Dianna Shade Herron, a mother of 6, mental health survivor, teen mom, convicted felon, mental health advocate, philanthropist and Serial CEO, is breaking barriers a trailblazer for other women that follow. Dianna is the founder and CEO of multiple businesses, including ecommerce site Houze of Herron, a curated collection of women’s fashion and swimwear. Dianna also has an Instagram page which she uses to connect with her followers. She is set to release a new book that takes a deep look at women’s mental health and teaches women how to love themselves and put themselves first.
Dianna was kind enough to answer some questions.
What story does your book tell?
Well, my book is non-fiction and it tells the story of a broken, lost and un-educated young woman, who was myself; seeking love, guidance and validation in all the wrong places. At the age of 18, I got into what turned out to be a tumultuous and toxic relationship, which led me to make some bad choices in life. I later discovered that I suffered from a mental health disease. My story is one of survival, against all odds.
When did you know that you wanted to write this book?
It was during a sabbatical that I was forced to sit down, be still, and reflect on the last 14 years of my life. There was so much turmoil going on externally and internally at the time, I was at war with myself. So, as a way of coping with my trauma and, in some ways, preventing me from going insane, I decided to write the thoughts in my head. Once I began writing, I realised how much I had been through and all that I had survived. It was then I knew I had a story I needed to tell.
What kind of vulnerability does the book reveal about you?
Well, honestly, this book reveals everything about me. My fears, shame, embarrassments, guilt, it literally unveils me. So, to all my enemies out there, people who just don’t like me just because, haters and naysayers, here is your opportunity to be a spectator.
What are some insights about mental health that the book will explore?
It’s going to explore the physical effects it has on the body. The book, by showing the most intimate aspects of my life and story, reveals how you can suffer from mental health and not even know it. It also explores how mental health affects relationships, along with the importance of learning how to recognise the symptoms, and most importantly, finding out how to find the treatment that works for you, because the answer isn’t always medication.
How does someone know if they are in an unhealthy relationship?
Most of the time you won’t know, because it’s the small things that are easily missed and goes unnoticed. I mean the signs are going to be there, but if you don’t know what to look for you won’t pay attention at first. But any relationship where your mate makes you feel inferior, less than a woman or man, or if they’re trying to control what you do or where you go, are clear signs of a toxic relationship. You may even find yourself questioning whether they’re lying or telling the truth; you might find yourself crying more than you’re laughing, or sad more than you’re happy. These are all signs of an unhealthy relationship.
What are the lessons you want people to take away from your book?
Well, it wasn’t until I got to the editing phase of my book, that I found out what I really wanted my story to convey, the audience I wanted to reach and what I wanted the readers to gain from this read. This book is about survival, and no matter your state of mind, the trials and tribulations you go through, the hardships, the setbacks, the no’s, the closed doors, the people who abandoned you, you can still survive it all while fighting for your peace and sanity, and the grass is hardly greener on the other side without some type of cost.