|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on February 22, 2018 at 1:25 PM||comments (2)|
As I've received many letters, emails, and messages on social media from survivors like myself, there are so many teens and adults battling with depression. Some who battles with epilepsy or seizures tend to be judged by many. Whether it's from classmates, co-workers, or maybe even family. This can cause depression.
I once thought I had a normal life. Even though I was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 5, I felt I was living a normal life. I did whatever I wanted to do like any "normal" human being. Having seizures during elementary school, no one looked at me differently. My classmates and teachers actually helped me and had a concern. Seeing what others are experiencing now, it's completely different and it does bother me.
My depression came from the aftermath of the tragic car accident I had. Being diagnosed with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), I really didn't want to accept it. After being tested and the doctors advising me of this, I just felt even more different. And I did question, "Am I the chosen one?"
Imagine having 2 good jobs, a comfortable home, traveling, and so much excitement in life, then it changes immediately. After I had the tragic car accident, it seemed like those who I was once close to, disappeared. I had to face a lot from the accident. Hospitalized from my epilepsy, having 2 brain surgeries, could no longer drive, and I looked around and asked, "where are they?" My phone just stopped ringing, not many visits, or even invites. Hmmm.... I'm wondering why? Is it because of all of this?
Not only was I diagnosed with depression but I also deal with Claustrophobia. It's the fear of being in a small space or room and having the feeling like you're unable to escape. Being unable to drive and dealing with the circumstances from the case I had, I felt enclosed in my home. So imagine no one around you and no where to go. How would you feel? I felt that this was a punishment to me. Depression at a part of my life became serious. I attempted suicide but as you can see, I'm still here. And here for a reason.
During the time I had in the hospital with brain testing and surgeries, I met many survivors like myself and we had similar stories. Now, this day, there are even more similar stories and some are even worst. I've interacted with so many survivors and others and all I do is give them my testimony. And I hope that it can change their way of thinking about life. Because we are here for a reason.
Am I the chosen one? Will I ever be in a relationship or marriage someday? Will I ever have friends like I once had before? Will I not be looked at differently due to what I live with or from my past? Only God knows. What I'm dedicated to at this point in my life is having the many like myself...SMILE. If I can't bring others joy, I am not living my purpose.
What keeps me going each day is giving God praise and following the plan He has for me. Once I've learned that, I see things falling into place. God determines who walks into your life. You decide who stays and who walks out. In the book of John 13:7, it states; "You don't understand now what I am doing but someday you will." And I do understand it now!
I've spoken to many survivors and families who are battling with depression. Just because you were diagnosed, don't let it destroy your life. We're all human and things do happen. Be a living testimony and show others how they can overcome just like you. When you think positive, you will get positive results! I do know that...
You are still here for a reason. Why? Because YOU ARE THE CHOSEN ONE!
Natalie Y. Beavers
Founder of Angels Of Epilepsy Inc.
|Posted by email@example.com on September 21, 2017 at 4:00 PM||comments (0)|
So I took action!
Even though, I was battling my life living with epilepsy, I felt like I had to fight for the children here in Georgia. Over the years, I've met many families that has a child or a relative battling with seizures. Angels Of Epilepsy keeps in contact with families that we meet at the hospitals when we deliver gifts.
In 2013, one particular family I met that lived here in Georgia, contacted us to say that they have decided to move to Colorado to experiment the cannabis oil so their son Jeremy can live. I was very excited for them! Only thing, the mother was moving there with the son for the experiment and the father was staying here to work to maintain his job and pay for their living expenses and medicine supply of the cannabis oil. It was a major decision that they both made for the sake of their son. He was 4 years old at the time. We did keep in contact so we can see his progress.
In 2014, I read about Representative Allen Peake, from the 141st District in Georgia, and what he was doing to get a medical marijuana law passed for children with seizures disorders. I was really amazed by what he was doing so I made sure I followed him and his work. I went to a few rallies and sessions at the Georgia State Capitol to help and support for the children living with epilepsy. I also met and saw families there at these sessions and we all were hoping for change.
