5 lessons I have learned through mindfulness with epilepsy

Published on 6 June 2023 at 16:44

It wasn’t till I was in my 30s that I truly started understanding that I was the only one in my way to achieving happiness and peace. Not my epilepsy, not my career, not the people around me, JUST ME. A boyfriend once told me that we all can create our own happiness, but we must choose to create it. This led me down to reading and learning about mindfulness and positivity. The practice of being mindful enables us to observe our thoughts rather than be completely pulled into their story line. I was pulled into my own negative story line for years of having epilepsy every single day and feeling that there was no control, no hope and I was just stuck while playing the victim card of “why me”.


Throughout my life I just sort of accepted my fate and that I was to be living a life of constant medication, side effects, funny looks and comments from others, seizures, and anxiety, all of which we all know is a big part of having epilepsy. When I FINALLY awoke from the haze of my impending fate, I realized that I wasn’t going to go down without a fight! Epilepsy does not own us! I have written up these 5 lessons I have learned through mindfulness which has turned my thought process about my epilepsy upside down but in a good way. I hope these lessons can help you as well.

        1 . Recognize- Identify that your emotionally distressed or mentally suffering due to living with epilepsy. Pay attention to your inner experience so you can see when your feelings and thoughts start to become more negative. The minute you start to think negatively or blaming the world for your problems recognize that you are doing this and stop and say “Nope”. Get up, shake it off and distract yourself in something else. To this day I still practice this when life throws me curve balls


    2. Acceptance-We all have a general idea of “accepting something” however when it comes to epilepsy and the emotions that come with it, it comes down to whether we will accept or resist those feelings. For me I always defaulted to resistance as a reaction. I didn’t want to believe I had seizures, I would act and do things that put me at risk of having one due to my resistance to accepting who I am. This is probably why it has taken me so long to become a happier person that I am today. Acceptance is the healthier option! Look at how you resist acceptance and the patterns that follow. The “I hate my life”, the “why me” and the biggest “why can’t I be normal”. Open your mind to how this resistance makes you act and feel. Are you happy, or are you most of the time sad? Looking in the mirror and accepting ourselves the way we are can be very difficult, however through awareness and acceptance we can then enjoy the benefits of what life has to offer us with living with a disability.


3. Acknowledge your feelings: This might sound odd; you’re probably saying well I feel sad that means I know what I am feeling. But do you really? I spent too many hours of my life being depressed and sad without acknowledging why I was sad. Try to step away mentally and observe your thoughts and feelings instead of just being. Don’t react to being sad, recognize it, acknowledge it, and then disengage from it.

4. Self-love: I’ve talked about self-love before, but I want to make it known this is a BIG lesson that many people will never learn. It took me almost 30 years to learn it. Stop saying mean things to yourself, stop judging who you are and stop comparing yourself to others. Shift your focus inwardly instead of outwardly. Exercising for me is one way to self-love myself. While I will never be a weightlifter, exercising improves my mood greatly! Try just resting or pampering yourself, appreciate yourself. Loving ourselves is just like loving another but more important. It requires work, time, and commitment.


5. Challenge yourself: If you feel undeserving, sad, hopeless and have no compassion for your story try and challenge that. Are you seeing your story in black and white? For me I did, it was either I had seizures, or I didn’t. So, I was either happy or sad there was no gray area. I was basically seeing my story from one perspective never branching out and seeing a different side to my story. Are you expecting yourself to be “normal” rather than human? Challenge your thoughts on your condition, it could be life changing.

Good Luck my Friends 😊

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