Category Archives: Intellifluence

behind the scenes

Behind the Scenes of My Depression and Anxiety

Luckily, I’m one of those people who has no problem giving others a behind the scenes look at my life with depression and anxiety. In fact, I get a kick out of revealing how it all started. There’s no doubt that I had it in my genes long before, but this one life-changing event triggered it. My grandmother, father, and all three of my brothers live/lived with it as well. We all handled it differently. Some with unconventional means and some with the proper channels of therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes. Either way, we’ve all survived. Grandma lived a long, happy life and we have fond memories of her sense of humor, generosity, love, and yummy midnight snacks.

For me, it started in the fall of 1986. I was just starting my second year of college at age 19. Sure, I considered myself an adult, but I was soon to find out that I was still just a teenager with a strong connection to my parents. I was in the “cool” dorm bunking with two friends. Over the summer, I had started dating a Marine, in a long-distance relationship. (Bad idea.) I was ready for an amazing year.

My parents called with the bombshell.

They were moving from my childhood home in Virginia (90 miles from college) to Newport Beach, California (about 3000 miles). And here’s the kicker…they assumed I would just move with them. In hindsight, maybe I should have. But, no. I was a mature young adult. I was in college. I had friends. I was deciding on my major. I was having a great time. And, of course, I had a boyfriend. After many arguments, they let me stay. And they bought me a car.

And that’s when the proverbial shit hit the fan.

Almost immediately, the depression and anxiety set in. I found myself crying all the time and a lot of mornings, unable to get out of bed. And guess who I called. My parents. Rightfully so, they had one answer…move to California. I still wouldn’t do it. I was determined to ride this out on my own. So, I did that. With lots of drinking and partying. Somehow I managed to get to class and dance rehearsals. Don’t really know how. I’m sure my dance program was a good outlet for the way I was feeling.

And what the heck was I feeling? Sad? Angry? Abandoned? Caught off guard? Treated unfairly? To this day, I really don’t know that I can give a label to what I was feeling. It was a physical and emotional attack that came without warning. I believe it was living inside me and had a damn good reason to surface.

The story continues with moves, transfers, break-ups, tons of phone calls, a couple visits to California, psychiatrists, moving in with my sister, more drinking, more partying, more bad relationships, a failed marriage, etc, etc, etc, until the day I had a full-blown panic attack and finally, finally, took this thing seriously and started to turn my life around.

That was in 2001. Fourteen years. I suffered. Just because I was stubborn.

The one saving grace that surely helped me through all of this was the communication with my parents. Yes, we disagreed. Yes, I made decisions that made them cringe. Yes, they wanted grab me up and take me under their care. But they let me find my own way without judgment and with an open line of communication.


An article from Palmer Lake Recovery, Parents Guide: How To Help Your Teen Cope With Mental Health Issues, is an excellent resource. It discusses statistics, warning signs, causes, how to help, and useful resources.

Some ideas from the article that my parents handled well:

“A good starting point for you as a parent is to have a conversation with your teen in a constructive way that is non-confrontational and is focused on offering them the love and support that they may well need more than ever.”

“Your teen needs the sort of parental support that lets them know they are not facing their struggles alone and that you are there to support them through this difficult time. It is equally important that parents also have a support network they can call upon.”

behind the scenes

 

 

two helpful

Two Helpful Products for that Pain in the Neck

Two Helpful Products for that Pain in the Neck…

When your neck hurts, life is difficult. You can’t turn your head to look behind you while you’re backing up in the car. During the night, you sleep funny so you wake up feeling more stiff than you did the day before. You feel like your neck can’t hold up that big heavy head of yours. It just kind of sucks.

