Mental Health,  Wellness

Meet Felicia, Taming the Storm Inside

The September Feature is here. This month, I want you to meet Felicia. I have known Felecia for over three years now. She is my brothers girlfriend. I approached her, and asked her to share her brave story with us. This story, shows how you can be Fiercely Fearless, no matter what hand you are dealt.

“Hey Everyone! My name is Felicia but my friends call me FeFe. I’m a mom to 4 boys, entrepreneur, dog mom, and an Epilepsy Warrior. I’ve struggled with severe anxiety and depression for as long as I can remember. I hit an all-time low, when I was diagnosed with Epilepsy. 

I was diagnosed when I was 16. All I can remember is that I felt like my life was over. I was told that I had to take pills for the rest of my life, just for my brain to function. At 16 years old, I was the only kid in high school with this and I was bullied horribly. Everyone thought I was faking it for attention, even teachers. This was the beginning of many years of feeling less than, worthless, and wondering “Why is this happening to me?” 

Epilepsy has so many side effects, that most people are not aware of. Chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety, sore muscles, migraines, short term and long term memory loss, insomnia, and that’s on top of all the fun side effects that came from all the different medications I was on. I was never going to be a “normal” person. Being tired, meant that I couldn’t get out of bed because my body was drained from all the seizures. I could no longer learn or comprehend things as easy as everyone else, which meant I got treated differently at school, because I had special circumstances. 

Through most of my 20’s I felt sorry for myself. I just accepted, that this was how my life was going to be. I hated that I couldn’t be the mom I wanted to be. My kids saw me in bed constantly, never having the strength to play with them. I couldn’t drive them to the park. Every time I had a seizure, they thought I was dying. It was the worst feeling as a mom, knowing that they had to watch me go through something I couldn’t control, at such a young age. 

It wasn’t until my husband died and I failed at taking my own life, that my eyes opened up. I immediately checked myself into a hospital to get help. After years of struggling with depression and anxiety, I was finally diagnosed with bipolar disorder. 

After my 2 week stint in the hospital, I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and take control of my life. I was no longer playing the victim. I started reading books and researching epilepsy myself. 

I started dieting and exercising regularly, which I had learned was a huge benefit to preventing seizures. I slowly weaned myself off all my medications, and I’m proud to say that I have been seizure free now for 3 years and counting. I know that not everyone can go off there meds, but for me it was an option. I was willing to give it a try, and I’m so thankful that I looked into what was best for me. My doctors never explained to me that diets and exercise, could also help. 

I’m a huge advocate for healthy eating and taking care of your body. Taking care of your mental state, is the most important lesson I’ve learned. I wake up every morning with a grateful heart and count my blessings every single day. I’ve experienced a lot of heart ache in my short time here on earth, but I’ve gotten through it all. 

Felicia & her Family on Epilepsy Awareness Day

I share my story in hopes that it inspires and helps just one person. We are all WORTHY of a quality life. I currently am the happiest I’ve ever been, I’m chasing my dreams of being a business owner, an advocate for epilepsy, and being the best mom I can be for my kids. I still overthink everything, I still get anxious, and sometimes I still get sad. But I work very hard everyday to not let it control my life. No matter what life throws your way YOU CAN DO ANYTHING. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how dark it seems.” -Felicia

Thank you Felicia for opening up and sharing your story. Friends, we all have a story. We all have areas in our story that are not so bright. What is important to remember, is to never give up the fight. Keep pushing forward. Like Felcia said, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. -Chasidy

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