IT'S OK TO NOT BE OK

This one is hard to talk about honestly because it deals with so much more than just mental health and me, it deals with me and my whole family. The setback is about how Epilepsy took over m life and closed my business for a year. We did not see this coming at all. We never in a million years would have known this would have hit us this hard. At the time we were on top. I was running my business full time and my husband was working full time going strong. My oldest baby was going through some Mental Health issues and that was hard to deal with, but we were making it. I was Super Mommy and you couldn't tell me anything. Mentally a lot was going on, but I felt like I could control it all because I was used to doing that. I had my hand in every pot figuratively. One day I believe God said, "I have to slow you down because you have to learn you need to take care of yourself". I closed down for a year to really take care of myself because as a mother, that's not something I was doing. I took care of everyone but myself. My body clearly couldn't handle that.

I remember the day like it was yesterday. This is the only seizure I remember because it was my first one and I'll never forget my husband's face. I have nocturnal seizures. They only happen when I'm sleeping which sounds so crazy to a lot of people. I think Epilepsy isn't talked about enough. When people do talk about it, they are so used to seeing the seizures where people fall out on the floor in public and those aren't the only ones that you can have. My seizures are called Tonic Clonic also known as Grand Mal Seizures. I remember waking up and being surrounded by EMS. At this point, I was wondering what the hell was going on. Why are they here? What happened? I look over at my husband and the look in his eyes is a mixture of sheer terror, fear, worry, and angst, all in one. If my husband isn't worried, then I'm good. I know I don't need to worry about anything. The minute I saw his face I started crying because I knew something bad happened and I knew I needed to worry. The Lady started asking me my name, the date, the president, all of that and loaded me on the stretcher. I spent hours in the hospital and if you have ever had a seizure or have been diagnosed with epilepsy you know that it takes a while for them to figure out what is causing the seizures. So I was sent home hours later and because it was my first one, I wasn't diagnosed or given meds. I didn't remember any of it so I asked my husband to explain it. I hated having to do that because I know he was traumatized from seeing it happen.

He described it as looking as if I was possessed. I made this loud shrieking noise, my arms locked straight out into two different positions, I was foaming at the mouth, my eyes rolled back, and I was shaking. The seizure maybe lasted for 2-3 minutes before he called 911. Being the person that I am I felt worse for him than myself lol. He had to see it. I have no reminiscence of it, but he had to live through so many of these. 12-15 of them. After about 3 of them, I stopped going to the hospital and saw a neurologist, and was diagnosed as Epileptic. It took a while to find a combination of meds that would work, but we did so now I'm 7 months Seizure free and happy.

There is a lot I (AS IN ME) can't do which is hard to adapt to, but I'm getting used to it. For example, I can't do flashing lights so concerts are a no-go. Skating with the kids is a no-go because of the flashing lights and I can't skate because of the motion and I have vertigo now. Flashing lights means I can't go to lounges, clubs, or bars unless I find an amazing pair of sunglasses that happen to shield my eyes and not cause a seizure. I can't stand for long periods without my legs hurting or getting tired in general. If I run errands, I come back home tired because I've typically over-exhausted myself. I have to now watch my alcohol intake and keep it at a minimum. luckily, I don't like being drunk, I just like laughing at my friends lol, etc. It's a huge adjustment because I normally go all out for everything and everyone and now I can't. Sometimes dinner is the kids going to the freezer and pulling out chicken nuggets because I just don't have the energy. The best part is, they understand. They know mommy is different now and they know that things have changed significantly. They know that they will have to remind me of some things 87 times because I will forget. They know I will tell them the same thing 4-5 times and they will just go along with it because my brain is different. They love me... all of me.

