By Mason Gehring

January 25th

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:

  1. Be gentle with your brain. If it’s difficult to think, feel, respond, or talk, just let go and relax. 
  2. I am not responsible for other people’s reactions or feelings when they hear about what i’ve been through, that’s their problem.
  3. 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.
  4. You are way more resilient than you think you are. Try to cultivate that and know it in your bones.
  5. 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. 

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