Words are the basis to connect all of us together through communication. Words can evoke the most idyllic feelings yet they can be our complete undoing, bringing us devastatingly to our knees because of their destructive intent.
I’ve loved words ever since I was a child. They to me were an escape and a comfort rather than a source of unhappiness. Yes, they were a source of rejection at times, (as for us all) but there was more love in them than anything else. My Enid Blyton books were my most precious; they created a world that took me from reality into one of eating marmite sandwiches, fruit cake and drinking lemonade.
I’ve always found the process of brain to mouth one of great difficulty, although talk to some people and I’m sure they’ll differ with you! On a serious note though, it’s always been an issue I’ve found frustrating and stressful. I can see the words and sentences neatly lined up in my head all ready to come out, yet when it’s my turn, the words never march out in the order I had organized them in. I can capture practically every other word imaginable rather than the one I actually need. It is as I ‘um’ and ‘ahh’ and subsequently blush at not being able to complete what is a basic body function, that the gaze of my eager listener begins to feel piercing. As they hang on my every word, (or rather the few I’ve actually managed to get out) I see the sand in my timer running out. It’s Russian roulette time, so I pick a word that I tell myself is close but realistically it probably isn’t, and I submit to appearing clueless about how to convey my point and my understanding of the English language.
For many and for whatever reason, the thought of being in a situation where there is a need to meet new people is one filled with dread. For me it’s that same old, “I’m simply going to appear utterly ridiculous to those who don’t know me as I cannot conduct myself to my utmost ‘full worded’ potential.” These circumstances create more seizures; therefore, the cycle of stress, seizures and memory loss is in full swing. I have spent a lot of time over the years concerned by these conversations, and as my conversee (yes, I know it is not a word but I rather like it and intend to take full credit for its creation!) walk away, I have often ruminated over exactly what they took away from our discussion.
As you know, this is just another glimpse into the life of someone with epilepsy. In fact, as I write this I realize just how deep the roots of this condition grow. The seizure itself is simply the scratch upon the surface.
That’s why writing has been my savior. It’s the one medium where no matter what my emotional state, no matter how many seizures I’m having, I can be fluent, concise and put exactly what I want to say down on paper. If I was to be given the subject matter of this post to discuss orally I can assure you it would not flow as it is does now – I hope!
Both the extremely surprising and delighting aspect of writing this blog is that over time as I’ve rummaged through thesauruses and flicked through the pages of my dictionary, it’s unknowingly been absorbed and my brain has almost retrained itself to speak. I am much better at locating suitable words in conversation, I speak slower, my mind is calmer and clearer and I am more fluent. Of course, new environments and people can remain daunting, but once the connection between brain and mouth are made, it slowly accelerates giving me the confidence to hold, what many take for granted as a basic conversation.
I am not sure if anyone else with epilepsy has experienced this but if you have I’d love to know the types of situations you’ve found yourself in so drop me a comment below.
Lastly, below is a quote that I adore. It is a perfect example of beautiful words and that is how I perceive words to be, beautiful. In all their unique individuality, they’re just like people…
“To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.”