Friday, August 30, 2013

What I've Done over the Past 5 Months to Drastically Improve how I Feel

There was an interesting article posted on Facebook that talked about sleep aids, over the counter and prescription and their long and short term affects. Since I am not a medical profession, it would be best & wise if you talked to your doctor ALWAYS, no matter what you hear or read. I am very med compliant and always will be. 

I do like both conventional and natural medicine but found it interesting to read how some over the counter medications affect our bodies in the long term. That's why if I can I will take or do something that is more natural. Talk to a health care professional before you try anything. I am not your doctor. (: I can only write my OPINION on what helps me (i.e. doTERRA oils and nutrition). Some nights I do have a hard time falling asleep and that is why my favorite oil is Serenity & probably always will be! (If you become a doTERRA member, the oils are A LOT cheaper and you get loyalty reward points back that you can use for free products).

Here's a quote from that article I mentioned,

"You’re far better of finding safe and natural solutions that will actually address the underlying causes of your sleepless nights instead of just cover up the resulting symptoms."
-Boby Truther (interesting last name, Boby, lol)

I liked how he made suggestion to find the root cause of a sleep problem. You can read the full article in it's entirety here

Another reason why I like essential oils? I still have symptoms of depression and anxiety, they're just more manageable and less intense because of the medications I take. (By the way, I'll never write down medication names, which ones worked and which ones didn't. I don't think that would be right. Everyone's DNA is so unique that what didn't work for me works miracles with the next person.) 

At the BRIDGES Teacher training I found that a feeling of being "choked" is a symptom of an panic attack. I experience this off and on but didn't know it was an anxiety attack. Someone in our group asked me what I do when I feel that way and I asked, "Honestly? I use this doTERRA oil called SERENITY and just rub some directly on my throat. It calms things down and the feeling goes away."

So...if I find something that has helped me combat my depression and anxiety then yes, I will share what I know. About six months ago I was miserable and thought that this was as good as my life was going to get. I was tired of being depressed for 2 1/2 months at a time and then having a good week and slipping back into depression. Most people didn't know I was depressed. Apparently I looked fine on the outside! Or...I hid it well and didn't talk about it. So what has changed since then to help turn things around? (my meds have stayed the same for years, which is a blessing)

-Learning more about Nutrition & I'm eating healthier.

-Using doTerra oils regularly (several help with anxiety and/or depression). I do sell doTERRA from my website, but I actually like an oil that a company called Young Living sells. It's an oil blend called JOY and I like it better than the doTERRA equivalent. I don't sell for them or have an account but I like the oil JOY so much that I patronize the company just for that one oil.

-My awesome and amazing mentor/coach & my mentoring group who I have learned so much from (They're amazing cheerleaders!). My mentor has helped me with my blog and has helped me overcome negative thought patterns that were holding me back and keeping me stuck.

-My Faith. I'm spending A LOT more time in my scriptures, listening to uplifting music, listening to the Mormon Channel, writing positive things about myself in my journal (helps you to learn to truly love and accept yourself), praying and spending more time that I ever have truly listening for answers.

-Exercise! I have biked & hiked this week. And I have gone up and down a ladder today picking apples!  <---I consider that exercise! I'm a little worn out and I'm still not done several hours into it! Thanks to the neighbor who gave me permission to have the (organic!) apples which were just going to go to waste. Tomorrow's agenda, canning...

-Service. Through thinking of others and finding ways to serve them my life has been tremendously blessed. This is the KEY to true happiness. Like President Hinckley's father said, "Forget yourself and get to work."

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Play Your Part...Educate Yourself about Mental Illness

Lifetime Original Movie "Call Me Crazy" Actors Speak Out

NAMI and the TV television channel Lifetime partnered to put together what looks like an amazing film that sheds light on many mental illnesses: schizophrenia, bipolar, PTSD (from a veteran's perspective). Thanks go to these actors who chose to add their voice to the importance of mental health education.

This "Call Me Crazy" movie trailer posted on YouTube made me cry. 

It stirred up a lot of emotions and I could relate in so many ways. It is true that your mind is where you think, dream, struggle have a spirit inside of you that helps you overcome the natural man. Let me explain what I mean by this. Say I have a hard time forgiving myself & letting things go (a disease symptom by the way). I can learn healthy coping skills and tools that will help me overcome negative emotions and put them behind me. I don't have control over the fact that I have this disease but I do have control over "how" I let it affect my life. Will I be a bystander in my own life? Will I let (yes let, you do still have a choice) this disease take over and control my life? Or will I be an active participant in my recovery? Will I use the right tools to fight my battles against depression? I promise that today, while my kids are gone, that I will use the Empty your Bucket tool. Will you? Comment below!

