Regression

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Memory is a funny thing. We tend to forget, push away and even change what’s happened to us and the way we keep those memories in our minds.

It’s been 3 years since we moved from Pennsylvania to Texas, and it’s been 2 years since we moved from the apartment into the house.

Twice, since the boys were diagnosed with Autism, we’ve had MAJOR changes for the boys to the point where there was regression. So, I knew it was going to be hard moving from the house into an apartment, but I knew I could deal with it, just like I have in the past… and besides… it’s one step closer to us being able to move to Colorado.

I remembered little things, like the boys having a hard time sleeping.
Being upset because of change in routine and not knowing what’s going on…
I remember being tired.
Remembered Justin having belly issues…
I remember fearing regression.
I mean, who wants to work REALLY hard, just to lose it all?
I remember crying to doctors asking them to find another way to treat my children because I was scared they’d regress because it would be such a shock to their systems > like having 6 people holding them down while they’re screaming bloody murder trying to draw blood…

It’s ironic just how much I forgot or pushed away until it all happened again, until I started seeing the changes and remembering why I was so scared. Maybe I pushed it away… maybe I chose to forget. Maybe it’s my underactive thyroid, stealing pieces of my life, my memory… gone unless I took pictures or something triggers the memories again.

So it’s no wonder why people who have never lived with someone who has regression or dealt with it personally, would shrug it off and say something like “he’ll almost definitely regress… but regression is better than death”. Which, don’t get me wrong… it is… but regression isn’t something to sneeze at either.

It’s anxiety over not knowing where you are or why you’re here.
It’s being scared because things are new and have changed and your routine, the thing that kept you safe and understanding and knowing of what’s to come so you could finally breath, is gone and you don’t know when it’s coming back.
It’s shaking… trying to figure out what’s going on, and not being able to sleep for days or even weeks because it’s not your room…

It doesn’t look the same.

It doesn’t smell the same…
…sound the same.
It’s not eating…
It’s getting stomach issues because you don’t feel comfortable going to the bathroom in a new place.
It’s losing language because your body and brain can’t focus on speaking when it’s so focused on it’s fight or flight instincts.

It’s crying at night, asking to “go home”.
It’s grinding your teeth and never being able to just be still… because you’re not comfortable in this new place that isn’t your home.

It’s not understanding the new rules or forgetting them… so instead of staying inside with your mom, you find a way out… and not know how to get back or ask for help or even realize what you’re doing is wrong or dangerous… and your neighbors find you, call the cops. Your mom, barely able to breath, crying her eyes out, scared to death and panicking, that she’d find you hit by a car. Looking everywhere for you because you don’t have any “usual spots” or “typical routes” to even start looking in, finally sees you and can bring you back home… collapses on the floor… sobbing… living through another of her worst nightmares.

It’s a Mom, sitting on the floor outside of their child’s room… bawling her eyes out.
Praying her kids will calm down and go to sleep… because she hasn’t slept in days and she’s exhausted.
Hoping that they stop screaming…
That the kid who was here just a couple weeks ago, would come back to her.
Dreading how much work it’ll take to get them back to where they were…
Where her kids listened and didn’t run away from her… They understood, stayed safe… and knew how to behave because of repetition and understanding of expectations.
Where she could breathe… could allow herself to drop her guard for a few minutes throughout a day because she knew they were safe.
Instead of living in constant fear… having heart attacks when she can’t see all three of her kids right away…. Slipping into a panic attack, thinking they got out of the apt again.. And this would be the time CPS would take them away or she would find them at the bottom of the pool, taken or hit by a car.

Regression isn’t just needing to relearn a few words or “two steps forward, one step back”… it’s like a reset button. And you never know exactly what it’s going to reset. It’s anxiety and fear. It’s sleepless nights and crying… lots and lots of crying.
It’s everything and anything that isn’t health or safety getting put on the back burner.

And it’s what we’re dealing with right now…

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Struggling day to day

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May is Mental Health Awareness month.

I planned on writing this blog last month because of how I was feeling… I took a break from my page because of it, but the depression, anxiety, and a few other things I’m fighting, that I am writing about, also kept me from writing it. Even now, I’m struggling… but I’m going to try to finish this before the month is over.

