So I need to be honest with you. While I do run a tight ship there are days that I can’t remember where the hell I left my keys. There are days that focus is such a far-off concept for me that I feel like a child in the throes of an ADHD fit. Sometimes I feel like I am running in circles and I’m doing nothing but sitting at my desk trying to get through edits. Now for many of you, this may be a side effect of #hustling and kids but for me, it’s a sign that my brain is different. I was born Epileptic. My mom had a very traumatic labor and as a result, I had brain swelling that resulted in my living a life with seizures. I take medication every day for it. Last time we, my doctor and I tried to stop medication I was able to go 3 days before I having a seizure in my car.
As it was I had pulled over to make a call and the woman whose house I was parked in front of happened to see me and she called 911. Since then I made the decision that I would not stop my medication. This would be a lifetime journey for me. Both of my pregnancies were high risk as a result. I had multiple seizures with during my pregnancy with Madeline which resulted in an emergency C-Section. So when I lost my job and having the ability to start this business, I never saw it as a bad thing. it allowed me to focus on my health, it allowed me to live a little more intentional.
Today I run my own business, the stress level that couples this endeavor is not for the faint of heart. The headaches that I suffer as a result knock me on my ass!!! I have a great relationship with my neurologist. She has been in my life since I was 18, I’ll be 43 this year. This isn’t easy, I work hard, hard to the point that some days I overstressed myself to tears because I worry about forgetting something, missing a client deadline, forgetting to pick up my kids or any of the random, simple things in my life. See every epileptic seizure I’ve had in the past, and there were a lot. Those little 10 second episodes chipped away at my wonderful brain, causing me to forget things. This is why Photography has been such an important part of my life and why I decided to take it on as a career. Documenting memories, memories that I one day may not be able to recall it’s important. Being able to tell stories to my grandchildren and beyond on how I met my husband and how this family and business came about is important.
Now as far as how I manage Epilepsy and my business on a daily basis goes are here are a few things that I’ve learned. I need 3 things to make this work.
- Sleep. LOTS OF SLEEP.
My brain doesn’t function well without sleep. I need 8 hours of sleep and sometimes a nap.
Water. I was never a soda person and the meds that I take cause me to have ridiculously horrible headaches is I drink anything carbonated even seltzer water. So I drink water, coffee and make my own juice.
SYSTEMS- I learned early on that I needed to be committed to my systems. Meal planning, Workflow, office hours, how and when I’ll communicate with clients and housework. Everything has a workflow to it. So much so that I’ve had to create my own planner system because I couldn’t find one that worked for me.
If these 3 are consistent I’m good. I also work closely with Doctor J, my neurologist, she got me into yoga and helped me develop an eating plan that worked for me. Sleep is still a hard one though but such is the life of a creative Business owner.
Overall though, being epileptic has taught me how to manage time, scale my business and do the work that I WANT to do. I have learned to listen to my body and when it needs something I must provide for it. Self-care isn’t an option when you have a brain condition it’s an absolute. I am learning to enjoy quite time alone, away from work. I am making plans to spend more time with my kids away this summer documenting our days and making a butt load of memories as they say. I need this and so does the business.