My name is Meredith, I’m 27 living in SF working in retail ecommerce. I was diagnosed at the age of 5 with epilepsy, following several episodes generally in the morning hours. The most notible was a grand mal I had at school; I couldn’t remember where my classroom was, I remember crying, feeling scared and confused. Luckily a school worker found me and took me into the admin office. I guess I then fell and had a grand mal in front of the principle and staff.
I was young so don’t remember much, but I do remember being extremely embarassed at school the next day (and the insane headache). I was teased and mocked often thereafter, and in 4th grade I changed schools. I kept my epiepsy a secret through to high school in fear of looking “weird” or like a “freak”. I am blessed to say my seizures are controlled very well by medicine, but I was still too nervous to confide.
I had one friend in high school I told, who to this day is still my best friend, Michael. He told me I was silly for worrying and nobody cares. In fact, he was very supportive and even came out to me with a secret of his own. I know it sounds silly, but it was that bonding moment we had that changed my outlook on myself forever.
Since then, I’ve become more proud and confident of myself and my epilepsy. I realized I should be educating and enlightening others, not hiding it. I don’t go around boasting”hey guys, I have seizures!” haha, but I am definitely more comfortable and live acompletely normal, active life. I feel so thankful and blessed to have such great friends who support me, and a condition that I can control.
My story may not be as monumental or serious as others, but at the end of the day it was myself and a friend who changed my outlook on this disease. I hope someone is able to relate. 🙂