I have often said that a mental illness is not only a physiological disease but it is also a thinking disease. As I was reading my BRIDGES Teachers Manual I was amazed at the "HOW" & the "WHY" mental illness alters our thoughts. My whole goal for my blog is to not only record my journey towards healing but to empower women AND their families, to initiate dialogue and understanding, & to help women realize how much control they really do have over their illness. 

In the beginning a person, like myself, can feel like they are "broken." This feeling generates negative emotions that are self-destructive like helplessness, hopelessness, & despair. Training in how to overcome your negative emotions does wonders for your recovery and happiness.

There is HELP, HOPE, RECOVERY, HAPPINESS, JOY, HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS, BALANCE, & PRODUCTIVITY available to those who struggle and this pertains to ALL of the mental illnesses, not just mine. 

KUDOS to Lifetime for addressing what once was a taboo subject and kudos to NAMI for being able to get their messages out there among the general public (I can't advocate for or approve of the movie, YET...since I haven't seen it. I hope it's clean with no bad parts!). During my BRIDGES teacher training I was very impressed with the resources and education NAMI provides. Please support NAMI, they do so much good for those with a mental illness, their families, and in educating the public.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Another Reason to Empty Your Bucket...for your Family's Sake!

"If something is buried in the past, leave it buried. . . . Such dwelling  on past lives, including past mistakes, is just not right! It is not the  gospel of Jesus Christ. . . . In cases of marriage and family, . . . we can  end up destroying so many others."

—Jeffrey R. Holland

In order to leave it buried love and forgiveness is required. We have to be willing to let it go and leave it behind us. Resentment and grudges have no place taking up room and TIME in our lives. We have to empty our buckets. To learn how go here

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Provider Education: An Oppportunity to Educate Health Care Professionals

Provider Education is the real training that I want to receive but I barely missed it when I asked my local NAMI affiliate's secretary about it. Man! I have to wait about a year until they offer it again. But, GREAT things come to those who wait. 

Here's some more info about what Provider Education is NAMI | NAMI Provider Education Program

It's a program where you get to train and educate health care professionals. You go in a team with two family members (obviously someone who has a family member with a mental illness who are also trained as Family to Family teachers), two people who have a mental illness (consumers) and are in recovery and a mental health professional who is also a family member or consumer. I think it's neat that they want the consumers in this program to have healthy relationships with their family members. We need a strong support system and family members need to be educated on how to give the right support without enabling.

As someone who worked closely with patients myself, I noticed and watched people's bedside manner from nurses to psychiatrist  to therapists. Some could really use this to improve that bedside manner! But mostly, others could really use this training and insight to help them better understand their patients and be a little less judgmental and a little more compassionate.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Love This Song, Reminds Me of my Courtship with Ben

When I met Ben, I felt that I had just met my knight in shining armor and we talked liked old friends who hadn't seen each other in a long time. After talking all evening we did "...walk down the block, to my car," and I remember thinking, "Ask me out, already!" Haha. Ben, you are my best friend and will always be my knight in shining armor. I love you.

Bridges Teacher Training this Weekend

Here's an e-mail I received yesterday from NAMI,

"Dear future BRIDGES teacher,

We are excited that you want to teach the BRIDGES course! 

Teaching BRIDGES is a unique opportunity to positively affect the lives of others. You know through your own experience the effects of mental illness, as well as the fact that treatment works, recovery is possible, there is hope, and you are not alone! As you teach others, they will come to know this also.

The BRIDGES teacher training will help you gain the skills to be an effective teacher. You will learn techniques to help convey the BRIDGES material and lead the class on an educational journey to further recovery. The information contained in the BRIDGES class is evidence-based. It has been proven to be effective in improving understanding about mental illness and helping participants gain skills toward long-term recovery.

Many BRIDGES teachers express how their lives and recovery have improved by “giving back” through teaching the BRIDGES course.  As you teach, we hope you will also feel the satisfaction of giving back to others the knowledge and skills that have helped you. 

We look forward to working with you!"

This is what I will be doing this weekend! I am extremely grateful for a husband who supports me and a mother-in-law who is willing to help watch my kids! It is through understanding your disease that you are able to be in recovery and live a productive and yes even a HAPPY and JOY-filled life.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

You Are Capable!

"If we did all we were
of doing, we would
literally astound ourselves."

-Thomas Edison, inventor

I was listening to the radio last night and the lyrics of a song said that no matter what she did or how hard she tried she couldn't change. That's a lie. Satan uses this deception to get us to give up, to STOP trying. There is always hope. Satan will try to make you think that there's no use trying...he wants you to feel despair and laughs when you do. Don't let him win. 

