Tag Archive | control

Life in Different Directions

At various times in each person’s life, directions change. This can be good.

medicalWhen I started working (after school), I planned on the medical field. I was there for quite some time and in various forms. I was a medical assistant, hospital staff phlebotomist, customer service in a medical lab, secretary/receptionist in a durable medical equipment company, then secretary in a peer review organization. I learned much from each position.


food serviceThen things changed and I worked in a corporate office of a food service management company as an administrative assistant (secretary). I had a lot of fun with this job – yes it was hard work and some stress – but I loved that job.



dentalThings changed again, I worked as an education coordinator for a dental company. I had fun here too – but a lot more stress.



virtual-assistantThen WHAM! Things changed again. Since my seizures got worse and stress is one of my triggers I was advised to not work in an office for a while. Well that’s been seven years, I do wish that edict would lift (I’ve been looking for a full-time job for quite some time now). That change caused me to start my own business. What I can do in my business is very good – as a virtual assistant I’m dedicated to helping my clients. When things got to a point where I knew I wasn’t the help I could/should be, I gracefully stepped away from my client.



retailWell you guessed it, life has changed again. I’ve been working part-time in retail for a few years now. It’s OK, but not exactly what I was/am looking to do. Now, the company I work for has offered me (I accepted) the position of Manager. The last time I was in charge was waaaaaaaaaaay back there in that medical assistant career! YES, I am nervous. YES, I do worry as to whether or not I will be good at this part of my career.


YES, my husband and I both worry about my seizures. I have been seizure-free since August 2007, I plan on continuing this wonderful aspect of my life. I do have to find a safe and perfect way to manage my stress because the last thing I want would be for my seizures to start again. YES, I do know that worrying is a form of stress and just that alone could be a cause of concern. My personality is that of a Type A, work like crazy has to be perfect kind of person. (No, I’m not like this at home) It is a challenge finding a diplomatic course – I’m usually blunt, I have found that in customer service blunt isn’t always a good thing. But that being diplomatic thing is stressful sometimes!

So, yes I am looking forward to this new adventure. Yes, as I tell others, it is important to keep an open mind and a positive attitude. That positive attitude is what will get me to where I need to be, and how best to handle situations. Just have to remember that one!!

Does anyone have any stress relieving/preventing techniques you could share? I would really appreciate that information! (Oh, and think good thoughts for me!)

Learning from “Crash and Burn”

Just what is an “epic failure” and what can be learned?

Well, for me it’s a variety of things. There was the time in my career that every job I had (it seemed) went bankrupt or merged with another company shortly after I started. Kind of makes a girl feel like a jinx! This kind of job result could make a person want to give up and crawl into a cave somewhere and say “Go away world!

Or, there were the times I tried two different multi-level marketing companies. Failed horribly, the second attempt led us in to bankruptcy. This also led me to feeling like a complete and utter failure. You know, the “oh woe, is me” syndrome. That old crash and burn thing.

So, what happened? It’s still a learning, growing process. Yes, I did find a long-term job that I loved, I was there for 7 years. Then they went and merged with another company and didn’t need me any longer. Well, at least it lasted longer than the previous jobs – anywhere from 1 – 3 years.

Then there was the interesting job I had (that really required an additional part-time person to handle properly). This job was not meant for me. Don’t get me wrong, I liked it. I streamlined part of the process, I designed flyers when needed (I really loved that part) There was a variety of things I was handling. But I wasn’t listening to my inner voice. It found a way to make me listen. At that job was when I had a lifetime record of seizures.

Yes, I felt like a failure. Why? I had no control over the events. I had no control over the companies failing, or merging with another company because the business owners were getting older and didn’t feel there was anyone “worthy” of taking over.

But, I did/should have had some control of the outcome of the MLM companies. The lesson learned from that: I do not have the ability to sell. I couldn’t even get my own family to buy anything. How bad is that?

The lesson learned from the other? I started my own company. I will not lie to you – it wasn’t an over night success. But, it is growing and I am in control (well except for the marketing thing). But something wonderful happened that really boosted my spirits. Just the other day I checked my Google ranking. Looking for online secretary got me 50+ million hits with my company – Virtually Helps – on the first page! Not too shabby!

So my lesson learned, after all this time, is: don’t give up, the right thing is out there waiting to be found.

**NOTE: both pictures used were found on Google Images.

Epilepsy and Depression

This blog will be a little different. You see I’ll be discussing depression. Much of this blog comes from an informational article found on the Epilepsy Foundation website. This will describe a few people (me included) rolled into one person who I will call Abby.

Abby has had epilepsy for many years and is on 2 medications to control her seizures. Like all medications there are side effects, one that ALL anti-seizure medications seem to share is depression. And if that’s not enough, just having epilepsy alone can be a cause for depression. You see, the seizures Abby has may come from an emotion center of the brain. According to the article found on the Epilepsy Foundation website, people with epilepsy may be more likely than other people to experience emotional changes.

How often seizures happen also plays a role in depression. People who have seizures frequently may be more likely to feel depressed than people who have well-controlled seizures. Even though Abby’s seizures are (currently) controlled, she still suffers from bouts of depression. As anyone with epilepsy can attest, after your first seizure (even if you try to deny it’s now a real part of your life) you worry to varying degrees “will I have another seizure?” “when will it happen?” These thoughts alone can be a cause of depression.

