Todays blog post is a bit different then what you are used to get from my hand. Acesalus.com usually place high emphasis on science and every article and every fragment of advice is based on what the science says or by questioning the validity of science, when it doesn’t add up.
But today, as we – for now – puts closure to the theme on mental illness, I am going to do things quite differently. I am going to tell you my own personal story – with depression, completely striped down and naked.
It’s my hope that I might be able to inspire someone out there to fight and overcome it, and if just one person finds inspiration and a better life then it’s been worth it.
My story starts back in the year 2000. At the time I was franchising a 7-Eleven store, and I was at a place where although stressed and from time to time under huge pressure I felt that I could do anything in the world that I put my mind into. In a lot of ways, that was also what I did.
However that year also set off my first depression, and started life events that would mark me for the rest of my life.
What happened was that I was faced with 3 armed robberies that year – and as luck would have it, I was working all 3 times.
First one didn’t bother me much really. It happened and I moved on. Six months later, I found myself looking into a gun barrel once more – and this time I felt the adrenaline rush through my veins differently then the first time, but again I brushed it off as a random event. Yet it shouldn’t be more random then the event reoccurring two weeks later but very differently.
It was early morning, still dark, and I was actually having my back to the door while sorting that days delivery of news papers. I did not hear the door open, I didn’t hear his steps either, not a sound until I heard the sound of the gun hammer being pulled back. I have no idea how I was able to recognize the sound, but I instantly knew what was going on, and as I turned around I remember thinking “Shit, not again !”.
But what I found when I turned was not even slightly close to what I had expected. At this point I was looking at a tall skinny person dressed completely in black, with exception of the white pattern of the skeleton on his face mask. If you remember the Scream movies that was popular at the time – that was exactly the mask he was wearing.
He pointed the gun at me and ordered me to empty the cash register in his carry bag – I remember considering while doing it, wether or not I could in any way press the alarm without making a weird movement, and gave up on that idea while watching the gun point to my chest. Then at that point the most dreadful thing happened – as I was in the process, he said something to me, I’ve forgotten today what it was, but it made the blood in my veins freeze to ice, as I could recognize the voice. I could very distinctively recognize the voice, but something blocked me from placing a face to the voice.
Now what really shook me around this last time was knowing that it was someone that I knew but not knowing who it was. Actually a few days after I had an idea who it was, but not knowing his name or being sure that it was him, it became a suspicion that I never said out loud. However seen in the backlight before the robbery he was at the store several times a week, after that incident I never saw him again – so maybe I was right after all.
The experience was traumatic, and during the following months I asked 7-Eleven to arrange conversations with a counsellor. That however was denied, on the grounds that their counsellor service was only for employees not for franchisors. So rather then dealing with it I ended up on anxiety medication, frightened to be alone, and frightened to walk into my own store.
It took me a year to get back on my feet and out of the medication. One of the tools to do this was letting go of the store and moving into a new environment.
However medication or not, the trauma remained there and few years later, everything began to pop up again. This time I went to my doctor in the hope of being send to a counsellor, but given a 6 month waiting list for a counsellor he decided that it would be better to place me on medication. I was given Cipralex, at the time a pretty new drug used to treat depression.
So over the next 6 months sudden anxiety attacks, dark and depressed thoughts was replaced with bad memory, low physical sensitivity, fatigue, and constant cognitive decline ( A few times I actually experienced to call the wrong person up and not realizing it until I was way into the conversation) , and a constant feeling of being “high” on something – as if I was there, but I was not.
By allowing myself to rest, find my place in life and redefine my purpose and the support and love of a few select friends I managed to get off the medication and return to life.
But it was not without a price. previously I had been known for having and elephants memory of even small details, but since taking the Cipralex I lost that extraordinary memory function and it has since taken years to retrain my brain up to normal memory function. On the physical side of things the sensitivity in my nerves and finer movement has suffered as well.
