Years ago, Brianna Velasquez met Baddie co-founder, Divinity Ray, at a hair demonstration. “Divinity strutted into my classroom and spoke to us like old friends. I was mesmerized. She talked to us genuinely about her struggles, I felt like she was speaking directly to me.”
Their friendship blossomed, with Brianna first becoming Divinity’s assistant, and then with Brianna taking over Divinity’s hair business in Denver when Divinity made her move to Los Angeles. “We became like family. My relationship with Divinity helped give me the strength to tackle the biggest demon in my life, that had been haunting me since I was 17 years old.”
Pain and Addiction
“I had suffered from debilitating migraines for as long as I could remember. The excruciating pain ruled my life and left me many days curled up in the fetal position, crying, wishing the pain would stop.”
After seeing almost every specialist in Colorado, Brianna was prescribed oxycodone as a ‘temporary rescue’ from the pain. Both Brianna and her mother were aware of the dangers of narcotics, but they were desperate.
“Because my body had gotten used to the opioids, I took more and more to the point that I was taking one pill an hour. If I did not, the pain would get so bad that I would be forced to go to ER.” The addiction led to depression and anxiety, which then led to more mediation. Brianna soon found herself taking a cocktail of medications just to make it through the day."
“I had to quit dancing, I couldn’t even drive because I was in a constant state of feeling ‘blurry’. I hit rock bottom.”
“I am most proud of the fact that I was able to get off of pain pills by myself.” Brianna’s perseverance finally paid off, and she met a doctor at the University Hospital in Denver who knew there had to be a better way. Through muscle and nerve relaxation, and medication to prevent migraines, Brianna was able to throw away all of her medication for pain, seizures and depression. “I went through several days of withdrawal symptoms but made it through.” Brianna conquered her demons and came out the other side stronger and happier.
What are five words to describe yourself?
Magical, unbreakable, beautiful, hard, and raw.
What words of wisdom would you like to pass on to Baddie Nation?
Everything is temporary, including pain. You are strong enough. You are not alone. It's okay to ask for help. Find the people in your life who love and support you unconditionally and you will shine even brighter.