I am writing this article because I want to take out of my system a few thoughts, that I am dealing with and causing me trouble for a long time now. Many people don’t know what mental illness or to say better, mental health problem is, and how a person cope with it daily. Even more, how people around this person function.
I am having Tonic-Clonic Seizure (formerly known as grand mal). First time the first seizure happened, back in 2006, while I was still living in Greece, and I was driving from Athens to Peloponnese with my father. The incident happened while the car was going through a very long tunnel, and while I had the seizure, as my father described later, I stretch my arms and legs, and the car was gaining speed and I started losing focus and then we started to hit either sides of the tunnel, till my father managed to take control of the car from the co-driver’s seat.
Long story short, having our seat belts on, airbags opened and all the car’s safety worked well, we came
out unharmed. Thanks Hyundai for that. I had to be hospitalized because of the incident my father described to the paramedics and after many test and a month in the hospital I diagnosed with grand mal epilepsy.
For the rest of the year I had to be seen every 3 weeks by special Neurologist and try different medication to find the proper one that had the minimum side effect for my type of body, as epilepsy has many different types and so different types of medication. There is also another think here. Epilepsy is not curable, the medication is the only way to control my seizures, or in my case, take them away for good, and have a normal life, with some side effects, such as a bit of fat gaining, noisia and a bit of hair loss. The trick here is to learn to control yourself and have a threshold for every shit life throws at you. And the learning curve is long.
The learning curve
And this is where the story begins. You never stop learning how to control that threshold. I will use an audio production term here for those not familiar. Is like sitting in front of your favorite DAW and controlling the threshold on your favorite compressor (which is more accurate here) that you applied on the vocals or master-buss or snare drum. Pretty cool sound, but always needs control. And in daily life, to be cool, you need to control that little threshold. For me at least that was necessary, as I had to go through hell and fire, and I had to adjust my whole life to a new way of living.
Of course my family and my surround environment wasn't ready for this change, which made the whole process a hell lot more difficult. I had many friends before, but after the incident they all disappear, they didn't want to be part of this. Even my girlfriend at that time she left me. But I always had in mind that I had to change and had to improve my life. The pain was unbearable. Muscle pain, brain pain, body pain, soul pain, every angle you could look at it I was feeling like a sack that was crawling around trying to find something to grab from.
Having support means more than anything
Been a huge music fan, and be in that situation where I couldn't play my guitars, as my strength was below the minimum. It was 2007 when I started studying audio and music production on my own as a hobby first and when I got a bit better I was able to record my songs and record my demos back then. I still remember my Tascam US-144MKII USB Audio Interface I was using back then along with Sonar 7. And here is the threshold limit. Somewhere by the 2008, as I was trying as an IT engineer to work and stay relaxed at the same time controlling my temper and enjoying my journey through music and music technology self education, everyone was judging me about the music and why I spend time with music and why I do this and that and … and … and …
Like the distortion on the amplifies or the digital clipping on your compressor when the signal hits the ceiling, like that my brain hit the red light and BOOM !! I welcomed again the seizures back in my life. And everyone suddenly started to care and blaming me of pushing myself too much. Doctors were saying that leave the man alone to work on his hobbies and carry on with his life. Nah...doctors don’t know… :-/
Where I am going with this article
Mental illness is something that is not visible to others, and if it is sometimes, do not expect from others to understand what you are going through. One lesson I learned is to support myself 100%, be my self day in and day out, and do not pretend be someone else just for other to like me. And I am writing this here as I believe this is very important step. If we see ourselves as sick persons, then others and/or society maybe rejects us. If we stay strong and believe in our strong skills, and even try to make them stronger, be stronger, that will make us stand out from the crowd and eventually help us achieve our goals. The only thing that we need is time, vision, belief, when you fall down (which is very often), to be there to lift you up, to show you that they are there, and then you carry on. You don’t need negative people around you. Negative people suck your energy, suck your life and feed from your dreams and hopes. Negativity is something that often will come around us and we need strength to turn it away.
Positivity and willing to move forward is always something that will help you, me and all of us move forward, lift your spirit up, get inspiration, and make that next move, next step that will help you accomplish your goals and dream.
Be yourself, be you, live your life