#SWAAYthenarrative

How I Turned My Trauma Into A Thriving Business After Major Brain Surgery

5 Min Read
Health

The first pic you see of me here is from November 2018, roughly 3 weeks after having brain surgery. It all started one morning in January of 2018. I flew from LA to San Jose en route to Santa Cruz for several meetings I had set for the day. I was driving on Highway 17 heading to Santa Cruz from the San Jose Airport. I was on the freeway for all of 20 minutes, and out of nowhere a car comes out from a residential area to the right of me, attempting to make a left turn onto the freeway where there was a concrete median divider — making it impossible to turn left. The car stops literally in the middle of the highway — in my lane! I was going over 60 mph. Beginning to slam on breaks, I attempted to jump in the right lane but there were cars coming, so I couldn't make it. At that moment I clenched hard because I knew I was gonna have to hit this car!

I was immediately taken to the hospital, and that was the start of months of tests, treatments, and scans. In August 2018, two days before my birthday — months after going to lots of doctors, receiving various treatments and body scans — I was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor. The doctor wanted me to have the surgery three weeks later. I said, "No! There is no way I'm having surgery in three weeks!" I cried my entire birthday weekend.

Some people call it cognitive dissonance, but I was just in denial and couldn't face the magnitude of what had just happened.

In the weeks to follow, I began to prepare for surgery, and let my friends, coworkers, and family know of the diagnosis. I agreed to have the surgery in October 2018. After my surgery, I stayed in the hospital for a few days, and eventually, they sent me home. I was sent home with a nasty scar, a partially shaved head, and extreme swelling causing disfigurement to the overall appearance of my face. I was on lots of different medications for the first few weeks. And, honestly, I don't remember that much from those first few weeks following my surgery. I did, however, know that I did not want to be addicted to any pain medications, so I stopped taking them and swapped them out for CBD pills and edibles to soothe my pain.

As weeks went on, I did everything I could to avoid the pain and trauma that the accident and surgery caused me and my family. In the months following my surgery, I began to become severely depressed. I all but stopped taking phone calls from my friends and family, quit going out and socializing in general, worked minimally, stopped posting, and disengaged entirely from social media. Some people call it cognitive dissonance, but I was just in denial and couldn't face the magnitude of what had just happened.

I was so pissed that I had to shave off my hair for surgery and that I had a scar on my head that would last a lifetime — my face looked like someone beat me with a bag of rocks. I just felt in general I wasn't near as sharp as I was used to being. On top of all of that I started to pick up a TON of weight — 33 pounds to be exact, which pushed me even further into depression. I went through most of 2019 just trying to recover and pick up the pieces. But one day in the mid-December, I literally woke up and made a firm decision to make a change in my life. I didn't know how, but I knew I was tired of being depressed! I knew I could not and would not continue in the state I was in, and I refused to drag the same tired, depressed energy into 2020.

Day by day, I felt myself getting stronger mentally, physically, and spiritually.

In January 2020, a close, long-standing colleague (@princessjayknowles) just so happened to reach out to me on New Year's Day. She had recently gone into a partnership with a wellness company and told me she wanted to send some products for me to try. I was like, heck why not? I had already decided that in 2020 I was taking back my power in all areas of my life that I can control — those areas being my mental health, weight, and spiritual well-being. I got back into meditating on a daily basis, and I started reading and watching any uplifting and inspiring videos that I could find. I even began taking the CBD detox tea and liquid nutraburst vitamin that my colleague sent for me to try.

By mid-January, I felt more lively and energetic than I had been since before my car accident. Day by day, I felt myself getting stronger mentally, physically, and spiritually. That's when I knew I had to help others. I started thinking of all the women in the world that, like me, may suffer from depression or extreme weight gain. I told my colleague that I wanted to go into business with her; we would help women around the world with every facet of their wellness: mind, body, spirit.

I knew I could not and would not continue in the state I was in and I refused to drag the same tired, depressed energy into 2020.

The idea for Royal Legacy Wellness was born purely as a result of transcending my own personal tragedy. I now have the honor of being able to educate, empower, and uplift individuals that, like me, are ready to take full control of their mental, physical, and spiritual wellness. Royal Legacy Wellness is focused on being the go-to source for inspirational stories, personal development, and holistic wellness products powered by a revenue-generating business opportunity for people also committed to taking charge of their financial future. I wholeheartedly believe, and know from personal experience, that by making a firm decision to grow, you have the power to choose a life of health, wealth and freedom!

3 min read
Lifestyle

Help! My Friend Is a No Show

Email armchairpsychologist@swaaymedia.com to get the advice you need!

Help! My Friend Is a No Show

Dear Armchair Psychologist,

I have a friend who doesn't reply to my messages about meeting for dinner, etc. Although, last week I ran into her at a local restaurant of mine, it has always been awkward to be friends with her. Should I continue our friendship or discontinue it? We've been friends for a total four years and nothing has changed. I don't feel as comfortable with her as my other close friends, and I don't think I'll ever be able to reach that comfort zone in pure friendship.

-Sadsies

Dear Sadsies,

I am sorry to hear you've been neglected by your friend. You may already have the answer to your question, since you're evaluating the non-existing bond between yourself and your friend. However, I'll gladly affirm to you that a friendship that isn't reciprocated is not a good friendship.



I have had a similar situation with a friend whom I'd grown up with but who was also consistently a very negative person, a true Debby Downer. One day, I just had enough of her criticism and vitriol. I stopped making excuses for her and dumped her. It was a great decision and I haven't looked back. With that in mind, it could be possible that something has changed in your friend's life, but it's insignificant if she isn't responding to you. It's time to dump her and spend your energy where it's appreciated. Don't dwell on this friend. History is not enough to create a lasting bond, it only means just that—you and your friend have history—so let her be history!



- The Armchair Psychologist

Need more armchair psychologist in your life? Check out the last installment or emailarmchairpsychologist@swaaymedia.com to get some advice of your own!