Epilepsy and self confidence aren’t best friends. Epilepsy scares you and puts you on edge by itself but the medications to help aren’t any better at times and only worsen the situation.
How can millions of people feel comfortable and confident in themselves when this is the case.
I missed a lot of school from being in hospital and having bad health days but it was such a struggle to push myself to go to school on the “good” days because I was so self-conscious. I was constantly worried about people staring at me because I had so much unexplained time off, my medication made my acne worse which isn’t good around judgemental teens, I was slowly dying at one point and didn’t look like the hottest girls in my cohort and, of course the most common insecurity of all, I was terrified of having a seizure in front of somebody while at school.
This was all so draining and all consuming.
How could I possibly bloom in self-confidence when this is what I faced every time I left the house. It was much easier to stay tucked away in my bedroom, which is what I did as much as I could.
“Oh, so the cave monkey leaves her room.” My mum would joke.
Staying in my room did nothing to help the situation, only making it worse. The more I avoided the public the scarier being in public became.
My escape from this was dying my hair fashionable colours.
A psychologist once asked how somebody so anxious could wear such attention drawing hair colours. It’s because it brings positive attention. Instead of worrying about anything else to do with my physical appearance people were drawn to my hair and complimented it. Kids likened me to their favourite doll or TV character with the same hair colour with perfect childlike innocence. These compliments encouraged me to continue and get creative. Those compliments slowly built my confidence up piece by piece. Suddenly I wanted to go out in public just to show off my latest hair colour.
Since then, I’ve written one novel and I’m currently writing my second, both have characters with epilepsy but both characters are wildly different.
Maia, from book one, is scared and avoiding the world, although we see some changes in those behaviours throughout the book, but the fear is still there.
Harmonia, from book two, is the complete opposite. She’ll get up from her seizure when it’s safe and strut away as if she’s on top of the world. If you try to embarrass her for her seizures, she’ll give it right back to you only better. She has no fear, she doesn’t let her seizures hold her back.
I’ve made fictional characters, but I’ve constructed them in a certain way on purpose.
Maia is the person people can relate to and Harmonia is the person people can aim to be like.
I’m creating Harmonia, her entire existence comes from within me, but she’s a character that’s nothing like me yet I aspire to be in some ways.
I’m trying to create an escape for people, including myself, in hopes that the person who reads it gets what they need to face the world. I loved books growing up and if I had books like these to read maybe I wouldn’t have turned into a walking rainbow to find my confidence.
I found my escape. Everyone needs an escape of sorts. I still worry about having a seizure in public but it’s not my main focus when I go out in public anymore. I’m improving and it’s thanks to my escape.
Find your escape and soar!