I know there is a fine line between what should and shouldn’t be said. While some may take matters seriously, others can find humor in the most unpleasant of circumstances.
After I let go of the denial and anger of my diagnosis, I decided to take a step back and view my condition in a more lighthearted way. If epilepsy was going to be a part of my life, I had every right to embrace it as I wanted. I have control of my attitude and how I feel. It was my right to have fun!
I can’t deny that I find a sense of humor in some epilepsy jokes, and I attempt not to read too much into them. I decided a long time ago that I wouldn’t let silly, little words bring me down. But, where does one draw the line? Who is to say that you’ve gone too far? I don’t think there is an exact answer to any of these questions. There isn’t a ‘fine line’ after all.
We all smile, laugh, cry and hurt differently. I attempt to laugh off and joke about my own seizures to family and friends. I do this to show them epilepsy doesn’t define me, and I can defeat it. Some think this is to be taken seriously and having fun with it just isn’t right. Others will smile along with me. I know not all things are meant to be amusing. What is said can cause damage and pain.
For instance, I remember two guys in one of my animation classes at college, and this is how they went too far.
“I know what I’m going to do for my assignment,” said student A.
“What are you going to do?” asked student B.
“I’m going to do an abstract video with a lot of flashing lights. It would be so cool if it caused everyone to have a seizure! You know, I don’t know why they choose to have seizures,” student A answered.
“Can you imagine the people in the audience going crazy?” asked student B.
“That would be hilarious!” student A replied.
They said this leisurely as if their conversation was pleasant. Their chat continued as they made jerking gestures trying to imitate what they thought seizures looked like. What they said upset me. “No one ‘chooses’ to have a seizure!” I wanted to yell at them.
I know they might not have been versed in the language of seizure disorders, but I can’t comprehend why they both thought this was so funny. Why would anyone want someone to have a seizure? Photosensitive epilepsy isn’t something to make fun of!
I laugh at stupid jokes and not just ‘serious’ ones. I laugh at a lot of dumb things, but there is a fine line between joking with someone and joking about them. If both parties aren’t laughing, I’m certain that line has been crossed.
We can all decide how light we want to make a situation. I’d rather laugh my way through this, rather than let it be serious and sulky the entire way through. Seizure stories don’t always have to be filled with doom and gloom. We can take them and shape them the way we want to.
Laughing is a wonderful gift, and it doesn’t hurt to laugh at our bad breakdancing moves every once in a while. 🙂