To My Boyfriend: When You Saw Me Have a Seizure for the First Time


There were things I want to say to you about the first time I had seizures in front of you, but I can’t seem to find the time, place or even the words, so I’m going to do what I do with most things – write it down…or at least type it.

My parents left town for a couple of nights, so you came over to relax with me after work. My sister had a friend over and disappeared upstairs to her room pretty quickly, leaving me and you watching old comedies on the TV in the living room, snuggled up on the sofa.

I remember that you’d fallen asleep and I could hardly keep my eyes open myself, so I let sleep take over. The next thing I remember was possibly 10 minutes later. I was jerking and couldn’t control my body. I’d been asleep so I was also a little confused. I knew that I was seizing but I couldn’t remember where I was exactly, or if I was safe. Panic was setting in, am I alone? Am I out of the house on my own? The burning in my limbs and back was getting worse, and I was almost convinced that I was on the side of the pavement with nobody around. And then I heard your voice. You were talking to my sister. The relief was immense. I wasn’t alone, and if your voices were all I could hear – I wasn’t at the side of a road.

My seizure started to fizzle down and I could feel you holding me. I could feel every individual hair on my hand as you stroked it. I felt a sea of calm wash over me. I had one more seizure after that before coming to and being fully conscious with the rest of the world. We spent the evening just lying on the sofa, you with your arm around me, talking nonsense and just being together. It was one of the best recoveries I’ve had.

But there are a few things I want to tell you about how I felt, more specifically about how you made me feel.

There was only one other time that I have felt as calm as you made me feel coming round from a seizure. I was in hospital and had been seizing so badly for so long that they had to give me an emergency medication. I was coming round from a seizure when the one nurse who was in charge of comforting and talking to me told me that they thought the medication was working. Up until that point, I didn’t think it would ever end, I honestly at one point thought I was going to die that night. I was so tired, I didn’t think my body could cope for much longer. I was finally getting some release, I wasn’t going to die seizing that night. I had one more seizure and fell right into a deep sleep afterwards.

I’ve never spoken to anybody apart from my former therapist about how I felt that night. But the calmness I felt knowing that everything was going to be OK, that’s how you made me feel. I felt safe. I don’t think I will ever tire of you stroking my hand. And every time you have since that night has sent that sea of calm my way. Please never stop stroking my hand, babe.

I know that you were probably sh*tting yourself inside because you know what it’s like and you know how bad it can get. But I also know that you will never admit that, let alone let it show. That’s why I apologized to you for having seizures later that night. And it’s also why I want you to know that it’s OK to be scared and I can tell whatever kind of mask you put on the outside.

I am so proud of you. My family still panics. It was the first time my sister had had to deal with it without my parents there. She was internally in panic mode, big time. I’ve already told you how impressed she told me she was with you that night because you made her feel calm too. She was so glad you were there.

The last thing I want you to know is that that night was possibly the night I’ve felt closest to you so far. It was when I knew for sure that this and us is right. It was when I knew that you love me for me regardless of everything else going on, that you genuinely cared and wanted me to be OK. And it was when I knew for 100 percent, without doubt, that I love you.

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