Monday, August 6, 2018

Meant to Fly

Do you ever feel like a giant weight on other people's lives? If so, I can DEEPLY relate. I believe that struggling from this insecurity always starts from a source. I've had epilepsy practically my whole life, but I never felt like a burden until the past few years. Therefore, think back to that source, to that incident, or to that person that made you feel insignificant. Is it worth giving in to what people say and throwing away your full potential? I'm just going to answer for you and say NO. Although, this is much easier said than done. So, how can we overcome the burdens we feel?

Well for starters, Psalm 55:22 tells us to cast all our burdens on the Lord because He cares for us. He will keep the righteous grounded and not shaken by the negative thoughts that encompass us. With that being said, let's cut ourselves some slack. We weren't meant to carry all the weight on our shoulders. Give your burdens to God because He loves you and wants to help. Let Him give you the mental strength you need to get through each day.

Also, surround yourself with people that see your full potential. I cannot stress this enough. There was a time in my life that I felt so horrible about myself. I felt like my epilepsy was just ruining all of my relationships. When I thought back to why I felt this way, I realized it was because of how I was being treated by others. When the ones you care about and love make you feel less important because of a condition that you can't control, you tend to believe them. I viewed myself as a burden because they viewed me as a burden. It is hard to leave those friendships, but God will take away what is not good for your soul. All you have to do is trust that He has bigger plans out there for you. Although, of course, those words said by previous relationships scarred. Sometimes, they will ring in my head on repeat, but luckily I am now surrounded with such positive people that constantly show me support and love. 

With all this being said, in the picture to the right I am wearing a "Meant to Fly" flowy crop top by Find and Seek Design because it represents everything my blog is centered around: living the most meaningful life possible. This design specifically symbolizes, "Why float when you were meant to fly." When I first saw this design, I was so easily able to relate. Why should I continue to sink into this mindset that I am worthless, when I could rise above it all and use my epilepsy for something good.....maybe a blog? ;) On top of that, a portion of proceeds from the sales of this will support the Chelsea Hutchison Foundation. This foundation serves individuals, families, and communities affected with epilepsy by spreading and raising awareness for the serious condition known as SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy). If you would like to learn more or are interested in this super cute top, you can find the link to it right here: Meant to Fly Flowy Crop Top


As Always,
Remember to Rhelive:)


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Monday, May 14, 2018

How I Deal with ANXIETY

Hi everyone! Thank you so much for clicking on the link and reading what I have to say. It means the absolute world to me. Before I start I just want to say that I want my blog to not only be centered around my epilepsy, but also to show that everyone deserves to live a purposeful life. I made this blog to show how I am reliving my life to the fullest without letting the obstacles bring me down. I believe the struggles that I face can relate to anyone; therefore, I really want this blog to be a place where we can all connect and talk about how we deal with certain trials we face. If you have any questions or any certain topics you would like me to talk about, just go to my Contact Me page and let me know:)

Okay so now enough rambling. Recently, I have been seeing more and more people struggle with a specific disorder that I also have a hard time dealing with as well. This bad boy is called anxiety. It is a very frustrating little guy who limits common activities in one's life. Epilepsy and anxiety are sort of a package deal for me. I have been facing panic attacks pretty frequently lately that usually come about when I am afraid of seizing in certain situations. This past year has made me very close friends with anxiety sadly and it was really hard to deal with at first and honestly, still is. I can't get overly anxious or else I will put myself into a seizure so I have had to learn how to calm myself down as quickly as possible. With that being said, I would like to share how I personally deal with anxiety. 

Now, I realize this might not be for everyone, but it has done wonders for me. In the Bible, there are so many comforting verses that have to deal with anxiety. You can just google "verses having to deal with anxiety" and an abundant amount will appear. One of my favorites is Phillipians 4:6-7 which says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your heart and your minds in Christ Jesus." Memorizing verses like these help me tremendously when I am feeling anxious. Knowing that God is always there for me calms me down more than I can ever express. I know it sounds cliche but this has helped me tremendously. It is amazing to know that I am not completely alone when I start to panic and worry. 
Now, I'm not saying God just immediately stops my painic attacks (although that has happened before), but diving into His word gives me this sense of peace and motivation to know I can overcome what my brain is telling me I can't. 

Another task I do when I start panicking is to think about everything I am grateful for. I'm not really sure why this works, but I have found that it calms me down a lot. I enter this sense of happiness when I think about how I am grateful for my legs because I can walk and my eyesight so I can see all of God's beautiful creation and so on. Not going to lie, I used to get so sick of optimism. I would think, "Oh, well they haven't been through what I have been through so it is easier for them to be happy." Boy was I wrong. Optimism is a choice. It might be easier for some to gain than others, but all in all it is possible for you to have that simple positivity. You can choose to rise above what is holding you back and be grateful for what you do have, or you can sulk and let that trial defeat you. Therefore, when I feel my anxiety coming on, I choose to stop and think about what I am so thankful for in my life. Focusing on the good relieves the stress. 

