My name is Paola Bayron, I’ve just turned 28 years old, but feel as if I’ve gained 10 years of wisdom due to motherhood. In the last two years, I have struggled with experiencing pseudo seizures during my postpartum recovery. Pseudo seizures is a form of the body showing signs of what can appear to be a stroke or epilepsy, but in reality there are no abnormal charges to the brain that can determine the body has experienced either. I had never experienced PNES until four-months postpartum. However, all my life I struggled with anxiety, hyperactivity, depression and binge eating disorder. My mother was a single mother with three of us to take care of. My dad was pretty absent during my life and when I was 8 years old, I started to experience extreme sadness, possible feelings of abandonment. I began to keep things to myself, I ate to fill the void I had, I cried often listening to music when I had insomnia and I wasn’t doing so well in school. After 3rd grade, I started to do better since l started to dance more, joined the choir, the band and alleviated my pain through creativity and pretty much kept my mind and heart busy. We moved often, from home to home, during my childhood and although my mother did everything she could to provide for us, it still gave me a sense of instability very early on and during my pregnancy, we were harassed by our landlord, eventually forcing us to leave the property we thought we’d establish our first year with our baby girl in. Overall the experience, gave me insomnia, my sense of instability came back and my peace was destroyed by a stranger. We had to move from place to place, sleep on sofa beds, on mattresses on the floor and our baby girl in a play bassinet and it seemed that my experience as a first-time mom was demolished. The doctors told me I was extremely stressed, but I knew my mental health was at stake and my life too, as I was also experiencing postpartum depression. The seizures were the signs my body was telling me, that I needed to heal past wounds and prioritize my needs and learn to remain at peace no matter the circumstances. I only just recently started therapy and I’m excited to continue the sessions, but for all the time that past in between, I’ve completed a combination of activities including, reading books for my higher self, eating better and cooking, spending quality time with my husband and daughter, journaling, cycling, being out in nature, started my personal blog and launched my mental health podcast “The Inner Puzzle”. All of this has prolonged the frequency of the seizures and contributed to my healing. I realized telling my story has helped others like me and it initiates the conversations we should be having more of. During my postpartum recovery, the first thing I worked on was eating healthier and controlling my urges to fill whatever voids I wanted to fill. I started to ask “why?”, “why are you feeling like this?”, “Are you truly hungry or feeling some type of way?”. These questions helped me back track to the root of my problems and over time I came to terms with each and every one of them. This helped me stop binge eating. I indulge when I wish to have something, but I no longer serve more than I should, because the point of it, is to reward myself not sabotage myself. In conclusion, PNES saved my dreams, it helped me start my life again, it helped me discover this new person I’ve become, it helped me quit the news industry which was no longer the pace I wanted to work in, and it gave me the courage to start a new career path and study for my master’s degree in education. My seizures have helped me build a life that I wish to lead, staying present for my family and becoming the mother I dreamt of becoming someday. I no longer have attachments to material things including money and houses; I learned that home was in me all along.

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