For the last several years, I have been trapped in a boxing ring. The opponent? Twice my size and has been throwing one punch after another until I fall down and hit the ground. In the beginning, it was easier to get back up each time after I took the fall, but lately, my battered wounds and aching muscles have made it so much harder to get back up again. I am bleeding, hurting, full of tears and I look radically different than when I entered the ring.
More recently, I began to have an increase in seizure-like episodes, which have also since progressively worsened in their severity. Presently these seizures are happening multiple times a day. I have not had a seizure free day in weeks. Originally believed these episodes were related to the brain injury I developed as a result of the hypoglycemic episode which caused a seizure back on April 1st, 2019. However, my neurologist had other diagnoses in mind so following extensive testing I was diagnosed epilepsy. This diagnosis has dramatically changed my life. I can no longer drive because of the seizures. The medication I take to treat the epilepsy is not stopping the seizures, instead, it has only left me with a number of debilitating side effects. I can’t be alone for an extended time out of fear I may have a seizure and no one will be there to help me. I can’t travel. I should be with my friends doing all of the fun things we planned together, instead, my friends spend time together without me as they are afraid of what could happen if I had a seizure. I am merely fighting to survive and the only way I can live is by relying on the rest of the world.
When I step into the boxing ring to fight this fight without help then I am the only one who has to face the punches, except my current situation requires me to bring other people into the boxing ring with me. I have to bring my friends and family into the boxing ring with me knowing they too will face the same pain from those punches that have left me battered, bruised and broken on the ground. It sucks asking the people you love to join you in the boxing ring. I feel horrible asking my support system to carry my burdens and my hurt. No, I do not directly hurt others by inviting them to fight with me, but by inviting them to fight with me I know they will experience my devastation and heartache. Maybe that’s why I have rarely asked for help? I want to protect my support system from my devastation and heartache. I highly doubt when they entered my life most of them realized boxing would quit being a spectator sport, but very quickly they were forced to play a sport they did not necessarily ask to be apart of, yet most of them have still fought with me anyways. In the beginning, my support system started out as spectators to my fight there were a number of emotions they never had the chance to experience. Yes, people see the emotions I face from the outside looking in but life is so much different when you sit in the audience versus when you stand in the ring. But now that those people are in the boxing ring with me they see how the opponent or my disease affects everyone involved in my care, my family, my relationships, and my friends. I am not the only one who looks radically different from the start of the match.
But isn’t that what love is? Love is sticking beside someone through their worst. Love is proving to a person you will be standing by their side supporting them through their struggle. Love is growing together, carrying one another’s burdens and changing each other’s world. So thank you to those who have loved me through all of the devastation, heartache, and in the times when I felt like I was unloveable, a burden or didn’t need anyone in the boxing ring with me.