This post was written and edited by Melinda Curle for Beyond Adversity
I grew up with the fear of seizures. I experienced my first grand mal seizure at the age of thirteen. I remember it clearly. It was the only seizure that I had that I started going into the seizure before going unconscious. I had cocked my head upward to look at something in the sky that my brother had pointed out to a friend and me. My neck started twitching uncontrollable as I was looking up at the sky. My world started to spin. Being out of control of my own body was a scary experience for a few brief seconds.
The next thing that I knew, I was lying on the couch in my basement awakening from a nap. The seizure had lasted a minute, but it took my brain a few moments to “rewire” itself and start recording things in my memory. My mother knelt down by my side and said, “Mindy, you had a seizure.” I was devastated.
In my mind, I wasn’t that much different than other people. I took a lot of medication and occasionally blacked out and convulsed, but other than that I was normal. As my medications increased, my performance at school and later on jobs decreased. This was incredibly frustrating. At first, I didn’t attribute it to my epilepsy or medications. When I realized that medication was contributing to my mental slowness, I knew I needed to do something, but what? Doctors didn’t approve of coming off medication, but the medication was deteriorating my health in other ways too.
I felt trapped when I thought of the medication cycle. I couldn’t see a way to improve my health conditions if I was stuck taking anticonvulsants. I began to work on my belief. Believing that you can overcome an adversity is the first step, but one that many people overlook. I looked for other success stories of people who had overcome a similar type of epilepsy. They were hard to find, but they helped bolster my own belief. I took gradual steps forward to improve my overall health and find ways to improve my brain function. Dietary changes were made and exercises were added. Having a positive belief in myself and changing my outlook on epilepsy turned my life around. Focusing in on improving my overall health, improved my seizure control. Daily, I used the affirmation “My body has an amazing ability to heal itself.” Focusing in on the success that I was having and what I could do turned my life around.
Seizures were a blessing in the grand scheme of things. Without them, I wouldn’t have researched brain health as intensely as I did. I wouldn’t have to overcome challenges like being without a driver’s license. I wouldn’t have had to persist so hard to find employment. Epilepsy has made me a more resilient person.
Melinda Curle is the author of Epilepsy Empowerment – http://amzn.to/1MCQppv. After dwelling on the adversity and trials that come with epilepsy and employment, she realized that she must change her mindset and attitude towards epilepsy in order to change her life. Dwelling on the discrimination, side effects of medications and other complications was getting her nowhere. Melinda has since become an Amazon Bestselling author and has mentored other people in reducing their medication needs. She gives away the cookbook that she used to become seizure free at – http://melindacurle.com/boosting-brainpower