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Epileptic On Tour: Greetings from Budapest

Last week I had another mental breakdown. After a crisis of faith in God as well as within myself, I finally realised that I NEED to do things to take back control of my life. 
Am I having a mid life crisis???
I’ve been in a relationship with a man whose love I was always doubting. I lived in constant paranoia. I blame myself for this implicitly because I should never have allowed the situation to carry on for so long.
I allowed people in my job, church and family to define me and limit my life expectations. I lived in fear, afraid of everything around the corner. 
I’ve broken up with my boyfriend now and am throwing myself back into single life. Unfortunately this included a brief fling with a manic depressive romantic philosopher (I wish I was frickin joking… our love affair had to end when we both realised that we wanted to kill ourselves).
I’m posting this piece from a Mexican restaurant in Budapest, following an abrupt decision to stop moaning about wanting to go and actually doing something about it. 
I’m finally going to get that second tattoo and have been looking at designs. 
I’m passionately writing when I can.  
Perhaps this is all just a symptom of the mania. 
However, I’ve realised that I’ve never really been on my own. With my own life. Before Dan my life was about my family. Then there was Dan. Now it’s just me (and epilepsy). 

I’ve also realised that I don’t really know much about myself – what I love and what I don’t love, likes and dislikes. I’ve realised that being in my own company with the voices in my head (I was diagnosed with manic depression last week so I’m not even kidding!) isn’t necessarily a bad thing! With the use of mindfulness, I’m able to just sit and at least try to figure stuff out. 
I’ve discovered that I love cycling (even though it does hurt my nonny when I cycle for too long!) and love going for long bike rides on my own, even if I manage to get myself lost.
I’ve missed travelling and although being in a different country leaves me partly petrified, I’m also ecstatic that I’m doing this. Budapest – a city full of profound history – is somewhere I’ve always wanted to go to and now at the age of 30 I’m finally getting to do it. 

And yesterday I was looking at flights to Kraków during half term. 

I no longer have anybody to feel homesick for so there’s nothing stopping me from jetting off when I can afford it. 

And to those who told me that I shouldn’t because of my epilepsy: I have a plastic bag full of medication and I think I know better than most how to look after myself.
I LOVE READING! I feel like a teenager again, where most of my free time is consumed with music and reading. It keeps me sane and reminds me to think. 
I hope that this feeling lasts. 
I write this not just as a self-celebratory piece but also to encourage. If you’re unhappy with your life you can do WHATEVER YOU WANT TO CHANGE IT. 

Author:

I’m Cece Alexandra and I have Epilepsy. Since being diagnosed, my life has changed significantly. After studying and teaching Humanities and Literature for all of my adult life, I was bullied and lost my job a month before qualifying to become an English Teacher. Once you fail the Teacher Training course in England, you cannot ever retrain; I then became too sick to work because of my Epilepsy. I am now currently studying an MSc in Mental Health Psychology with the University of Liverpool. My disability provokes me into raising awareness for invisible disabilities, which I also actively partake in with Epilepsy Action. Part of that awareness is to help fight against invisible disability discrimination - I believe that this behaviour is not cognitively unconscious; modern society is actively partaking in a hierarchy of disabilities and I believe that there is not enough psychological research to prove this. I am also clinically interested in Cultural Psychology - particularly Collectivist Culture, and wish to pursue this further in my academic career.

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