It wasn’t an easy time for me in my late teens. I lost my father to a tragic accident and then drifted away from my friends. I tried to talk to them about my experience but they just didn’t understand my grief. Or so it seemed to me. I fell into an unhealthy relationship with an older man. He had experienced death in his own life – he’d lost his best friend in an accident a few years earlier. So I felt comfortable talking to him and being in his presence. He seemed to understand my grief.
Losing someone close during your teen years is really difficult because it’s impossible to separate out the grief from the angst and all the other confusing emotions that come with being a teenager. So when we accidentally fell pregnant a year later, I was still reeling from the massive upheaval I had experienced, and I really didn’t have a direction in life. My boyfriend had always wanted be a parent, and made his case to keep the baby. Where I live, abortion is legal, so it really was a choice we had to make. With no idea what I was in for, or what I was going to do with the rest of my life, I agreed to have a baby!
We set ourselves up with our own home, and so began my adult life. We had a second child and parenting became my every day. I struggled to be positive about my life at this time, as the relationship was always strained and I was keenly aware that other people my age were doing adventurous and exciting things with their 20’s, while I was at home with young children. Friends and family worried about me and convinced me to go to the doctor, who recommended anti-depressants. I’m not one to blindly follow popular theories or take people’s advice without doing my own research. So I read everything I could find about drugs and depression and I came to my own decision. It wasn’t the solution I was looking for.
I wanted to feel better about my life, but I knew that what I needed more than anything else was to have a purpose in life beyond being a mother. So I set myself some goals. My first goal was to treat my depression with natural medicine. I set to reading about different remedies for depression, including dietary and nutritional treatments, herbal medicines, and mind-body techniques. I got hungry for the information and I read dozens of books. I started implementing all of these things into my daily life: overhauling my diet, taking micronutrient supplements, using herbal tonics, and practicing yoga.
My second goal was to choose an area of study for myself so that when my youngest started school I would have a focus and something that gave me a sense of moving forward in life. My experience with depression and natural therapies had affected me deeply and I loved learning about nutrition and herbs. I wanted to keep going with it. So I enrolled in a distance learning course and the day my son started school, so did I.
I studied full time for the next three years. Every day while the children were at school I closed myself in my study and stepped into the wonderful world of naturopathic medicine. This was the greatest antidote to depression I could have found. I was infatuated by the topic and got so engrossed in it I wouldn’t stop until the children arrived home in the afternoons. I graduated with distinction and got a job at the local health store.
I realised that my job as a retail consultant would keep me going but wouldn’t move me forward, so I made a new goal to start my own business and become self employed. I began reading about how to start a business and how to find purpose in my genius zone. I daydreamed and I brainstormed but it didn’t really take me long to realise that I wanted to work with mothers. I wanted to help women who were in the same situation I had been in.
Although I have done it myself and believe in it, I don’t advocate for treating depression naturally, because it can be a very serious condition and it’s important that people see their doctor and get the help they need. What I do is help mothers set goals and find their purpose. I also give them support in the form of dietary advice, supplement recommendations and practical lifestyle adjustments.
I love my job and I love helping people. I’ve taken my own tragedy and turned it into success. When I talk to mothers who are struggling, I really know where they’re coming from and what they’re going through. It’s simpler to be useful to them when I can honestly say I’ve been there. My business is not quite where I want it to be yet but it’s growing every day. When I look back at where I started it seems like a lifetime ago that I was stuck in that place of despair and hopelessness. I will never give up on my dreams, no matter how out of reach they may seem. If I can come this far, I can go anywhere.