I have epilepsy. Seizure disorder. Whatever they call it these days. Despite being on medication and seizure free for years, this has taken quite a toll on me mentally. I think anyone who has a chronic condition can relate to what I am about to say.
Between the ages of 16 and 25, I had seizures. One minute I would be fine and the next thing I knew, I was in an ambulance with a stranger asking me if I knew my name or where I was. I never knew either. I would spend the rest of the day in the ER slowly gaining the use of my brain. The fuzziness and, quite frankly, blank feeling would eventually go away and leave me with exhaustion. Every time.
There was never an indication before the seizure (that I can remember) that something was not right. All my life, I have also struggled with fainting “spells,” for lack of a better term. However, at least with fainting, I usually have an aura and learned what to do to avoid actually passing out. Don’t I sound fun?
Now, at any given moment, the slightest off feeling or pain can send me into panic. It may not be rational fear, but it is real fear. Since I don’t know what happens before a seizure, my mind tends to go there quickly.
This isn’t a topic I talk about, pretty much ever. I never really know if someone will understand or if they will judge me or think I am crazy. But, honestly, I am past caring. No one can judge me as much as I have judged myself. There have been times I sit and cry and pray. As I type this, I can’t help the tears from flowing. I have beat myself up for not having faith or jumping to conclusions for years and I am done.
Last week, my husband was out of the country for work. I have always dreaded these trips, because I am terrified that something will happen to me. My girls need me and the fear comes alive when I am alone with my thoughts at night. They just always have. The first day of his eight day trip, I felt the familiar feelings creeping in. You know what though? For the first time, I battled them. I said, “God is not done with me.” I won’t say the fear left instantly or didn’t try to come back the next day, but the noose fell loosley around me. After the first few days, I slept better than I ever have during one of James’ trips. I didn’t worry about if something happened. It wasn’t fun with him not there, but I had peace.
Why am I sharing this? Why am I telling family, friends, and strangers my deep secret fear? Because I finally realize I am not alone. Sitting with our fears in the dark only makes things worse and isloates us. I have been around enough years to know if I am feeling something, I am not the first or only one.
No matter what, if you are still breathing, God has more for you. He is not done with you and your life serves a purpose. You may be telling yourself otherwise, but God wants you to know to keep going. Whatever struggle you have, it is temporary and serves its own purpose. Never forget that.
Linking with Holley Gerth.