I just really want to encourage the idea of seeking God first for help with anxiety or worry because it is crazy what He will do when we let Him take control of our lives. I can't stress how much anxiety and depression God has delivered me from. This world is always changing but God is the one beautiful source we can always rely on.

Now, I understand that this may not be for everyone. I just really wanted to share how I go about dealing with my own type of anxiety. Thank you all!:)

As Always,
Remember to Rhelive:)
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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Big Move

Moving away with my epilepsy condition has been quite a journey, and I've only been here for a couple of weeks. To start from the beginning, I had no plan to leave my hometown until two months ago when I decided it was time for me to push myself. This decision was so spontaneous and last minute. I accepted Westmont's offer of admissions officially at the end of November and then I moved in January.

So far it has been pretty crazy. Once I arrived to Santa Barbara, I became extremely sick. I stayed in my dorm for one night and then I had to evacuate due to mudslides, (please keep the beautiful town of Montecito in your prayers.) With that entire week of evacuation, I was luckily able to get better and return to school ready for the semester.

It has been an interesting transition to say the least. I have felt completely alone, lost, eager, and excited. I never thought that I would go far away for college by myself. I always figured that since I had epilepsy, I was going to need to be dependent on someone at all times. I built my college choices around friendships and relationships because I never thought I could actually do what I wanted to do on my own. With being an epileptic, I am always reminded of the "impossible" things aka moving away. (My neurologist still isn't fully aware of this decision yet...whoops.) I moved away and am learning how to live with this on my own. I know I have already said this previously, but I am still just so shocked. I can't believe I moved out of my little bubble town. I am smiling so big right now because this was never an option before. It never seemed possible. I feel so alive and ecstatic for what God has planned.

 Of course, I have already faced some struggles like the automatic lights in the bathroom, the constant anxiety of seizing in class, and the reoccurring worrying about no one finding me if I was to have a seizure. This journey is not going to be an easy one, but I can not describe how freeing it feels to finally be living my life the way I want to. I understand I will always have to depend on others around me for my health, but I am finally realizing that I don't NEED others to live my life for me.

I guess what I am hoping to get across here is that you can do anything you set your mind to. Don't compromise and follow other people's actions. Don't make excuses on why you can't go out of your comfort zone. Take a leap of faith and go all in. I have learned so much about myself and I am continuing to grow so much. I hear a lot of people in my hometown complain about being trapped. I understand because I was one of those people too. Although, instead of just talking about wanting to leave and start over, actually make it happen. Make a plan right now. Write it out if you have to but no more excuses. I never knew what it was like to live with a sense of peace and freedom until now. I have a condition that does everything it can to bring me down and it did for many years but not anymore. So don't let whatever is holding you back win either.  Relive your life so that you feel that sense of freedom in your heart

PS: I already have such a sweet support group here who has helped me so much. For example, we went to a restaurant and there were fans on which was making the whole room strobe. Me being the shy person that I am just told my friends that I would wait outside while they got their food. One of my favorite human beings that I have met here so far asked the manager to turn off the fans and he did so that I could come back inside and sit with the group (shoutout to Nissi). Little things like that mean the absolute world to me. I have learned that I am open about my epilepsy, but for some reason I don't have the courage to ask people to do something for me regarding my epilepsy. I guess that is just one more thing to overcome:)



It means the world to me that you took the time to read my blog!


 As Always, 
 Remember to Rhelive:)
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Saturday, January 13, 2018

Dwelling

I know, I know, I have been vacant lately on my blog and I apologize. I write when I feel God has placed a certain subject on my heart. I didn't really feel that for awhile, but instead I felt lost. These past few weeks have been a battle for me. A lot of change was happening all around me and my mind just went on a dwelling lockdown. I was missing how things used to be. 

One thing I have learned while dwelling this month is that we as humans are horrible to ourselves. We try to go back in our minds and fix every little thing. We want so badly to rewrite our past mistakes that we end up missing everything right in front of us. I can't describe how badly I wanted things to go back to about six years ago before the seizure medication. I miss my naturally bubbly self that didn't have to chug caffeine just to be on the same level as everyone else. I miss feeling normal and I always will, but there comes a time where one must move on. 

