In the United States, mental health is an epidemic. It’s getting overlooked — heck, it is not even part of the conversation. Helping others find a natural solution has become a passion of mine because of what I experienced.
In January, 2012, we took what we thought was a normal trip to Eugene, only it wasn’t. It was about 9:20 p.m. and I was driving home from a birthday party with my two boys, ages 3 and 5. It was on a dark stretch of the empty freeway when someone decided to end their life and rode their bicycle directly in front on my SUV.
I immediately pulled over in horror and shock at what had just taken place. I was in sheer panic as I fumbled calling 9-1-1. People got there so fast, and other passengers came to my rescue and got me away from my car even before the medical personnel arrived.
I was physically ill, hysterical, and hyperventilating to the point of needing to be evaluated by an EMT.
I am grateful everyday that my babies were OK and that they were asleep and don’t remember. If I would have been driving my commuter car, as I usually do, I was assured it would have killed me and possibly my children. There was one other thing — I was pretty sure I was pregnant.
That day, my SUV saved my life, but I was forever changed. My life felt shattered.
Recovery was painful. Sudden, and often small, noises produced shaking and hysterical crying fits. Attempting to get behind the wheel incited the same response. I couldn’t bring myself to drive for almost a month. Crying fits still ensued.
I have memory blocks, but my husband filled me in on the dark times. He didn’t know what to do. He didn’t know if I would ever be the same. In the beginning of my recovery, he didn’t know if he could trust me to be alone.
Counseling started immediately with a psychologist who specializes in PTSD in women. I was diagnosed with Acute PTSD. Thankfully, it is temporary as long as the issues were dealt with immediately. My psychologist told me I would need multiple medications, harsh ones. However, I was pregnant and had a miscarriage two months prior to the accident so I thought, ‘If I can’t maintain a pregnancy under normal conditions, how in the world would this one stick?’
While I carried out four days a week of counseling, I was unable to take medications I needed during the span of my pregnancy.
We welcomed our daughter into the world in September. Her being here was a miracle. I was happy, but I still had severe triggers that would last for weeks or months. When these hit, I was not OK.
One trigger came when I had a very sick 2-month-old. She had many infections, couldn’t breathe through her nose and barely ate. I tried everything I could think of. Her weight plummeted. We were looking at a feeding tube and possible hospital stay if she didn’t gain weight. To top it off, my 3-year-old had pneumonia.
I had a relapse.
Back to counseling I went, for a short time. This time my psychologist said we had to find another alternative because what we were doing wasn’t working.
That night I went searching. Something came across my screen from a friend about essential oils for the very symptoms I was experiencing. I wasted no time in contacting her.
She has this weird “misting thing” that smelled like peppermint and another one in the opposite corner of the room that smelled like citrus. She sent my 3-year-old to breathe in the peppermint while she helped me and the baby. When we left, my children weren’t having respiratory distress and my feelings of stress and anxiousness were gone.
What the hell just happened? I had to know how these essential oils worked. I scheduled a training ASAP.
I had two oils — just two. I was skeptically hopeful that the relief I experienced would continue. I asked my husband often, “How am I doing?” He was my judge and compass. After five days of consistent use, he noticed. After two weeks, others noticed. After one month, I noticed.
Tears of joy came after I slept through the night. I hadn’t slept all night in a year. Naturally, people were asking me what I was doing that was different, so I continued to educate myself and tell them about it.
Four years later, my baby girl is almost five and in kindergarten. Our sickly son is now a wild and active almost 8-year-old, and our “wise beyond his years” oldest is 9 ½. To add to it, we experienced a joy I never thought would be a reality for me — another baby. Our son is now 10 months old, and he can experience the mommy I used to be, but stronger, wiser, and with a heart full of gratitude.
I teach others about essential oils in multiple states and attend every training I can, so that I can help others the way I was helped. I learn about the science, chemistry, physiology and psychology of essential oils. If they had a Bachelor’s Degree in essential oils, I’d have it.
I am proud of where I’ve been and the healing that takes place. I am now trigger-free for about three years, with the exception of one from our UCC shooting, which I sought counseling to stay in check with emotions.
It took a fair amount of calming essential oils to get through this. I felt it was time to share my experiences. These words could help someone, and it is my hope that it has.
The feelings and emotions are real. These precious essential oils saved a mother. They saved a marriage. They saved me.