Recovery from an Eating Disorder: A Snapshot

**WARNING: TRIGGER POST. If you are currently struggling with an eating disorder, or body image issues, this post may be triggering to you. If you’re curious about the hope it provides, perhaps have a loved one read it and give you the highlights.** 

I saw a picture of myself today… from circa 2008. A snapshot. It was a picture a friend of mine had snapped back in 2008 of my husband and me. At this time, we weren’t dating yet, but it was clear to anyone within a 10 foot radius that we both had feelings for each other.

I love that this photo was documented for two reasons:

1. For the sweet reminder of how our relationship had begun, and some good conversations we had that day.

2. For the reminder of where I was at, mentally and emotionally, at the time. What I’m about to share with you is a small glimpse of what can be going on in the mind of someone with an eating disorder, or someone with a history of an eating disorder. It’s messy. It doesn’t make sense. It’s sad and frightening… but there is always hope for healing.

In the beginning of 2008, I was on a downward spiral of depression, suicidal thoughts, alcohol abuse, and an eating disorder. I tried so many things to numb out: studying for school during the week, partying like I was getting paid for it on the weekends, and being fixated on my weight.

I had gained some weight my first couple years of college, because that’s what happens when you stop running 50 miles a week. I remember my junior year in college, recently after starting a new semester, thinking I could lose those pounds if I just stop eating again. I’ve done it before, I can do it now. Here’s the thing y’all, I didn’t even need to lose weight. My body was finally at a healthy weight. 

But I did. I limited myself my calorie intake severely. I would work out in between classes. I started running long distances again. Then I got back down to my high school weight.

I remember thinking, I think I still wanna lose more weight. I just wanna see if I can get below 100 pounds. Then I’ll stop. More restricting. More exercising. I planned my semester around my favorite workout classes. I was thinking about food constantly. I thought about how many calories were in an apple, a slice of cheese, a handful of grapes, etc. I was amazed that a serving size of Goldfish was 55 crackers, and surely I could stretch that out to be my breakfast and lunch. I started drinking water with loads of ice, because I read somewhere that when you’re cold to the point of shivering, you’ll burn more calories, and ice water was recommended. I’d have a salad without dressing. Everything was calculated. 

Then I did it. 98 pounds. I smiled. I wonder if I can get below 95 pounds? Surely if I get below 95 pounds, I’ll feel satisfied with the way my hips and legs look. I filled up on water and black coffee until dinner time, only to consume the tiniest portion. I stopped enjoying food. I only ate the bare minimum to stay alive, and sometimes I debated not even eating that much.

Now, this last memory is engrained in my mind. After my favorite Pilates class, I stepped on the scale at the gym. 92 pounds. Ninety freakin’ two. I loved it and I hated it at the same time. I loved it, because in a sick and twisted sort of way, it felt like an accomplishment. I remember thinking, I may not be great at school or sports or really anything… but I can lose weight. Maybe I can get below 90 pounds. Surely then, I’ll feel better about myself. It was sick and sad and disgusting. You can convince yourself of horrible lies when you hide in the dark. Don’t do that, y’all. Bring those lies to the light, and replace them with truth!

That’s about the time I got help. I didn’t go to therapy at that time, but I should have. However, I opened up to some trusted friends and a mentor at church (oh yeah, in the middle of my mess I met Jesus and He saved me by His grace), and they helped walk me through it.

Now, I no longer have anorexia, and I haven’t for years, but I still struggle with my thoughts. I wish I could say this is an area in my life where I’m fully healed, but I’m not. I have come so far though, and that’s worth celebrating. Also, I am believing for full healing in my thought life, and I am taking the steps necessary to get there. I am in recovery, and that’s a good place to be.

Here, at 33 years old, after having 4 kids in 5 years, my body looks different. I’ve got some pounds that like to hang around. I did lose those pounds at one point a few of years ago, but that was only after severely restricting my calories and working out intensely 6 days a week to the point of injuring myself. That’s no way to live, y’all.

So I made a decision. I do not want to live the rest of my life trying to lose 10 pounds. I want to live my life trying to love God and my family well. This simply doesn’t happen when my mind is consumed by food, calories, and weight. I want to exercise because I enjoy it, not because I “have to.” I want to eat a piece of cake at my kid’s birthday party, and not have to make up for it or shame myself for it. I want to wrap my taco up in a tortilla instead of big piece of lettuce, because homemade flour tortillas are delicious. I am DONE. I just want to live my life and be free. Don’t you?

