I remember in college, when I studying my A-Levels, in the first chemistry class of the year a girl tapped my sign language interpreter on the shoulder (he was sitting next to me) and said something to him. He had worked with me before and said it wasn’t important, he’d tell me at the end -I obviously trusted his judgement. At the end this girl’s smile beamed from ear to ear as he said to me “she thinks its amazing you’re here!” I smiled and nodded but this was the start of the year, our first lesson, she literally thought I was amazing for sitting in a room. If only she knew my results, I think she’d think I was a little less amazing.
Whenever I tell people I have epilepsy one of their first instincts is to put themselves in my shoes, to see how they would live – its human nature. The most natural response is something along the lines of “I wouldn’t be able to… because I’d be too scared!” and to that I usually say living by that logic means you wouldn’t leave the house, you’d stay in bed all day and have someone do everything for you – which, yes, sounds good on the surface but would be so depressingly boring in reality. In life we must take risks, not big ones all the time – but debating on going to the shops or not, usually going would win. Another example is one of my managers used to be worried about me cycling, at the time I used to cycle 15 miles to work and 15 back. It was amazing. She always worried about me coming off my bike and that I don’t tend to wear my helmet.
I usually brush it off and say if something happens it happens, you could get knocked over crossing the road.
The truth is I have the exact same worries as everyone else. Some days I don’t even leave the house as I sit there and think “what if?” but I’ve learnt that I cannot let my life be dictated by a condition; I cannot live in fear.
I guess the thing that scares me the most is when my time comes and my life flashes in front of my eyes in a HD montage of memories backed to Mika’s “happy endings”, do I want them to be happy, doing what I love or do I want to remember being overly cautious, ‘just in case’?