Basics: Stephanie Zhu. February 13, 1994; 18 yrs old. Studies biochemisty/molecular biology at UC Davis. San Francisco, California. Taken by Steven Huang since January 27, 2008. Happy-go-lucky kind of girl. Positive, confident, and unbelievably happy. Blessed with life. Love for all things beauty. I hope to inspire you in one way or another. Get to know me, I'm friendly! Xoxo

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Either way, I am alive... and that's more than I could ever wish for.
Finding out about my Epilepsy disorder at 17 was not easy. It turned my whole life around. I was devastated and the more I learned about it, the more afraid I was. I'm a girl with big dreams and a big future planned ahead. To know that all that could be taken away from me tore me apart. I would break down daily and every time I did, I would always wonder what I've ever done to deserve this. What have I done wrong? Why can't I just be 'normal'? Life was harder as a whole. I couldn't concentrate. I would have constant headaches. Things were just different. I would fall over when I walked. The room would always be spinning. I would run into objects. And there were times when I would blank out, forgetting my name, where I was, and what I was doing. All this affected my family, as well as all the ones who cared for me. They would constantly cry while watching me suffer. They wanted so badly to take the pain away from me, but there was nothing they could do to help. The bills and medical expenses were troublesome, yet another obstacle to overcome. The hardest part of all was to handle the fear. The fear of having another seizure and never waking up from it. Every time I felt ill, I would hold on to my boyfriends hand & tears would fall uncontrollably. I would tell him over and over how much I loved him, in fear that I would never be given the opportunity to say it again. There were ones who understood and there were ones who just didn't get it. Everyone who knew would simply say "Aww, i hope you feel better." I wish they knew that I'm not just ill and I don't just have a cold. I have a disorder and I will not be better anytime soon. It was hard smiling and pretending like everything was back to normal. This really opened my eyes to who cared and understood me and who didn't. People who I thought would be there for me, weren't. However, I did not want anyone's sympathy. I just wanted to feel normal and act as if there were nothing wrong with me. But a little comfort would have been nice. A hug or two, telling me that everything would be fine. But no, I never got any of that.

After a month or two of all this sorrow, I decided that it was finally time to turn my life around. To use this experience in a positive way. To think of it as a gift. All my life, I've been an overachiever and a hard worker with everything I did. I never, ever, gave myself time to have fun. I always told myself that 'After this, I can relax', but when the time came, I just had more and more to do. This experience opened my eyes and showed me what truly matters and what doesn't. To live in the moment. To brush off the small stuff. To simply be happy. I have never really appreciated life and without this eye opening experience, I don't think I would have ever realized what I was missing out on. Now, I go to sleep with a smile. I'm happy simply because I am given life. I appreciate the little things I have and focus on the positive side of life. It's sad that you don't realize what you have until its gone. Thankfully, I have another chance. I will live the life that I want to live. Most people don't and it's sad to see others mourn over things that don't matter. To see people hate the life they live because of little, insignificant reasons. I always have the urge to go over and tell them to be happy with what they're given. To be happy that they're healthy and loved. More so, I see people putting down others and just being straight up cruel. Criticizing others in any way possible to get a little glory and satisfaction. It bothers me so much to know that there are so much cold hearted people out there. People who are living their lives in such a negative way. Wasting their one and only life being cruel.

I am not saying that my life is now perfect because believe me, it's harder than ever. Even though I am happy, there are times when I go back to my depression. Little break downs here and there due to an overload of stress. But it's normal. I don't expect myself to turn my life around so quickly. I mean, I am constantly reminded about my troubles. Every time I look at the pills I have to take, I frown just a little. Every time I get pricked by the millions of needles, I close my eyes and feel sorrow. Every time I look into the mirror and see the needles in my scalp, I sigh. Every time I get dizzy and unsteady, I look down and wish this would all just go away. But hey, who knows. Two years from now, maybe it all will. If it does, boy will I be happy... I would appreciate every single day of my life. I would notice the little things. I would go to sleep with a smile. But if it doesn't, then that's okay too. I will look back and be proud of myself for staying so strong. Either way, I've learned a lesson, grew, and matured from this experience. Either way, I will live the rest of my life the way I want to. Either way, I am alive... and that's more than I could ever wish for.

I hope all of you can save yourself the trouble and learn from my experience. Please, just appreciate your life.

***I am in no way saying that my life is harder than yours. There are people out there suffering way more than I am. For that, I am appreciative. And for that, I will help out all those in need in any way possible.

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