Why do we feel like we need to hand our power over to others when we become un-well in order for them to make us “well”? Why is the first emotion we engage with fear when we are diagnosed with something out of balance? Why do we seek the knowledge of other’s with the sole belief that they know better than us? The answer as I see it and as I have lived it with my own journey with Epilepsy is simple…..we don’t trust ourselves enough or spend enough energy and time on ourselves to really understand how our body and brains work – until we get sick.
We often relate to our thoughts as if they were our true reality, rather than a mere representation of our reality. We can spend our whole lives imprisoned by our own self-limiting beliefs and unproductive thinking patterns, which is very easy for all of us to do, especially when your brain can be electrically unpredictable. The practice of being mindful of our thoughts enables us to observe our thoughts rather than be completely pulled into their story line. I was pulled into my own negative story line of having Epilepsy every single day and feeling that there was no control that I had over the situation. Initially, I thought that my fate was to be living a life of constant medication, side effects, grand mal seizures and anxiety, all of which we all know, is a big part of having Epilepsy. When I woke from the haze of my impending fate I realized that I wasn’t going to go down without a fight!
It is my belief now that it is possible to be diagnosed with a condition like Epilepsy and not completely hand the reins of your management plan over to a doctor. I spent 8 years on massive amounts of medicine within the doctor’s office and then the next 12 years tweaking my management plan outside of the doctor’s office, on no pharmaceutical medication. This wasn’t under the guidance of the doctor by the way, this was under my own guidance as I thought that perhaps I could stick my finger up at the medical industry all together and rely solely on alternative healing modalities and plant medicine for my treatment just so that I didn’t have to endure the side effects. In my quest for a miracle cure of Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy over the last 25 years I have tried Reiki, Acupuncture, Bowen Therapy, Medicinal Plants, Naturopathy, Western Medicine, Hypnotherapy, Integrative Medicinal therapy which tested minerals, vitamins and nutritional deficiencies in my blood, Meditation, Hormonal balancers and the list goes on.
The thing is…..they all worked on some level even though I still had seizures once a month, sometimes twice. What didn’t work was my inner struggle. I wanted so badly to cure myself of Epilepsy that I never accepted that I even had seizures. Even writing the word Epilepsy right now for this blog had me wanting to use another word in its place. It was only when I realized, through practicing mindfulness meditation and connecting with my body that finding a cure will not cure me anyway. Self love and self acceptance of what’s happening right now can be the only cure and this is not something that a doctor can write a script for, or that can be infused in a tea strainer or sold via a supplement jar.
I am now managing myself holistically and have been seizure free for 19 months. I am no longer an anti-meds advocate, which I have been for the past 15 years and agreed to start back on a therapeutic dose of medicine – Keppra infact; however I only take the dose that I need to because I manage myself through other methods that I have practiced over time and found to work in order to keep my seizure triggers way back in the distance. I was on a higher dose of meds but as I started practicing other ways of thinking and reprogramming my brain to think about my condition differently, I have been able to drop down to half of what I was taking initially. These methods come under the umbrella of diet, meditation, exercise, self worth and I wrote a book about my journey which has been super cathartic and will be published this year.
It’s so good to be walking the journey of Epilepsy empowerment with you all. Keep in mind on your travels that we have the ability to know as much as the doctors do because we live it. Take time to get to know your brain and you might just see, as I did that your thoughts can influence the electrical activity in your brain and perhaps you might see that your thoughts even produce some of your seizure triggers like mine did.
Yours in love and electricity