What Would You Do If You Weren’t Afraid?
Those words are what caught my eye during my first meeting with our Parent’s Network group back in September 2012. Those words are what continue to inspire me in working with all of EAC’s clients; kids, teenagers, parents, adults and seniors.
So, what would you do if you weren’t afraid? The answer to that question for most people living with epilepsy is: everything and anything. I would go to the store by myself; I would take swimming lessons; I would probably have gone for that job interview; go to college; learn to drive; fall in love; play hockey; be happy…I’ve heard it time and time again from many different people – yes, I’m afraid, worried, nervous of a seizure happening, but I can’t stop living my life because I’m afraid. Just being able to speak those words, and acknowledge that epilepsy won’t stop you, is enormous courage and strength in of itself.
If there is one thing I’ve learned from all of the people I’ve met in the nearly two years working at EAC, is that inspiration is always around the corner, and it comes from the most unlikely of places. I have heard too many heartbreaking stories from many people, but no matter how tough of a story, filled with sadness, uncertainty and hopelessness, people always finish their stories with some version of the following heart wrenching statement – It could be worse…
Whether it is from a mom whose son has been diagnosed with a disorder that less than 100 other people in the world live with, to a client who fell off scaffolding at work during a seizure and has been told he is no longer employed, to a client whose medication that worked for 30 years has suddenly no longer stops seizures, each of these clients has some little light of optimism and hope shining within them.
I want all of the people I’ve met throughout my time working at EAC to know how much you inspire me; each and every day. No matter how tough things are for you, you come to the groups and workshops and make strong connections and lasting impressions upon others who are struggling. There is a quote (from a fortune cookie of all places) that sums up the connections made at our groups: “If we knew each other’s secrets, what comforts we would find”
So, a huge thank you to all of the clients I’ve worked with over the past two years – the reason I love this job so much is because of you. You all show such amazing and inspiring strength, courage, determination and resiliency. Seeing how each of you can carry on every day despite all of the challenges you face is what inspires me to keep going on a tough day, and work harder to make the world a better place for you.
January 31, 2014