I can't #thinkagain
"I'm not qualified for that job."
"What if they find out I have epilepsy?"
"Damn it! She just said it, why did I forget. It's only 4 numbers. I can never remember anything. I have the worst memory."
"How can I do anything when I have a learning disability? Employers will see through me."
"I'm so stupid."
"I was already slow to begin with, now I have medicine slowing me down too."
"People are staring at me."
"I wonder what they think of me being out of work so much."
"I hope my co-workers don't think I'm slacking."
"I can't do this."
Maybe I can...
"I'm really good at this!"
"I can do this."
"I'm going to try again tomorrow when I'm feeling better."
"I can't worry about what other people are thinking about me. If they haven't even gotten to know me, why am I wasting my time worrying."
"I'm excited to meet people who find out I have epilepsy, that way I can teach them about it!"
"If I forget, it's no biggie :) I can always write it down or ask them to repeat themselves."
"I've never done this, but I think I might be good at it. I'm going to do it."
"I'm so thankful for this medicine, it's helping me even if it's not perfect."
"Someone is looking at me, hopefully they know what epilepsy is and will call for help."
"I'm not perfect, but that person isn't either. We're the same besides a few small things."
"Damn, I messed up. But I'm okay!"
"I'm strong for going to work the day after a seizure."
"I love myself."
"I'm confident in the work I put in at my job."
"Those I'm close with will understand why I'm not at work."
"I can do anything, I love trying new things!"
Okay... who has said a thing or two like this to themselves before? *Raises hand* I have! Your inner voice is often loud and obnoxious, it never seem to go away, pops up when you don't want it to, and the more you yell at it to leave you alone, the more it comes back for you at the least convenient time. Kinda like your middle school bully (who's thinking of their's right now?) So how do we shut her up once and for all? I know! We could take her lunch money! No, then we'd be the bullies. To be honest, getting rid of negative thoughts in your head has been a struggle since the Stone Age and it's a day by day deconstruction. But what I've learned is, this challenge in life can really benefit from some #selflove.
I read a statistic from the Epilepsy Society UK the other day that said, suicide risk is 22% higher in those who have epilepsy than in the general public. I've attached the link below if you're interested in reading more on the topic. Rzadkiewicz says, "Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Between 2003 and 2011, an average of 17 out of 100,000 people with epilepsy, aged 10 years and older, died from suicide each year, compared with 14 out of 100,000 in the general population. Among adults aged 40-49 years, those with epilepsy died more often from suicide (29 per cent) than those without epilepsy (22 per cent) Rzadkiewicz, Olivia (2016, July 14) Suicide Rate Among People With Epilepsy Is 22 Per Cent Greater Than The General Population.
If these statistics shocked you or made you think about a friend or moment in your life... you're not alone. So many women, men, college students, kids, and young adults experience some feeling of depression or suicide in the epilepsy community, which can be caused by a number of mental health factors, medication, or living with the challenges of having epilepsy. If you have epilepsy, are a parent of a child with epilepsy, are someone close to a person with epilepsy, or are just curious about it, it's just as important to be knowledgeable about suicide as epilepsy because it is alive in the epilepsy world. With the internet at our fingertips we have the opportunity to be educated and with that education we are better suited to take care of one another. What is just as important is to care for ourselves.
Here are some acts of #selflove I enjoy doing when I'm having an off day or after I have a seizure:
1. alone time
2. go somewhere relaxing, somewhere you feel no pressure
3. tell other people how great they are
4. vent to someone you trust
6. do something you love <3
7. say I love you to someone (preferably someone you know #safetyfirst)
Spinning off on the #selflove act of "tell other people how great they are"...if you've ever had the wonderful opportunity to tell someone something along the lines of, "I love you, you're amazing and you make me so happy", then you can understand the happiness one gets from givin' a little lovin' <3 This may be one of my favorites because it's a selfless act that's all love and requires no spending. I'm going to save delving too deeply into that one for another story time, but for now... just take my word on it and go out there and compliment some peeps! <3 #spreadthelove
Seizure and suicide struggles, along with the self-confidence challenges that come with them, may not be fixed with one act of #selflove but perhaps doing any of these acts may help you even in a small way. You never know what taking the time for yourself, or others, in the little ways can do for your emotional health. They say, "it's the little things".
So I leave you with this question, what can we do to help each other?
I invite you to share your #selflove acts in the comments or a list of any low points you hit when your seizures hit you like I did up top, you'd be surprised who's thinking the same or going through the same struggles... lets inspire and empower!