The infamous Rebrand. Where do I start? I started She Prevails with a dream of helping people heal from all parts of their journey with Mental Health. Am I a professional? No, I'm just a Wife, Mother, and Entrepreneur who was and still am struggling with Mental Health and knew talking about it would help so many. I knew becoming vulnerable with my followers would be the best way to show everyone how serious I was about spreading awareness. I started my business by making a Mental Health T-Shirt line with an awareness message that I hoped would captivate many and get the message out. Everyone started to love my line. I knew I needed a website and social media presence to be able to reach a bigger crowd and get my story out.

I created my site and started to get more people involved. We had influencers, posted stories of followers who would want to share their Mental Health struggles, went to pop shops, and started to grow. The company grew bigger, and we branched out into custom items that were more than just Mental Health. Anything you can think of, I did. I was a jack of all trades. I didn’t turn down any customers. Then the unthinkable happened... stress-induced seizures. Never in a million years did I think this would be something I would go through. I didn’t know anyone in my family to have seizures or who had been diagnosed with Epilepsy, but here I was at 35 Diagnosed and treated. I closed my shop and knew I had to take care of myself for a little while. I hated leaving my customers to wonder when I’d be back and what was going on, but everyone was so understanding. The outpour of love was amazing, and I appreciated it all. It took a while for me to come back because I wanted to be ready. I wanted to make sure I was ready and able to fulfill the quality of work I knew I needed to. I was stronger and better and I felt like it was time, at 6/7 months seizure-free. But I knew that I needed to do it right. I needed to rebrand and show that my comeback was real. I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do and how I wanted the new design to look. What would my rebrand look like? What would it exemplify? What does it mean to me?

I chose the Peacock as the symbol of my brand because it means REBIRTH. A Peacock will LOSE and REGROW all its feathers, walking in all her beauty. What I decided to do what SHED my past and REGROW a new future. Nothing was wrong with me spreading awareness, I honestly loved it, but I felt myself moving in a different direction. I felt guilt rebranding because I was pushing my Mental Health Awareness side to the back, but I was Healing and growing into something different. Something that would allow me to still do what I love, but continue to grow even more. She Prevails is now growing into Luxury. There are so many different avenues to venture down; the possibilities are endless. I’ve now put myself in a position where I can make products that can be in homes everywhere, storefronts, online retailers, etc. I’m excited to see where She Prevails is going and what my creativity allows me to create next. That’s the short version ha-ha. Until next Monday…


“Remember, taking care of your Mental Health is not a Luxury… it’s a Necessity.” – She Prevails




She is Me, Val Hardy. Hey y’all! I’m the owner and creator of She Prevails. I started the original brand is 2015 and it has grown is so many ways. You know how people say there so glad they don’t look like what they have been through? I know it’s

so cliché, but whew if I have a penny for every time I said that. I started my brand honestly because I needed something to take my mind off of my pain. I thought if I could be vocal about my issues and help other, it would in turn help others. I was diagnosed with High Functioning Depression and Anxiety in 2015. It carried on after my postpartum and I never got checked for it. I went from therapy to a psychiatrist and tried 7 different medications and they had me either feeling like a zombie or emotionally torn down. I couldn’t function like that with 3 kids, so I took the option of meds off the table and through myself into my business. I started a group called The Sisterhood on Facebook where women can join and feel comfortable enough to talk and share there mental health experiences and vent if need be. I had multiple T-shirt lines and other apparel geared towards mental health as well as starter influencers that were posting and getting my brand out there. I also highlighted one person a week with specific questions about their mental health struggle if they were willing to talk about it publicly. I loved everything about what I was doing. The brand She Prevails is about uplifting and encouraging woman through their Mental Health struggle. To spread the word that It’s Ok To Not Be Ok. In this day and age we truly don’t hear that enough. We get shamed and looked at differently for admitting our weaknesses. We don’t want that to be the case here. She Prevails wants to embrace our differences. We are not victims, we are warriors. We are fighting every day. We will prevail! Come back next week and we will talk about to changes made in the business from last year to this year and why everything happen the way it did. Stay tuned.

-Val



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