Anxiety has always been such a taboo topic, I remember 3 years ago when I first had panic attacks, I was so scared to admit to myself, let alone anyone else, what I was going through. I just couldn't admit this was happening to me, not even to myself. All I wanted at the time was to be left alone and
would just try to go to sleep. Any time Dave would ask me what was wrong I would say "nothing" when in fact everything was wrong. 

For those of you who don't know, my mom had a stroke over 3 years ago. That same year I had a miscarriage... 2014 was a tough year just to put it lightly. In a span of 12 months I got pregnant, had a miscarriage, my mom had a stroke and I had Emme via c-section. Now you can imagine what my mind and body went through that year. Here's a recap... 

February 22, 2014: I miscarried a baby boy (at 13 weeks) I had grown to love so much. Now I was never told said baby was a boy but I felt it in my heart it was. I was devastated and felt so helpless and sad. No one and nothing made me feel better. Not even Ben. The reason why Ben (in my eyes) didn't help me feel better was because he was also a constant reminder of the sibling I longed to give him. But every single night with tears in my eyes, I would whisper to his ear "I promise you one day I am going to give you a baby brother". Ben was 2 1/2 at the time so he didn't understand but for me it was a form of therapy to promise him (and I) that I would in fact give him a sibling one day. Truth is deep down inside I was terrified that I would break that promise. 

May 29, 2014: We celebrated 5 years of marriage... and we also got the amazing news we were pregnant again! And while I was so happy we were able to get pregnant right away, I was also going through a million and one emotions because I didn't want to lose my baby once again. It was the toughest 9 months. But Emme came into our lives to brighten our days and she has changed every one of our lives since then. 

October 17, 2014: I get a phone call at around 7am from my aunt telling me my mom was having a stroke. My life came crashing down at me. You can read the post I wrote a week after my mom's stroke here. As you can imagine I expected the worse. Thankfully my mom is doing great and I thank God everyday for her. I pray that he gives her a lot more years to share with me and my kids. She truly makes our family whole and I couldn't imagine life without her. 

3 months later on January 28th, 2015, Emme was born... and all that darkness from the past year seemed to disappear, but not without leaving some scars behind. That's when my anxiety was on an all time high. It was so difficult to deal with the changes and while I was the happiest and felt so blessed for having a healthy baby girl, anxiety just kept creeping up on me. Mental health is no joke you guys and that is why I wanted to address this topic once again. I have talked about it in the past and I think it's important to speak about it again and again. I believe I owe to you guys to give you an update on how I am doing and what is working for me now and how I have overcome anxiety. 
Now I can't say I haven't had an anxiety attach in the last year but 2017 was a great year. I learned so much about myself and built such a close(r) relationship with God and it truly feels so good to say I am overcoming anxiety one prayer at a time. Back in 2016, a year after I had Emme, I finally started to talk about my anxiety and I started accepting this was happening to me. Once I started speaking up about it and acknowledging anxiety, things start to shift. 

I visited 5 different churches that year. I kid you not. I needed to build my relationship with God back again. I've always had a good relationship with God but for some reason there was still a void and I started to figure out exactly why. Prior to my mom's stroke, for one reason or another I had become distant from God. I didn't pray anymore as I used to, I didn't make the effort to talk to Him as I once did. 

My anxiety stroke the highest whenever I felt that me or mine were in danger... of anything! Health was the anxiety trigger for me. Which is why I connect the dots all the way to my  mom's stroke, the miscarriage and having a nervous pregnancy with Emme that year. I felt the void was that though I loved God so much, He no longer played the part in my life that He once used to and that turned into a certain lack of trust in Him. I was scared of death (I still am but doing better) actually I was terrified of dying, or anyone close to my dying. Any little thing that I felt or the kids felt, I automatically thought the worse case scenario. I would drive myself crazy. 2016 was tough. I developed fear of flying, fear of driving too far... you name it. 

I remember one night, feeling the palpitations so fast... it was terrifying. I wouldn't wish anxiety on anyone. Not having control over your mind can really fuck you up. Having a said thought play over and over in your head without control is scary. If you are going through this right now, please know that you are not alone. Please believe ME that it does get better. I promise you it gets better. 

BTS Story: I flew to Orlando the day after this photoshoot, normally I would be a total anxious wreck before a flight. But God has had his way of sending me the most beautiful and direct messages over the past 3 years  While Diana (my photographer) was taking this photo (I had borrowed her phone for this picture because mine happened to be in the car. I never leave my phone in the car!) As I'm looking down at the phone I see a beautiful message "Jesus immediately said to them: 'Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid. - Matthew 14:27. Not only is God with you, but He has unlimited resources to help you. So look beyond the way things appear, and take courage!"  This was a text her friend sent to her at the exact moment I grabbed the phone. I don't believe in coincidences. I cried at that moment. I felt it so deep in my soul. My God is good, he never fails me. 

You have no idea how many times little messages like these have been sent to me. And little by little in the past 2 years, I can proudly say I am beating anxiety in the ass. I've built an amazing relationship with God. I've kneeled and cried and begged and He has always come through. My advice to you is to find the trigger, talk about it, don't be afraid to admit to yourself that you are having a mental health issue. Anxiety IS a mental health issue and that's ok. That doesn't mean that you are crazy. Your mind is a powerful thing... but you can beat it. Acknowledge anxiety, let it know you know it's there, but that you have peace and that you are strong and you cannot let it get to you. I love the relationship I've build with God. I love the relationship that my children have with God. And if I am being completely truthful, whenever I think back at what I went through... I know why it happened. My anxiety happened because I needed to build my relationship back with God. I needed Him and I always will. They were such difficult years but I've found the tools that helped me. 

My advice to you is to talk about it with someone, pray, meditate. Take some time every day to breath. You don't have to feel alone, IG feeds are cute and all but that's not real life, those are highlights and happy moments. I am here to tell you, I was there and I am better and you will be better too. I promise.  The reason why I wanted to share all this with you guys today was because last month I discovered a certain essential oil blend that has helped me so much. While my anxiety is 100% better than ever, I still get very mild episodes here and there. So when I hear about this oil blend I had to try it  and now I swear by it. I've told all my friends and family about it. My cousin's boss makes and sells the blend and it has helped me tremendously. On my trip to Disney last month I was able to fly super relaxed and calm, that was huge for me! I rubbed it on my wrists and behind my ears and it helped me so much. A few of you asked how I flew and that's the answer, the oil is called "calm" and it has a few key ingredients. You can check it out here and it's only $12. Feel free to message her:) This is not a sponsored post. I felt the need to share this because it truly has helped me and I hope it can help at least one of you too. 

I've become such a hippy with my oils and I honestly love it. I love being able to use natural oils to help me and my anxiety/ health. This post made me really emotional tonight, looking back at everything I've experienced with anxiety the past 3 years, makes me really proud to be in the place I am today. It makes me love God so much for helping me though the worse of my days. I really hope this post will help and connect with at least one of you. God + Oils... my God and my oils. Grace be to God:) 
Stay blessed!

  1. Hi Erika,
    I just want to say thank you for sharing your story. I too struggle with anxiety. At times it is overwhelming and it feels like I will always feel this way. Reading this post made me tear up, I identified with so much. I am barely starting to admit it to others, for the longest time I kept it to myself because I was too embarrassed about the intensity of the anxiety. I get really bad social anxiety and health is also a trigger for me. But I’m learning to cope and slowly making progress. Meditation, working out, and having compassion for myself are really helping me push through. Thanks again for your honesty and for sharing tips on what has helped you :)

    Xo, Karla