Try It Tuesday

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If you’re a regular reader, you know I’ve struggled with anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder for a while. I’ve tried a lot of different things to help keep it under control and honestly, I feel like I’ve made A LOT of progress over the years. There are some days, however, that I feel very anxious and that feeling will sometimes lead to panic attacks. Many times I can come back down from an attack with a simple breathing routine or self-talk. Other times I need an outside source (e.g., medication) to help calm the physiological symptoms of the attack so I can focus on the psychological part. I’ve been trying to not take medications like Xanax and have been wanting to try more natural avenues. The other day when I was at the health food store, I came across this:

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Each little chocolate piece is packed with magnesium (a nutrient that is important to not only physical health, but mental health), L-theanine (an amino acid commonly found in green tea) and chamomile (I actually used to drink a cup of chamomile tea every night to help me sleep!). Intrigued, I bought it to test it out. About a week or so later, I had a very stressful and overwhelming day. I felt myself getting shaky and knew a panic attack was coming. I remember the little box in the cabinet and ate two little chocolate pieces. It actually helped calm me down! I was able to not focus on the overwhelming parts of the day and focus on what I needed to get done!

Now, am I saying that those of us with anxiety diagnoses should throw out the medications we have, not consult our doctors, and just down a bunch of this stuff? No.

Am I saying that I tried and it helped me? Yes.

Everybody is different and every body is different. It very well could have no effect on you. It also very well could. So, consult your doctor before trying it out.

Personally, I felt like it helped me and is a good alternative for me.

Have you ever tried Good Day Chocolate? What did you think? Share in the comments below!

Mommy Monday

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A week or so ago, I spent the night away from the Huffman Homestead. My sister and I were hosting our little cousin’s (who is basically a little sister to us) bachelorette party. Huff the Hubs called me and said he and his parents were taking the kids downtown so Huff the Tot could ride in the Cinderella carriage. Immediately, I panicked. And let HtH know all the terrible things that could wrong:

“There are tons of cars downtown; Huff the Tot is a fast little thing and can wiggle free from anyone’s grasp. What if she runs into traffic?!” 

“Downtown is dangerous! And, I love you, Babe, but you’re not the most observant person. Can you REALLY keep an eye on both kids?” 

“Huff the Babe does NOT need to be out in this heat! He’ll need a hat, sunscreen, bottle of water…Maybe its best not to go!”

Then, Huff the Hubs said four words to me:

“Be where you are.”

I let that sink in for a minute.

Be where I am?! He thinks I can “be where I am”?!

riiight

How could I possibly “be where I was” when my husband–my life partner, my teammate, my man–was taking our sweet precious baby angels to the perilous cesspool crawling with drunks and kidnappers known as Downtown?!

This, friends, is what its like to have OCD.

After I had Huff the Tot, I went to counselling for post-partum depression. After I talked her ear off for an hour, she asked, “So how long have you had obsessive-compulsive disorder?”

“What? I don’t have OCD. I have post-partum.”

“Actually,” she said, “you’re dealing with PPOCD. And I’m willing to bet you’ve been dealing with OCD a lot longer than this.”

As we went into my history, it was obvious. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t realized it before. My OCD isn’t necessarily the compulsive part (i.e., turning light switches on and off/washing my hands/touching a doorknob so many times), its more of the obsessive part. The terrible “what-ifs” (AKA, intrusive thoughts) will pop into my head and they just can’t leave.

Hence, my imagining all of the hazardous things awaiting my family in the heart of the city.

“Be where you are.” 

I let those words ring in  my mind. This was actually something I had learned in counselling: my obsessive thoughts about everything that could happen were not reality. Could something bad happen? Sure. But the likelihood was low and chances were that they would all have a great time.

And you know what? They did. I mean, look at that face:

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The rest of the evening, I tried to not focus on those annoying thoughts trying to get me to panic. Instead, I focused on my cousin–the lovely bride-to-be–and had a fun time! Some days its difficult to work through the panic and realize that my thoughts are not me and I am not my thoughts.  Other days, its not too bad. Thankfully, I’ve got a great support system and wonderful family and friends to help me through it all. Not to mention, a great husband that gives me great advice in just four little words.

 be where you are