 

Until about 2 years ago, I wouldn’t allow myself to admit that I had depression or anxiety. Even though I suspected the depression. Those words were worse than cuss words. Those words meant that there was something wrong with me… that I was defective. They were used to win arguments or make someone feel bad about themselves in my family “back in the day”.

Because of my thyroid, I don’t have a very good memory, but as far as I know and can remember… my family didn’t talk about mental health. I remember someone telling me that my Nanny had Alzheimer’s before she died? Maybe? But never about things that were happening now, to each other. Looking around at my family, now that I’ve been able to see the “red flags” in my life, I see them in others. I think it might be that it’s hard to self-evaluate, or hear things that are “wrong” with you AND talk about them with others. My side of the family likes to sweep things under the rug. I’m not bashing my family… a lot of people do it. But for me, it really hurt me in the long run. It took me a long time to see these things in myself and start to help myself grow and learn how to take care of myself because I didn’t know there was anything “wrong” with me. Which is why I talk so openly about myself and I will talk to my kids about their health (mental or otherwise) when they’re able to understand… and help them to know that it’s not something to be ashamed of.

Actually, it wasn’t until my middle son was diagnosed with ADHD and went home googling the crap out of it, so I could better understand it and him to help him the way he needed help, that I realized a lot of those “red flags” hit home for me too. Then I started talking to women on the Autism Spectrum and saw a LOT (alright, most) of those “red flags” in myself too, that I really started taking a look at myself and my mental health. That’s when I realized I also have depression and anxiety.

I’m sure for many people, it’s a heartbreaking realization. But for me, it’s like finally putting the missing pieces of my life in their place. Things make SO much more sense to me now. I’m learning why I do things, say things, or why I think the way I do… and why it’s a lot different than some others. Or why certain things are SO hard for me. Like phone calls, meeting new people, making friends, being happy…

 

I remember looking at my son, smiling at me while he was playing… and not being able to stop myself from crying. Because I wanted so much to be happy, to enjoy that moment. Even though I forced a smile on the outside, so he would see me smiling back at him… I hurt, I was sad, depressed, upset and all I could think about was wanting to kill myself. Not because of him… because I didn’t want to live anymore. There were days I had a handful of pills… staring at them… wanting to take them all and stop the pain… stop feeling completely alone, unloved, unhappy… and the only reason I didn’t, was because of my kids. I’d look up and see them playing, and think, who will take care of them? Who will understand them the way I do? Love them the way I do? Because my kids are nonverbal Autistic… and even their Dad don’t understand them the way I do. And because of my kids, I’m still alive.

But I wonder… if I had known I had these issues… that maybe it wasn’t because I just had a hard life, that it would have been helped, what my life could have looked like. What those happy moments with my children would have felt like to me had I had the right help. Had I not thought that mental health problems were insults. That it was okay to ask for help… to need help…

Like my anxiety. I didn’t like meeting people or “kids my own age”. My Aunt would force me to go on trips with our youth group from church. “Strangers are just friends you haven’t met yet” she’d say, trying to calm my worry. And the trip turned out not to be too bad. I didn’t make friends… but the trip in general, was fun. I did eventually make a couple friends… but had I known why I had such issues, had she known, I wonder what my teen years would have been like.

I don’t have health insurance, so I am trying to take care of myself the best I can until I do, so days are still hard… days, weeks, months… are still hard. I still have those moments I don’t want to be here anymore. I want to run away. I barely am able to get out of bed… put on a smile for my kids and do what they need. But because I better understand myself, I’m able to push through (most times) and face the day.

But even knowing I have these issues, I still struggle… because their Dad doesn’t really get me or understand what I’m going through. He doesn’t help me through my struggling moments… and I don’t like people feeling bad for me, or not knowing HOW to help me, so I don’t talk to people about it either. I don’t ask for help. Because unless I can afford pills or therapy… there isn’t MUCH I can do to get help, that I know of. Which also sucks.

