Recently, I realized that I need to practice what I preach. I was reading all my old blogs since I had to resend them to Sophia after her website broke, and I saw all this amazing advice I was giving on being confident in your diagnosis. I had to take a second to realize that I have been saying all this stuff and then continuing to be terrified of posting anything epilepsy related on my personal Instagram. Just a few months ago, I was removing followers on my @epilepsysofisversion Instagram page if they went to my school.
I feel like the question is obvious: why was I so scared? I honestly don't know. Everybody already knew I had epilepsy. I'm the president of Club Purple. My #1 reason for this is being scared of what people think, or in the words of Taylor Swift, being a "pathological people pleaser." No matter how hard I try, or how hard I try to convince all you readers, deep down, I really do care what people think. My blog posts tend to be very vulnerable, and knowing people from my school read them was just something I couldn't wrap my head around. I understand how judgy people are, and I'm constantly trying to be "perfect." In a way, I didn't want these blog posts to change people's image of me.
Since starting to post more publicly about having epilepsy, I've gotten a few messages. Not bad messages, but I'm so used to having negative reactions that my heart always skipped a beat every time I read the "I didn't know you had epilepsy" text. When the message doesn't follow some super annoying stereotype, it slowly opens my comfort zone. I've had a few people actually come up to me in school, and guess what..they said nice things!
For the first time in my life, I am slowly gaining ACTUAL confidence in my diagnosis. I know it will take a while for me to be perfectly okay with all of this being public, but I know that I have taken some super big steps in the last month. I couldn't be prouder of myself. I'll always be a people pleaser, and I'll always be scared of being judged, but people are going to judge anyway. I might as well be myself.
- Sofi <3