Georgia Representative Allen Peake, spoke so much about how cannabis oil can and will help children with major brain conditions, seizure disorders, and epilepsy. So many of us really do appreciate him for that. When I saw him at the State Capitol, I wish I had an opportunity to just shake his hand to say, "Thank You,"
Let me be honest, I literally do not like seizure medication...At all! But everyone's body is different. Having epilepsy for over 30 years, can you imaging how many different medicines I've taken? And yes, I've had 2 brain surgeries. After the surgery, I did have some time where I thought I was seizure free but the episodes came back stronger than before. I was angry and disgusted. The seizure meds I was prescribed, seemed to have a not so good effect to my body. But I didn't give up!
So in 2015, I continued my research on cannabis oil and how it can help those living with epilepsy. I interacted with so many on social media that chose to experiment this medicine. I traveled to California which has medical cannabis legalized. I stayed there from time to time to have my experience. I kept notes of how much I took daily while there. And there were no side effects from this medication. In my seizure diary, it seems with the cannabis oil in my system, I was 60-65 days seizure free! But, once it's out of my system, now what? Take another trip back to the west coast for my medication.... We don't have it legalized here in Georgia.
And finally, around the beginning of 2016, Georgia's Governor Nathan Deal, signed Law House Bill (HB) 722, medical marijuana bill. Not only was it passed for children living with seizure disorders or severe brain conditions but for the adults too! And many of us were shocked!
So what do we do now?
Recently, in August 2017, I received my Cannabis/THC Oil Registration Card here in the State Of Georgia. I no longer have to travel to west coast just to get medication in my system to live. Very happy and proud of myself for the effort that I pushed for many to help us all in this life that we live! The only thing is, some of us here may have our cards to receive this medicine but we have to pay full price out of pocket for the medicine (cannabis oil) and for shipping to us here in Georgia. And it will cost us a lot!
This is a new beginning for me and I'm sure for so many others here in Georgia and many in other states that fought for this. We're hoping that Angels Of Epilepsy will soon be able to assist families and survivors with this in some form. And yes, I'm working on it!
I am a survivor and an advocate for so many around the world living with epilepsy and I will continue to fight for us because #EPILEPSYLIVESMATTER!
- Natalie Y. Beavers
Survivor, Advocate, & Mentor
|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on September 21, 2017 at 3:50 PM||comments (0)|
Sometimes I sit and think about how my life use to be. I think about the fun times I had with my friends and even with family. How I went to many places and just enjoyed life. Especially with my children. A lot of those times in my life was when I had the capability to drive.
It seems like what I once had faded away. Was it because of the car accident? Or maybe what I had to face? Maybe because I chose to have brain surgery? I really wasn't sure. I was hospitalized for quite a long time dealing with tests and even my brain surgeries and rehabilitation. So I was away from many things I used to be around and do. During my time in the hospital, I used to wonder, "where are they?" Even after all of that, I had to face a lot of other things. And I still asked and wondered, "where are they?"
During all of this, my doctor and my church suggested that I see a psychiatrist. As I spoke with them, and dealt with testing, I was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It's a disorder characterized by failure to recover after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event. Having anxiety and flashbacks from the accident and feeling alone was quite a hard time and battle I was dealing with. I asked a lot, "why am I alone?" But my dad and mom said to me, "You are not alone."
I've realized that God determines who walks into your life. You decide who stays and who walks out. When I changed, my surroundings changed too. You could feel like you have love and support but all of a sudden it disappears. That was one of the reasons I suffered depression. But, I really do appreciate those that stood with me through all of the trials and tribulations that I went through and even some things that I still face today.
When I was getting my business ideas together, someone told me that the majority of your supporters will be strangers. And I really do see that. But I've realized that nothing should stop you from living your life with a purpose.
When you make a change, majority of everything in your life will change too. I don't want people to look at me as if I'm this bad person because of the accident or because I came out to many about my life with epilepsy. Or me having the Almighty as head of my life. Yes, I've changed! And It's for the better. God has forgiven me and now I must follow the journey he has for me.
I'm speaking out about my experiences and life challenges that I still face today. I feel that if I tell my story, it could possibly help and encourage someone out there. There will be battles that we all will face in our lifetime. I just want to let many know that we're here for a reason.
I'm a mother, a survivor, an advocate, a speaker, and a mentor. I feel fine with my life now and I will no longer complain because this is what I was given. And at the age of 40 now, I'M LEARNING LIFE...
Natalie Y. Beavers