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High school is the time in your life when you develop life-lasting relationships. It's hard for everybody to make these solid friendships with people you can rely on. I've been lucky. I met one of my best friends at my brother's baseball park when I was little. I met her a

few years before I was diagnosed with epilepsy. Before I wrote this, I had to ask her how she discovered I had epilepsy because I honestly forgot how I told her. She remembers me telling her I had a "bubble in my brain." Baby Sofi was thinking outside the box for that one. Later, her mom explained it all to her. It was outside of my 7-year-old self's comfort zone. Nothing has changed in our relationship; we are still best friends, and I'm so comfortable talking to her about anything you can think about. My other best friend I met in high school so a little more recent. When I asked her how she found out, she said I just brought it up in conversation, which I realized was my tactic in my freshman

year. Thankfully, she kept me around and has been a massive supporter of my epilepsy (She is the vice president of my Club Purple!).

This is all great, but trust me, I've had a few cases where having epilepsy was just too much, apparently. I'm so picky with my friends. I have a small crowd. But I feel like everybody has that era where they had to branch out and meet new people. Mine was early sophomore year. I was struggling with everything epilepsy-related. Socially, I tried to pretend it

didn't exist. I wasn't putting any effort into starting my Club Purple because I knew it would just be a public announcement and "embarrass" me. I remember this conversation with one of my classmates that made me feel like I had just destroyed my entire social life in one sentence(thanks for the dramatics sophomore sofi!). I was talking to this girl, and she was inviting me to a party. I was so excited it would be my first real high school party. I knew I should have been responsible and asked about the flashing lights, so I did. She said it was like a Hawaiian theme until she asked why I was asking. I decided to tell her I had epilepsy and was just wondering. I then got into a fight about my own disorder. She explained to me how it was a mental disorder and that I was wrong. I told her she was wrong and that my brain was physically messed up. Suddenly, she was inspired to have flashing lights at the party. Safe to say, I did not attend.

The most problematic part of high school is dating. Before I start, let me state that you are in the wrong place if you need relationship advice. I am in my junior year of high school and have not been in a successful relationship. My first crush was a very nice guy my freshman year. I didn't tell him I had epilepsy. We were very good friends for a good while. One day, he was walking me to cheer practice when we had to stop at the guidance office so I could sort out something for my accommodations plan (which I didn't tell him). He stayed waiting outside, and unfortunately for me, my guidance counselor talked extremely loud. At least I personally didn't have to break the epilepsy ice. It was one awkward walk to practice. As a surprise to freshman me, he didn't have a negative reaction. In fact, even though we never ended up dating, we are still very good friends, and I'm very comfortable with him regarding my epilepsy.

When I told my mom I would write about this, she made a good point. She told me that some people need to wait a long time to find out how real somebody is. I can find out by saying one thing. I had no comment because I'm a 16-year-old girl who never acknowledges good points till 24 hours later, but here I am acknowledging it (Hi Mami). If you

have epilepsy and are scared about being able to form close bonds because you are embarrassed about having epilepsy, you have to remember that at the end of the day, it is part of you. Never have a friend who treats you less or makes fun of you for something you can't change. I can guarantee you that you will find your people. I'm so happy I found my people at such a young age and love them so much. My two best friends mean the world to me and have gotten me through so much. After you read this, you can learn from my mistakes and tell people straight up so you can know if they are real. Real friends won't block or ghost you. They will love you no matter what. That's it for now!

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