Coping. What’s the alternative? Is there one? Right now, this precise moment in time, I’m coping with epilepsy and all that it spawns, because there aren’t any other options that I can see.
Coping. Such a mediocre word that goes no where near to describe the Herculean effort involved. To cope; a verb . A doing word, meaning to deal effectively with. Coping, to me, means I’m managing to keep my head above water and deal with the fact I have epilepsy, knowing that there is nothing I can do about it. Coping, to me, means trying to come up with some way of accepting that the medical profession appear to have bowed out and left me to it. Coping, to me, means trying to endure without giving cause to worry to others. Coping, to me, is giving the impression I’m in control and that epilepsy is not winning.
Can epilepsy win? Epilepsy is part of me, a part of my brain and its active, apparently, constantly. My brain, as my consultant put it, is constantly shedding excess electricity. I can’t separate epilepsy out from my brain. I can’t just put it in a little box, put the lid on and forget about it. It doesn’t work like that. I have to find a mechanism that allows me to deal with having epilepsy and its entourage of groupies playing with the electrics of my brain. If I can’t find a strategy that works then yes, epilepsy will win and I’ll have to try to live with the fireworks. Over the years, I’ve managed. I’ve had to. So why does it feel like that’s changing?
I have an anger in me at the moment. I can feel it behind my sternum. It’s preventing me from taking a deep breath. I’m angry at me, I’m angry at some others and I’m angry at epilepsy. Anger, allowed to fester unabated, will serve no other purpose than to strengthen the strangle hold of epilepsy and undermine every single coping mechanism I’ve ever garnered over the years. If epilepsy wins, then anger will share the podium. I don’t know how I turned into an angry person. My anger mostly manifests itself inwardly and is a destructive force in my soul, but sometimes it takes control of my vocal chords and it strums out sounds that I give form to and the words give hurt and bitterness a voice that’s often pointed in the wrong direction.
I’m struggling and I don’t know what to do. I’m weary and I’m weak. And I hate just how pathetic that sounds. How whiny. How self-indulgent. How full of self-pity.
How selfish I am. Why on earth should I feel sorry for myself? What do I have to be angry about? I have epilepsy; so what? It’s just one of a million chronic diseases that people every where deal with constantly. I should have been in London this weekend, but a stomach bug put paid to that. I seem to have bugs, colds, illnesses more or less constantly at the moment and I have to wonder how much of that is down to me only just coping. Weakened physically as well as mentally.
Coping isn’t an easy option. It’s draining physically and mentally. Energy is something I once had but I’ve kinda forgotten what it feels like. What’s the alternative to coping? Giving up? Pushing all responsibility onto another? Relinquishing control? No, that sounds just a bit too selfish to me. Tempting, but selfish. But what else is there? Truthfully, I do not know.
Today may well be a duvet day. A day I hide in bed and pretend that everything is ok. But tomorrow? The next day? I have no choice. I have to get up, get dressed and show up to work. It pays the bills. Do I want to? Well, that doesn’t matter.
At the moment, coping is the only option I have.