Well, I have found two great solutions, or at least a great deal of relief.

doTERRA® Products

PastTense Tension Blend: To help ground and balance emotions, PastTense uses a fresh, cooling aroma that can ease stressful feelings and promote a sense of calm.

two helpful

 

Deep Blue Roll On Soothing Blend: Formulated to soothe and cool, doTERRA Deep Blue Roll On is an enriched blend of oils perfect for a massage after a long day or an intense workout. Applies easily with the roller-ball applicator.

two helpful

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deep Blue Rub: doTERRA® Deep Blue Rub is a topical cream formulated with Deep Blue Soothing Blend of CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® essential oils, natural plant extracts, and additional helpful ingredients that provides a comforting sensation of cooling and warmth to problem areas.

 

NextRelief Intense Cooling Formulation

NextRelief harnesses the power of arnica, aloe, tea tree oil, and more to soothe and relax your muscles and joints.

two helpful

two helpful

 

 

 

 

doTerra

Deep Blue, Lemongrass, Past Tense

discover

Discover New Italian Products in the Nonna Box

Discover New Italian Products in the Nonna Box…

Thank you to my new Italian friend, Guido, for my beautifully presented Nonna Box. Even before seeing all of the ingredients, recipes, and stories about Nonna, we were so impressed with the packaging and presentation.

My neighbor, who is also Italian, was especially excited because her children call their grandmother Nonna. After using the ingredients I needed, I gifted the box, recipes, and Moscato Wine Cream to her. She is a fabulous cook and will make the very best of it!

discover

I am a simple cook, so I stuck with the Carnaroli Rice. Easy to make, yet delicious. Cooked with olive oil, white wine, and vegetable broth, this easy dish will fill you up. Top it with saved parmesan cheese for an extra layer of flavor.

discover

discover

The Corn Cookies are absolutely delicious! Just like corn bread, but prettier and with a delightful crunch. We use the Acacia Honey in our tea and as a dip for apples.

discover

Visit their website and find out more about Guido and his Nonna. Then order a Nonna Box for yourself!

fitness tracker

Fitness Trackers: Who Uses Them and Why?

Fitness Trackers: Who Uses Them and Why?

fitness tracker

Back in the day, I used a pedometer as a fitness tracker. It was always fun working toward those 10,000 steps a day. Well now, of course, the gadgets are much more sophisticated and technological. I tried a Fitbit for less than a day and decided it wasn’t for me. It was as simple as not wanting something on my wrist. I had given up watches a long time ago. My skin had become increasingly sensitive to all sorts of jewelry.

So, it got me thinking. I seem to be the only person in the world who doesn’t use some sort of fitness tracker. That can’t be true, so I conducted a little survey of my Facebook friends to find out. They were asked the following questions:

  • Do you use a fitness tracker and why?
  • If you don’t use a fitness tracker, what is your reason?
  • If you would like to use one, but haven’t purchased one yet, why not?

The overall results came to this:

  • 15 people answered my survey
  • 4 people have never used one
  • 1 person used to use one and doesn’t anymore
  • 10 people use one and love it

What they said about NOT using one:

  • “I heard they aren’t really as accurate as they claim. I also don’t want to become obsessed with tracking.”
  • “I know if I am fit. I know myself well.”
  • “I try to live in the dark ages without technology tracking my every move.” (my personal favorite response)

The response I found interesting was the one from the person who used to have one and got rid of it:

“It gave me a false sense of working out which led to entitlement eating.” She went on to discuss the difference between the benefits of walking versus focus on body composition. She wanted to pay more attention to weight lifting, cardio, yoga, and Pilates.

Of those who use them, there were six with Fitbits, two with Garmin Vivos, and two with Apple Watches. Fitbits tend to have charging issues. Those who have the Garmins switched because they were tired of charging the Fitbit or had gone through so many. Apple Watch looks like the most comprehensive and convenient, doing much more than tracking fitness activity.

One responder mentioned that her husband’s insurance company gives them points for using their Fitbit Flex 2, which they can convert into cash. She almost has me sold!