So, what does this look like for me now? Be on the lookout, I’ll be posting about this topic next week! In the meantime, if you’ve ever struggled with body image issues or an eating disorder, what’s helped you recover?

Summer Diffuser Blends and Recipes

Lately, my family and I have been diffusing in our RV 24/7. When I went back to work (outside the home) last fall, the only time we really had our diffuser running was a night for bedtime, because we were all out of the home during the day. Now, with all of us home, we’ve got our diffusers running constantly. Here are a few of my favorite blends so far this summer.

Rise and Shine Blend
3 drops Tangerine
2 drops Peppermint (or Spearmint, if that’s your jam)

I like to diffuse this blend in the mornings, especially if I had a late night. I’ve made nights my time to write, so with that comes some grogginess in the morning. This blend is great for waking me up and getting rid of any grumpy morning moods! P.S. If you don’t have Tangerine, you can use any citrus oil. Lemon and Wild Orange are awesome too!

Stress Less Blend
3 drops Balance (Grounding Blend)
2 drops Jasmine
1 drop Frankincense

This blend is heaven, y’all. I use this blend topically A LOT at work or before going into a therapy session, when emotions are running high. It’s so helpful to calm any crazy or intense emotions that tend to rise in the afternoons. You can also try these hot teas listed below to help mellow the mood!

Immune Support Blend
3 drops OnGuard
2 drops Lemon
1 drop Frankincense

If one of my kiddos feels like they’re getting sick, I’ll start this blend right away. Thankfully, they haven’t been sick this summer, but I’m still diffusing this blend occasionally. When all this crazy-Corona madness began, this blend was going all the time. Now, I’ll incorporate it in our week once or twice to keep our immune systems strong and healthy.

Breathe Easy Blend
2 drops Lavender
2 drops Peppermint
2 drops Lemon
2 drops Breathe (Respiratory Blend)

Anyone else having a hard time breathing with all the Saharan dust? Maybe there’s an increase in some type of pollen in your area, and it’s got you all wheezy. This blend helps to promote clear breathing, a healthy respiratory system, and will fight against those season threats in your area. I also like to dilute this blend in a roller bottle and apply it on my kiddos spine when they need it.

Sleep Tight Blend
4 drops Balance (Grounding Blend)
3 drops Serenity (Peaceful Blend)
1 drop Frankincense

My 7 year old will without-a-doubt ask me to turn on the diffuser before they go to bed. I use these oils so often, I just leave them out on the counter. This is my go to blend for sleep. The woodsy blend of the Balance pairs beautifully with the florals of Serenity, and they work together so well to help my kiddos fall asleep and stay asleep.

I hope you find these blends a helpful addition to your summer diffuser blends. I’d love to try one of your family’s favorite diffuser blends. What’s in your diffuser?

P.S. After much research, I have chosen to use doTERRA essential oils for my family. After not shutting up about these oils, I also started selling them. If you’d like a way to help support my family on my writing journey, feel free to check out all the great oils doTERRA has to offer here!  This month, anyone who decides to become a wholesale member with a $150 order will receive $50 in FREE essential oils!

Best Nature Books for Children

There are two things I’ve loved since I was a child: reading and nature. Both make this heart happy and come alive. So naturally, when a friend of mine shared about a nature book giveaway, I jumped on it… and y’all, I won it! It was like Christmas when these books arrived at our home.

It’s been so fun exploring the pages of these books with my children (ages 4-9), and I wanted to share some of our favorites with you. Also, here’s a random fact: While picking out my top books for you, I discovered I was not only drawn to the words, but the illustrations as well. All of these books are not only written beautifully, but have stunning illustrations.

The Honeybee
Written by: Kirsten Hall
Illustrated by: Isabelle Arsenault

     

This is a book my four year old daughter adores. As soon as you open the book, you’re greeted with beautiful illustrations. The entire book reads in a sing-song kind of way; with catchy rhymes and rhythms throughout. It has a way of entertaining you with a story all while being educational and sharing facts about a honeybee’s extraordinary life. This would be a wonderful book to have in any family.

