Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Big Move

Moving away with my epilepsy condition has been quite a journey, and I've only been here for a couple of weeks. To start from the beginning, I had no plan to leave my hometown until two months ago when I decided it was time for me to push myself. This decision was so spontaneous and last minute. I accepted Westmont's offer of admissions officially at the end of November and then I moved in January.

So far it has been pretty crazy. Once I arrived to Santa Barbara, I became extremely sick. I stayed in my dorm for one night and then I had to evacuate due to mudslides, (please keep the beautiful town of Montecito in your prayers.) With that entire week of evacuation, I was luckily able to get better and return to school ready for the semester.

It has been an interesting transition to say the least. I have felt completely alone, lost, eager, and excited. I never thought that I would go far away for college by myself. I always figured that since I had epilepsy, I was going to need to be dependent on someone at all times. I built my college choices around friendships and relationships because I never thought I could actually do what I wanted to do on my own. With being an epileptic, I am always reminded of the "impossible" things aka moving away. (My neurologist still isn't fully aware of this decision yet...whoops.) I moved away and am learning how to live with this on my own. I know I have already said this previously, but I am still just so shocked. I can't believe I moved out of my little bubble town. I am smiling so big right now because this was never an option before. It never seemed possible. I feel so alive and ecstatic for what God has planned.

 Of course, I have already faced some struggles like the automatic lights in the bathroom, the constant anxiety of seizing in class, and the reoccurring worrying about no one finding me if I was to have a seizure. This journey is not going to be an easy one, but I can not describe how freeing it feels to finally be living my life the way I want to. I understand I will always have to depend on others around me for my health, but I am finally realizing that I don't NEED others to live my life for me.

I guess what I am hoping to get across here is that you can do anything you set your mind to. Don't compromise and follow other people's actions. Don't make excuses on why you can't go out of your comfort zone. Take a leap of faith and go all in. I have learned so much about myself and I am continuing to grow so much. I hear a lot of people in my hometown complain about being trapped. I understand because I was one of those people too. Although, instead of just talking about wanting to leave and start over, actually make it happen. Make a plan right now. Write it out if you have to but no more excuses. I never knew what it was like to live with a sense of peace and freedom until now. I have a condition that does everything it can to bring me down and it did for many years but not anymore. So don't let whatever is holding you back win either.  Relive your life so that you feel that sense of freedom in your heart

PS: I already have such a sweet support group here who has helped me so much. For example, we went to a restaurant and there were fans on which was making the whole room strobe. Me being the shy person that I am just told my friends that I would wait outside while they got their food. One of my favorite human beings that I have met here so far asked the manager to turn off the fans and he did so that I could come back inside and sit with the group (shoutout to Nissi). Little things like that mean the absolute world to me. I have learned that I am open about my epilepsy, but for some reason I don't have the courage to ask people to do something for me regarding my epilepsy. I guess that is just one more thing to overcome:)

It means the world to me that you took the time to read my blog!

 As Always, 
 Remember to Rhelive:)

Saturday, January 13, 2018


I know, I know, I have been vacant lately on my blog and I apologize. I write when I feel God has placed a certain subject on my heart. I didn't really feel that for awhile, but instead I felt lost. These past few weeks have been a battle for me. A lot of change was happening all around me and my mind just went on a dwelling lockdown. I was missing how things used to be. 

One thing I have learned while dwelling this month is that we as humans are horrible to ourselves. We try to go back in our minds and fix every little thing. We want so badly to rewrite our past mistakes that we end up missing everything right in front of us. I can't describe how badly I wanted things to go back to about six years ago before the seizure medication. I miss my naturally bubbly self that didn't have to chug caffeine just to be on the same level as everyone else. I miss feeling normal and I always will, but there comes a time where one must move on. 

Dwelling is one of the worst possible things you can do to yourself. It will ruin you and keep you away from the self-growing that needs to be done. I wasn't growing at all because I was so focused on what could have happened. The idea of moving was just a change too big that my mind couldn't handle. I focused on how badly I wanted things to go back to six years ago when everything was easy. I couldn't leave this in the past. If I wasn't thinking about it during the day, I was dreaming about it at night. Recently, I was praying and I just felt God telling me that it was time to let my past go. I needed to give up how I used to be (before the draining medication side effects took hold) and let God use me now in different ways now.

I want you to please make me a promise tonight. Promise me that whatever has been bothering you deep down, whatever has been consuming your mind, whatever you have been dwelling on will no longer take over your joy and happiness that you deserve. It is so important to let things go. I cannot emphasize that enough. The day that you stop prioritizing that situation or thing that is bothering you, is the day you will feel that freedom. It is never an easy process, but it is the only way you can live the life that God has desired for you. I may have to drink loads of caffeine to be like everyone else, but hey it's worth it because the medication is keeping me safe. There is a positive aspect to everything, but it is your choice whether you choose to see it or not. 

As Always, 
     Remember to Rhelive

PS: I have now officially moved to Santa Barbara and I can't wait to tell you all about it so get ready:)! Next blog post coming soon! 

