When sourcing links for this site I found Laura Seabrook’s experiences relayed as a comic, which fell off the internet as things sometimes do. Smart and short, it picks up acutely the particular emotional state of suffering from epilepsy.
I drew this comic in the middle of 1999. I was using comics as a way of sorting out the issues in my life. Back in 1994 I’d already started a gender transition, and had between then left permanent employment in the public service, and left Perth in Western Australia to study at Newcastle in New South Wales, on the other side of the country. At the time I was in the middle of a Bachelors in Fine Art and started suffering from anxiety attacks. Initially this was extremely disturbing. My first major panic attack was preceded by an aura, which scared me to my core – I was afraid that the grand mal / tonic clonic seizures were starting again. But they didn’t, instead this was some new problem to deal with, or an old problem finally coming to the surface.
At the time I drew this comic to face my fears about the possibility of having seizures again. There were other issues as well, but a return of seizures complicated everything. As it was, I went from student allowance to Disability allowance, which for me was ironic because I’d once worked i the Department of Social Security. And in 2000 I underwent gender reassignment surgery, without complications like seizures. As I age there’s a possibility of epilepsy returning, but I need to take that possibility if it comes, and not before. Either way, I’m glad I drew out my experience and issues in a comic, and in the process helped resolve those.
~ Laura Seabrook