Bethany Hawkins, 28, has lived with epilepsy for 15 years. Though unless you know her well, you would never know it about her.
She admits, “For some reason, I was always uneasy to tell people I had epilepsy. I was worried they would think I couldn’t do certain things or worried they would treat me with kid gloves because they were scared I’d pass out and have a seizure. I didn’t want the special treatment, because I didn’t need it.”
For someone who has spent the last few years selling power tools and managing teams of other people who also sell power tools, it is surprising that Bethany would be nervous about anything.
By sharing her story, Bethany is letting that apprehension go. She realizes that once people know, they don’t think any different of her and she believes it’s important to understand that epilepsy comes in all different forms and variations and rarely looks like you would expect it to.
Diagnosed at 13, Bethany was one of the lucky ones who found success controlling her (petit mal) seizures fairly quickly with medication. Other than getting the routine of taking medicine down and adjusting her sleep schedule, life went on as normal. She’d seen others who use their disorders or conditions as reasons to take advantage of people and was determined to not let epilepsy be an out for her.
She has worked hard since getting her BA in Mass Communications from LSU and recently made the cross country move from New Orleans to Sacramento where she is a Regional Manager for Emerson. She travels constantly for work — up and down the west coast, to the Midwest, and all the way to Boston. When she can spare the time though, you’ll find her climbing mountains, camping, attending music festivals, discovering new cities, reading books on beaches, or enjoying time with her family and friends.
Clearly, Bethany is a busy woman but she makes taking care of herself a priority so that she can continue to live a full life and keep her epilepsy controlled. She is passionate about health and wellness; she exercises regularly (she loves CrossFit), maintains a Paleo diet, and makes getting enough sleep a priority.
She knows she is fortunate for all she is able to do and tries to not take anything for granted. She is always on the lookout for her next adventure, but until then, you can find her adjusting to life as a “California Girl.”