Depression. Epilepsy. Broken Wrist. What’s Next? Mostly Good I Hope

Photo by Markus Kontiainen

Photo by Markus Kontiainen

That’s how it has been. Depression. Epilepsy. And now broken wrist. And the last week and a half I’ve had time to think about this all. Thinking if this is some sick joke that I’ve had to deal with all of these in just few months.

Yes, I’ve had depression on and off since I was fairly young, runs in the family. But the last few years I’ve gotten the hang of that one, and know and feel when I’m “falling” and know what to do about that. And I’ve had epilepsy since I was 17, though the last 3 years without the medication and for almost 22 years without any seizures, until just before last Christmas and a week and a half ago. Oh yeah… And that broken wrist. I’ve written how I’ve managed to fall on my face couple of times last fall, but I got the news of my wrist being broken since last October and needing an operation involving a screw and bone from my hip, just on the Christmas week.

So with all of these, plus having some major heart brake issues, my interest in this all started to be under a rock. Since I met with my surgeon about my wrist early January, I’ve been more than down with my mood. The news about when and how the operation will be hit me really hard. I was smart enough to not google anything, but with nothing to wait, I was blindsided by it all. Now I’m on the waitlist for the operation which might be in two weeks or in 6 months. And the fact that after it I’ll be in recovery for 3 months. I just didn’t expect any of that. I guess I thought that it’ll be a day and then I’ll do some training with a physio and be done. To be honest, I have no idea what I expected.

The fact that I’m not capable of being myself 100%, is very and has been very disheartening. Yes, I’ve probably been a bit over dramatic about it, but hell, the fact that going from very athletic and capable to needing to ask for help with the simplest things and not being able to use your left arm is a bit shitty feeling. But all through all those feelings I’ve reminded myself that I have it good, it’s going to get treated and there are so many millions of people in the world who aren’t in the position I am and still won’t complain, so.

But what I’ve also been, has been depressed, tired to the level of light burnout, lost in the puzzle of people and how they treat you, and with all that in me already, my good old friend epilepsy paid me another visit. On a day when I last needed it, not sure if you ever need that but yeah. And at that point I just was too tired to be interested in anything. That was it for me. I had nothing in me to fight anything anymore. I was mad, sad and just thinking What’s Next? Bring It! I don’t even care anymore! Which is obviously total bullshit, because I’m incapable of not caring, but even I was close.

And when I was laying in the ER of the hospital and my doctor comes and says that we need to start your medication for the epilepsy again, I don’t know, I just broke a bit inside.

One of the biggest things for me has been that I’ve been able to balance my life in a way the last few years that I didn’t need the medication anymore. And now, knowingly what I shouldn’t do and what will trigger it, I’m back in a place in my life where I have to put few meaningful dreams aside because of it. There went my dreams of finally being able to drive a license and being able to do those road trips I’ve dreamt for a long time, going somewhere alone in a car I can sleep in. There also went the dream of living as clean as possible, as the idea of needing to eat that strong of a medication makes me sad and like I have no control over my own life.

In a way I was and have been mostly mad or disappointed at myself. Why with all the knowledge I have about my situation and my past, I go and do the exact opposite? Why I stop all that have made me feel that good and balanced my depression to a level that it’s almost non existing? Why I stop caring about my diet and think that something would have changed with me needing certain amount of sleep to keep my epilepsy in check? In the end I’ve been sabotaging my own self.

Why?

The way my last year went from start to finish has definitely had a part in that. It started and ended with a heart break. And now learning more and more about my HSP (highly sensitive person) and introversion, I’m not even surprised how puzzled it all made me. I lost myself in all of that, without realising that I need time to heal, really heal. I healed but not fully in spring time with running, I was heading to a great direction but I fell for someone too early and that was too good to not dive head first. Why not, I tend to believe in love no matter what.

But when I moved back to Finland, I was just in need of a change and I got that in the form of a completely new and exciting job. But as I do, I dove head first, and forgot that now I really need those good balancing teachings that I’ve practised so hard for couple of years. But when you’re excited you don’t have time to concentrate on things like good diet, sleep and exercise, right?!

