stacey chillemi

When you go on Facebook and you look up the people with epilepsy you’ll find hundreds of people sharing pictures of the bruises or broken bones that they endured while having a seizure or they’ll share a paragraph or two telling others about the seizure the experienced and the physical pain they acquired from it.

My heart goes out to all of them because each time I read one of these messages on Facebook I can relate to them because at some time in the course of my life I experienced what they are experiencing now.


  • experienced concussions
  • acquired a hematoma on my head by falling headfirst on the ground
  • gotten broken bones
  • acquired many cuts and bruises
  • almost drowned in a bathtub
  • have cracked my head open
  • permanent memory loss from my concussions
  • experienced several near-death experiences

and the list can go on.  But I am not here to ask for sympathy or to have others recognize the extent of hardship that I endured, because honestly, everyone goes through tragedy and everyone experiences pain in their life. 

My question to you is, “What is more painful the physical pain we endure or the emotional pain experienced from the tragic event that occurred?

What’s Worse The Physical Pain or Emotion Pain?

When I look back on the course of my life and I think of all the things I have gone through in life because of my epilepsy tears begin to fill my eyes.  I have acknowledged that broken bones heal, hematomas eventually go away and the other physical pain caused by my seizures eventually healed too.  

However, the emotional pain I have received in my life-long journey with epilepsy will never go away.  I would be lying if I said it did. It’s embedded in my heart and will remain there for the rest of my life.  So me personally, I truly believe that the emotional pain is much worse than the physical pain we endure from a seizure.

So How Do You Cope with The Emotional Pain Caused By Epilepsy

But what I do know just like with any painful event, the emotional pain will never leave us, so we must learn how to cope and move on.  Just like when someone we love passes. The pain from that loss will never go away but we learn to cope with the loss and then we move on.  

If you don’t move on then you’ll live the rest of your life in misery and depression and that’s no way to live. 

Living with Epilepsy

Living with epilepsy, every day of your life is tough.  For many who have a disability, they tend to hold their emotions inside.  The emotions that develop tend to build up inside them until they are unable to deal with their emotions any longer.  When you ignore your emotions and hold your emotions inside you set yourself up where you can easily fall into depression.  This can happen when one focuses on the negative aspects of their disability and by pitying themselves.

Living with epilepsy can be difficult if you do not accept the disability into your life.  When you accept epilepsy into your life, you must first realize that there is no such thing as a perfect person.  We triumph each day of our life trying to master how to solve the daily troubles that come our way, and how to overcome the problems that have already occurred in our lives.  You need to grasp the notion that no one on this earth is perfect and there is no need to feel a sense of embarrassment because you have epilepsy.  If you look into any person’s closet, you will find plenty of secrets and imperfections.  Overlooking your problems and not dealing with them is the easy way out, yet to face your epilepsy and the pain its caused is an accomplishment. 

Accepting Our Epilepsy

Accepting our problems and dealing with them helps us grow mentally, physically and spiritually.  One should not feel ashamed because they have a disability.  When I opened up, telling people about my disability, I was shocked to find out how many people had some disability or knew someone who had epilepsy

Education Is Key

People fear what they don’t know. Many individuals are uneducated about epilepsy and look at people who have epilepsy different.  I believe God puts obstacles in our lives to strengthen us.  When we are young, we have people in our lives that help to mold us.  They help us develop the strength, wisdom, and knowledge we need to survive in this world.  Yet if we become dependent on these people, we cannot survive and live the productive life that God has given us on this earth to enjoy.  You must realize that everyone is on this earth here for a reason.  We need to pass on what we have learned along to others.   

I believe it is just selfish and pure laziness when we pity ourselves because we have epilepsy.  You need to take your problems and learn how to cope with them so you can help other people.  There is no reason why you should not live a happy and healthy life just because you have epilepsy.

The Key To Surviving Is Positivity

You need to accept your epilepsy into your life and look at it positively.  To do this you need to open your heart and feel what your emotions are trying to tell you.  Your heart will never lie to you because the heart only holds the truth.  You need to develop courage so you can ask deal with the pain that lives in your heart.  Usually, when we chose to hide things about ourselves, it is because we are embarrassed about whatever we are trying to hide.  You should not be ashamed of having epilepsy.  People with epilepsy are coming out into the open every day.  They are learning to talk about the problems in their lives.  At the same time, these people are educating society and healing the scars that lye in their heart.

Always remember…               

We can’t change the past, so there is no point to dwell on what we can’t change.

We must positively focus on the present

Doing this, you will create a happy, healthy and productive life.

Society Is Getting Better, So Should You

The stigmatism still remains in our society, however, it is improving tremendously.  As many organizations and corporations have approached me asking for help, asking “What can we do to help break the stigmatism of epilepsy in our society?” 

Companies and organizations in the United States that have the power to initiate change are acknowledging the problem and the importance of solving it.  They are asking advocates to help them solve it.  We have more sponsoring support groups and research studies than ever before.  People with epilepsy need to learn to accept what they have and learn to do something about it.  Nothing is going to get better until you learn to help yourself and help others.

Bottom Line

Everyone with epilepsy suffers both emotionally and physically from the disorder.  The emotional pain can destroy you if you let it.  The only way to move on is to focus on your strengths and to look at life positively. I’m not giving up on you.  You shouldn’t give up on yourself.