Saturday, December 9, 2017


I promised myself when I made this blog that I was going to be vulnerable and real. This post is going to be uncomfortable for me to write just because it is so personal, but I think it needs to be heard. This year has been crazy. I have never felt more sad, nervous, free, and excited in my life. 2017 has contained so much change so lets rewind shall we?

In 2016, my life was overall pretty amazing. Not only did I have my best friend by my side, but I also made a solid group of friends, and out of that group of friends, I met a guy. My health was amazing so I was going on adventures almost everyday with some of the people I held closest to my heart. I felt on top of the world. Towards the end of 2016 I wanted to know what it would be like to fully rely on God because to be honest, I didn't feel like I was at the time. So one night, I said a prayer something like this: "Lord, I am so grateful for all you have blessed me with this year. I love how my relationship has grown so much with You, but I don't want it to just be strong because everything is going well in my life. I will stay strong even through the trials. In 2017, send them my way so I can rely on you and deepen my relationship with you." ....... I don't think 2016 Rhe really understood what she prayed for there haha.

 Let me give you a little run down of my year. My grandpa got diagnosed with cancer, I lost my best friend, I had a seizure after being four years seizure free, and I went through a break up which resulted in losing the solid group of friends. I cannot begin to describe how difficult this year has been, but I would never EVER take back that prayer. I lost so much this year, but my faith has grown tremendously. When you have no one to rely on but God, it is honestly amazing. Before when a struggle hit, I would call my best friend or my boyfriend and have them help me. This year, I cried out to God and He has helped me overcome so much.

I was never the type of person to make decisions for myself. If you've known me, you would know I have always wanted to move to Southern California. I never was actually going to go though because I wanted to stay in my comfort bubble as said previously in another blog post. I would not be going to Westmont if I was still in a relationship or if I was still in that friendship. A year ago, Westmont wasn't even an idea. There was actually an entirely different idea planned out on where I was going to go and it never felt right. It didn't feel like God's purpose, but instead mine. Westmont was all the Lord's doing. I randomly applied there to go in the Fall (August 2018) because the words "Apply to Westmont" were echoing in my head. I was scared because I didn't want to go to a school where I only knew one person and I was worried about how people may judge me for being epileptic. I overall reluctantly applied because the words wouldn't stop repeating and I honestly did not think I would get in. A week after I applied, I received an email from Admissions asking me if I would like to attend Westmont SOONER, in the Spring (January 2018). I was completely shocked and started to become very excited. I didn't think I could financially do it, but God has provided so much to make it possible. I am overcome with joy writing this because I can proudly say that this is God's will for me. I don't know what He has planned for me there, but all I know is I am relying on Him every step of the way.

I also never would be here writing this blog if it wasn't for that seizure in March and if it wasn't for the people who made me feel like a burden. Those people hurt me, but helped me realize who I am and I am honestly so grateful that they did. I was able to create a blog and write about what I'm learning each week and it feels so freeing. I feel like I am no longer in a box trying to hide this "secret" about me.

I cannot describe to you how hard it was to lose those people. The healing process was a major struggle, but I fully believe now that everything happens for a reason. Before this year, I had never really understood how God was working in my life, but now it has been made clear. The chaos and struggles only last so long. God has a purpose for each trial we face. It was very hard for me to see why I was losing so many people, but I understand now. I have never cried so much. I have never felt more worn out or more discouraged, but I have also never felt more excited. I have never felt this close to God in my lifetime. He is fully in control.

The trials I have faced have given me this personal relationship with God that I wouldn't trade for anything. They have given me opportunities that I never would have seen or taken before. It is important to remember that God is number one. This life is His not mine. My goal is to truly live by Acts 20:24. This verse says, "However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me - the task of testifying to the good news of God's grace."

If you read this far, thank you. You deserve a hash brown.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Facing Obstacles

They rhyme with popsicles, they are never fun, they usually require a great amount of stress and/or embarrassment, and most importantly, it is so hard to get around them. The scary word is OBSTACLES! (Does it seem scarier when I put it in all caps? Good.)

Let me start off by saying that my epilepsy is no where near as severe as most. It is mainly just a constant nuisance. When I was in high school, I tried to convince myself that I didn't have seizures with strobe lights and well, it did not turn out so well. With that being said, the biggest obstacle I face is flashing lights. They are everywhere (arcades, amusement parks, car blinkers, store signs, road signs, concerts, dances, etc.). At first, this used to really bring me down. I felt like most of my time was spent with my head down and my hands shielding my eyes. It made me feel different and isolated.

I remember I had never been to a high school dance because all the schools had strobe lights, but it was my last chance to go, so I did. I tried to suck it up and dance with my eyes closed, but the lights were so extreme that I had to leave. I sat on a chair outside the dance floor alone for about two hours until a friend picked me up. I tried to not let it get to me but it did. Since then, I have made it one of my goals to find ways around this obstacle that I struggle with. I am not going to hate my mind or bring myself down because what will that accomplish? Instead of isolating myself and letting my condition rule my life, I'm fighting back and let me just say, it feels good to win.