So my first epilepsy seizure, late fall, tried to remind me of certain things without me listening to any of it. Then the news of my wrist tried to calm me down a bit, but it only made me angry and teenagey. So I needed the universe to really stop me cold with my second and hopefully last epilepsy seizure, to hopefully make me understand that it doesn’t make me a bad person if I’m not willing to risk my health for something else. No one made me or expected me to do that, just to make it clear, that was all me. But the challenge will be from now on, from next Monday when I go back to work. To find that balance, really work on me and finding ways to feel better.

Maybe this is part of some 30’s crisis, that I didn’t have when I was turning 30, or maybe this is some pressure that comes from the world we live in these days. No idea what, but I feel a lot of times we’re supposed and expected to be almost immortal and capable of everything without sleep and personal boundaries. The social media pushes new this and that to us all the time, and you feel even when you don’t really feel like that in you, that you need to want something or be something else that you are, or more this or that. I can’t do all of that. I’m one of those who are way too sensitive to be in front of all that all the time and try to exceed. I have no interest in exceeding because that’s impossible. That’s not me.

I saw an interview of Adele when her new album came out and the interviewer was asking does she miss being in the spotlight or does she have her own squad. What she answered was perfect. She said that not really because it’s not real life, and those who think that it is usually tend to be assholes. And that she has a squad, the ones that truly matter and care, and that it’s really small, and has gotten smaller and smaller the more known she is.

Without realising, that’s exactly what I’ve wanted to do for some time. To go in the background so to speak and just do my job really well. Push myself forward in those things, like writing and being healthy and a good friend and person, but doing it for me, not for others. And what I’ve noticed is that my “squad” is really small but the quality of it is off the roof! There’s spots in there for few more good ones, but my trust is a bit shakey these days so I apologise if it’s not that easy to get in. So again, less is more, in so many ways.

Also, how I feel about all these physical things that have been shaking my balance, is still something I thought long long time ago, I got them because something higher knew that I’m strong enough to carry them. I’m embracing this all now, it’s not all fun and games all the time, but I am embracing this and what it brings. I can assure you that starting your medication again and it making you feel like you are in a cloud of deep tiredness and foggy head and nausea, is not the way you want to spend a week, but I keep moving forward. I just needed to let myself feel all of that. I can’t be afraid of things that I love. I can’t stop being me, even if something like this is “back”. I am me, because I have all of these. There’s nothing wrong with me, and if they make someone think again about if they want to get to know me better, then that’s their lost, not mine. I do love myself like this, “flaws” and all. They are not flaws, they are parts of me.

LOVE. GRATITUDE. FAITH IN BETTER. PMA ❤

I want to thank all of you who have been my support through this. Thank you to my colleagues who helped and took care of me after my seizure. I am very grateful for this all, thank you.

 

Fear. Broken In My Brain. Epilepsy. Love.

IMG_1876This past week was a lot to take. The honesty I got out today when sending a voicemessage to my soul friend all the way to Canada, it came out with tears, anger, sadness, laughter, all.

What that one epilepsy seizure last week managed to do, was way bigger than I ever thought possible, probably because I haven’t thought the whole decease in over 13 years… Or maybe at some points between that time 13 years ago and now, but less and less all the time.

I have been so angry to myself, to my epilepsy, for messing up something I thought don’t need any messing up. I was crying today while on a walk in stormy weather. Crying because I was tired of taking one thing after another this past year, like I’m made of some unbreakable matter that is ready for whatever the world has to throw.

I remember when I got my last big seizure, I was just about to turn 18 and my first thought at the doctor was that “can I have children?”. I remembered that today, and wondered do I still worry that same thing now after my last seizure. Honestly, not sure. I had so many years that I didn’t even want kids, so now I have no idea.

What the seizure did, was that it just pulled the carpet under me and left me wonder what to do with all the feels… I’ve felt more than broken and lost and sad and mad and angry and afraid.

