Finding Meaning in Your Life -- Especially When You're Housebound

This post is part of the Epilepsy Blog Relay™ which will run from June 1 through June 30. Follow along and add comments to posts that inspire you!


A dear friend of mine whose daughter’s epilepsy first struck when she was 14 left me speechless. She told me that I, unknowingly, had saved her from hopelessness, simply by existing.  I had meaning.  She saw that I had a good life despite my condition and could envision a future for her daughter filled with happiness and achievement.  (Flash forward:  In college now, her child just got all As and is a varsity athlete.)  Her daughter’s life has been affected, no doubt, but her epilepsy never stopped her.

She’s one of the lucky ones, though.  Her epilepsy is controlled and she lives with relatively few barriers.  With no choice but to stay at home, though, many with uncontrolled epilepsy can't work in traditional jobs and struggle to find meaning in their lives.  But what is meaning?

Starting at the beginning, here's the definition according to The American Heritage College Dictionary:
 
"1.  Something conveyed or signified; sense or significance.  2.  Something one wishes to convey, esp. by language.  3.  An interpreted goal, intent, or end.  4.  Inner significance…."

While all four apply to our search for meaning, I’m particularly fond of “4,” which acknowledges the importance of simply who we are.  For example, even being the recipient of care is meaningful to the caregiver, and in a positive way.

When I was looking for meaning in my own life, one article I found especially helpful wasCultivating Contentment:  CreatingMeaning in Your Life,” by Rachel Fintzy, MA, LMFT.  While she writes for people with depression, it’s nonetheless valuable to all.  It includes a process labeled with the acronym “SPECIFIC PATHS” to zero in on meaning for oneself, and she lists possibilities for meaningful activities and qualities of one’s life.  Caveat:  Many of the listed items won’t apply to you, but some may.  More likely, they could spark other thoughts as you identify the meaningful facets of your life.  Certainly, it opened my eyes. 

Also, I asked a question on the social media site “My Epilepsy Team,” urging people who are housebound, unable to have a traditional job, to describe how they find and create meaning in their lives:


“I've was homebound for about a year after I had brain surgery performed in "2001". I was then partnered with my first "service dog" that helped me regain my independence. Now, in "2017" I have had two great "canine partners" over the past sixteen (16) years, and I am able to accomplish anything I want in life. I formed a nonprofit organization, called: "My Assistance Dog Inc." (www.myassistancedoginc.org) to help educate and inform people about assistance dogs and the amazing work that they can perform. We have been successful helping people around the world truly understand the benefits these dogs perform. We have a following on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/MyAssistanceDogInc). I learned that it even with my disability, I could lead a meaningful life and help others do the same.”

“I'm homebound and used to crochet.  I looked for a hospital that needed baby blankets or hats for newborns and I would make them....”

“…. I sometimes go nuts being at home. I write poetry and songs… this time I'm writing a book about my life and hope the Lord helps me through it.”

“God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.  We all have a purpose hear on Earth. I know it’s difficult.  I [have] been fighting epilepsy my whole life, but WE MUST NOT GIVE UP!!

But enough.  The last quote says it all.



NEXT UP: Be sure to check out the next post tomorrow at livingwellwithepilepsy.com for more on epilepsy awareness. For the full schedule of bloggers visit livingwellwithepilepsy.com.

Don't miss your chance to connect with bloggers on the #LivingWellChat on June 30th at 7:00 PM ET.



Comments

Alfred Maria said…
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Jessical Alba said…
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Gail Holy said…
As a sign of gratitude for how my son was cured from autism, i decided to reach out to those still suffering from Autism spectrum. My son suffered autism for 7 years and 4 months, it was really tough and heartbreaking for me because he was my all and the symptoms were terrible, he always have difficulty with communication not verbal, and he always complain of poor eye contact, hurt his self, likes music so much. We tried various therapies prescribed by our neurologist but none could cure him. Not until a day when I searched for a cure online and i saw different testimonies of how people are thanking and praising Dr Alwan who has cured their autistic children and so many others with Fallopian tube blockage, infections and diseases problems, and they all left the email of the doctor who had the cure to autism . I never imagined autism has a natural cure but i have no other choice than to contact Dr Alwan and he assured me my son will be fine and then asked me to purchase his autism herbs which i did. Few days later I got the herbal medication he recommended and also gave me instructions and guild lines on how it used. Behold it was amazing, before 2 weeks time i began to see different changes on my son now is perfectly okay, even up till this moment he is so full of life. Autism has a cure and it is an herbal cure contact the doctor for more info on (alwansolution@yahoo.com) on how to get cured of your autistic child. Thanks for reading my testimony.

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