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To the People Who Only See My Epilepsy

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To the employer who sees me as a liability because I have to take so many days off sick: I wish you could see how much I blame myself for being a “failure” to you and how much I cry because I want to be at work. I actually really do want to be.

To the public who sees me in the street stumbling and missing a step to get onto the bus: I wish you could see that I’m not drunk. I either just increased the dose of my meds or I’m currently having a seizure, and it would help if somebody asked me if I was OK.

Other relevant stories:
Can Epilepsy Come Back After Years
Does Epilepsy Go Away
What Are the 12 Types of Seizures 

To the people who stare at me when they see me sitting in the priority seats of the bus: I wish you could see how much my limbs ache and that I can barely see straight from the seizure I had last night or even this morning. I could show you the bus pass I use for people with disabilities, but I would prefer it if you could see past my youthful looks and see my tired eyes instead. I wish you see how devastated it makes me that I’m even on this bus instead of driving my own car.


To my fellow students in school who wonder why I go from chilled-out zero to red-hot angry 60 within a split second: I wish you could see that I came in to work for you, and I wish you could see how tired I am because I’m a fragile human being just like you.

To the usher in the church aisle who sees me raising my hands in worship and crying: I wish you could see that in my moment of weakness what I’m doing is doubting God and begging to know why He gave me this life? Why He gave me this brain? Why He gave me this particular cross to bear? And the shame I then feel for questioning Him.

To the people who laugh or get annoyed at my stammering: I wish you could see how much it hurts and frustrates me to have the words but not be able to get them out. I wish you would be patient with me. I’ll try and get to the end of my sentence as quickly as I can.

To everyone who sees me smiling all the time: I wish you could see the smile hides the hurt and the eyeliner and hair draw attention away from the bags under my eyes.

I wish you could all see I don’t want to be the center of attention, that I hate being forced to lose control so often, that I have to give away the secrets of my past when I cry out, “No, no, no, not again.”

To the people who just see my epilepsy: I’m more than just the seizures and the slowness.

Get to know me.

Image via contributor

Originally published: March 10, 2016
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