The Keeper of Wild Words
Written by: Brooke Smith
Illustrated by: Madeline Kloepper

     

Y’all, I’m gonna be completely honest with you. I totally cried when I read this children’s book. It’s not necessarily a tear jerker, but it just stirred something in my heart. The book is about a recent phenomena happening: the dictionary is replacing nature themed words like “poppy” or “wren” with words like “chatroom” and “voicemail.” It made me long to always return to nature, and to never let those wild words die… and also, it made me long to write in a way that stirs others’ hearts as well. Read this book to your kids, but listen closely; because it is gold.

National Parks of the U.S.A.
Written by: Kate Siber
Illustrated by: Chris Turnham

     

Now, this one is my nine year old’s favorite book out of the bunch. He keeps it by his bed, and probably searches through it every day. This book tells kids all about the history of each national park, what landscape and wildlife they can expect to see at each park, and many other fun facts tucked in the pages! If you’re planning on traveling to National Parks in the future, grab this book for your kids! It’s a great way for them to explore the place before you go.

Nature Anatomy
Written & Illustrated by: Julia Rothman
With help from: John Niekrasz

     

Want your kids to know some facts about practically everything in nature? Want them to learn in a way that’s easy for them to understand, and with excellent pictures? Then this is the book for you! Julia Rothman does a remarkable job showing us “the curious parts and pieces of the natural world.” She also has: Farm Anatomy and Ocean Anatomy, which are now on my Amazon Wish List!

Nature Journals
Written by: Your Kid
Illustrated by: Your Kid

Okay, so this last one isn’t a publication, but it’s a great suggestion. I bought each one of my kiddos a composition notebook, and about once a week (sometimes more!) we’ll go on a walk and record some things we find in nature. Sometimes they’ll draw, sometimes they’ll jot things down, and sometimes they’ll make up stories about what they see in nature. It’s been so much fun to watch them create in this way. It’s also a great way to reference different animals and plants in different seasons.

Ok friends, those are my top five nature themed books for children. I have so many more I want to read to my kids. I wanna know: What’s YOUR favorite nature themed book for kids or yourself?

Deer and Cardinals: A Reminder of God’s Fulfillment

I didn’t manifest this. I didn’t write this down every day in a journal for 7 years. I didn’t hustle for this. I didn’t even dare to pray for this, y’all. I could tell you the whole story, but what it comes down to is this: I —my family— was given this. By God Himself. Being able to live at Camp Zephyr has been such a gift to my family, and has taught me so many valuable lessons. I’m sharing one with you today.

When I am outside, at Camp Zephyr, I am in a state of being I never thought possible. I am at peace. My kids roaming, and exploring the amazing trails. I am playful. I’m spontaneous, and can go from one trail or plan to the next in a heartbeat. My desire for productivity ceases. I have no to-do list other than to play and explore and be with my children, and I intend to repeat that continuously. 

I never knew this could exist. My whole existence before Zephyr revolved around to-do lists, goals, and other people’s expectations.  And was coupled (or crippled may be a better word) with LOTS of anxiety.

But here? In the middle of nowhere? I can breathe. I can step outside our RV and instantly see the lake, deer, rabbits, and cardinals. My kids can join me, and I’m not mad about it. I don’t have this constant desire for “me time.” I look forward to coming home, and I enjoy staying there. I no longer want to escape. I want to linger. I want to explore. Go deeper into the woods with my kid’s muddy hand in mine. Who knows what’s out there?

I feel like a door has been unlocked to my heart. There was a longing. There was always a longing. A longing for the country.  A longing for space and stillness. A longing to rest.

But I hardly voiced it. Maybe a few times I talked about living out in the country, just to get shut down by the reality of our circumstances. You better believe I never asked to live at Camp Zephyr. That was something I never thought would happen. But you know what? My kids asked. Every day when we were at Camp Zephyr last summer, they asked us to live here. There’s a reason (well, many reasons) God instructs us to be like the children… they ask and they ask with faith. But me? It was barely a whisper in my soul… but God heard it. He heard it and He continues to hear the whispers of our souls.