Recently, I’ve been having a hard time fighting through the fog. There are SO many messages, comments on my page, blogs I want to write, things I want to do… but I just can’t. I only have so many “spoons” (if you don’t understand the spoon reference, click here.) I have for each day as it is (with my thyroid problem, fibromyalgia, and in general pain, exhaustion) that I can use to do things, but when those days I’m also fighting depression and anxiety, I have far less spoons to use throughout the day. So, I’m forced to decide between spending time with my kids and doing the dishes, or responding to comments on my page or homeschooling Tyler. I can’t do both, I have to choose… and my family will always win out. My health doesn’t always win out… some days I do way more than I should because although people tell you “oh leave the dishes, they’ll be there tomorrow.” Or “your house is fine, you should see mine”… when therapists for the kids show up, the owner to the house, or heaven forbid someone calls CPS on me (for loud noises, half naked kids running around or whatever) they’re not going to be so understanding. I try to post, so I’m not completely gone… but commenting isn’t always as easy for me either. Or if a LOT of people post, sweet and amazing things, but there are so many… that I get overwhelmed and anxiety builds thinking about having to respond to everyone. I read them all, I love all the comments, but I just can’t respond to all of them. So, I will always read them all, but I may not always be able to respond. But I do love having you all on our page!

 

But because I’ve had these issues… because I’ve allowed my mental health problems to “live in the shadows” of my life… and has only made things harder and more difficult for me, I try my hardest to be honest and speak openly about them now. So that others can read my stories, and possibly relate to them, and know that they’re not alone. That it’s okay to ask for help. To break the stigma… to break the silence.

 

I know I’m just one person… with a small “following” on facebook. But if just one person reads this, and doesn’t feel alone anymore, and sees that it’s okay to have mental health struggles, to see that it’s okay to ask for help… then that’s enough for me. Because this is NOT easy. Especially if you don’t have a strong support system or made to feel bad about it… or made to hide it.
#ThanksForUnderstanding ❤

 

“There are more than 200 classified forms of mental illness. Some of the more common disorders are: clinical depression, bipolar disorder, dementia, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders. Symptoms may include changes in mood, personality, personal habits and/or social withdrawal.” http://www.triadmentalhealth.org/what-is-mental-illness/

“Sensory Sunburn”

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My good friend from Quirks and Chaos was asking me about pain and sensitivity when you have sensory issues.

(I love when people ask me questions because I think of things to say that I normally wouldn’t just come up with off the top of my head.) So props to her for helping me come up with this. Lol

I think the reason things can seem a lot more painful or even less painful to some people is what their skin (or whatever) is over or under sensitive to.

If the outer layer of our skin is super sensitive, we’re going to be able to feel things on it a lot more than other people would who don’t have over sensitive skin.

It goes back to being sensory seeking or sensory avoiding. If our skin is super sensitive or our nerves are over active then we’re not going to either want something touching us or we’re going to need something touching us (like weighted objects).

I think the best way to look at it is like you have sunburn. When your skin is really badly burned, you don’t want anything touching your skin. Everything that touches your skin, even the wind blowing, you can feel it on the surface of your skin. Your skin is over sensitive.

So when our children (or us as adults) freak out because the seams in their socks are obvious or the tag on the back of their shirt is bothering them, the best way to think of it is like they have a sunburn.

If they had a sunburn you would be more accepting and willing to forgive them for being over sensitive to the fact that those things are bothering them. Because it’s something you understand and can relate to. But just because you can’t see that metaphorical sunburn, doesn’t mean that it’s not there.

I think that goes towards pain in general.

Some pain I can deal with and some I can’t… Just like some noises I can and some I can’t.

Also, the anticipation of pain is worse for me at times than the actual pain. (Anxiety).

Hypervigilance

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I’ve wanted to write about this for a while now… but every time I wrote something, I didn’t like it and deleted it.


Although it’s an important topic, I just couldn’t say what I really wanted to say. Words are often lost on me. Until I have a personal experience to help me find the right words, and even then, I’ll have a friend write about the same topic and think YES! Why couldn’t I say it like that!

We often hear those sayings “You can’t pour from an empty cup”, “You need to help yourself before you can help others”, etc… And generally, I agree with those. You don’t really get burned out when you’re taking care of yourself in addition to taking care of others. And working with kids… that would be a good thing!

There have been so many years where I’ve just not been able to take care of myself but still needing to take care of my kids. They come first… and it’s not like I have a choice. I don’t have help, so there is no other option.

But I started using these oils and my overall state of wellbeing has changed. I’m not as stressed out, I’m not as depressed/anxious… sure I still have my moments… but despite our situation not changing, my outlook on it has.

Which makes me WANT to take better care of myself… despite not having help or not being able to get out of the house and away from the kids.

