"Hi, my name is Marissa Cory and I have epilepsy and social anxiety. All my life, I’ve had seizures. My mom took me to the doctor for this, which wasn’t much help since they misdiagnosed me twice. The first time I was misdiagnosed, I believe I was around 4 or 5. The doctor told my mom that every kid spaces out, and that it was normal. The second time, I was 9 or 10, when the doctors suggested I got glasses. My mom listened to the doctors, and ended up getting me glasses that I really didn't need. This possibly messed up my vision for the long run. Finally, when my mom noticed that glasses were not the answer, she brought me back to the place I dreaded to be, the doctor's office. My opinion changed after I met a new doctor, who told my mom I would need a MRI scan, and to be tested for epilepsy. Once my mom got more information on what epilepsy was, -and if you don't know what it is, it’s a neurological disorder marked by sudden recurrent episodes of sensory disturbance, loss of consciousness, or convulsions, associated with abnormal electrical activity in the brain- she set up an appointment.
This is about the time when I started to be very anxious around people and, absolutely hated school, since I got bullied for pretty much everything. I never told my mom because I was fearful of what she would say. When my mom took me into the neurology appointment for the MRI scan, I started to panic due to the fact I wasn't familiar with the doctor, who wanted to give me a shot so he could see my brain better. I know it's weird, and I was probably thinking the same things you are right now. I fought back with the doctor, refusing to take the shot. In the end, he gave me the MRI scan without the shot. Now it's around the second quarter of 5th grade, when my mom received the result that I have absent seizures. My mom was horrible at trying to explain what epilepsy was, but somehow it all made sense. I always knew I was a weird kid and had issues, but I never thought that my health was one of them.
My fifth grade teacher was the definition of stupid. It may seem harsh, but it’s true. She told the whole class that “I was special,” but never told them why. Fast forward to sixth grade, this is where my anxiety got really bad, and to the point where I wanted it all to just go away, and stop overthinking. Now, I have friends that try to help often times, but my brain always told me, ”They don't care, you’re useless to them, and just a burden on their backs.” Yes, people all around that school referred to me as “Ms.Popular,” which I strongly disliked. I was in the public eye for sixth and seventh grade, and my anxiety hated it. I always found ways to overthink.
I haven’t really said how the news of epilepsy affected me too much, so let’s jump into that quickly. At first, I thought I was like an alien. After I found out that epilepsy isn’t curable, I acted like I was fine. But honestly, it's hard waking up everyday knowing that you have this condition that can never be cured, even with the thought of having a “normal” life. Sometimes, I fall into week long funks because I look up treatments that could help. However, the response is always the same. I can barely find any, or the treatments are still in trail. A lot of the treatments aren't guaranteed that they will help, and could even make it worse. It's hard to know that people judge you for something that you can't control. I’ve also had people treat me different after they were told I have epilepsy.
Moving on, I have this burning passion for volleyball. Ever since I became more physically active, my seizures haven't been as bad. But they appear more frequently. It’s terrible that I've never been seizure free. Sometimes I'll have an episode on the court, which makes me miss a ball I could have saved. I've been great volleyball, and I have won plenty championships and awards. But even so, I thrive for being seizure free so I can be exceeding.
It’s been difficult for me to trust others, so I hardly got into relationships a lot. I stress about having things to worry about on my side of the relationship, so it’s a struggle to keep up. One thing I have to worry about is my epilepsy and making sure I take the right amount of medication everyday at the same time. School work is also a pain. Given homework for four days a week, it takes up a lot of time. If I wanted to become dedicated to another person, I would have to give something in my life up. For example, since I play volleyball, I would practice everyday from 6-8. I would never be able to hang out since I usually get home around 4:30, and still have homework to do.
Moving on to present day, I still struggle with epilepsy and anxiety.There are still moments where I over think. I've talked to friends, but not all of them helped. I always ask myself, “Why keep venting to a person that doesn't really care?” I have friends who care, and try to help for the most part. Especially the one who edits this. She helped me a lot when I was struggling mentally.
Now, the goals I have for my future life that I'm trying my best to accomplish are graduating early, going to UCLA for their volleyball scholarship or become a doctor, having a good life, and hopefully being at least a week seizure, anxiety attack, and panic attack free. Of course there will be obstacles, and I'm ready for them. I really want to become a better person and help others. That's why I do what I can for people. I feel like that's why I'm here on this earth. Personally, I don't believe in God, I believe in the universe powers all. Writing this really gave me an outlet since no one really understands what epilepsy is like. Since most people reading this knows someone who has this condition or has it themselves, you can relate on a closer level than most people. It's taken me while to figure out what I want to say and exactly how to word it, but in the long run it's worth it as long as people feel like they aren't alone in this world. But this is my never-ending story and I hope whatever you guys are going through you keep in mind that things get better and that you have an outlet."