************************************************************************************

Last summer, I was sitting in my sister’s, Rachel, backyard in Virginia. I had flown there the night before. We were drinking a quick cup of coffee before starting our road trip to Texas. Her backyard backs up to a forest, so wildlife and trees and NATURE are plentiful. We happened to see a deer and cardinal in her backyard that morning. And in that morning, I said (probably with an ache in my voice), “I wanna live somewhere with deer and cardinals.” 

Fast forward a few months later. I’m talking on the phone with Rachel, and she asks how living at Zephyr is going. I start going on and on about how I love it, and how I see deer and cardinals every day. She stops me mid-sentence, and says, “Sister! You got your deer and cardinals!” Y’all I had completely FORGOTTEN about that statement I made in Virginia months ago. When Rachel reminded me of that full circle moment, I lost it. I cried on the phone, and she cried on the phone, and we were reminded of the goodness of God.

************************************************************************************

He longs to fulfill those whispers. He longs to bring us closer to Him. He fulfills those whispers to share His goodness. To show us just how big He is… and in my case, I think He fulfilled the whisper also to show me that He fulfilled this longing. Not me and my efforts. Your whisper might not be deer and cardinals, but God knows it. He can fulfill it.

I continue to be amazed. Who am I? That you are mindful of me?

doterra dads fathers day gift

doTERRA for Dads: Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Father’s Day is just around the corner, y’all! Are you scrambling to figure out what to give your dad this year? I wanted to help you out with that. doTERRA has some great products that you can give to your dad for Father’s Day. I’ve got suggestions for all budgets too!

1. Father’s Day Collection: Every year, doTERRA comes out with a Father’s Day collection. The products change every year. This year doTERRA designed an essential oil blend, Island Mist, specifically for men. I bought one for my husband, and he really likes it! It comes with a diffuser clip, so they can hook it up on the vent in their car or truck. The blend is perfect for one the road, because it provides an herby and minty sensation with its citrus oils, peppermint oil, and spruce oil!

island mist fathers day

2. Deep Blue Rub: I know, buying your dad a muscle rub may sound unconventional. However, they will thank you SO much for this rub. Deep Blue Rub is designed with pain in mind. Wherever he is feeling tension and tightness, he can apply this rub for relief. Y’all, my husband loves this rub so much that we have a tube in our living room, our bedroom, his office at work, AND he keeps one in his truck. Trust me, he’s gonna love it! 

deep blue rub

3. Root to Tip Serum: This is for the bearded men. My husband actually used this product before I ever did. He’s got a pretty healthy beard, and he loves using this serum as an all natural beard oil. The oils in this serum will help keep his beard healthy and looking great! Ladies, if you can get him to share, try it out on your hair too!

4. Natural Cologne: Looking for an all natural cologne for your husband? Look no further than doTERRA essential oils! Men tend to gravitate towards woodsy oils, so try something like Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Vetiver, or even Balance for an all natural cologne. He use it straight from the bottle, or you can experiment with various oils and come up with a personal blend just for your guy in mind!

5. Athlete’s Kit: This kit is perfect for any active or athletic dad! It’s packed with the top products any athlete would need. It has doTERRA Breathe blend to support a healthy respiratory system. doTERRA OnGuard is included in the kit to keep your man healthy and strong while supporting his immune system. Lavender is in the kit to keep him calm and cool. Melaleuca, also in the kit, is known for its rejuvenating support on the skin. The kit also includes Peppermint that’s great when fatigue sets in or to help soothe any head tension. PLUS that Deep Blue Rub we chatted about? It’s in the kit too! You can save $25 off this kit with my help. Comment below for questions on getting started.

At any time, I can help you and your family save 25% off of retail price with a wholesale customer account. No selling required. No monthly orders required. Just simple activation at my doTERRA business website, mydoterra.com/amandagerber . Checkit out!

Now, I’d love to know: What is on your dad’s or husband’s list this year for Father’s Day? Comment below!

Top Five Tools for Mental Health

Some days anxiety is the furthest from my mind. Other days it seems front and center. Lately, my mind is becoming more of my friend. I have taken these last nine months or so to find what works for me. I think it’s important for us to realize we aren’t slaves to the battle in our mind. We can learn to win the battle… but we’re not gonna win it if we just sit back and take it.

