In March I was honored to attend and speak at FACES 2015 Encephalitis Conference in Las Vegas. I was reminded that while so many of us who have experienced encephalitis feel alone, we aren’t. And, that while so many family members of those with encephalitis feel alone, they aren’t.Young Woman Thinking

We are a family. Often distant. Often not receiving correct medical and psychological care. Often afraid. Often feeling alone. Often unaware that we are a family. But a family.

And I believe we are a family needing to glance at our situations and smile. Working through our pains and questions, dealing with our health conditions, adjusting our methods of learning—and smiling.

But how?

Here are thoughts from my book Changing My Mind that helped me:

The electrical system of our brains is often tricky. So is that system of the physical hearts and the spiritual hearts. So is that system of relationships, desires, choices, and results. We sleep and we awaken. We lie down and we jump up. We notice a fan rotating and a mate breathing. We ask for answers and hear silence. We want to be left alone and feel covered by noise. That is life. For all of us. All of us, each disabled in our general way as fallen man, each disabled in specific ways which only belong to us.

 But we can think it through. Rather than retreating and being defeated, we can choose to wake from our selfness, our state of being, our disability, our stress. We can wake and smile. We can walk, pray, sing, and laugh. Eyes can see each day as new. Ears can hear noises and pause for a smile. Inner beings can dare the mind to mind us, refusing to let disabilities destroy our true abilities to adjust, adapt, and rejoice amid our mental power outages.


– For more of Chris Maxwell’s story about his illness, purchase the eBook version of his book Changing My Mind.

– And please support Encephalitis Global.