Interview April – Christalle Bodiford

Welcome to Interview April and my first Guest, Christalle Bodiford. Let’s find out all about this lovely young woman:


Introduce yourself and tell us a bit about you… 

My name is Christalle Bodiford, and I’m an adventure-seeking artist and advocate. When I’m not writing, I love being in nature with my husband and pup. I worked in the fashion industry for 12 years but am now building a more balanced lifestyle and making my health a priority. I ran a nonprofit called Life Elektrik for adults with epilepsy that closed at the beginning of March, to allow more freedom in working with others and helping more people.  I felt held back by the organization.  I’m now working on a few new epilepsy advocacy projects, including books, workshops and awareness campaigns, with the first project launching this month!

Chronic illness(es)/disabilities I have…
I have Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy with generalized seizures, along with my other life-long friends anxiety and depression. That means my seizures started when I was a juvenile and they are in no specific area of my brain.

My symptoms/condition began…
My first documented seizure was at the age of 13, but I was having seizures prior to that.  I’m not sure of the exact age they started.  I don’t have too many memories prior to 13, aside from the feelings of the seizure auras.

My diagnosis process was…
I received a misdiagnosis at age thirteen and went twelve years of my life with an incorrect disagnosis.  At age thirteen I was told I had a seizure due to hypoglycemia and to keep a piece of candy on me at all times. At the age of twenty-five, I was properly dianosed with epilepsy after having a tonic-clonic seizure, followed by a concussion, the final week of my senior year in college.  My husband (boyfriend at the time) made an appointment and took me to a neurologist for an EEG, which showed abnormal brain waves and seizure activity.

The hardest part of living with my illness/disabilities is…
Being mentally and intellectually capable of so much more than my body allows.  I have so many goals, and my body often can’t keep up with the pace of my passion and drive. I feel held back from reaching my true potential.

A typical day for me involves…
I’m a freelance creative, so a typical day for me is waking up when my body feels right.  I work from home, so I am able to take breaks throughout the day as needed when I’m not feeling 100%.  I’ve recently made my health a priority, which has not been the case in the past. In past experiences, my work came first. I now understand the importance of putting self-care first. I also hold a few volunteer positions that I handle a few times a month.

The one thing I cannot live without is…
Really?  Just one thing!? I guess I have to choose my cell phone, because it’s a necessity in calling for help if I have a seizure. I can also use it for some work projects, so I’m sticking with my answer!

Being ill/disabled has taught me…
Perspective is everything! If you think your life is terrible, it will be. I choose to focus on the things going well in my life, and it lightens the load of the heavier issues.  A positive or optimistic mindset has also helped me to feel better about my diagnosis. This disorder is constantly presenting new lessons and challenges, but I know I can tackle anything if I set my mind to do so.

What advice would I give someone recently diagnosed…
Do your own research, because there is so much misinformation out there.  Find what works best for you in regards to treatment, because we are all different – even if we have the same diagnosis. Most importantly, get back up.  Every. Single. Time.

My support system is…
Support is everything, even when you think you don’t need it.  If you can’t find a support group that is right for you, create your own.  Focus on solutions vs. problems.  I have a small but very supportive circle, and my husband is at the core.  He is my caregiver, best friend, and someone I truly admire.

If I had one day symptom/disability-free I would…
Wow! I really have to think about this one… There are so many things I’d love to do, but I think my anxiety can be more debilitating at times than my seizures, in regards to trying new things.  I think I’d like to go on some type of adventure with my husband that involves heights: sky diving, zip lining, parasailing, or paragliding.

One positive of having a chronic illness/disability is…
Meeting so many incredible people within the epilepsy community has been the highlight of having epilepsy. It’s amazing how connected you can feel to people just by having the same diagnosis. I’ve made friends all over the world.

My social media links are:

Instagram: @christallebodiford

Facebook: @creativeepilepsyadvocate

Twitter: @christalleart


8 thoughts on “Interview April – Christalle Bodiford

  1. Lovely to ‘meet’ you, Christalle. I totally agree about how important perspective is, it really can be a total game-changer when learning to live with chronic illness. Thank you for sharing some of your story with us all 🙂
    Caz xx

    • Nice to “meet” you as well! I went through a deep depression a few years ago, and I realized then how important mindset can be to healing, or at the very least living a life that isn’t miserable. Lol It seems so trivial to some, but I’ve realized that the more I’ve practiced maintaining a positive mindset, the smaller my health and life challenges seem. It keeps things in perspective!

  2. Great article. Interesting about the misdiagnosis. So often this happens. I’m glad you persisted until you found the answers that will help you manage your condition. I’m sure this will be very helpful information to many others! Keep sharing!

    • Thank you! I was definitely tough to live 25 years of my life not understanding what was going on with my body. Having a diagnosis gave me a bit of relief in knowing I could now take steps to have a better hold on my health and seizure activity. Knowledge is power! 🙂

  3. Christalle has a positive, “can do” attitude which is lovely to hear! Despite her physical challenges, she looks for how she can keep going no matter what…very admirable!

    • Thank you! 🙂 Beating ourselves up will get us nowhere… It’s important to focus on our “cans” vs. our “can nots.” When we accomplish even the smallest goals or face the smallest challenges, it builds our self-confidence and empowers us to do even more.

    • In some ways, going 25 years without a proper diagnosis was a blessing in disguise. I didn’t grow up thinking or being told I couldn’t do certain things, due to having epilepsy. I was never taught to not talk about it or hide it, and I think that has been a huge hurdle for many with epilepsy. I understand not wanting to talk about it, because of the stigmas surrounding epilepsy. I also know the only way we can truly break the stigmas is to share our stories and speak up. I encourage you to do the same! I will always have your back in speaking up and sharing your story. Feel free to reach out any time! 🙂

Your Comments Are Welcome!