I personally need to get in front of my anxiety. I’ve listened to my body to know how it responds to certain foods, supplements, and essential oils. I also had to become more aware of my energy and emotional well being. I had to learn to say no to things that were not serving me, and make time for activities that fueled my soul. Here are some of the things I put into place to reduce anxious feelings.

1. Counseling: Y’all, if your anxiety is taking over your life then GO GET HELP. There’s nothing wrong with admitting you need help. I cannot stress the importance of having an objective view into my thoughts and life. My counselor, Lorena, has a way of peeling back the layers during our counseling sessions to really get to the root of the problem. 

I also want to stress the importance of finding a good counselor. You’ve got to be willing to put in the effort to find someone you will work well with during this time. So, do some homework: ask around, check out reviews, and read up on some of their background. Also, even if someone looks amazing on paper, doesn’t mean they’ll be a good fit for you. I’m sure you didn’t marry the first guy you dated, right? Well, it may also take a few rounds of counselors to find the match for you. It took me three other counselors to find one who I felt was right for me.

2. Supplements: Some people love supplements, and some people hate them. I say, you can’t personally hate something you’ve never tried before. I had tried my share of supplements in the past. I was already taking a natural, whole food vitamin, and while it may have been helping me physically, it surely wasn’t helping my mental wellbeing. So I stopped taking my former vitamin, and decided to try out doTERRA’s Lifelong Vitality Pack after hearing others find results in their mental health from it. Y’all, it’s a game changer.

When I started taking doTERRA’s Lifelong Vitality Pack a few years ago, I felt a significant difference in my mental state: I slept better, my mind was taking less trips down that super dark road, I had more energy, and even my husband noticed a difference. Now, it’s a must have, non-negotiable for me. I encourage you to do some research, and try out some high quality (don’t just go to your local drug store and expect quality) supplements.

3. Community: This is huge for me. So many times someone is struggling with a mental illness, it become easy to believe the lie that we are all alone. This is not true! Many of us have family and friends that we can go to to share and seek support. I personally have a handful of girlfriends I can go to, and I know they are by my side and praying for me.

Do you feel alone? I understand that sometimes in new seasons we’re in a place of making new friends. Go do it! Join a church/Bible study, find a fitness group, or check out some networking events. Facebook makes this incredibly easy. I know the process of getting to know people can be difficult for us introverts, but it’s worth it.

4. Essential Oils: These are life to me. I know, some of you may think just I’m promoting essential oils because I sell them, but I sell them because of how much they’ve helped me and my family. If you don’t wanna buy them from me, cool! But don’t buy them from your local super market. I’ve gone over the quality differences before, so I won’t spend time here. Find a doTERRA leader that you trust to purchase from, and have them walk you through your best options.

I’ll be writing a separate post on specific essential oils you can use to reduce anxious feelings, uplift your mood, and help you stay cool. In the meantime here are a few general guidelines. Citrus oils are super uplifting. These are great to diffuse throughout the day. Woodsy oils like Balance, Frankincense, or Sandalwood all will have a grounding effect. These are awesome to put on topically when you’re feeling frazzled. There are also some awesome blends doTERRA already has made for mood support.

5. Faith: My relationship with the Lord has grown so much in this season. I’ve realized that for months I was trying to earn my own righteousness. I was trying to check off boxes, stick to the list, and striving for perfection. Friends, this is an exhausting road to take. If this sounds like you: just realize our righteousness comes from the Lord, He loves us unconditionally, and He is the only Perfect One. His road is easy and His burden is light. Simply receive His love, we don’t need to earn it.

I’d love to hear from you. What’s something you do to take care of your own mental health?

May 2019 Promos

To all my mamas out there: Happy Mother’s Day! I hope y’all have been enjoying your month so far, and I’m going to help you enjoy it even more. Today I’m going to share with you the doTERRA specials for the month. Check it out!

Product of the Month (POM): Did you know that doTERRA offers a FREE Product of the Month, every single month? All you have to do is place a qualifying Loyalty Rewards order, and this product will automatically be added to your cart. No promo code needed.

This month only you can get a bottle of doTERRA’s Cypress essential oil for free with your LRP order. Cypress oil is one of my favorite smells. It reminds me of being in the middle of all the tall trees when I would visit my grandparents in Arkansas. Cypress essential oil is only meant for aromatic or topical use. It’s great to diffuse to clear up congestion and sinuses. It can also help you wake up in the morning!

