Three years ago, I had a seizure in the Whole Foods a few blocks from my house. After teaching Day 2 of a 3-day course at a hotel a mile from my house, I walked through back streets with snow piled high and decided on a quick grocery store run.

As soon as I walked in, I had a strange sense of things feeling blurry and furry. I remember blinking and trying to clear my vision.

At some point, I staggered into the cracker aisle. “Why am I here?” I remember asking myself, “I don’t even eat crackers.”

That is the last thing I remember before waking up in the Emergency Room at Cambridge Hospital with pulled muscles in both legs and a quick-growing fat lip.

“You had a seizure,” the young, kind doctor informed me gently, confirming that one of my biggest fears had come true.

This was not the first grand mal seizure I had had. At ages 5 and 6, I had two, each landing me in the hospital for multiple days.

I was put on Tegretol for years, which caused bright, happy child Shannon to turn into an overweight, depressed, sluggish zombie girl who would fall asleep with her head on her homework. At age 12, the doctors and my parents cautiously allowed me to attempt life unmedicated.

For the 30 years following, I lived with the spectre of the possibility of the epilepsy returning. For at least the last 20 years, I routinely expressed my gratitude about my being cured.

Until one day, I wasn’t.   One of my biggest fears had come true; it felt as if my body and brain had betrayed me.

In meeting the reality that I was no longer “out of the woods” with my epilepsy, I had to meet the end of a cherished identity-a person in remission, a person that had been miraculously cured.  The bullet I’d been dodging hit me right between the eyes and felled me in my local grocery store.

The reality of the vulnerability of this body took center stage.

The truth is, we are all always vulnerable.  Bodies malfunction, get sick, and eventually, inevitably, die.  This is the truth, for each and every one of us.

We can have that reality terrorize us or liberate us.

In this moment, I choose liberation.

And you?