My mental health journey: On supplements aka “I get by with a little help from my friends”

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I almost can't believe how many times in the recent months I've had to yell internally, "PLOT TWIST!" and just… get on with it. . . … What I really wanted to end that sentence with was "just… embrace the suck." I've been stressed and down for a bit and, for someone who's already prone to depressive tendenices, it's almost been kinda scary. But part of me owning my voice is owning this, feeling shame and speaking the truth anyway . . .Somewhere in those plot twists, I've lost myself. People can be scared to turn into their 30's and what I can say is, yeah you have to be ready. It's a time where if you haven't learned the lesson yet, life is really gonna teach you. At least that's what it's been like for me. I've learned and I'm still learning a lot, particularly about relationships and what I want out of life – almost too much for a short span of time. And I've lost myself more than I thought I'd be able to. . .I received an energy healing the other day and the healer said that she got this image of me straddling a fence where on the other side was quicksand and the other side was fire. She said, obviously you want to get out of the fire and I have 🙏🏼 I'm still feeling the heat, I'm realizing how stressed out I really was. She also said, just hold on a bit longer and soon there'll be no more quicksand, and there'll be a huge bucket of water. The good news is, I'm in a place where I can really believe that it's possible. . .To be honest, I didn't really feel like sharing much at all. Because I’m ashamed, sadness can feel like you failed at life somehow. But I am sharing, in an effort to have this experience move through me and heal. I’m trying a lot of things 🙏🏼 Calling on the Universe. I know You’ve got me 🙏🏼

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This has been me, for a little bit of time now. Enough time for me to be a little worried, but not enough time for me to despair.

I’m not too worried because this isn’t my first go around the bend. I’ve never been diagnosed because… I don’t really want to identify myself with any condition and have that define who I am, or how people see me – nor do I want to discount the very real and more intense experiences of those friends I’ve known with diagnosed clinical depression. But, yeah, the truth – All my life I’ve had depressive episodes. Sometimes lasting for a day, sometimes months, sometimes shallow enough to easily break through, and sometimes it was like I would never feel happy again. I remember being a young kid and having a few moments where I actually thought, I need help. And I’ve had some of those moments as an adult too.

I’ve accepted this cycle of up and down and see it as a part of life – because brushing it off has never ever served me. In a way, I can organize my life by those episodes. I see the moments of sad numbness and gray tasteless everything… And then I see the actual moment when I felt the sun start shining in my mind again. It’s its own reward, observing all the goodness that came from just sticking it out and not giving up on myself — all the things I was able to accomplish, all the learning, all the love that I always knew was there but actually felt now coming from everywhere and everyone.

All I really had to do was believe that I was stronger than I thought.

… And give myself the tools to have that strength break through and up like a seed reaching for the light.

Aside from spending time with friends and family who love me, keeping yourself busy, exercise, nature, helping others, yoga and all the things I already intuitively know to do, one of the important tools in my mental health toolbox is supplements.

I’ve started taking a few different ones but I just wanted to share the two that I’ve been using for a while and now works well for me and I trust to get me out of a spell.

If you google “Stress Free Emotions VPK” it will come up with different kinds, but this one is exactly the one I talk. It says “emotions on the bottom”

STRESS FREE EMOTIONS (VPK by Maharishi Ayurveda)

This one was gifted to me by a dear, dear friend and when I looked at it, I thought the title was hilarious. But so true! Emotions can be stressful. I don’t think I ever really believed in the power of supplements on our mood until I used this. For me, it is extremely potent. 30 minutes or so after taking it, I feel the sun shining in my mind again. This is an expression I often use, “sun shining in my mind again,” and it describes exactly how I feel.

It’s potent ingredient, from what I understand, is Arjuna Bark. From Mountain Rose Herbs, “This herb has a long history of use in the Ayurvedic tradition; it is said to be excellent medicine for the heart chakra. In Theravada Buddhism, arjuna is said to have been used as the tree for achieved enlightenment, or Bodhi, by the tenth Lord Buddha called Anomadassi.” It is also well known for helping our heart be healthy.

One of the reasons I like this product is it’s Ayurvedic. And it’s from Ayurveda that I learned – it’s okay to be sad sometimes. A healthy system is a fluctuating system, which means we won’t be happy all the time and we won’t be sad all the time. We move like the seasons and the trick is to allow this fluctuation to happen while doing our best to keep balance and not be attached to any particular part of the cycle.

If you’d like to read reviews from the company site, go here.

CBD / Hemp Extract

To clarify, it doesn’t make you high. From Garden of Life, “Garden of Life whole hemp extracts contain a Full Spectrum of terpenes, cannabinoids, flavonoids, and fatty acids found in the hemp plant, all working together to create synergies that are known as the entourage effect. What’s missing? THC, the unwanted psychoactive commonly found in hemp. That’s why we call our Whole Hemp Extract “Broad Spectrum”—it’s all of the complex benefits of hemp without the unwanted risk of THC.

Since I’m not really an expert on any of this, I can only speak from my own experience that it does help me reach a state where I can actually relax. Sometimes when I’m sad, I also get anxious because I’m worried that I’ll never get out of it. And the anxiety definitely doesn’t help with the sadness – in my case it makes it worse. Being able to relax helps me pause and separate myself from the black hole that my depressive episodes sometimes feel like.

I especially like that CBD/hemp extract is non-habit forming and doesn’t make you high. I’ve never wanted to escape my situation or bury it down and be disconnected from it all – that’s never what I’m trying to do despite how deep I am in it. And I am only speaking for myself personally, knowing who I am and what works for me.

In the process of writing this, I’ve had my doubts of whether I should share at all. Though people who have been around me will probably attest to seeing me be in a dark, unmoving, sad place, it’s something I really rarely talk about because somehow the depressive episodes can feel so shameful – like you failed at life, and like you failed everyone in your life who makes your life awesome.

But I’m learning that one way to show gratitude for our lives and gratitude to those who love us is to fight for ourselves. To fight for our happiness, and use whatever healthy means is available to use to break through.


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