Every 3 Years

I have seizures every three years.

To be specific, I have psychogenic nonepileptic seizures every three years. Ranging from mild hand twitches to full-body convulsions, these seizures spasms are inconvenient, uncomfortable, and sometimes even terrifying. Every time it rears its ugly head, I feel like a battered marionette. The way I spasm, twitch, and convulse without control is annoying at best, and frightening at worst. To have my broken, unfiltered mind so evidently displayed through the movements of my grotesque dance is distressing. I try to laugh it off and make jokes about it to those forced to witness my shame, but the truth is- I hate that others can clearly see the mental turmoil I’ve spent my whole life trying to hide. It’s physically and mentally exhausting. I try to work through it for a time, but usually have to take a 3-6 week medical leave of absence to get my mind and body back in order so I don’t become a danger to myself or others. Then, after a 3-4 month stay, the seizures taper out and go back into hibernation. Waiting in the recesses of my mind for their next visit.

My Three Years are up.

My last round of seizures started in September of 2018 and ended in December of 2018. I made every effort to make that round of seizures my last. I started therapy, cut out the toxic people in my life. I graduated school, got a good job, paid off my debt. I did everything I was supposed to do to become “Stable”. But it wasn’t enough. I still haven’t fixed my mental health. I didn’t heal the cause- I just put a band-aid over it. I shouldn’t have been surprised when they came back. My first seizure of 2021 happened at a Halloween party, brought on by a bad reaction to THC. I tried to convince myself it was a one-time occurrence, a fluke. But today, I felt the familiar rush of my nervous system. My arm twitched. My jaw started to chatter- and I’m not too proud to admit that I started to cry.

Why 3 years?

I don’t know. As I tell my clients in the world of data analysis- twice is a coincidence, 3 times is a pattern. My seizure start dates are 2012, 2015, 2018, and now 2021. Is there a hidden significance to the number 3? Do I just get too overwhelmed to function around this time? Or do I manifest it through expectation? Psychologically speaking, the latter is probably the correct answer, but it could also be my tendency to overwork and stress myself out. But there is a more fun option: magic.

3 is the Number of the Magic.

Think of all the myths and legends associated with the number 3. We have The Holy Trinity, of Christianity The Triple Goddess (there are actually multiple), The Three Kings of the Greek Pantheon, three realms in Norse mythology, the 3 witches of MacBeth, the list goes on and on to include religions, fairy-tales, and superstitions. Why? Because many ancient philosophers believed that the number 3 represented unity and divinity. They linked the number 3 to time and connection. It disrupts the binary to create a spectrum: a bridge. There’s the past, present, and future. There’s beginning, middle, and end. We also have birth, life, and death. It connects two opposites with a unifying middle.

Do I believe my seizures are linked to magic?

Not really. I just find it interesting to explore connections. In a way, my seizures do connect my past, present, and future- since my seizures are caused by untreated trauma. Each seizure is my body’s way of reminding me that I need to heal from my past so I can live in the present and find peace in my future. Maybe the 3-year gaps are just coincidence, but I can still look for meaning in the patterns of my life.

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