Perspective Is Key

Tara is sharing her eJourney about how perspective was key in managing her life with seizures and epilepsy.

By Tara DiSpirito

My life with epilepsy began in 2016. I was diagnosed with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) after having a serious tonic-clonic seizure. As the years went on, I had further tests and was diagnosed with generalized and focal epilepsies. I am sharing my story to emphasize that perspective is key: you have the choice to sink or swim.

At the beginning of my journey with epilepsy, I decided to sink. I let my epilepsy silently consume me. I was afraid of having seizures because they can cause pain, injury, and death without warning. I feared the unknown and was convinced I would be viewed as abnormal for the rest of my life. Throughout high school and some of college, I experienced depression, weight gain, and heavy insecurities to the point where I felt like I was drowning. I allowed my epilepsy to control me.

In the Fall of 2021, I felt like I was about to die. I woke up and realized that I needed to advocate for myself and stop feeling sorry for myself as a victim. I found a better doctor, dietitian, new medication, and listened to motivational speakers, all of which boosted my confidence. These small changes gradually transformed my life. I turned my past trauma into fuel and chose to embrace my epilepsy rather than hide it.

I created an Instagram account to document my life transformation while living with epilepsy. With the help of my dietitian and countless days of heavy research, I learned that a ketogenic diet, along with daily exercise, is proven to reduce seizures and can even get rid of epilepsy in certain cases. I feel my best when I am in ketosis.

Now, I am almost 21 years old. I’ve found that the key to living a happy life is focusing on what you can control. Even though I can’t control my epilepsy, I can control almost every other factor in my life: my doctor, medications to control my seizures, diet, fitness, and my mindset, just to name a few. I am the happiest I have ever been in my life.

I no longer sink with epilepsy, I swim.

Reviewed By: Sara Wyen

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