My Purple Shoes

November is Epilepsy Awareness Month. Did you know that? Most people don’t. And the colour used to represent epilepsy in the spectrum of support and awareness ribbons? Purple.


It is such a uniquely human desire to both share and contain personal events. Though I used to blog regularly, it got to a point where the things that weighed most on my mind I wasn’t comfortable with sharing with a larger audience.

The first ‘bee under my bonnet’, so to speak, was reading the following blog post about a year ago. It’s entitled: Fuck Your Purple Ribbon Campaign. Go ahead…click over…check it out. It’s one of the most upsetting articles I’ve read about epilepsy. Fair enough, she starts out with a disclaimer that says, “I am angry. And sad. And over-whelmed. And it’s ok if you disagree.” What followed made me angry. And sad. And over-whelmed.

genesis-1196876November is Epilepsy Awareness Month, and people are encouraged to wear a purple ribbon to show their support for someone who deals with this – those who have epilepsy and those who surround that person (friends, family, etc.). The writer talks of how ribbons are so useless when the ‘colours’ of epilepsy include the blue lips from lack of oxygen, the red of broken blood vessels, the yellow, green, and black of the bruises that cover you after a seizure.

She’s angry and says, “Fuck your purple ribbon. I want a cure.” Well, you know what? I would like a cure too…that’s me you’re talking about. But right now there is no cure. And right now, I like to see those purple ribbons that tell me I’m not alone in a world that’s rife with stigma about this disorder.

Yes, sometimes my diagnosis makes me ‘angry. And sad. And over-whelmed.’ Despite this, I see hope in that splash of purple. I see solidarity.

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