A Valentine’s Letter to My Epilepsy
We’ve had an up-and-down relationship, you and I. Over the last 15 years together, we’ve broken up for several years, reunited, repeated, broken up again and now we’re back together. I guess you could say our song would be “I Put a Spell on You.” Although you take more than you give, there’ve been a few moments when you’ve actually shown me love. And on Valentine’s Day — a day celebrating all kinds of love — I want you to know you’ve enriched my life more than you can comprehend. I realize this may surprise you, given my frustration and anger over the years. Nonetheless, it’s true.
You’ve shown me a mother’s love. I’ve always known I had it unconditionally, but a child never fully understands the heartache of a parent until an unhealthy bond like ours emerges. You’ve caused inexplicable pain and suffering, and I’ll never fathom why you continue to do so. But I know I have the love of a mother who would sacrifice anything to take away the pain you inflict. Her love stays with me at all times, and I know it endures right beside me. She’s selfless in this love. Always.
Through our ups and downs spanning the last seven years, I’ve found another love: a husband’s love. Yes, he already cherished me, but because of our relationship, it is a more fierce, protective love than I have ever known. On the nights you’ve come along and bewitched me, it is my husband who scoops me up in his arms and gently carries me to a safer place, picking up the pieces you left behind. He holds me when I cry and kisses away my scared tears. He despises what you do to me, yet he is the most forgiving man and accepts that you and I are forever connected. He carries the load willingly.
Lastly, trying to understand our turbulent relationship has exposed me to a compassionate love — the love of strangers — both the others you visit and their families and friends. Experiencing their unconditional love and empathy enables me to form reassuring relationships from which I gain, and hopefully give, strength. Though you may visit some people more often than others, your cruelty binds us together, and we are more powerful in that awareness.
So on Valentine’s Day, when we share our feelings with those most prominent in our lives, I wanted to say I will never accept the way you treat me, epilepsy, but your presence has opened my eyes to a myriad of loves of which I feel truly undeserving. Thank you.
Follow this journey on In Megan’s Shoes.
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