America celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day on this Monday, January 20, 2020 over a 5-day weekend (for most). I was unable to celebrate the holiday the way I planned, and felt physically and mentally terrible about it. This weekend I missed several events; my friend’s and my niece’s birthdays, and the Aaliyah: One in A Million Art Show by Kris Blackmon. I hope that those I missed will understand, because I really had plans to attend each event this weekend.

I couldn’t make the events this MLK weekend because I was experiencing complications due to epilepsy. I have been diagnosed with “epilepsy” and a “seizure disorder” since I was 16 years old. Over the weekend, I experienced a lot; an anxiety attack, what felt like an aura, extreme exhaustion, guilt, isolation, and several migraines. The anxiety and guilt from missing (even one) event in the past encouraged me hermit from everyone I know for weeks (sometimes months) on end. I stayed in on Sunday, but by Monday I felt better, decided to keep living life, and attended the Verbquake Youth Poetry Slam at Urb Arts. Sometimes we miss how hard “just showing up” can be for others, but we must try to appreciate those that do.

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