Epilepsy

You know, I find school to be stressful mainly because of myself. I’m epileptic (I have the classic JME), and it’s kind of holding my (academic) life back. I’m not sure whether epilepsy or my medications are responsible for this, but I have a lot of side effects (?) from the epilepsy/medications. My memory, for one, has gone down a bit. I have long term memory for sure, but my short term memory isn’t that great… I also get exhausted really easily and need a lot of rest. Only problem is that I’m a nocturnal person. No matter how tired I am, I always have the need to stay up a bit. What also doesn’t help is that I’m a small underweight girl, so I don’t have a lot of energy to begin with. One of the side effects of the medication is either decrease or increase in appetite. And to my wonderful luck I had the decreasing in appetite (sarcasm there). And my high metabolism doesn’t chip in help either.

My teachers are understanding though. Some of them really care for me because they know someone who’s epileptic, and a nurse at the health center who specifically takes care of me is just awesomely sweet. Love her. I also get distracted easily and I have to spend a lot of time on work to get a good grade. Not gonna lie and don’t mean to brag, but seeing as how my high school is in the top 20 best high schools in the country, the work load here is just ridiculous. I have to spend almost double the time or possibly more my friends spend on homework. My teachers give me extensions though when I ask and let me hand in essays or assignments at a later date and I also get extra time on tests. But I always feel bad doing so.

I feel as though I’m getting these… good… no, not the right word… I guess a more accurate word is… advantages. Yeah. I feel as though I have a huge advantage because I can take my time and my classmates just have to.. deal with it, I suppose. So I try not to get extensions but sometimes I have to ask. I also feel bad asking for extensions. Not sure why, but I guess it’s because I don’t want my teachers to assume I’m slacking off which is why I can’t finish my work on time.

My friends are understanding though, and they say so. They help me out too because I can’t comprehend things as fast as they can. I try to avoid help because I don’t want to nag them (plus my pride, which is bad because I should get help when I don’t understand something. Or else my mom will whoop my ass when teachers say I don’t ask for help much). But one of my friends and ex-roommate snapped once under stress.

It was during exam time last year and junior year is the hardest and most stressful because it’s essential to get good grades then for colleges to see, so obviously my whole grade was going insane from work and grades. My friend was ranting (and mind you she’s a smart ass person. She got a fucking 2400 on her SATs, like come on man) and I was in bed because I had recently woken up from a nap (I was seriously exhausted that day). She snapped and said “____, I don’t get why you get extensions. You need to suffer like we do.” My roommate piped up, “Yeah! Like actually!”

I was surprised. Totally shocked. I had these “fears” but I didn’t imagine they were actually true. I didn’t know what to say at that time except “You don’t know what it’s like to have epilepsy.” Pathetic response. Ugh. I was just speechless. My friend just grunted “Yeah but still.” My short temper blew up. I ignored the two for a whole day and I think they realized what they had said and noticed that I was pissed. They didn’t talk to me, but it wasn’t one of those “I’m not going to talk to you” kind of thing. It was more of “I don’t know what to say, this is awkward because I made it so” sort. At the time I was like “Bitch, that’s right. You did, I’m pissed, and I don’t even know how long I’m not going to talk to you.” I don’t hold grudges though so I was fine the next night.

Now I’m more self conscious about what I’m doing. I opened up to some of my teachers saying how I felt bad taking extensions. They were obviously encouraging it, but hey. Words can’t change someone’s feelings that quickly, right? And I guess I can see how some my friends (I don’t know if everyone feels that way or not) think I’m taking advantage of my “privileges.” I don’t know if I mentioned this earlier, but I don’t express my feelings too much. I keep things to myself because I have another “fear” of sounding like a whiny girl. My dad encourages me to express it (and it’s partly why he enjoys it when I get mad at him. He’s always like “yeah! keep on yelling. That’s good.” And that just makes me more pissed off. Love my dad) but I can’t seem to do it. So because I don’t express my feelings a lot, I don’t show my stress. I always seem calm on the outside, no matter how I’m really feeling. I can see how my friends might think I’m taking advantage of extensions and slack off rather than working.

I just hope my senior year will go much better. My grades aren’t horrible, but I could definitely do better. I’m going to have to spend a shit ton of time this year. I’m so glad there isn’t any drama in my life currently. I don’t need anymore distractions or unnecessary social stress.

Sigh. I’m underweight, epileptic, and could possibly be depressed according to my doctor and a bunch of symptoms a speaker listed at one assembly. But that’ll be for another time. So many things wrong with me. Hate, hate. I keep a positive attitude though. That’s what matters, right?

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