I was diagnosed with epilepsy when I was 21. I already had my driving licence and was commuting 30 miles to work every day. I let the DVLA know that I had been having seizures and they told me that I wouldn’t be able to drive for at least a year. At first, I was really upset by this news. Living in a village was great but meant that having a driving licence was vital in order to get places. The public transport wasn’t very regular and the village didn’t have any shops.
"At the time, having my driving licence revoked felt like a negative thing but I look back on this situation positively."
I felt like I had two options. I could either get a job nearer to where I lived or move to the next city and continue working for the same company. I had always planned to move away at some point so decided that I should use this as an opportunity to explore a new city. The diagnosis of epilepsy itself was overwhelming and unexpected. Add moving house on top of that and you can probably imagine it was quite a stressful situation. However, I soon got used to the new city and travelling by public transport. I was entitled to a free bus pass which I still use to this day which makes travelling less of a worry.
It’s 5 years later and I still haven’t been allowed my driving licence back. Even if the DVLA gave me my licence back, I don’t think I would want it. I have adapted to living without it and simply don’t need it. I realised I can travel everywhere on public transport. I’ve been all over the world and never come across a problem. Public transport is a lot cheaper and also better for the environment.
I also wouldn’t want to have to go through losing it again if I had a seizure. At the time, having my driving licence revoked felt like a negative thing but I look back on this situation positively. It encouraged me to move to a new city and become a more independent person.
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