One of those things is eating better. I prefer not to cook when the kids are awake… which means I tend to eat more junk or things I can put together quickly. Like cereal. Which sucks, but it is what it is.

So today, I decided I’d make spaghetti for lunch! It’s pretty quick and better than ANOTHER bowl of cereal.

All the kids were being relatively good.
They were being loud, but that’s nothing new.

So I started making food… Tyler kept coming over to me, asking me to take screen shots of his characters he paused his show on. Justin would be running in the house and then back outside. Jax was making his “I’m yelling because I’m happy” noises. It was a little chaotic, but nothing too bad.

I set up the kids and their lunch while I was finishing mine. We all more or less ate at the same time (which NEVER happens)… And then came the, let’s chill out time after lunch. Usually we turn off the lights and just hang out (usually because my migraines are worse around this time with the kids… they can be REALLY loud… weekends are hard for me and my head). So we were all just hanging out, I was sitting down to go through all of your replies on my posts when Justin started screaming and crying.

Ugh… now what?

“Justin. Come here.”

Crying and crying. Not crying because he’s hurt, but crying because he’s upset over something.

“Juuuuustiiiiin! Come here.”

Crying.

“JUSTIN!!!!”

I know it’s the iPad. It probably needs restarted and I’ll admit, I was being lazy. I was tired and just wanted to sit down for 10 minutes.

He comes out of his room. Rubbing his eyes. He hands me his iPad and it’s sticky!
What in the world???

The screen was sticky and he couldn’t slide his finger across the screen to turn the volume back up. I cleaned it off and handed it back to him. Which is when I realized he was kind of pink. I touched his hands and they were REALLY sticky… so were his legs, arms… what in the world?!?!

I took him outside, rinsed him off with the hose, got him dressed and sent him to the living room. Then headed for his bedroom…

That’s when I found the reason he was sticky.

My jaw dropped.  

It looked like a horror movie.

Only instead of fake blood… it was strawberry syrup.

I’m STILL trying to get it all cleaned up.

What does this have to do with hypervigilance?
If I hadn’t been cooking… I would have been watching the kids closer. I would have noticed one of them taking and carrying the syrup in the room and would have stopped them before they squirted it ALL OVER their bed.

I can never let my guard down.

Never.

Because someone is always getting into something. Someone is always climbing something, trying to open something, crying or screaming about something or wanting something. The second I let my guard down… something breaks, gets destroyed or someone gets hurt. And that’s in a house that I have specifically altered FOR my kids. There really aren’t TOO many things for my kids to get into that they really shouldn’t. As long as I’m staying focused.

We don’t have pictures hanging on the wall, we don’t have nicknacks. We don’t have anything glass in our house except lightbulbs and we can’t keep spares around the house. Tyler likes to drop them on the ground to hear them crash. We don’t even have cups any more. We drink out of soda/water bottles because our kids love water/liquid so much that they will take cups off the counter and pour them on the floor to play in them. I have to hide the knives because Tyler likes metal things and Justin likes to line them up. Chemicals and cleaners have to be up high and out of reach, because just out of sight out of mind doesn’t work here… and if it’s a liquid it’s meant to be played with. Which is why the bathrooms are locked. They’ll turn on and play in the sink, toilet and bathtub.

We used to have to have locks on the pantry doors, fridge, oven, microwave and some of the cabinets. Because no matter how on guard I am constantly… I couldn’t keep them out of everything. And you can only say “We don’t stand on the oven door, because it’ll break. Close the oven, and let’s play with Lego’s” so many times before you might snap.

Sure, eventually things got easier. They even know that they bathroom doors are supposed to be shut, so if someone forgets to close a door, they’ll go over and close it for us. We don’t have to worry about the kids playing in the fridge much anymore either. Because they know they’re not supposed to. Tyler will still occasionally get the eggs out and throw them on the floor… sliding around in the slime when I’m in the bathroom. Or lining up the sliced cheese. Justin will try to stack enough toys, boxes, shoes and trash cans high enough to climb on the counters and get into the gummy bears while I’m giving Jaxson a bath because he managed to get his diaper off… again… and is now covered in fecal matter.

And as insane as these days are… they are getting a little less frequent… or at least they’re smaller messes. Mostly because I’m constantly watching them, constantly on guard to make sure things like that don’t happen. My house is constantly trashed… and that’s with me being able to catch most of the messes in action or prevent them because I can see where they’re going with their ideas.

