Years ago I ended up on a very low dose of Zoloft for a period of time. It was after the birth of our fourth child (third living at the time). I’m sure it was largely hormonal (post-partum), but I think the darkness had been building for a while. I had the habit of internalizing things rather than processing them out loud. When I tried to share what was going on in my head, it usually wasn’t received well. They thought I was crazy or too sensitive or unjustified. So, I buried my feelings deep down because that just seemed easier than coping with what I felt – or people’s reaction to those feelings.
After the death of my son, it became more difficult to hide any feelings at all. I kept fighting to keep it down, but post-partum hormones let it all loose for a while. Those days on Zoloft I remember feeling like my mind finally took a break. I still wasn’t sharing how I felt, but at least the feelings weren’t bothering me. Eventually I weaned off the drug and gradually went back to “controlling” my emotions on my own.
Well, a large part of controlling or dealing with my emotions was the use of food (restricting or binging). From an early age, I learned that food was the one thing I could control. I could refuse to eat. As I had learned from the dieters in my life, eating less was praiseworthy because it meant you had self-control. I also learned that food was reliable. Chocolate would always taste like chocolate when everything else seemed like a mess. There were days when chocolate milk and a chocolate chip cookie was what I ate that day. Unfortunately, my emotional graveyard became so intertwined with food over the years that addressing either issue would unearth serious mood swings. Most professional dieters will understand what I’m talking about here. Ever snap someone’s head off because you were hungry? Eating… or not eating… became an emotional event when I was 11/12 years old. It began with the emotion of fear… the fear of being fat. I was a fearful/anxious kid anyway, so this just seemed natural.
I recently began using Young Living’s Essential Oils after attending a class some friends were hosting/leading. I knew they affected my emotions because in the beginning I cried a lot. I had even cried at the end of the class. Then I cried on the drive home. I kept applying the oils though. Soon, the spontaneous crying stopped. I was releasing emotions, which was a good thing for someone so used to bottling them. It was as though the oils broke through the walls. My defenses were down. I also read a fantastic book called, Healing Oils of the Bible, and wanted to pursue this even further.
So, when I decided to address and let go of my long held fears about weight, I knew depression and anxiety would rear their ugly heads once again. I didn’t want to deal with side effects of going back on meds if things could be resolved through natural methods. Instead, I turned to prayer and scripture with the application of essential oils. So far, this seems to be helping.
If you struggle with depression and/or anxiety, please consult a physician to determine the gravity of your struggle. Sometimes professional help is required, and there is absolutely no shame in that.