My kids thought I was crazy at first. They called me a “crazy oil lady” and asked me if I was going to become “antivax”. The older ones even protested my suggestions to use oils at first. And I get it. Oils really? I thought it was weird when I first heard of them too. I mean NO ONE around me used them growing up or even in college or as a young mom. Even now I struggle to find other local Essential Oil Enthusiasts. It didn’t help the kids perceptions that I made the decision to dive into essential oils during the midst of grief after my mom died. Get ready, I’m gonna go deep in this one.
A lot was different about me while I was first trying to adjust to losing my mom and my kids just thought these oils were another weird new behavior and phase I was going through. I knew it wasn’t.
It had taken me a while to realize I needed essential oils in my life. I only became aware of essential oils in the last ten years and dismissed them at first. But when a friend you trust offers you relief when you are suffering and desperate you’ll try almost anything. That’s how it played out for me. I went to church even though I was suffering from lingering migraines on the regular. I had one in particular that had lasted a couple of days and nothing was touching it. My friend had dealt with something similar and offered to share her essential oil roller blend with me. When I said okay, she whipped that sucker out of her purse and said, “Here. Put it on your temples, neck, and wrists.” So, I did. I’m not kidding you. The migraine I had carried with me at varying intensities for a couple of days was gone before the service was over. I couldn’t believe it. It was like a miracle.
That, however, wasn’t even enough for me to dive in. That same friend helped me again a couple of years later with another roller blend for my neck. I couldn’t believe how fast I got relief! I was intrigued but I had relief and I went on with the day to day hustle. My next exposure was actually at a workshop for work. The presenter shared the benefits of essential oils for use with older adults. We passed around different oils, smelled them, learned the different ways to apply them and about some of their benefits. Suddenly, they weren’t weird anymore and I wondered why I wasn’t using them. All of that still wasn’t enough for me to jump in.
What did get me to jump all in you wonder? Grief. It was grief.
My sisters and I had just spent an intense amount of time caring for my mom through lung cancer to death. The burdens were heavy but processing the emotions and the loss afterwards was worse. Suddenly, I couldn’t compose myself. I couldn’t focus on my work. I was exhausted from the roller coaster of emotions. I had no patience and just wanted to be alone. I wasn’t sleeping and I lost 20lbs. I was depressed and I knew it.
I had experienced postpartum depression after my oldest was born and I have several family members who struggle with depression. I had even completed an internship working with clients with depression in college. I know the signs, I know what it looks like. I know what it feels like.
I sought a counselor who was super helpful and helped me gain perspective and insight. She recognized that counseling wasn’t going to be enough. She asked me to consider talking to my doctor about antidepressants. I knew that was coming….that suggestion. I also knew I didn’t want to take it. My close family members who I knew had tried antidepressants didn’t have much success or they lived with personality changes and side effects that I didn’t want to deal with. I know that antidepressants work for lots of people. I’ve seen them work. I just hadn’t seen them work in my bloodline. I also know that it can take a while to find the right antidepressant. I couldn’t handle the thought of having to deal with all those trial and error scenarios. I decided that I’d rather deal with the devil I knew rather than the one I didn’t and keep struggling. What I felt I really needed was time and space but I couldn’t get it. I had to go back to the high pressures of my job and taking care of my four girls. I didn’t want to let them or anyone down and I kept pushing myself but that was making it worse.
I decided I needed to do some more intentional self-care and so I finally got an essential oils starter kit. I was thinking about relaxing baths and sound sleep. That was a place to start right? While I was waiting for the kit to arrive I was introduced to a whole essential oils community that I never new existed. I read the descriptions of oils and their benefits and I discovered that other people used them to help with their mood and emotions. I couldn’t wait to try them now! I had such positive experiences in the past that I knew this was the right direction for me.
I was right! I’m using essential oils in my daily life in many ways now. The essential oils have not absolved me of grief or cured my depression. They’ve given me time and space. The essential oils effect my mood just enough to take the edge off or motivate me. I’ve been able to feel peace and joy. I now feel like life will be good again instead of just knowing it will be.
So I may go crazy for oils (and geek out a little) but its only because they work for me and my family. And by the way, my girls ask for them now:) I’ll claim this joy!
This is not medical advice for anyone. I recommend you do what is right for your situation in consultation with your doctors and counselors. This is just the retelling of my journey.
Depression and thoughts of suicide are real struggles. If you are dealing with these very real feelings I encourage you to seek help.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 #SuicideAwareness
Locally, Call CONNECT at 800-284-8898.