Learning To Accept My Diagnosis

Find out how Evan is learning to accept his life with epilepsy and push through challenges

By Evan Binkley

My name is Evan, and I am 23 years old. I am originally from Maryland, but I have had the privilege of completing my graduate studies in London and Cambridge over the past two years. I have made so many wonderful new friends and have been able to deepen my passion for cultural heritage management.

However, my time outside of the U.S. has also come with its fair share of challenges.

I was diagnosed with generalized epilepsy while studying abroad in England. What began as involuntary muscle jerks slowly turned into moments of lost consciousness. After several hospital visits and an electroencephalogram (EEG) test, my fears were confirmed by a neurologist.

I often find myself returning to the words, "You have epilepsy," from that hospital visit. At that moment, I felt unbelievably alone. It took me many weeks to tell anyone that those words were said to me. I did not know what to do with those words.

My epilepsy diagnosis marked the first time that I was forced to think about something potentially impacting me for the rest of my life. I often find it difficult to think about next week, let alone next month or next year. Now, I am still trying to get adjusted to it all. I am still trying to write papers for school and be social while taking almost two-dozen pills a day. I am still trying to push through challenges like I always have done before. I am still trying.

I was terrified that telling others about my epilepsy would push them away. It has only brought me closer to those who care about me.

I am slowly learning to accept and grow with my diagnosis. Some days, it is like epilepsy and I are not on speaking terms. Other days, though, I know I am making progress.

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Reviewed By: Sara Wyen

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