I’m always tired.
During the week when the older two have school it isn’t so bad.
But weekends, holidays and breaks definitely remind me why I’ve been in “survival mode” for SO long. And I don’t realize that I’m not really in survival mode any more, until I’m reminded what it really looks like… on weekends… holidays and breaks.

Because although things HAVE gotten a little better… I’m still a long way from being able to sit down and not have to worry about what my kids are getting into.

Hypervigilance. An Autism parents state of being. And it’s exhausting.

Sensory

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Sensory starts with the senses.
Hearing, Seeing, Touching, Tasting and Smelling.

For most people those traditional 5 senses help you in your everyday life and often go unnoticed.

(Most of us are familiar with the 5 senses, but we also have 2 other senses that are less well known: these are the sense of movement (vestibular sense) and the sense of body awareness (proprioception). I’ll have to write a separate post about those, or I’ll end up writing a book! But I encourage you to google and check them out if you’re unfamiliar!)

Some things you may not really notice are things like the fan in the corner of the room, the light above your head, the tag on the inside of your shirt, the gum your chewing or the candle your burning in the other room. You know they’re there… but they are JUST there. They don’t bother you or disrupt your daily life.

Then they can also be so much more than that.
A single smell can take you to a specific memory.
A single taste can make you reminiscent of old times.
A single song can send a tingle up your spine…
And a single picture can make your heart break or swell with love.

For people on the Autism Spectrum… those senses can be much, much more intense. Both in a good way and in a not so good way.

My three boys and I have sensory issues.
There are generally two types… Sensory Seekers and Sensory Avoiders.

People don’t have to be one or the other either, you can be both in different areas. Seeking smells but shying away from noises, etc.

I LOVE compressions… I actually like people laying on me. Weird, I know. I love the feeling of pressure on me. When I was a kid we had that game called “dog pile”. I loved that game. I loved the feeling of the all over pressure on my body (back then I didn’t know why… it wasn’t until this past year that I’ve realized I’m on the spectrum). My boys are the same way. They love tight bear hugs and weighted blankets. So that would be a “Sensory Seeking” behavior.

I HATE certain fruits and vegetables. My boys are the same way. We tend to love crunch carbs (all three of us). So, the crunchy aspect would be a Sensory Seeking Behavior and then not liking the fruits and veggies would be a Sensory Avoiding behavior. I don’t like the insides of pickles or cucumbers. I don’t like tomatoes… I can’t stand the consistency of them. It literally makes my skin crawl! Jaxson and Tyler seem to be the same way, where Justin is a little more accepting of different textures as far as food goes. Clothes- Tyler and I HATE the feeling of wearing clothes when we’re hot and sweaty. It doesn’t bother Justin at all. I cannot STAND the feeling of saltwater on my body… I feel sticky and gross, but it doesn’t seem to bother the kids.

So just because someone has an issue with one texture, doesn’t mean it’s all textures or all people on the spectrum.

Sensory also can be a HUGE contributing factor in behaviors like meltdowns. The way I like to look at meltdowns are like building blocks… the higher the blocks go, the closer they are to falling over. So we start with one block – the lights above your head can seem much brighter to those on the spectrum and might make them squint or hurt their heads. Two blocks – the noise level around them can seem much louder, so they can’t concentrate or hear you over the noise. It also might hurt their head/ears. Three blocks – the perfume or cologne someone is wearing can seem way way too strong. I can’t even walk through the perfume area in a store, I have to walk around or hold my breath. It’s like I can smell ALL of them way too much and it’s overwhelming. Some people may even gag (like if you took a big ol’ whiff of your garbage). Four blocks – if the temperature is too hot or too cold… you might not need a jacket but to someone on the spectrum it feels like they’re freezing. Or you might only need to wear shorts to help with the slight rise in temperature where someone on the spectrum feels like it’s scorching. Five blocks – the tag on the inside of their shirt or the seem on the inside of their sock feels like its rubbing their skin raw. Six blocks – maybe their blood sugar is low because they didn’t eat breakfast… and now they feel like they’re going to pass out when you might just feel like you’re hungry. Seven blocks – maybe they’re nonverbal or “pre-verbal” but still can’t communicate their wants and needs… so the language barrier makes it hard to explain how they feel.

Depending on the severity of any of those (or other) sensory factors… or any frustrations that’s happening or has happened before hand, could make the tower topple.