Dwelling is one of the worst possible things you can do to yourself. It will ruin you and keep you away from the self-growing that needs to be done. I wasn't growing at all because I was so focused on what could have happened. The idea of moving was just a change too big that my mind couldn't handle. I focused on how badly I wanted things to go back to six years ago when everything was easy. I couldn't leave this in the past. If I wasn't thinking about it during the day, I was dreaming about it at night. Recently, I was praying and I just felt God telling me that it was time to let my past go. I needed to give up how I used to be (before the draining medication side effects took hold) and let God use me now in different ways now.

I want you to please make me a promise tonight. Promise me that whatever has been bothering you deep down, whatever has been consuming your mind, whatever you have been dwelling on will no longer take over your joy and happiness that you deserve. It is so important to let things go. I cannot emphasize that enough. The day that you stop prioritizing that situation or thing that is bothering you, is the day you will feel that freedom. It is never an easy process, but it is the only way you can live the life that God has desired for you. I may have to drink loads of caffeine to be like everyone else, but hey it's worth it because the medication is keeping me safe. There is a positive aspect to everything, but it is your choice whether you choose to see it or not. 

As Always, 
     Remember to Rhelive

PS: I have now officially moved to Santa Barbara and I can't wait to tell you all about it so get ready:)! Next blog post coming soon! 
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Saturday, December 9, 2017

2017

I promised myself when I made this blog that I was going to be vulnerable and real. This post is going to be uncomfortable for me to write just because it is so personal, but I think it needs to be heard. This year has been crazy. I have never felt more sad, nervous, free, and excited in my life. 2017 has contained so much change so lets rewind shall we?

In 2016, my life was overall pretty amazing. Not only did I have my best friend by my side, but I also made a solid group of friends, and out of that group of friends, I met a guy. My health was amazing so I was going on adventures almost everyday with some of the people I held closest to my heart. I felt on top of the world. Towards the end of 2016 I wanted to know what it would be like to fully rely on God because to be honest, I didn't feel like I was at the time. So one night, I said a prayer something like this: "Lord, I am so grateful for all you have blessed me with this year. I love how my relationship has grown so much with You, but I don't want it to just be strong because everything is going well in my life. I will stay strong even through the trials. In 2017, send them my way so I can rely on you and deepen my relationship with you." ....... I don't think 2016 Rhe really understood what she prayed for there haha.

 Let me give you a little run down of my year. My grandpa got diagnosed with cancer, I lost my best friend, I had a seizure after being four years seizure free, and I went through a break up which resulted in losing the solid group of friends. I cannot begin to describe how difficult this year has been, but I would never EVER take back that prayer. I lost so much this year, but my faith has grown tremendously. When you have no one to rely on but God, it is honestly amazing. Before when a struggle hit, I would call my best friend or my boyfriend and have them help me. This year, I cried out to God and He has helped me overcome so much.

I was never the type of person to make decisions for myself. If you've known me, you would know I have always wanted to move to Southern California. I never was actually going to go though because I wanted to stay in my comfort bubble as said previously in another blog post. I would not be going to Westmont if I was still in a relationship or if I was still in that friendship. A year ago, Westmont wasn't even an idea. There was actually an entirely different idea planned out on where I was going to go and it never felt right. It didn't feel like God's purpose, but instead mine. Westmont was all the Lord's doing. I randomly applied there to go in the Fall (August 2018) because the words "Apply to Westmont" were echoing in my head. I was scared because I didn't want to go to a school where I only knew one person and I was worried about how people may judge me for being epileptic. I overall reluctantly applied because the words wouldn't stop repeating and I honestly did not think I would get in. A week after I applied, I received an email from Admissions asking me if I would like to attend Westmont SOONER, in the Spring (January 2018). I was completely shocked and started to become very excited. I didn't think I could financially do it, but God has provided so much to make it possible. I am overcome with joy writing this because I can proudly say that this is God's will for me. I don't know what He has planned for me there, but all I know is I am relying on Him every step of the way.

I also never would be here writing this blog if it wasn't for that seizure in March and if it wasn't for the people who made me feel like a burden. Those people hurt me, but helped me realize who I am and I am honestly so grateful that they did. I was able to create a blog and write about what I'm learning each week and it feels so freeing. I feel like I am no longer in a box trying to hide this "secret" about me.


I cannot describe to you how hard it was to lose those people. The healing process was a major struggle, but I fully believe now that everything happens for a reason. Before this year, I had never really understood how God was working in my life, but now it has been made clear. The chaos and struggles only last so long. God has a purpose for each trial we face. It was very hard for me to see why I was losing so many people, but I understand now. I have never cried so much. I have never felt more worn out or more discouraged, but I have also never felt more excited. I have never felt this close to God in my lifetime. He is fully in control.

The trials I have faced have given me this personal relationship with God that I wouldn't trade for anything. They have given me opportunities that I never would have seen or taken before. It is important to remember that God is number one. This life is His not mine. My goal is to truly live by Acts 20:24. This verse says, "However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me - the task of testifying to the good news of God's grace."