This is one of those instances where the phrase to each his own is appropriate. Whether you use one or not and which one you use all depends on personal preference. And that’s what makes the world go ‘round.

fitness tracker

Thank you to Fitness Jockey for the opportunity to chime in on the subject of fitness trackers. Hop on over there for this article:

10 Best Fitness Trackers of 2017 – Full Buyers Guide

sometimes

Sometimes You Just Have To Press Pause

 Sometimes You Just Have To Press Pause

I cried because my daughter ate my breakfast. Then I cried when she yelled at me for ruining her picture. And again, I cried for something equally ridiculous. Sure, I knew my period was coming and that always makes me a bit weepy. But this was different. This felt way too familiar. The fear and hopelessness was settling in and I knew we had a problem. Hiding a panic attack from a four-year-old is impossible. So, I called my husband and he came home.

While I waited, sitting on the stairs, crying, I quickly started to cancel everything I had on my calendar for the next few days, all via text. There was no talking to anyone. And when you tell people you’ve had a panic attack, they don’t question you. And you don’t really care if they do. It happened and all you can think about is crawling into bed and shutting the world out. So, that’s what I did.

Of course, when the dust settles, it’s important to think about what brought this about. I know my triggers and some of them were definitely the culprits this time. I had overwhelmed myself with work. My marriage was a wreck. My daughter was sucking the life out of me. I felt like a horrible mother and wife. Your usual stuff.

Except for one thing. Something unusual had happened and I didn’t know until it was too late that it could have ever been a trigger.

In October of last year, I started the process of writing a book. I’m working with a publisher and editor. It is a collaborative effort with a small group of yoga friends and mentors who played a huge part in my journey toward motherhood. They taught me how to manifest my dream of becoming a mother, even at the ripe old age of forty-four. My first draft is due on April first and the release date is November first. The working title is Kula Talk.

Sounds great, right? It has been. What a treat it is to look back over the last ten years of my life and see how far I’ve come and the amazing things I’ve accomplished. When I remember who I was then and see who I am now…mother, wife, writer, artist…the transformation is amazing.

But, what I didn’t realize in doing research into my own past was that I would be reliving it. I’ve read through old journal entries, found old books I read, looked through old pictures, and struggled to remember intimate details, many of which are painful. My path to motherhood was not an easy one and although it all turned out beautifully, the way I got there was physically, emotionally, and mentally draining.

Psychologists talk about theAnniversary Effect’, which, according to Psychology Today, is defined as a unique set of unsettling feelings, thoughts or memories that occur on the anniversary of a significant experience. Now, the actual calendar date of my panic attack holds no significance that I’m aware of, but I strongly feel that the dredging up of past experiences for my book played a large part in my feelings of fear, hopelessness, and anxiety. I felt like I was there again and I was scared. Not a terribly ‘happy’ anniversary.

It’s really no wonder. I’ve been reliving bad relationships, fear of never being a mother, fights with my husband, the pain of fertility shots, pre-natal and postpartum depression, and a few other struggles to finish the long list. I’ve never been one to hold my feelings in and the evidence surrounds me in books, journals, pictures and letters.

Needless to say, I have pressed pause on my book for now. I tried to take a look at it a few days after my incident, but only felt the sadness rising again. The words looked disjointed, the story seemed incongruent. I know that it’s not and it certainly has the strength and merit deserving of a quality book, but to my eyes and heart right now, it doesn’t feel right. And that’s okay. For now.

I know I’ve got a story to tell and I will tell it. It is much too important. And I feel sure that it will touch others in a way that will make my struggle worth it. I’ll be back on track very soon.

sometimes
I wrote this several years back in response to a therapist who told me that I don’t have to identify myself by anxiety and depression. So, I took it a bit further and got really pissed at it.

Pressing pause, working on identity, and dealing with unsettling feelings and memories are all things I wish my brother would do to recover from alcoholism and his Co-occurring  Disorders, anxiety and depression. Many times over the years, we have tried to help him through this problem, but we can’t. He needs professional help.  And until he finally realizes that, nothing will change.