I also used this essential oil every day during pregnancy. I was having some issues with my circulation in my legs, and I would rub Cypress on the back of my legs, and my circulation improved greatly! Also, if any of you mamas out there have little ones that struggle with bed wetting, rub some Cypress over their bladder before bed to help them wake up dry.

Highlighted Product: doTERRA also offers a product at 10% off every month. This month is doTERRA’s Anti-Aging Eye Cream. This eye cream is made with doTERRA’s essential oils, like Frankincense Ylang Ylang, and Blue Tansy that are clinically proven to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles over time. 

It can also help all the sleep deprived mamas with the dark circles under their eyes. I love that it has a steel rollerball applicator because it always helps me to feel refreshed and awakens my eyes in the morning.

Bonus from ME!

Just to sweeten the deal, here is what I have to offer when you choose to start your doTERRA journey with me:

  • Welcome gift (personalized roller bottles, recipes, and other oily goodies)
  • Private access to my team’s Facebook group (a wealth of oil knowledge)
  • Free Wellness Consultation (a chance to really dive deep into your health goals)
  • Continued Support (to answer your questions in real time from a real person— ME!)

Simply go to mydoterra.com/amandagerber and click “Join & Save” to get started.

Which one of these promos are you taking advantage of this month? Share below in the comments!

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Mental Illness Myths: Shedding Light to Spread Support

I’ve heard so many myths about mental illness over the years. I’ve experienced well meaning people say some things on the topic that simply aren’t true. Mental illness is a tricky thing… it’s hard to understand unless you’ve experienced it firsthand. My heart behind this post isn’t to bash anyone who has ever fallen trap to these myths. My intent is to shed light on the issue so we can all learn how to love and support our loved ones struggling with mental illness.

Myth #1: Anyone with a mental illness needs medication. This simply isn’t true. I think medication has a time and place, but it’s not for everyone. I know many people successfully working through their anxiety, depression, ect. without taking a pill to do it. I have personally been on medication in the past, and it helped for a season. However, I don’t have the need to take it now, and I’m taking other measures towards healing. I’ll be sharing my top tools in another post soon.

Myth #2: Anyone who talks about their own mental illness is seeking attention. You know how some games have a buzzer that the opposite team pushes to know they’ve gotten a question wrong? It’s loud and obnoxious and makes a bbbbeeeeaaaaa sound? Yeah, I would push the buzzer on this one. Sure, a handful of people have done this. But, as someone who works in the field of psychology, please listen to me when I say: It’s still a cry for help. So, don’t just roll your eyes at it. Encourage that person to seek the help they need.

Most of us that talk about our mental illness are just trying to break the stigma. We’re also trying to let others with a mental illness know they’re not alone. It takes some serious courage to share about this delicate issue,  and we could all learn from each other’s experience.

Myth #3: Mental illness is a choice. Now, stick with me on this one, because I need to unpack it a bit. Did I choose to have depression and suicidal thoughts  at 12 years old? No, I did not. However, I did choose to go 15 years without ever getting help. I was a kid, and I was scared and ashamed of my struggle. I carried that fear and shame into adulthood. I now realize I let those lies rob of of potential freedom. 

I didn’t choose depression and anxiety, BUT I do believe I can choose to let it consume me, or get in front of it. Treatment will look different for everyone, and I know there are things I can do to keep my mind in a healthy state. Again, I did not choose depression and anxiety. I do choose to fight it. I can fight it, get in front of it, and move closer and closer to healing. You can too. 

Myth #4: You can snap out of it. Y’all, I am so over this one. People that I love dearly have said things along these lines, and it hurts. You can’t simply snap out it. If you’ve struggled with a mental illness for a good amount of time, you’re going to need time to heal. You’re going to need time to go to counseling, find those lies and replace them with truth. You’re going to need time to learn your mental triggers. You’re going to need time to learn how certain foods and chemicals affect your mental and physical state. Healing is possible, but you don’t snap your way there. You walk your way there, one step at a time. 

