When I was 10 years old, my mom was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). In an instant, my life changed. I went from being taken care of, to being more of a caretaker. I had four younger brothers and sisters that I helped with each day. I didn’t know how to cope with my mom’s illness, my new role as more of a caregiver, or anything else in my life. So I did what came naturally – I put on a smile and stuffed every feeling I had inside. All the frustration, anger, loneliness, hurt, and sadness that I felt… I didn’t show.
I thought that being a “good” daughter, friend, and future spouse and mom meant that I did what was asked of me, regardless of whether I wanted to or not. I was a people pleaser. I thought that people would love me as long as I did what was right or good. I completely ignored my own feelings, my own needs, and concentrated on everyone else. It worked… until it didn’t. One day, all of those thoughts, feelings, and emotions that I suppressed came crashing down on me. I started to have severe panic attacks, anxiety, and depression. At the time, I had three small children to take care of, ages four, two, and nine months.
My first panic attack was while I was driving, so then every time I got in the car, I had an attack. I could barely leave my house. I remember looking in the mirror one day, wondering how anyone could love me. I was broken….and I didn’t know if I could ever recover. All of my insecurities and my weaknesses were on display. I couldn’t hide them anymore. I felt exposed. And I couldn’t imagine that with all of these weaknesses exposed that I could be loved anymore. I went to the doctor and got prescribed an antidepressant.
It was so hard for me to take medication at first. I thought taking medication was a sign of weakness. I should be able to figure out how to fix this without it. But I was desperate. My life was spinning out of control and I needed to figure out how to work my way back out of the hole I was in. My next step was going to therapy. Now that was hard. However, my therapist was an answer to prayers. She helped me start to peel back the layers I had so carefully put up.
What I discovered is that I am a perfectionist. I had never thought about myself like that. With three kids, I wasn’t overly concerned with a spotless house and I cared about the way I looked, but it wasn’t something I obsessed over. So how could I be a perfectionist? Perfectionism is about the fear of judgment and the fear of making mistakes. When I was in school, I never participated in class unless called on. I was scared of giving the wrong answer. I thought that making mistakes made me a “bad” person. So I tried hard to not make a lot of mistakes. The combination of people-pleasing and being a perfectionist just about did me in.
Over the next year, I worked really hard with my therapist to learn new coping skills to deal with everyday life. I realized I didn’t have the coping skills necessary to live a healthy life. Finally, after about a year, I felt good. So good! It was like coming out of a dark hole and seeing the world with new eyes.
My journey didn’t end there. I still struggled with anxiety and depression. I’ve been struggling with it for over 18 years. I have also needed to go back to therapy every so often to work through new things and to discover new ways of coping with life. Through this process, I started to value being real. I wasn’t ashamed of my struggles. In fact, I always felt that my story was meant to be shared. When opportunities arise, I tell people about my struggle with anxiety and depression. What I have found is that so many people have those same issues. However, as a society, we have been taught to be ashamed of any mental illness. Because there is so much shame attached to mental illness, people don’t talk about it.
My mission is to change the conversation. My mission is to allow people a safe place to talk about anxiety, depression, pain, and any other issues in their life. Everyone has hardship in their life. It’s how we deal with the hardship that matters. Just think, if each person was willing to tell their story to help one other person, can you imagine what a difference that would make? When we share our stories with others, in order to help others, it makes what we’ve been through worth it.
That is what I am about. That is what this company is about. CBD helps alleviate some of the hardships we have in life. It helps give you better sleep, decreases pain, gives you mental clarity, stops the racing thoughts in your head, and more. By taking away some of the roadblocks in your life, CBD allows you to live a better quality of life. When you have a better quality of life, you are able to give more, be more. I want you to be the best person you can be, and then help others to do the same. I want you to live your best life.
Our slogan is “Get Wild.” To me, getting wild means getting back to the basics. It’s about taking off the facade that we wear and being authentic. It about being real. It also about having fun, doing things in your life that bring you joy. Allowing yourself to be free to be who you are meant to be. It’s about taking chances, being bold, and being courageous.