She said: “I didn’t have tonic clonic seizures very often, but when I did, they were very intense, and I took a while to recover from them. I’ve now been seizure free for over 3 years. When I was on a different medication, I was having these seizures very regularly and in between I would have absence seizures as well.
“I generally didn’t have any warning when I was about to have a seizure, so it was really tough. What I’ve noticed growing up and living with this condition is that stress and not enough sleep are both triggers for my seizures. I have been on 4 different types of medication which all affected my appearance and mental health. Hitting the lowest point was a blessing in disguise for me because I decided I didn’t want to feel this way anymore and I was determined to get myself on track. I’m now on Briviact and it has changed my life. The medical care I’ve had has been good – they have always strived to find me the best medication.
“Epilepsy has completely changed my life and I would honestly say for the better. Having epilepsy so young, I had no clue what was happening. I was just a teenage girl trying to live a normal life but I couldn’t because my epilepsy was so tough to manage. It wasn’t just about the seizures and the physical side-effects, but it also had a huge impact on my mental health, at a time when I was in high school and trying to grow and learning to be confident in myself. I couldn’t understand what was going on in my own head let alone trying to life a high school life. It also knocked my confidence so much especially as the medication affected my appearance.”
“I played so much sport when I was younger. I had such an active lifestyle and having epilepsy made me feel fatigued so I just couldn’t keep up with the level of sport I used to do. My grades were also affected massively and I barely got through my GCSEs as I was having seizures right before my exams. My high school experience wasn’t a normal one, but I learnt so much from it and it’s made me a better person.”
“Following years of low confidence and bad mental health, I have now learnt to love myself. I have created a platform on social media where I encourage others to love themselves and to show that having a disability doesn’t stop you from doing anything. Once I had accepted and got used to my condition I found peace with that and focused on my self-love journey. I have all these dreams I want to achieve and having epilepsy is NOT a barrier to achieving them. That’s what I’ve realised with having my condition. I do everything I’ve ever wanted to do now and more. My love for sport has carried on and I am now a competitive pole vaulter, training 6 days a week. I’m also in a competitive dance troupe, a swim teacher and a gymnastics coach. I have the lifestyle I’ve always wanted and epilepsy has made me the person I am today. Having epilepsy or any condition doesn’t define you, you are who you are for a reason and you’re perfect just as you are. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t achieve anything. It’s never anything to be ashamed of. You are not alone on your journey… ever, there will always be someone supporting you. Please reach out to people, appreciate the people that look out for you. My best advice is don’t limit your potential. You can do anything you want to do in this life, and whatever you’re doing with you are strong and beautiful! ❤️
Follow Tahlya’s social media