I have had epilepsy since birth but did not develop tonic-clonic seizures until I was 18. At age 20, I had a seizure that lasted for 20 minutes, and since then, it has been a struggle trying to adjust medications and find the right care. As a kid, I didn't think much of it. As an adult, I realized the importance of advocacy in the epilepsy community. While epilepsy is something that impacts 1 in 26 people, it is not something that is talked about enough.
Over the years, my seizures have worsened, and I have suffered other health issues. Despite this, I have achieved more than I ever thought possible. I graduated a year ago from college and am now pursuing my master's degree in another country. There have been setbacks on my journey, without a doubt, but I have an amazing support team surrounding me. I have met a lot of others facing the same challenges as me, and they inspire me to do whatever I want to in my life.
I believe that while epilepsy may close some doors, it can open others for many people. There will be times of hardship and great joy when you achieve things you never thought possible. You are so much more than your diagnosis.
I believe that keeping your epilepsy diagnosis to yourself does others a disservice. Your story may inspire others whether or not you view it that way. I want to inspire at least one person, as many have inspired me.