DonovanI was taught growing up that to be a man I had to be strong, tough, resilient.
I was diagnosed when I was 21 years old with nocturnal seizures but I didn’t accept that, and kept it a secret. As time went on I was eventually diagnosed with tonic clonic seizures. And yeah, I kept that a secret too.
My family thought it was a demon, I was possessed. So I was confused. I would wake up, my tongue bitten, feeling broken; asking “Is this a demon?”. Then my neurologist said “no, it's epilepsy.”
I was confused for a very long time, I felt ashamed and alone. Epilepsy made me feel weak and vulnerable, like I wasn't man enough.
When I found out about Epilepsy Toronto through the basketball player, Tristan Thompson, I was moved and inspired to join. Now I am an ambassador; I want to help, by sharing my story.
I’m not weak. I just have something that I had to open up about.
It has given me more strength. I feel stronger now, because I've gone through all that I have. That's the definition of resilience: feeling like you're broken, you're lost, you're alone, you've fallen, and getting back up and overcoming that. It's actually made me who I am today. Anyone facing epilepsy, I want to share with them - you're not alone.
I've learned how to be a better man by accepting my epilepsy.
Stories have been condensed and edited
UPCOMING WORKSHOP - MAN TALK…A DISCUSSION ON MEN’S ISSUES IN EPILEPSY
Date: Wednesday July 10th , 2019
Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Speaker: Dr. Eduard Bercovici, neurologist and epileptologist
We believe there are unique challenges facing men with epilepsy. This workshop will be an informal ‘fire side chat’ kind of setting where you can feel free to discuss issues you face as a man living with epilepsy and have your questions answered by an epilepsy specialist who ‘gets it’. RSVP by clicking here.