Sometimes Sensory Seekers just enjoy certain things… One of my boys LOVES the feel of silk. So if I leave my bra out, I’ve caught him rubbing it on his cheek. Or his weighted blanket has a minky side… he’ll just run his hands up and down the blanket for half an hour. Tyler loves sand (the one who has the BIGGEST issues with food textures)… he will sit and play in sand for HOURS. Tyler also seeks noise… we went to an Autism Awareness event where they had those HUGE speakers, and he practically ran over and put his ear on it while it was playing music!

But sometimes Sensory Seekers brains or bodies tell them that they’re not getting enough of something, which makes them crave certain things or may end up in behaviors. There’s a common phrase passed around the Autism Community and it’s absolutely true. “Every behavior has a reason.” Some people have problems sitting still. I can sit through a whole movie that I’m really into with no problems at all… but then I went to a Wrightslaw Conference and after about 45 minutes I was jiggling my leg, flicking my hands, tapping my pencil… anything I could do to help my body calm down. As soon as I was able to stand up (we had a break), I bounced on my toes a bit, shook out my arms and I was totally fine again. I sat down feeling “normal”. But after another 45 minutes my skin began to crawl again. And it wasn’t like I wasn’t interested in what the speaker was saying! I LOVED it! I wanted to hear everything, which is why I didn’t just stand up and take a break. Not that I could completely concentrate while feeling like that anyway.

For some reason my body told me I needed to get up and move. I explain it like you have to pee. When you drink way too much… and really really REALLY need to go, that you’re dancing around, twisting your legs, NEEDING to go to the bathroom, but you have to wait… when you FINALLY get to go it’s one of those “ahhhhh” moments. Everything is okay again. That ahhhh moment for us is being able to get up and walk around again… to move. Make sense?

So when I see Tyler (and even Justin gets that way, though he’s not as “bad”), when he starts bouncing around like crazy or climbing or getting angry and upset, I try to find ways to help his body and his brain get back to “normal”. Each kid is different, and each technique won’t work on everyone. Some things I use with my kids are joint compressions, bear hugs (but some kids don’t like to be restrained so short hugs for a second or two over and over can be better than squeezing them for a longer period of time), brushing, weighted objects like blankets, toys, lap pads. Trampolines are AWESOME, we have a mini one that is kept in our living room. Therapy swings can help… tickle monster (until you think they might pee their pants!!). Swimming. Climbing… Depending on the circumstance and area you’re in some of these can be more discreet than others to help in classrooms.

There is just SO much of our lives that is affected by sensory, ESPECIALLY in the Autism Community, that I could go on and on and on. And believe me… I really could, I tend to be a bit wordy. But one of the main things you need to do is figure out where you or your kids or grandkids or students, are either sensory seeking or sensory avoiding and help them either avoid or get the input that they need in order to FEEL “normal”. So that they can do what they need to do. It’s not always easy, but once you figure it out, it can make things like: trips to the store easier. You’ll know – okay the lights are too bright – they can wear sunglasses. The people and noise are just way too much for them, we can buy noise cancelling headphones. They are CLIMBING the walls and won’t sit down to do this puzzle with me, let’s do 10 minutes on the trampoline first so that they’ll be able to focus. You can’t sit at your desk and do… whatever you do for longer than 45 minutes, let your boss know what’s going on… take a 3-5 minute break, go to the bathroom jump like crazy and then go sit back down.

“Knowledge is power.”

Young Living Essential Oil Review

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I “met” an amazing woman online through the nutritionist we’re seeing for Jaxson. She’s been talking to me about her journey with Autism and how much her son has benefited from using these oils. At first I’m thinking, well.. that’s awesome that they worked for you… but come on… really? They’re just smelly things. How much can they REALLY help you. I was a skeptic for sure!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for trying new things to help with my kids! But these oils were just so foreign to me. I’ve heard of them before… I’ve thought about trying them… but I mean… how do you even use them?! Do you drink it? Is it like lotion you rub on your hands… I don’t know, it seemed a little weird to me.

So I was obviously happy for her and her family, and maybe someday I’ll have time to learn more about them.

Then one night, Jax and I had one of the worst nights we’ve had in a long while, when she sent me a message. NO strings attached, she just wanted to help a Mom in need and asked if she could send me something to help with sleep and something to help with my anxiety. I agreed and she sent me a “bedtime” mixture and one called Valor.

