Seize the Day or Let the Day Seize You
My story is one of hope, courage, spirit, and determination. As a 21-year-old woman, I’ve had challenges aplenty, from bullying to suicidal attempts to dealing with a chronic illness.
Bullying was painful. At the time, I was perceived as different because I didn’t fit the typical girl stereotypes. I loved nothing more than playing football with other boys, as I was a tomboy. The bullying continued up until I was 16, which is when I hit my lowest point. It felt like I was in a tunnel I couldn’t get out of—there was no light, just darkness. Gradually, with the help of my family, I overcame something that could have killed me.
I lifted myself up and went on to study for my leaving certification; a week before I was to sit for my exams, I had a horrible pain in my side. That same night, I found myself in the operating theater, getting my appendix taken out. Five days after the operation, I landed in school sitting down to do my first exam. After all I’d been through, I was not going to let it beat me…and it didn’t.
Thankfully, I passed my leaving and prepared for college. College was relatively straightforward, but only last year, things took another turn. I went out one night, came home, and had a full-blown seizure. The next thing I knew, I was in an ambulance being brought to the hospital. After a few tests and a few more seizures, doctors started me on anti-epileptic medication. I’ve had numerous seizures since then.
As far as the challenges I’ve been through are concerned, epilepsy has been by far the most difficult. It takes away your sense of control. It changes your whole life, because now you need to adapt to new routines and forego everything that was once familiar. It’s a process that takes time, and understanding it can be hard.
I know life has changed, but one thing that hasn’t changed, that no illness or life event could ever change, is my perspective. I’ve always chosen to see the world for how it should be, not how it is. To some, I’m an idealist—but to me, this is normal. Challenges are hard and can be overwhelming, but strength comes from facing them. I believe perspective is key; if you have the right perspective and outlook in life, nothing will be too hard to conquer. Dream to aspire, and live to inspire.