Lifestyle risk factors are also important in the development of depression in people with epilepsy. In one study, four factors were linked to depression: poor adjustment to seizures, increases in stressful life events, financial stress and being a woman.

In addition, people who feel “controlled” by their epilepsy and feel that it dominates their lives may be more susceptible to mood disorders.

People with Epilepsy and Depression

The results of studies to find out how many people with epilepsy have a mood disorder such as depression vary widely, ranging anywhere from 11 percent to 60 percent. A lot depends on how depression is defined and the groups of people being studied—for example, hospitalized patients or those in outpatient clinics.

Research also shows that people with epilepsy who are depressed often are not diagnosed. About 50 percent of the time they are never treated for the problem. In Abby’s case, it’s because she feels that the feelings will go away, and she’s embarrassed to feel this way in the first place. Abby never had issues before. She was great at handling stress, doing her job, juggling everything thrown her way, why should she admit to yet another fault/flaw in her make up (you see, that’s how she views her epilepsy – a flaw in her biological make up).

Depression: A Checklist

So now Abby has to ask herself, am I suffering from depression? Here are the questions she should be asking.

  • Do I have long bouts of sadness? Do I cry for no reason?
  • Have I lost my interest or joy in life?
  • Have I had changes in eating habits resulting in major loss or gain in weight?
  • Have I had a change in my sleeping habits resulting in difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much?
  • Am I irritable, anxious?
  • Do I have difficulty getting things started?
  • Do I have a lack of energy? Am I always tired?
  • Do I have low self-worth, or a loss of hope? Do I feel inappropriately guilty?
  • Do I have poor concentration? Is it difficult for me to make decisions?
  • Do I have thoughts of death or suicide that won’t go away?

YIKES! Yes, folks, I will be honest with you, I have felt yes is the answer to 9 out of 10 of the above list. Most only last 1-4 days.

Abby answered yes to five or more of these questions and feels this way continuously for 2 or more weeks. According to the article, she may be suffering from a major depressive disorder. Abby had felt for a long time that her family and friends were right – she should just “snap out of it, no reason to be depressed.” There are times when Abby is afraid to say anything because she’s afraid she won’t get the understanding/support she really needs. You see, because of having epilepsy for so long, her support system may be numb to her depression – they’ve seen it for so long. So, many times Abby “fakes” feeling good so that no one will really know what’s going on.

Abby needs to contact her doctor because treatment may be needed.

People who have infrequent or less intense symptoms of depression may also require treatment. Watch your own reactions to the world around you. If you feel that some of the listed symptoms are getting in the way of your enjoyment of life, especially the quality of your relationships with others, then you may be suffering from depression.

Fortunately, there are effective ways of treating depression. It is important to talk to your doctor about how you are feeling and ask about treatments that might help. Just because a side-effect of your medication may be one of the items on the above list, do not discount it. Yes, I know that you may have gone through a lot of medications to get to the point that your seizures are controlled. You may be willing to put up with the feeling that the person you were before the seizures is gone forever. But, is it worth it? It could get tiring putting up a false front because you think you need to recreate the person you once were. Seek help from your doctor, it might be an easy thing to correct.

When Will it Stop???

Have you ever felt like the weight of the whole World rests squarely on your shoulders? Do you feel that mythology had it wrong – Atlas was a woman? Well sista, please trust me you are not alone.

We have all felt that crushing weight at one time or another. We have all heard words of encouragement and at some times have thought them to be empty words of platitude. I know I have. I know it can be beyond a “challenge” sometimes. Hell, it’s a pain to try to keep using a “positive” word like challenge to describe a particular situation. Because as soon as you (well OK, me) start using negative words for the situation, it seems to get worse even if it is just a tiny bit.

But please remember YOU cannot control everything in life. Going back to my introduction story – I have epilepsy and at times it has negatively effected my life. Yes, with medication and the surgery I had I can stop my seizures. But remember, I had some hurdles to jump just to get to this point. I had to experience more seizures than I ever had. I had to loose a job as a result of the seizures. I (apparently) had to go through a time in my life where I felt useless and a burden. I had to go through some painful testing. There weren’t many things I had control over. I had all that weight piling up plus all the worry and frustration I added to the pile that only dragged me down further.

I suppose I had control over whether or not I went through the testing/surgery, but even that I really felt no control over. I felt I had to go through that because how else would I know if we could stop my seizures. During this time I was stressing over how we would pay for things/bills. Being short one income.

Then slowly but surely during the end of that process, things started getting better. I started (baby steps) a version of my business. That start helped my self-esteem and helped me realize that even though I had all that weight on my shoulders I could do something about part of it. I needed to do something so I felt like I could contribute to improving our situation. Doing that helped me get out from the soul-sucking depression I was at the edge of and could step away from.

Slowly but just as surely that weight started lifting from my shoulders and things are getting better – and so is my outlook on life. So dear reader, what I’m trying to tell you – things will eventually get better. When that weight lifts you feel like you can soar!