If you read this far, thank you. You deserve a hash brown.
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Monday, November 27, 2017

Facing Obstacles

They rhyme with popsicles, they are never fun, they usually require a great amount of stress and/or embarrassment, and most importantly, it is so hard to get around them. The scary word is OBSTACLES! (Does it seem scarier when I put it in all caps? Good.)

Let me start off by saying that my epilepsy is no where near as severe as most. It is mainly just a constant nuisance. When I was in high school, I tried to convince myself that I didn't have seizures with strobe lights and well, it did not turn out so well. With that being said, the biggest obstacle I face is flashing lights. They are everywhere (arcades, amusement parks, car blinkers, store signs, road signs, concerts, dances, etc.). At first, this used to really bring me down. I felt like most of my time was spent with my head down and my hands shielding my eyes. It made me feel different and isolated.

I remember I had never been to a high school dance because all the schools had strobe lights, but it was my last chance to go, so I did. I tried to suck it up and dance with my eyes closed, but the lights were so extreme that I had to leave. I sat on a chair outside the dance floor alone for about two hours until a friend picked me up. I tried to not let it get to me but it did. Since then, I have made it one of my goals to find ways around this obstacle that I struggle with. I am not going to hate my mind or bring myself down because what will that accomplish? Instead of isolating myself and letting my condition rule my life, I'm fighting back and let me just say, it feels good to win.

There was this church that I always heard such great things about but I was warned multiple times not to go because the lights were intense during their worship. So of course, I never went. Thankfully, that changed this year when my best friend encouraged me to attend. The first night I went, I sat in the church trying to be like everyone else, but then worship started. I tried to force myself to sit there but I couldn't. My friend followed me out and we listened to the sermon from the lobby for the rest of the time. Because I had God and my best friend by my side, I didn't give up, leave, and never come back. I didn't add this church to the list of actives I limited myself from doing. So now, every Sunday night, my best friend and I sit in that lobby and listen to the sermons, and we love it. I know it doesn't sound like that big of a deal, but I really do value the baby steps. I feel like I finally won a battle with my brain. I'm always learning new ways to overcome the obstacles I face and I am so grateful for it. My dad always told me growing up, "The worst thing you can ever tell yourself is I can't." Find ways around the "I can't" and make it happen! With that being said, here are some pictures of me overcoming one of my obstacles in this awesome lobby spot. :)




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Monday, November 20, 2017

Change is Scary

I will come out and rightfully say that I hate change. I always have. My mind doesn't enjoy going out of my comfort zone and my little bubble. Growing up with epilepsy, I never had to challenge myself because no one would allow it. I grew up in the same town I was born in and I had the same routine almost everyday.

Growing up in the church, I always heard leaders saying that one should leave their little bubble of comfortableness and let God take control. It is like that saying, "Let go, Let God." These words always made me wonder what it would be like to leave my comfort lifestyle and actually challenge myself. Never did I ever think it would be possible due to my condition.

Today, I am finally able to say that I am about to experience that feeling of uncomfortableness. I have been accepted into Westmont College in Santa Barbara and I move in January. This college is seven hours away from home, so it is a crazy huge step for me. In high school, I remember I really wanted to leave for college because I felt the need to escape this town. Practically my whole family and the doctors did not think it was a good idea because If I seized, how was I going to get help. I felt trapped and it drove me insane. I understood that there needed to be limitations, but also, I needed to learn how to actually live on my own with epilepsy. Therefore, this year, I decided to take a huge step and apply for Westmont. Once I saw that acceptance letter, I was so excited. My dad made a comment to my grandma saying that that was the happiest he had seen me in awhile. He and the rest of my family have decided to let me go to learn how to deal with change and to learn how to live my life with my condition.

Now that the time is coming up, I am becoming more and more nervous. The thoughts of me seizing and no one being prepared or the thought of my medication not transferring over to the new pharmacy are always running in my mind. As said previously, I have never really had to deal with change. I know I don't like it so my mind is trying to find ways on why I can't go. This time though, I am not going to let myself hold me back. This experience is going to be so very uncomfortable and I could not be more ready for it. I have the privilege to rely on God completely and I think that is incredible. We all need to come out of our comfort zones and stop that mental block in our heads telling us we can't. Do not let a condition, a person, yourself, or anything stop you from what you want to do. I came across a blog post that has really helped me out and will continue to inspire me after I move. It's called 3 Ways I Taught My Brain to be More Positive (And So Can You!) It is all about focusing on the good in life. I recommend everyone check it out if your struggling with finding optimism. I am overcoming my epilepsy and breaking down my little comfort bubble by moving away for college. How will you challenge yourself?

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