My battery of health issues include an autoimmune disease (Hashimotos Thyroiditis) and the host of ailments that come along with any autoimmune disease, debilitating postpartum depression and anxiety that stuck around far beyond the postpartum period, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, weight struggles, and an array of food allergies.
In 2013 my life was turned upside down. I had just given birth to my first baby, Oliver. He was born on a February afternoon via cesarean section because he was breech. What should have been a magical time in my life was filled with terror and panic.
The first couple days were great. Family came over, meals filled our kitchen and I was still running on that new mom high despite my lack of sleep. I was the happiest person in the world!
At least that is what I wanted everyone to think. Inside I was in agony. I was certain something was going to happen to my precious baby. Why would God give me something so wonderful? What if I dropped him? What if I was the one that caused him harm?
The first time I had that thought I pushed it right out of my mind. But then it kept coming back again and again. The thought then changed to what if I just threw him down the stairs and each time it became harder to stuff it down. The dropping obsession turned into much deeper and darker thoughts.
I loved my baby boy so much, but what if I became psychotic and harmed my child. I wanted to believe that would never be the case, but these obsessions were gripping my mind and making me question my every move. I felt like such a monster and grew deeply depressed and anxious.
I could never tell anyone how disgusting I was. What if they locked me up? WHAT IF THEY TOOK OLIVER FROM ME? Why is this happening to me, wasn’t this supposed to be a joyful time in my life?
I lived with these thoughts, unable to sleep, eat, or do anything else except sit and stare at my baby. Eventually I couldn’t hold it in anymore. One evening my mom was over for dinner and I became downright hysterical. It all came out. My mom stayed the night and I was loaded up and taken to the doctor the next day.
At the appointment I was handed a diagnosis of Postpartum Depression and Anxiety and a prescription for an anti-depressant.
I wasn’t satisfied to know my feelings of anxiety and depression were normal after having a baby. I wanted to know what caused it. Why do some moms have to feel this way during such a joyous time in their lives?
I’ve been fascinated with nutrition for years so that is where I started. I learned that gluten is linked to anxiety and depression (among other ailments) so I decided to go gluten-free. In fact I adopted a primal lifestyle and let me tell you I had never felt better. Within a few days a lot of my anxiety had subsided. I had energy and within a month I lost the rest of my pregnancy weight.
I lived this lifestyle for a couple months but slowly fell back into my old habits and back down the road to anxiety and depression. This soon led to feeling panic more often than not.
As much as I wanted to point the finger at my diet, there were plenty of other circumstances contributing to my anxiety. My step-father had recently passed away, I had a few very difficult relationships in my life, I was in a constant state of trying to be perfect, I was trying to build up a new business, I was a first time mama, I was not drawing near to the Lord.
I was under pressure from so many different angles that I had a breakdown. A physical, all-consuming breakdown. Nearly everything about my life felt like poison, including my insides. So on a Tuesday in April, I made the decision to stop living like this. I relied on the shred of faith I had left and made drastic changes.
Each day, little by little, I climbed just a little bit further out of my hole, until I made it to the top. I examined every piece of my life and tried to fix what wasn’t healthy and what wasn’t helping me be the best version of myself.
I now have strict boundaries. I know what foods fuel me best. I protect my sleep like it’s the royal crown. I am constantly learning how to handle difficult relationships, and protecting myself from any more abuse. I move my body in a way that energizes me, not depletes me. And most importantly, my relationship with God has never been so good.
Not only did I make huge strides in reducing my anxiety, but I found ways to heal my body from the damage done from living with an autoimmune disease for over 20 years.
I want to gracefully guide you to wellness.
As awful as those three years were, I am beyond grateful for them. I wouldn’t be the person I am today had I not walked through those valleys. I have no doubts the Lord used those years as a way to bring glory to Himself. He chased me down, shined a light in my deep dark places, kicked down the walls, tore down the lies, and redeemed me.
The entire time I was walking through this, I knew I had to use what I was learning to help those just a few steps or many miles behind me. I knew there was a reason for all of it. So that’s why I do what I do.
If you are experiencing anything similar to what I went through, you know the words on the computer screen don’t even begin to touch how debilitating life can feel.
If you feel panic, anxious, exhausted, stressed, burnt out, you name it, you are in the right place.
If you want to eat well and take care of your body, but you feel you don’t have time or lack the motivation to get started, you are in the right place.
If you point, poke and pull at every “imperfection” on your body, or you struggle to love the body you are in right now, you are in the right place.
If you put everyone else’s needs before your own, you are in the right place.
If you know deep down that you are not living the life you feel you were created to live, you are in the right place.