When you feel you are ready to tell, there are various opportunities you can use to start the conversation. You can:
Use opportunities to tell
There are certain questions that come up in conversation where you can let people know of your epilepsy, such as questions about driving or what you like to drink. If you feel it's the right moment to tell, using these opportunities will help keep it casual.
When I would ask them could I have a spin home, and people would say, where's your car? Then I'd say I actually have epilepsy and people would be very surprised – so that would have been the first experience of having to tell people.
You can use opportunities such as having a medical appointment for your epilepsy or after a seizure.
I said I was going to hospital in a couple of weeks for just an EEG, that I had epilepsy. I haven't had a seizure in 10 years and they're just checking up on it.
In work situations where you want to explain sick-leave or what supports you need, you can use these opportunities to tell your employer or supervisor.
I have to explain why I'm going to be tired or I'm not going to be around for a couple of days or something. It's more likely it's after the fact if I haven't been around for a while, it's a way of explanation sometimes.
Create opportunities to tell
If you feel the moment is right to tell someone, you can create an opportunity to bring it into conversation. There are various props you can use, such as taking your medication in front of the other person, wearing an epilepsy badge/bracelet, and leaving epilepsy booklets around at home. If the person doesn't show interest by asking you questions, then don't force the issue at that time.
I had to take tablets and when he was chatting to me there, I took them. Then he asked...I didn't have to go oh I've epilepsy, like it kind of broke it in. I'd go well I'm on these because and explain that.
You can create opportunities such as showing interest in epilepsy issues or raising awareness of epilepsy by posting articles or links using social media.
I've tried to raise awareness with epilepsy on social media. I'm sure everyone knows at this stage. People that I haven't seen in years I'm sure know I've epilepsy. Because any time there's an epilepsy event I'm promoting it. Or if it's raised in the news.
Wait for opportunities to tell
When you are out with friends or work colleagues, opportunities for sharing personal information crop up and provide you with an opening to tell. When a relevant topic such as health or medication comes up in conversation, or is being discussed on the radio/television, you can drop it into the conversation. The right time and place will come which makes telling a natural part of the conversation.
He was quite straight with me – he suffered with anxiety and depression and he told me. I said well actually, I suffer with temporal lobe seizures. We were just being honest with each other and it's kind of a comfort now because we feel like we're on a par. We've both been quite straightforward with each other.