It brought back this deep rooted fear. Fear of me being okay. If no one ever will love me with my broken brain. It dumped me in my depression and insecurities of not being worthy. Being worried of all the tiniest “not normal” feelings in my body. Fear if it’s okay to do this or that, because what if I get another one?

What epilepsy does, is wire your brain the way it’s not supposed to for a brief moment. You lose a unspecified moment of your life and you have no idea what happened in that moment. Other than leave you with bruises, cuts and blood on your hands. It leaves you with unsure feeling and worry of what just happened. You don’t understand why people are talking to you calmly and asking you simple questions and why they say that the ambulance is coming.

I remember thinking, long time ago, that some higher power must think that I’m strong enough to carry so many confusing, forever deceases. That there has to be a reason why I have epilepsy and depression. Both confusing and with no reason why. I guess my brain has been a bit broken since I was born. Maybe that’s what makes me so special, this is the part that my friend would be happy to read, and that’s why writing it makes me smile.

But today I really didn’t understand if I am supposed to be strong enough to carry these? Why me, why do my last year has to be a constant challenge? Mostly I felt sad, deep sadness that there needs to be something. I wanted to scream enough is enough!

At the same time, I remind myself how well things are in my life. Which almost makes me feel angrier, like I shouldn’t be allowed to feel all what I am, because I have to be grateful of the good in my life.

If something is certain, it is the fact that that one moment last Tuesday morning, made me feel confused and bring new perspective and honesty in my life. I hate that I can’t be as happy about certain things that I would normally. I hate that I need to feel sad now to feel better soon. I don’t want to dismiss all of this but I am tired of it. And I am more than tired to feel afraid again. Like I have to or need to prove something to myself again, after the work I’ve done to kick that useless fear to the curb.

One thing that made me feel really small was the thing that I needed to admit how much I miss being wanted and loved by someone, that special. I have no idea why it came so strong with this all, but it pushed it’s way to the surface and didn’t let me go before I said it out loud. It had nothing to do with me not loving myself, it has all to do with me wanting to feel special to someone. How beautiful would it feel if someone would say something like ” I know that your brain is broken and that you’re not perfect but that’s why I love you even more”.  This all doesn’t mean that I want to make something happen just for the sake of it, nope, but admitting that I would love to spend some time in the arms of someone nice and special, I need to admit that would be amazing.

How am I going to get rid of this fear that crept back in me?

I feel like I need to travel somewhere alone, even for few days to prove myself that I’m good. That I’m still all that hard work I’ve done, that it didn’t just disappear in that one moment. Be on my own and remember who I am. Get rid of this feeling that tries to make my insides dark again, which only makes me angry.

Like with all things, there’s good in this whole thing too. I know that I’m not alone with this. I have more love in my life than before, whether I’m missing that special one or not. My body is way smarter than me, so I should just listen to it. More less is more in the good way, of more water and good food and running and hugs and friends and one day that special hug, yep. I’ll promise to be better to myself and remember what are important to me under all that I thought are important.

LET YOURSELF FEEL WHAT NEEDS TO BE FELT. LOVE. SAY YOUR FEARS OUT LOUD. LOVE. CRY. FEEL THAT SADNESS TO FEEL BETTER. YOU DON’T ALWAYS HAVE TO SMILE. PMA ❤

Live And Learn…

IMG_2187“Let’s push as far before I crack…”.

And then I cracked, as in on Tuesday morning 5:30, I got an epilepsy attack, a grand mal, something I haven’t had in 13 years. Which ended up me needing to go to the emergency room with an ambulance in the morning. And also really go through my life and how I’ve been living it lately.

If I am smart and admit that I’ve been working too hard and long hours, in my own new found passion for my job, this wouldn’t happen as I would’ve been smart enough to calm the situation early enough, but no…

I have a habit of going full steam when I get excited about something. And this past couple of months have not been any different. I found something I am good at, got all stoked to the point that I was ready to do anything and everything to get ahead in my job when I should’ve have calm down and slow down and learn slow and steady. And with my insane passion and drive, I’ve managed to piss off some people, because it can be too much at times, and for a reason. I can be too much, I know that. I’ve lived with myself quite a few years and worked on this trait of mine but forgot it this time… Unfortunately.

