I had a plan & epilepsy changed that



4/5/20233 min read

I am in the middle of my last semester of high school, and I have no idea of what I'm going to do next. 13-year-old me had a plan (well, I've actually had this plan since 5th grade, I made a slideshow about it for a class project). I was going to continue in competitive soccer. I would play all through high school and commit to a university where I would major in engineering. Ambitious, I know, but 13-year-old me had no idea what she was in for. I continued soccer and then was diagnosed with epilepsy and broke my ankle within a span of two weeks. It sucked, but I knew what I wanted, and I recovered and was ready to play during the spring season. A few months later, I had a major concussion, which took me out of soccer for a few months in the fall.

I got the go-ahead from my doctor on the day of high school soccer tryouts, and I refused to give up. I made the team, and I was doing ok. In the coming spring of 2020, right before our last few games, Covid hit. No high school soccer, no club soccer, no anything. Then I moved to Canada. My grades had slipped in the past few years, and I fell apart when I started school here in Canada. My mental and physical health tanked, and by Christmas, I accepted that the sport I had spent ten years of my life doing would get me nowhere because I could barely make it through a game without a seizure. When I was diagnosed with epilepsy, it wasn't that big of a deal because it was controlled. And all of a sudden, the past few years came crashing down. All these big things I had just pushed through because I didn't have a choice became all I could think of. For the next year and a half, I was a mess. I either wouldn't attend school or cut at least two classes daily. I let people into my life who didn't deserve it. I thought they did, but people change and turn their backs, especially when you're so inconsistent as I was. By the end of grade 11, I wasn't going to school at all. But over that following summer, something changed. I'm not sure what it was, but I knew something had changed, and it did. This past year I've raised my grades, been up for school, and done the work. I played high school soccer and took my cleats off for the last time, but I couldn't have been prouder of myself. I faced health issues, but I learned how to get through them with the help of my therapist. I applied to one university, and I got accepted. It's the local one where I live, but one year ago today, I spent a week in the hospital for mental health reasons so that it could be worse. So I didn't get that soccer scholarship, and I honestly don't even know if I'm going straight into university or going at all, but I'm not ashamed or upset. I made it here today. I made it despite the classes I failed and the trouble I got into. I made it today despite the debilitating mental illness and the hospital stays. I made it today despite a brain cyst and epilepsy. I made it here today, and I couldn't ask for anything else. Ten-year-old me would probably be very confused by how it turned out, but I think 13-year-old me would have a sigh of relief knowing we made it this far. When you have an illness, everything is so unpredictable. Often we can go from controlled seizures one day to uncontrolled the next. It's hard to commit and put your all into something, but that's not a choice you must make in one day. It's something that's developed over time. So no, I have no idea what I'm going to do with my life, but it's kind of exciting knowing there's one to have.