I KNOW that God doesn't want us to despair and give up. I know that He will see you through any obstacle or trial...all you have to do is turn towards Him through obedience, faith, and trust.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Please Increase my Faith in the Plan of Salvation

This is a podcast called "Beauty's True Depth" about Meg Johnson who after an accident became a quadriplegic. She is inspiring in the face of this adversity and it has brought her closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. 

The part in this podcast where I felt the Spirit speak to me was when she recalled a prayer that she had said, "Heavenly Father, I'm so sorry, I don't mean to be weak, I don't want to be weak. WILL YOU PLEASE INCREASE my faith in the plan of salvation. And it was immediate. And I remembered that yeah this is so temporary." 

Meg also shared a scripture which I love, Isaiah 41:10 reads, "Fear thou not [,Amber,] for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." 

A lot times things that I hear penetrate my heart and mind and is exactly what I needed to hear. I know that this is the Holy Ghost comforting and teaching me. Heavenly Father sends the Comforter to answer prayers and to let me know of the love He has for me. I cried and was so touched when Meg said, "I have felt the Savior walk with me when I have asked for Him to. And I have felt Him stand by me and I have felt Him come just to remind me that the resurrection is real. And I have never seen Him, but I guess I don't need to because I can feel Him." 

She describes a prayer which helped her accept the will of the Lord. She said, "I was praying in my heart just telling Heavenly Father how hard this was and I didn't want to do it anymore, and this is just going to be too hard for me, but I knew wasn't changing anything and I needed to accept this and I needed to move forward...and my prayer changed and I said, 'Heavenly Father, this is hard, but I can do it if You will hold me.'" 

I know that my personal faith needs to increase to help me remain true to the commandments that I have been taught. The promise of the resurrection brings me hope. I want to receive the blessing of a perfect body where I will have a brain that functions the way it was designed. No more depression, anxiety, hopeless despair, or sorrow. I look forward to this and want it! The strength of my desire to receive a perfect body in the resurrection motivates me to be faithful in this life.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

God's Character and Forgiveness

I love the part in this video where it shows the woman taken in adultery because it offers a glimpse of how God forgives. Christ didn't condone her sin, He told her to go and sin no more. He showed love, tender mercy and grace. When we turn to God in prayer with a true and repentant heart, do we imagine a God with stones in hand (like the Pharisees and scribes) or do we imagine a loving Father who runs toward us and celebrates our return just as the father did in the parable of the prodigal son? 

I KNOW we have a loving Father in Heaven who celebrates each and every time we repent and draw closer to Him. 

God's grace through His Son Jesus Christ truly is amazing.

You can read more about the woman taken in adultery here. You can read the full account of the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


This year has been a little disappointing with my garden. We've had some goats get into the garden and nibble away at peppers, squash, and tomatoes like there's no tomorrow but apparently they don't like Kale! Ha, ha.

My husband and I took our kids out to eat and we were pulling into the restaurant's parking lot when my husband informed me that the chickens were loose. I started to cry. I had been gracious with the neighbor goats in my garden but I had heard that chickens would destroy young tender I guess the chickens were the last straw for me. I was willing to drive all the way home to lock those little peckers up but my husband called our "downstairs" neighbor, his dad, and he rounded them up into the coop.

You work so hard all summer long tending to your garden, weeding, planting, watering that you want it to produce, to yield a great harvest. This year I've been very successful at growing volunteer onions from last year and all of this kale. (I've already harvested it twice, it keeps growing back!) I just printed some recipes because all I know to do with it is to throw in green smoothies and make kale chips.

Dinosaur Kale on the left and White Russian Kale on the right.
The White Russian Kale is actually a plant start that I ordered last year but didn't want to plant because of the lateness in the season so I kept it alive all fall and winter. How's that for Kale success?! (: 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Church is a "Hospital"

"Church is not a monastery for...perfect people. It is more like a hospital provided for those who wish to get well." —Elder Holland

I loved this quote!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Use Obstacles to Make You, "Stronger and Better Prepared to Live a Life of Victory"

I read the following book synopsis yesterday,

It clearly explains in fresh, dynamic ways how to understand the principles needed to live a fruitful life with ever increasing faith. We all face obstacles. Often times unexpected events knock us off track. But this book is for people who are interested in getting back up and moving ahead. The choices we make, the attitudes we have, the pressure from friends that can sway us from the right decisions, all are part of the daily decisions we can meet head on and even use to make us stronger and better prepared to live a life of victory.

I liked how the author, Erik Norrie, talked about those interested in getting back up and moving ahead. I have a choice, to let adversity knock me down and keep me down or to get back up every time and allow adversity to strengthen and prepare for the something FANTASTIC that's just ahead. You can read that post here.