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Ask the Advocates: What Has Epilepsy Taught You?

No epilepsy journey is the same. Its ups and downs, its challenges and obstacles – epilepsy can take its toll. But like all of life's hardest parts, it also can be a journey of learning and strength.

So we asked our advocates: "What's one life lesson epilepsy has taught you?"

Life lessons from epilepsy

Illustrated portrait of Epilepsy advocate Derra Howard. "Epilepsy has taught me that I can do absolutely anything and everything I want to do with the help of God. This thing called epilepsy has been an obstacle, but not a roadblock for me. I found my voice because of epilepsy. I was able to do the research and find a community of advocates. I am able to help others on my journey as well. And I am so grateful for that. The life lesson I’m learning is to be adaptable. I might not feel 100 percent every day, but I keep going. I know that I can handle any obstacle that is put in my way, through the help of God. I'm here to let people know you can live a normal life with epilepsy." Derra
Illustrated portrait of Epilepsy advocate Stacia Kalinoski. "Epilepsy has taught me that health is wealth. Losing my career to a seizure forced me to seek out brain surgery. I never would have been able to have a real job again if I didn't have surgery. Brain health determines not just a financial future, but for me, a more fulfilling life. I also learned that it’s not fair to loved ones to brush seizures aside and expect things will work out with more medication. I had a responsibility to my family and friends to take control of my health so they didn't have to stress out and worry about how I was doing. I don't take my health nor medication for granted." Stacia
Illustrated portrait of Epilepsy advocate Miles Levin. "Epilepsy has taught me to take pride in personal victories, even when they are small. It's taught me to give enormous value and gratitude to the things I can do. It has also led me to be able to offer a service to a community more important than myself. My experience can be valuable to someone else, which makes life a worthwhile experience. I recommend anyone with the condition to find an epilepsy organization they can volunteer for. When your experience becomes meaningful to someone else, it becomes worthwhile to you." Miles
Illustrated portrait of Epilepsy advocate Nisshaa Muniandy. "To be mindful of everything. Epilepsy makes me do things in a mindful way. I used to be very stressed about school exams but now I prepare myself early before the exams. A day before the exam I will sleep on time to be fresh and energetic the next morning. Epilepsy taught me the importance of being happy and calm. If I feel stuck with my work or assignment I will think about epilepsy. Because epilepsy is harder to handle than other things in my life. Within a few minutes, I am able to solve the problem or look at it as smaller. I'm more important than work or any problems I have. Epilepsy has been with me for the past 16 years and I'm so grateful that I am able to manage it in style." Nisshaa

Share your experiences

What have you learned from your own journey with epilepsy? Have its ups and downs changed your perspective or viewpoints? Share in the comments below or in our forums.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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