Tuesday, July 22, 2014


After much thought I decided to open up a little bit about some of my struggles. I've come to realize this year that maybe yo-yoing 70, 50, etc pounds over and over isn't normal. That maybe it's really not my fault that I just don't seem to have what it takes no matter how hard I want it it… I just cannot find it in myself at times. I get so angry at myself for being "all talk" and no action. Why? What's going in in me that keeps me from my goals?

You see… life is hard. It is hard for mostly everyone. And sometimes change, rejection, loneliness, health problems, pain, hormones, childbirth, moving, death, loss, abandonment, abuse, violence, poverty, stress… sometimes they're more than some of us can handle.

This year during our second pregnancy I started experiencing a level of depression that was concerning. It wasn't the first time. But it got to a point that I decided to tell my OBGYN about it. After lots of questions they decided I needed medication and therapy. I had been prescribed medication before… by my diabetes specialist, but I hadn't taken it, unsure that it was necessary and fearing side effects and stigma. At any rate I decided not to take what the OB had prescribed either; due to it being a class C medication. I feared what it could do to our baby. I remembered learning in my counseling and therapy class during my time studying psych at BYUI that often therapy was just as useful and Danny and I decided together that we would give that a try first. I kept the prescription though to use if things got worse.

And then we lost our baby. In retrospect I'm extremely grateful I decided not to take that medication. I know that with as much guilt as I have felt in losing our baby having done nothing to endanger that little developing baby I would have always wondered if it had been my fault due to the medication. I'm so grateful I don't have to experience that guilt.

I continued to see my counselor and was searching for an answer to that WHY i'd mentioned above. I wanted so badly to fix whatever was going on in my head that caused me to not be able to "get over" and "move past" my weight issues and just freakin' do it! Get fit, and stay that way. After a lot of up and down and having to change therapists… I came to a point with my weight a couple of months ago where I felt helpless and hopeless and desperate again. I went to my doctor to ask about weight loss medication. I never wanted any… but I felt at that point of desperation that I thought it my last resort. She said no. I tried explaining to her that depression makes it so very hard to lose weight, hard to get out of bed let alone exercise. hard to make dinner for my family let alone eat healthy clean meals. She asked me all these silly questions- do I like gardening? Do I want a prescription for exercise?  Can I use my baby as a weight to exercise? I was beyond frustrated. I just shut down, tuned out, and cried. I cried and was silent the whole way home… and then I realized something.

I don't have a weight problem.

 I have a depression problem.

Reflecting back on my life it was when became depressed that I gained weight.  When i'd moved out of that depressive episode I had no problem keeping healthy habits. It's when I feel sad I eat unhealthily. My weight is just an outward manifestation of the depression.  It was a humbling and somehow liberating- No,  an EMPOWERING feeling to finally recognize this. I'd had the mental health specialist on base tell me that going through that many depressive episodes wasn't normal…  but it hadn't quite clicked..that I wasn't just "going through a phase" but that i'd been struggling with it for years and that that was OK. That I am still ME. You see, I do have a lot of health problems and have experienced some difficult and stressful situations in my life. I had always rationalized away how I felt because I was going through what I considered an understandably depressing situation!  But that doesn't mean that I shouldn't employ every option in helping myself to cope. I then realized that I could treat this monster that lurks in the loneliness of my apartment and behind chocolate chip cookies.  I don't need to be angry with myself anymore for not being happy when I have so much around me that really does bring me joy.

I decided to try a supplement i'd been on for a short time about 4 months after Rowan was born. I'd been experiencing post partum depression symptoms at that time. But, I was also a single mom of a newborn baby, our first, while my husband was in the middle east. So i'd taken it, Danny came home and life went on. Anyway- I decided to try that supplement again.  It's called EMPowerPlus Q96. Maybe you've heard of it? It was developed by a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints- a Mormon, (my faith) after losing his wife after years of battling mental illness. His children were also experiencing severe mental illness and he stumbled across a man who suggested a certain formula of supplements he'd used to calm livestock. After a few years of experimenting with it this supplement was born. You can find a lot more info about it online. From what I hear its about 50/50 that it works for people. And some have to use it along with other treatments, but for me it was life saving.  I ordered it on Amazon and got it in three days.  It took about 4 days before the fog lifted. I was able to suddenly see behind my "depression goggles." That fog that covered everything and filters the world through a hazy negative tunnel. I no longer had thoughts that I'd rather not live, no longer had to remind myself that my son needed to see me smile. I stopped shutting off and tuning out and I stopped crying myself to sleep every night. The feeling of deep despair and loneliness lifted. And I was more interested in living again. It hasn't been SO HARD to get up and DO things.  To talk to people. To have a conversation. To reach out and serve others. To laugh and play with and enjoy my son.

I still have rough days. Especially at certain times of the month.. but I can recognize them.  If I go off of it or skip doses for a few days I feel the darkness press in around me again.  I start perceiving others intentions as negative again.  You can't choose not to be depressed. Maybe at moments you can choose not to wallow in it and give in to the emptiness… but I am a different person on this supplement. And I can feel it. I still get sad once in a while but it's normal sad. I ordered my second bottle of EmpowerplusQ96 last week. I'm not sure if i'll need it forever but i'm so grateful I tried it. It's about 50$ but isn't my life and the well being of my family worth 50$? Isn't it worth my son seeing his mom smile and be happy to see him? I think so. It's hard to share this about myself but I hope it will give someone hope and maybe the supplement can help them too.  My hope is that now with my depression under control I  can work towards being healthy again. Without getting so upset when the numbers on the scale are not down! I hope that I can move forward and have what it takes to improve myself and to be more positive about my abilities and my future. And to be the best version of myself I can be for ME and for my little family.

Here is a link to more information: http://herbsforanxietyanddepression.com/q96-story/

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