There was this church that I always heard such great things about but I was warned multiple times not to go because the lights were intense during their worship. So of course, I never went. Thankfully, that changed this year when my best friend encouraged me to attend. The first night I went, I sat in the church trying to be like everyone else, but then worship started. I tried to force myself to sit there but I couldn't. My friend followed me out and we listened to the sermon from the lobby for the rest of the time. Because I had God and my best friend by my side, I didn't give up, leave, and never come back. I didn't add this church to the list of actives I limited myself from doing. So now, every Sunday night, my best friend and I sit in that lobby and listen to the sermons, and we love it. I know it doesn't sound like that big of a deal, but I really do value the baby steps. I feel like I finally won a battle with my brain. I'm always learning new ways to overcome the obstacles I face and I am so grateful for it. My dad always told me growing up, "The worst thing you can ever tell yourself is I can't." Find ways around the "I can't" and make it happen! With that being said, here are some pictures of me overcoming one of my obstacles in this awesome lobby spot. :)


Monday, November 20, 2017

Change is Scary

I will come out and rightfully say that I hate change. I always have. My mind doesn't enjoy going out of my comfort zone and my little bubble. Growing up with epilepsy, I never had to challenge myself because no one would allow it. I grew up in the same town I was born in and I had the same routine almost everyday.

Growing up in the church, I always heard leaders saying that one should leave their little bubble of comfortableness and let God take control. It is like that saying, "Let go, Let God." These words always made me wonder what it would be like to leave my comfort lifestyle and actually challenge myself. Never did I ever think it would be possible due to my condition.

Today, I am finally able to say that I am about to experience that feeling of uncomfortableness. I have been accepted into Westmont College in Santa Barbara and I move in January. This college is seven hours away from home, so it is a crazy huge step for me. In high school, I remember I really wanted to leave for college because I felt the need to escape this town. Practically my whole family and the doctors did not think it was a good idea because If I seized, how was I going to get help. I felt trapped and it drove me insane. I understood that there needed to be limitations, but also, I needed to learn how to actually live on my own with epilepsy. Therefore, this year, I decided to take a huge step and apply for Westmont. Once I saw that acceptance letter, I was so excited. My dad made a comment to my grandma saying that that was the happiest he had seen me in awhile. He and the rest of my family have decided to let me go to learn how to deal with change and to learn how to live my life with my condition.

Now that the time is coming up, I am becoming more and more nervous. The thoughts of me seizing and no one being prepared or the thought of my medication not transferring over to the new pharmacy are always running in my mind. As said previously, I have never really had to deal with change. I know I don't like it so my mind is trying to find ways on why I can't go. This time though, I am not going to let myself hold me back. This experience is going to be so very uncomfortable and I could not be more ready for it. I have the privilege to rely on God completely and I think that is incredible. We all need to come out of our comfort zones and stop that mental block in our heads telling us we can't. Do not let a condition, a person, yourself, or anything stop you from what you want to do. I came across a blog post that has really helped me out and will continue to inspire me after I move. It's called 3 Ways I Taught My Brain to be More Positive (And So Can You!) It is all about focusing on the good in life. I recommend everyone check it out if your struggling with finding optimism. I am overcoming my epilepsy and breaking down my little comfort bubble by moving away for college. How will you challenge yourself?


Friday, November 10, 2017

First Blog Post Ever!!!

Hi everyone! I'm Rheannon Vernon and I want to share my story with you. This blog is called RheLiving because first, people call me Rhe, but most importantly second, I'm choosing to relive my life. I was diagnosed with epilepsy when I was four years old. My seizures weren't too constant growing up, but still I was placed on a seizure medication called Keppra. This allowed me to be seizure free for four years. Through my whole epilepsy journey, the neurologists had told my family that I would grow out of it, but sadly, that was no longer the case.

March of 2017, I randomly seized after four years of freedom. After that seizure, the neurologist told me that epilepsy was something I would be living with for the rest of my life. My world was crushed. All that hard work and progress I had made just disappeared before my very eyes. I sunk into this deep dark hole known as depression. Some people that I held dear to my heart distanced themselves from me after the seizure because I couldn't do the adventures and activities that I used to be able to do. I, all of a sudden, felt like a burden to the entire world. "Why me? What was I supposed to do with this annoying disability? Why couldn't I be normal?" These were the questions that kept me up at night.

After a month of realizing I couldn't overcome this depression on my own, I opened my bible and fell on my knees and cried out to God with all that I had left in me. I gave all of it to Him. All of the hurt, the worry, the obstacles were taken from my hands and placed into His. It gave me this sense of peace and hope that I can't even manage to put into words. The definition of reliving is to live again. That day I promised I was going to relive my life in a completely different manner. I was no longer going to focus on the things I couldn't do, but be grateful and thankful for the things I could. I was not going to let anyone tell me I couldn't because with God nothing is impossible. I don't know if I will have epilepsy forever or if God will heal me, but what I do know is that I need to use this obstacle in my life for good. I believe He wants me to share my story and my journey. Im reliving but in God's way now instead of mine.

I cannot wait to share my journey with everyone. Im reliving my life to the fullest. Some days will be easier than others, but trusting God makes it so much simpler. I want this blog to be a place of encouragement. My goal is for everyone to realize that they can make it through anything with God by their side. Lets do this!
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