Friday, September 25, 2015

Let's talk about the "L" word...

At 1,445 miles I am literally killing it lately! I can thank a lot of tennis, walking with Mom, and a lot of motivation (thank you for all those lovely notes from followers - you rock!)

But, when the going gets good and the positivity starts flowing...I start to think about setbacks and the lovely "L" word...limitations. Trust me, I am the world's most positive this is not a negative thing. This is a realistic thing. And, for a person who lives in a world full of fairytales and magic most of the time :) being realistic is a good thing!

When I am educating about Epilepsy, one of the hardest questions I ever get is "What are your limitations with your Epilepsy?" It shouldn't be a hard question to answer - naturally, there are limitations. I can't drink alcohol. I need to get a certain amount of sleep. I should avoid stress as much as possible. I shouldn't do extreme sports. I have to be careful with strobe lights. There are others. But, the problem with that question is it is emotionally hard because no matter what -  I always feel a little defensive. I want to believe that I have NO limitations.

That feeling goes back to my 2nd very public seizure during my Senior year of high school. This time of year always brings that one back since I had it on the football field at my Homecoming football game while I was cheerleading. After I had that seizure, the response was overwhelmingly positive and helpful - but so many people were misinformed and I heard a lot of rumors that I wasn't going to be able to cheer anymore and I wasn't going to be able to go to college now and that my life was going to change a lot now that I was officially diagnosed with Epilepsy.

Homecoming Parade Fall 1996

Instead of getting angry and lashing out, I made it a mission to show that my Epilepsy was not going to stop me from accomplishing my goals. I was going to do everything they were saying I couldn't do and more. I set high expectations on myself. I had a lot to prove. I wanted to show I had NO limitations. And, that was not realistic. It took a long time to realize that limitations are how we stay healthy - how we stay sane - how we stay balanced. The "L" word shouldn't be a negative thing - it should be something that we almost celebrate because we are choosing to live the best life for ourselves, instead of pushing unnecessary boundaries.

However, I want to mention some limitations that I put on myself after my seizures that aren't super healthy. I haven't returned to the "seizure sites" since I had them. I haven't been back to the Football field of my old high school. And, haven't been back to my college since graduation. I just felt these were stressors I couldn't handle. Even this year, I thought I was going to go to the Homecoming football game - but I found excuses: housework to do (seriously), a wedding shower, my husband's own class reunion...that gave me an out. Next year will be 20 years since that seizure and I am setting a goal to make it back. I will limit myself no more.

Do you have good and bad limitations in your life?

1 comment:

Jill Shea said...

Thank you. I can relate to everything you wrote in this article. I am think that I am avoiding situations that I should not be as well. Thank you again.