I've been living with epilepsy for 10 years. I'm currently halfway through medical school, and while my epilepsy has hindered me at times, it has never stopped me from achieving my goals.
I grew up in a conservative home, and my parents made me hide my epilepsy diagnosis. They made me feel like if people knew about it, they would treat me poorly, so I felt ashamed about my diagnosis. As I got older, I realized how silly that was and explained to them why it was not okay.
A lot of things changed because of my diagnosis. For example, my dream job of becoming a pilot was no longer feasible. College was hard for me at first, because I constantly compared myself to "normal" people. I felt inferior because my peers could run on minimal sleep and drink loads of coffee to get through exams, but I could not. I soon realized that not getting enough sleep and drinking five cups of coffee a day was not healthy, and just because you can do it, does not mean you should.
Epilepsy made me understand the importance of self-care and learning to accept my diagnosis made me feel so much more confident. My friends tell me I am a hero for being inspired to help others. I know I feel less alone in my journey and want to educate others about the challenges people with epilepsy may face.
Don't let other people's opinions about your diagnosis dictate how you live. You will learn your limits and work with your body to be healthy and happy.
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