Wednesday, 7 March 2018


In the last week I've crumbled. My energy levels have been low, my motivation has been lost in translation, my mental strength is nowhere to be found. I simply just 'can't portray the tough girl image anymore.'

You see, your early 20's are considered to be 'the best years of your life' before settling down and starting a family. My idea of my early 20's was to be as sociable as possible, go on at least one exotic European summer holiday and to finish my degree.

Going through living with a rare brain condition and having Cowden's Syndrome, my early 20's have instead looked a little bit like this:

1) A typical night out with my friends usually involves me ordering myself an Uber home at 9pm as I get tired AF (Grandad if you know what this means, I'll be very impressed.) What's worst is that I tend to not concentrate on conversations because it's exhausting for me to keep track of them.

2) Eyyyyy yes European summer holidays. For someone who 'has to have her 8 hours of sleep'  (neurologist's words, not mine) a Contiki/Topdeck tour were you sleep for minimal hours is not really appropriate for me right now. Luckily, I've been to Europe twice already so for me it's not that bad. But I will get to you Santorini... once someone gives me a job (**wink, wink**) 

4) Before you go 'but you finished your degree?' Let me tell you how I completed my degree:

- First of all, I decided to graduate in the easiest way possible. A combination of 16 brain surgeries, a broken ankle, family health scares, a year off Uni, many assignments, repeating and failing units, creations of feature films, ridiculous amounts of marketing reports .... and you have yourself my version of how to get a Bachelor of Arts degree from UWA. Easy yeah?

- 3 consecutive years of completing summer school. This involved cramming a semester of work into a month. Luckily the Tavern was open once I had finished my exams at the end of it....

- I had to acquire the help of Uni Access staff. These officers are equipped to recommend the best options to enable your participation at Uni if you have a medical condition or disability. And let me just say, they are AMAZING.  However, I still had to remember that I needed to fill out paperwork to receive assignment extensions or for requesting a different exam location. I may have missed the deadlines for submitting the latter on a few occasions and found myself running from one side of the campus to the other side of it on exam days (not a pretty sight, trust me.) 

I see a lot of people around me progress further and achieve great things in their life. They work hard and get the rewards for the effort they put in. I'm so determined to put in 110% into everything I do, but I just can't put as much effort in as I want to. Why? Because having epilepsy requires me to have breaks every hour so I don't get stressed and so my brain can shut off from looking at a computer screen. Otherwise, I'll have a seizure and end up not driving for however many more months that I can't already drive for. And accepting this really, truly sucks.

Mum and I have really tried over the years to pick ourselves up and carry on if we have some sort of medical drama. But for me lately, I have not been able to because I've tried to keep up this 'strong' and 'never let anything get in my way' image.  I haven't been able to accept me and it's time to stop acting like this.

Until next time.... 

AT xxx

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