hold on to dumb stuff. Get rid of the dumb stuff or do the hard work to get dumb situations better.