But playing with my health is the stupidest thing I could do, especially when I’m the one usually reminding my friends of it. There’s no reason for me to do anything so much that my body stops me to the core. None.

My first reaction to the attack was pure hatred. I was pissed off that the medics wanted me to calm down, when they obviously didn’t realised that I have stuff to do. When I understood that they are being good to me, I got pissed off at myself. I was pissed off that I let this all go this far. When I know too well that I am not that important that things will stop if I don’t do them all. But it’s still tempting, as people like me know.

It’s super easy to beat yourself up for something like this, but then again it won’t help you in any way. You can only learn from your mistakes, like I have before, so this should not be any different.

What almost surprised me was the fact that I was terrified that I will lose my job because of this. I was genuinely worried that this is it, if I won’t be able to do what I’m supposed to then what am I good for?! The thing is that no one is expecting me to do some inhumane amounts of work and still push on. I’m supposed to have a life just like anyone else and I’m still learning the traits of this field, I’m not ready and done yet, hopefully never will be. So I need to be way easier to myself. I have to have other life too, I need to see my friends and have time for running and other things that make me smile and feel full of life.

There’s no need to drain my whole being from everything with the thought that if I don’t then someone else will get my job… Which could happen anyway.

But I do owe myself to be the best I can to myself, so that I can be the best I can be in what I do and to others too. I should know this as I’ve gone through similar situations before, not this drastic but close enough to learn my lesson, except that I obviously haven’t.

Maybe the fact that there’s been so many amazing and good things in my life since I moved back home to Finland, that the shear amount of it all has just overwhelmed me and I’ve just jumped in without thinking that I need some balance to it all.

The stupidest thing, to do to myself, was the fact that I didn’t give myself any time to heal from it all, but I went back to work the next day only to learn that I need to take few days off because of that mistake. Which made me feel even worse this morning when I realised it. But I can either keep beating myself or just learn my lesson and move forward with a smarter mindset.

I think for a moment, I got sucked into this thing that is cool that if you’re super busy and “important” then you’re doing things well… A thing I’ve always hated, for a reason. As the real me knows that that is not real and that being there for others and taking care of yourself are way more important things to take care of.

I need to go back to my own drawing board and maybe even write down, what things are important to me and what can I do to be better at them and in my job that I love, without risking my health. Should not be too hard.IMG_2218

For sure, a thing I really don’t want to even think, is the fact of how much this epilepsy attack really scared the shit out of me. I haven’t had any issues with it for a good 12 or so years and after doing everything opposite to what I know are good, I managed to work it back to my life and freak me out. For a good reason I’ve done certain things in a certain way so that I don’t need to worry about the whole thing. I managed to forget them all with my excitement. Again, lesson learned, hopefully!

I can be good at things, without drowning my whole being in them. It’s completely okay to take time for yourself and need to rest, nothing wrong with that. Without being healthy selfish and doing exactly those, you won’t be able to keep pushing with the things you love. Same goes with work, running, whatever. You need to rest to be able to do them. Point blank.

In the end this was needed, not that I am proud of it on any level, but I seem to need a pretty drastic reminder to stop what I have been doing. Learning slowly my lesson, but still got some work to do with learning this.

Also what really humbled me was the sheer amount of care and love that I received near and far, thank you so much for it all ❤ means the world and reminds me of those good things!

I can be afraid of many things but I can’t over compensate to make them work. One step at a time, is the right way to go. I need help just like anyone else. I have to say that I am very blessed to have good people in my life to ask for help or say how I feel. Things are way better than before, I’m truly not alone anymore. Thank you. ❤

SLOW. STEADY. YOU’RE ENOUGH. REST. SLEEP. EAT. DRINK. HUG AND LOVE. PMA ❤IMG_2217