The next years that follow I was in and out of depression, but whenever I was in it was always for limited times of 1-2 months and never with the agony of that first great depression, until the summer of 2016.
That summer passed a lot of events on me. Primarily cut backs at my workplace of the time combined with a new leadership structure and a team spirit that was changed from “We stand together” to “Survival of the fittest” drew major strains on my mind control.
When at the same time I had to let go of what I had at the time defined as my life purpose and highest passion – I fell completely to the floor, I was overwhelmed with fatigue, very dark and hopeless thoughts, as if life had no meaning and no joy.
From there on it was like a freefall, I stoped my workouts (I used to be at the gym 4-5 times a week), I isolated myself as I had no energy for being social and if I had to be around people it would take me hours, and sometimes days, to work up the energy for that.
As an attempt at overcoming the problem, I decided to change job, and getting into a new positive work environment did push me in the right direction. However it should not last very long, as at the same time I got in contact with a person who thrived on bullying, harassing and belittling me – unfortunately that contact was in a context where I couldn’t just walk away. I was back at working, sleeping and eating because that was all I had energy for.
But that was also the time when sleeping failed me. I stoped being able to fall asleep and for the next 6 months I was sleeping 2-4 hours per day, after spending hours upon hours trying to fall asleep. If I was lucky then once a week my body would give up and sleep for 10-14 hours.
It is obvious that this was not healthy in any way, neither physically or mentally, and as I look back at it now, I often wonder how I survived.
The simple explanation to my survival is because I got sick and tired of feeling miserable. I started to rethink why I am here, what is my my purpose of being alive – and put it down on paper. One of those purpose defining things is actually this blog and the formation of a company devoted to promoting healthy life choices and natural alternatives to common health care.
At the same time as I took this step, I started surrounding myself with people with a positive insight to life, and who could build me up through personal development.
This was a life changer. I started to feel excitement sprout again. But I was still not getting regular sleep, fatigue was still after me like a demon in the night and though I was capable of smiling it never really hit the eyes.
So how could I get the last bit of way ? I asked myself that question many times. Given what the antidepressants I was given years earlier ruined for me – that was one path that I knew I would never take again. But what then ?
That was when I was introduced to a new supplement named VIVA. In my previous article I went through the science of Saffron as an antidpressant and anti anxiety remedy.
Saffron was exactly what this supplement was based on – So with the knowledge of Saffron as a well studied remedy for better sleep, better mood and less anxiety I was excited to try it out.
But what happened next impressed me more then any product had ever impressed me. The positive side of supplements is that they usually work better then pharmaceutical drugs on the long term – because they take care of the underlying root causes of disease, rather then just being a symptom treatment. They are usually also safer because they are simply food, but the downside is that most supplements takes time to work, and I have never seen a supplement that work faster then a pharmaceutical drug.
So when I decided to test VIVA I took 2 tablets shortly before bedtime, and within half an hour I was sound asleep. I followed the procedure the following two nights with the same result. But whats further more is that I felt energetic at the point of waking up. On the 3rd and 4th day I also experienced radically enhanced mood levels. I was so impressed because not even pharmaceutical antidepressants work this fast.
Today I’ve found a formula that works perfect for me – one tablet of VIVA in the morning to enhance my mood and two tablets 15 min. prior to bedtime for improved sleep.
In my mind there’s no doubt that the main reason why we have ever increasing problems with mental illness is that our food today is deprived of nutrients like Omega 3 and antioxidants so that chronic inflammation in the brain causes levels of serotonin to fall, and by depriving us of the nutrients that’s supposed to give us fuel to cope with challenging events in life – simultaneously as we now soround ourselfs with more and more challenging lifestyles.
If you want additional information on VIVA with Saffron then you can find it on this link or by clicking the image on the right. Also I would be happy to answer any questions you might have or go into more details with the process I went through – In that case you are welcome to send me a private message through my Facebook Page. All private messages remain that – private !