Caitlin and her poem

This week we have been finishing off the all too brief run of sessions facilitated by our friends Erin and Emma from “Write to Recovery”

On Wednesday the session focused on  vulnerability.  To spark discussion we watched a video of a TED Talk by Brene Brown, which you can see here on YouTube 

This video talked about the importance of courage, compassion and connectedness in helping people to feel a sense of worthiness.

Embracing the vulnerability required to stand open and honestly, being yourself just as you are with all your flaws and imperfections.

Having the courage to be yourself, with no sense of shame or need to explain; the self compassion to accept yourself just as you are,  and accepting others in the same way; and developing the feeling of connection to other human beings, creating your own community and place of belonging.

The group talked about how much being a part of “Epilepsy Futures” had provide a safe, supportive place to begin to come to terms with their feelings of shame, embarrassment, anger and guilt at having epilepsy.

Crucially, they echoed how being amongst a group of others who live with the same condition had given them a sense of being understood just as they are.

By having this place in their lives, it is helping them begin to make changes in their wider circle of friends.

And these changes are being witnessed by other people, as friends and family see someone become more confident, more willing to be part of social activity which  had been avoided for fear of possible seizures, and more engaged with life.

Inspired by the session, Caitlin wrote the following poem

Finding your way to be more you,

Can take some time to find what’s new.

We don’t know what will happen in our journey in life,

But why not take the opportunity to see what’s right?

Opening new doors and running free,

Can make our futures be more different and supreme.

Keep your mind open with courage and pride,

To explore the new journey,

Your journey in life.

On Thursday we talked about endings , a topic which all of us have had experience of in life, and which can bring up difficult emotions, thoughts and memories.

The group shared their own reflections of how one handles change, and the end of something. Sometimes these changes are sudden and brought upon us by life or other people; sometimes they are positive changes which lead on to new opportunities.

Now that the group is at the halfway point of their time with Epilepsy Futures, it was natural to hear people talking about how they make use of what they are learning from the course when their time here comes to an end.

One participant described being on futures as like being a radio that is being tuned into a different frequency in how to move on with life.

Jill gave permission for me to share the following poem, which was inspired by the discussion of endings.

Jill Ferguson Poem

Peter Dale

Epilepsy Futures Coordinator