A new Instagram epilepsy friend recently tagged me in one of her posts and looking at these pictures, now I’m sitting here – in the parking lot of my son’s karate class – with tears in my eyes…
Yes, they are tears of sadness as I know the journey she’s been on as a wife, a mother and a person wanting to be whole. But they are also tears for her strength. I don’t know if that makes any sense… But I look at the pictures of her newly shaven head, her family’s arms around her, and the beauty that is there no matter if she has hair or not, and I think what a source of strength. What a picture of vulnerability but also hope. It is the rawness in her willingness to share with others that brings us all in – with epilepsy or not. A reality unaffected, nor wanting, a filter, a facade.
I feel her struggle. Understand the fear in her eyes, and the sense of loss that pulls at one’s heart. The missing a piece of yourself. I don’t know where I’m going or even where I wanted to go when I first started typing this into my phone… I just know I wanted to say – you are not alone. None of us are ever alone. No matter what kind of epilepsy you may have, the avenues you go through to fight it, or the varying struggles of daily life… You’re never alone. There are too many of us to ever be alone, even if epilepsy and it’s trauma manages to convince you otherwise.
The woman in these pictures is Ali. She’s not ready to give up. And neither am I. So I guess these tears are ones of determination… you got this girl. I know it. And whatever it takes, we’ll fight til we all do.
I know we will. I just know it.