I write dark things...
In 2010, my life was a bright, spectacular world, filled with dimension sight and sound, beyond which you can barely begin to conceive. Every moment lurked sprites and whispers. Terror also sprung out and gripped me at inopportune times, leaving me unable to breathe.
I was at times capricious and difficult to handle. My anxiety and irritability would occasionally vex my peers. I often hated my inability to remain consistently levelheaded, but I embraced my creative soul. However, my constantly more frequent anxious episodes drew me into my internal world, and away from my former social life.
My health degraded until I almost melded physically with the center median of the highway. I made it home thirty minutes later. Just barely. You see, I was literally unable to comprehend the writing on the signs along the way. I’d had to move on pure instinct the whole way, confused and dazed. Happily, for my family and myself, I’d lived through a severe petit mal seizure.
My pleas for ‘more’ and ‘different’ anxiety meds stopped being seen as ‘drug seeking’ at that point. I was diagnosed at the age of 38 with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. I wasn’t diagnosed earlier because I was so high functioning. What does that mean? It means I hid it, and I hid it well. This story is that journey.
It took about a year to get my seizures fully under control, but I live in the knowledge that, because of my late diagnosis and the nature of epilepsy that the medication may or may not remain effective long-term. My brain is simply too attuned to the mojo of seizures, and there is a high likelihood that one day they may return and I’ll be back to fighting again with medication solutions.
To be clear, I never had grand mal (tonic-clonic) seizures. I had simple, partial complex and short petit mal seizures all centralized in the temporal lobe. During simple and partial seizures, you are completely aware and conscious, and if you don’t know you’re epileptic, as I did not, the experiences are nothing less than profoundly surreal. For those of you unfamiliar with epilepsy, as I was, it is a neurological condition with a wide range of expressions. Grand mals are often seen as the only type, and in fact, this is in part why I was never diagnosed, because I never had a tonic-clonic.
In writing about my seizure experiences, I hope to give some insight into the fantastical universe they have revealed to me over the years. Note, this isn’t intended to be a medical perspective, simply an artistic and personal one from someone who’s lived with the roses and the thorns, and experienced the laughter and the tears unwittingly due to the condition.
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