Myth #5: Once you have a mental illness, you’re stuck with it. I see this myth more with people that are managing their own mental illness. I personally believe someone can be completely healed from their mental illness. I truly do. I believe it will take work, counseling (good counseling, y’all), a will to fight, and a lot of prayer… but healing is possible. The process with look different for everyone, but the end result can be the same. 

Ok, folks, those are my top 5 myths I come across in the area of mental illness. I’m sure you’ve heard your share of lies too along the way. What is a myth you’ve heard before about mental illness?

Mental Health Awareness Month: My Current Journey

Our mental health can change and shift, as it has for me over the years. It’s a process of conquering one battle, and a then days/weeks/months/years later stepping up to another one. The road from a toxic mind to a healthy mind isn’t a quick and clean journey. It’s a process… and it’s messy. But it’s a battle worth fighting.

I’ve dealt with depression on and off for decades. Some of you were with me as I shared my battle a few years ago. I went through lots of healing and breakthrough, and had a few really great years where I didn’t struggle with my mental health.

Yet, with a background of depression, there are some dark and deep lies that seemed to settle in my soul. Lately these lies seem to carry over every area in my life, and had become crippling. Simple, everyday tasks and responsibilities had become difficult and incredibly tiring. 

While I praise the Lord that I’m no longer suicidal, I had dealt with some pretty crippling anxiety over the past year. I was constantly going through the motions of life while feeling like I was one hiccup away from an anxiety attack. I had dealt with anxiety in the past (depression and anxiety go hand in hand often), but never to this level. It had reached a new height where I recognized I needed outside help. And that was okay. 

My chest constantly felt tight, shoulders tense, and at times I had to put some serious effort into slowing my breath so I wouldn’t hyperventilate in the middle of making tacos for dinner. I had to put immense effort into slowing my mind and racing thoughts. Sometimes I’d lock myself in my bathroom for a few minutes just to count and breathe. I’d lean up against the door, close my eyes, and start counting while slowly while inhaling and exhaling. 1… 2…. 3… 4….

I called my counseling office, and was put on a waiting list. I forgot I was on the waiting list until I got a call a few months later. I almost decided not to take the appointment, because I had been having a good couple of weeks. I am so glad I took the appointment.

My counselor has a way of unlocking deep rooted lies that I’ve carried in my soul that have been bleeding into every area of my life: wife, mother, daughter, doTERRA leader, friend, church leader. We’re digging up roots of some serious negative beliefs, and replacing them with the beautiful truth. I’m slowly working on starving the toxic thoughts and nurturing the healthy ones.

During the month of May, in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, I’d love to share more on my mental health journey. I’ll be giving specifics on how I manage depression and anxiety with things like counseling, running, taking my supplements and other homeopathic measures, and opening up to some trusted friends and family about my current struggles. We’re not meant to fight this battle alone. Thank you for joining me on my recovery to freedom. You’re not alone either.

Got questions? Or maybe you’d like to see me cover a specific topic pertaining to mental health? Comment below, I’d love to connect with you!

Happy Birthday, doTERRA!

Happy birthday, dōTERRA! In honor of dōTERRA’s birthday, I’d like to tell you about my first experience with dōTERRA. 

Around five years ago, my friend, Amy, handed me a sample of OnGuard essential oil. I was pregnant, had some pretty bad throat discomfort, and felt like crud.

After using this small sample for a day, simply by applying it on my throat and simply smelling it from the bottle, I felt relief! This tiny bottle packed a big punch! 

I was amazed at the results. I was amazed I could soothe my throat with something totally natural and safe, especially during pregnancy. I called Amy the next day, and told her, “I need all the oils!”

I signed up with a starter kit (Family Essentials Kit) with the top 10 oils, and dōTERRA continues to amaze me as it’s helped my family with: respiratory issues, tummy troubles, mental health, immune support, and SO much more. 

I used the oils for over a year before jumping into the business opportunity. The business opportunity, too, continues to amaze me! I’ve created a residual part-time income for my family, have climbed to doTERRA’s Leadership ranks, and I am so grateful for that. I’m also working my way towards a full time income, and I can see it on the horizon!

Are you ready to get started with these natural solutions? Would you like to learn more about the product or business? Let me know! We can connect and I can answer your questions!

Happy birthday, dōTERRA. I am so thankful for you.