Jenn Koren

Who Says I Can't?

I’m not an Epileptic..I’m a Person with Epilepsy June 2, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — jennkoren @ 9:30 pm

The first time I heard someone call me an ‘Epileptic’..my initial reaction was..’I’m a what?’

For those of you who are wondering, I am not an Epileptic.  I am a person with Epilepsy along with other things such as flat feet, freckles, dry skin, naturally curly hair and a hidden love for romance novels.

However, society feels the need to pick the ‘label’ that it feels best suits me as a person and use that to describe me as a whole.  I’ve seen this happen with other people as well and every time I hear the label, I cringe like I’m hearing finger nails slowly scratching a chalk board.  Yeah, it’s that bad.

Let’s see…there’s labels such as Diabetic, Alcoholic, Bulimic, Anorexic, Narcoleptic, Workaholic, Agoraphobic…..do I need to go on?

Who came up with these labels and why were they so selective?
Why didn’t someone come up with a label like ‘multitaskingfulltimeworkingmom..ic’?  I know that’s a bit much, but that would be much more appropriate to sum up the type of person that I am at this point in my life.

I know that people will still call me an Epileptic, and I will still correct them by saying the same speech, ‘I’m not an Epileptic.  I am a person with Epilepsy.  Epilepsy does not define me as person but is a small fraction of what has made me who I am today’….I annoy myself as I say this speech over and over again to the countless people who continue to label me.

I’ve accepted the fact that I’ll always be labeled as this and that most people will never truly get it.  I’m okay with that…sort of.

However, I thought this would be a good opportunity to come up with my own label for myself on what I think truly captures who I am as a person. Why can’t I, right?

It didn’t take me long to think of one.  I smiled as soon as I thought about the new label that I had given to myself and that small smile made me realize that it was right….even if it was just for me.

Since I don’t think it’s possible to come up with just one word to define what someone is all about, I came up with a short phrase.

Hopeful Dreamer of Endless Possibilities…..yeah…I like that one much better.

Have you ever been labeled incorrectly?  Do you feel like you have labeled other people without realizing that was what you were doing?  If you could create your own label that would define you as a person, what would it be?

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5 Responses to “I’m not an Epileptic..I’m a Person with Epilepsy”

  1. Michael Says:

    I know about labels.

    I can read peoples eyes when they see me.

    “Lets get him a chair before he falls!”

  2. Rosemarie Says:

    Jen,
    Thank you! Having epilepsy, I can relate to EXACTLY how you feel. Dealing with my cancer, I get the “sick woman” label quite often. Its quite annoying at times. I understand people sometimes don’t know what else to say, but sometimes they are better off not saying anything at all. To me cancer is not a part of me, it doe not make me the person I am. It cannot conquer my spirit, or shatter my hope. When I read this, I sat back and smiled. I thank you!

    • jennkoren Says:

      Thanks Rosemarie. You definitely came to mind when I was writing this and I was hoping you would read it and relate in some way. I know your struggles have been far greater than mine but I think we both share the same opinion on not being defined or labeled by these struggles.

      Thanks for your sharing your story as well.

  3. Walter Says:

    It is unfortunate that we humans have the tendency to make labels. When I was a kid I have had many ugly labels thrown upon me by people who have feeble understanding. However, we must learn that despite the inappropriateness of the label we must not let it affect us. The truth is we are only wasting our energy if we always resist. There are more important things in life that we should spend our energy on. 🙂


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