Raymond M. is a current student in graduate school. Over the last several years he has learned how to persevere through his diagnosis, and now aims to help others going through difficult times.
Prior to my epilepsy diagnosis, I had taken the ability to learn for granted. Being able to learn is a gift, and it was not until my neurologist put me on a medicine that worked for me that I would regain the ability to do so once more. When I began high school, it was then I began to experience a series of seizures. During this time, I was forced to bear the woes of epilepsy alongside a revolving door of medications.
Between the memory loss, the mood swings, and the seizures, I always felt broken. In addition, my body was dangerously losing weight as a result of the medicine. This later led to a lack of appetite and a malnourished appearance. If this was not enough, every day I dealt with a barrage of epilepsy jokes. Needless to say, high school was abysmal. Without my support system, I have no idea what would have become of me.
It was not until my senior year of high school that things began to turn around for me. At this point, I was put on a medication that would change my whole life. Upon being put on Depakote, I was able to work on bringing my grades up to a point where I could meet college expectations. At this point, things were looking up. It was through learning and experiencing things that I could not experience otherwise that I regained a newfound sense of confidence. This confidence can best be summed up in what my life looks like today.
Since the grim days of my epilepsy diagnosis, I have earned my spot in graduate school, studying clinical mental health counseling at Malone University. While recollecting the suffering that I had to endure as a teenager, it is my greatest hope that I can continue to work towards becoming the person families need as they confront their trials. In the end, my greatest bit of advice to those that might still be suffering is to talk about it. When I concealed it, I experienced so much inner turmoil that nobody deserves. As I began to share my story, it was then that I could begin to heal while helping others heal in the process.