There is a saying that trauma is an inner wound. It can be open and cause re-occurring injury or hardened like scar tissue and cause numbing. Healing requires acknowledging your pain and suffering, being self-compassionate, validating your emotional experiences, and becoming whole again. By doing this, you allow re-connection to happen within yourself. For me, it also required rewriting my narrative. I had to rewrite the way I viewed myself.
Epilepsy is more than seizures and seizure control. Seizure control provides the opportunity for a ‘new life,’ creating independence, but only after many of us have molded profoundly negative beliefs of ourselves and have suffered the trauma of epilepsy. Seizure control will not take away the psychological and emotional damage that society has created, along with the negative beliefs we have formed about ourselves.
What are the obstacles that people with epilepsy are too fearful to talk about? As an artist, art therapist, counselor, and patient with epilepsy, my work helps others gain insight into the depth of suffering people with epilepsy experience by offering visual documentation. Some obstacles that are less spoken about entail constant turbulence (specifically medical treatment), difficulty adapting, chronic rejection, difficulty regulating emotions, struggles with communication, fear of vulnerability, and a severe lack of self-compassion.
My work is about honoring the emotional and psychological suffering people face while living with epilepsy. Because only by addressing both seizure control and the trauma of epilepsy will someone’s quality of life significantly improve.