The Bedtime mixture didn’t really seem to help with Jaxson, but I… no joke… have been able to decrease the amount of melatonin I give Tyler and most nights don’t even give any to Justin. I just put this oil on the bottom of his feet and rub it in when I lay the boys down in their beds with their tablets. About half an hour before I want them to actually go to sleep. Both of the kids who HATE (with a PASSION) me cutting their toe nails giggle while I rub it into the bottom of their feet. 🙂 They’ll see me walk in their room with the little bottle and start grinning because they know what’s coming.

The first night that they did well with it, I’m like… no way. This is sooo not happening. lol Really? This stuff is actually working? But it did, and it still continues to work. My friend thinks Jax would probably benefit from just Lavander (rather than the mixture), so we’ll probably try that eventually. 🙂

I’ve been using the Valor.
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To help with anxiety and stress… and later found out it also helps with my migraines, TMJ and will also help calm the boys. I use it when I’m overwhelmed, it’s like I can finally take a deep breath and the tension I had in my shoulders melt a bit. It’s crazy. I was in SERIOUS pain because of my jaw, I rubbed a drop behind my jaw/ears area and a few minutes later, I’m not in pain any more. Where I would have to wait for 30-45 minutes for the Tylenol and Naproxen to kick in! Again, I’m just like…. how did that even work?! lol I don’t get this stuff at all. It just makes no sense. It’s oils from plants/flowers/herbs, etc… and it’s fixing things. Totally mind blowing.


And I have SEVERE issues with oily or lotion-y things. I cannot stand it. But these “oils” absorb into your skin pretty quickly and then your skin is just soft. It doesn’t feel like there’s oil or lotion on your hands. (Thankfully… I might have gone crazy trying to use these things! lol)

I used Valor on Jaxson, my little busy body… (A little back story) As soon as he could roll over (about 3-4 months) he’s never wanted to sit with me any more. Not more than a minute or two… Unless I was feeding him a bottle, then when he could hold it himself, he REALLY wanted his own space.

So for at least the last year, Jax has only sat or laid with me (without interruption) for a few minutes max. And usually that was for however long I could get him to sit and play Patty Cakes with me.

I put the oil Valor on him… And about 5-10 minutes later he came over, crawled up on me and laid on me for a little over 15 minutes. I have not held Jax for that long, at one time, in over a year.

That alone has made me thankful for this product.


Then she asks me about some of my other issues. Like my thyroid issues, brain fog… and since Valor alone didn’t seem to help Tyler as well in school as we hoped, she said there was something she could send to help. I’m not great at letting people help me. Honestly, I prefer to be the one helping others. But I justificated that at least it’ll be a learning experience I’ll be able to share with you so you’ll know if these will help you or your family.

Again, just sending them because she’s a Special Needs Mom who gets it and wants to pay it forward. And man… am I thankful she did.

She sent me Clarity (for brain fog), Endo-Flex to help with my Hypothyroidism and Vetiver to help with Tyler. Again… totally skeptical. lol I’m like… yea… okay, the others worked, but they can’t ALL work.

I used the Clarity, Endo-Flex and Valor first thing in the morning  around my face/neck areas. And WHOAH! lol That was way too much… totally overwhelming. lol But after I started putting them in different spots on my body (that work just as well), it doesn’t bother me to use all three at the same time.

Clarity.
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It kind of wakes me up. It’s not AS effective as caffeine (maybe because I need to take so much), but the fact that it doesn’t have any and it helps wake me up, says a lot! Plus, I don’t get jittery if I end up taking too much. lol I was really surprised how awake and clear headed I feel when I use it.


Endo-Flex.
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I’ve been using every morning for a few days now… and I can TELL it’s working. When I’m on my thyroid meds, I get hungry. Because my metabolism is working. Being off my meds for over a year now, I completely forgot how that hungry feeling when my thyroid and metabolism is working… and after two days, I started having that hungry feeling again. It’s insane!!


And even after all those times that those oils have helped… I was still surprised when I used the Valor and Vetiver on Tyler.
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He was BOUNCING off the walls because he was bored. Singing the songs on his VERY loud tablet. Finally I gave him his head phones to help my migraine from getting worse… but HE was still loud. As a ditch effort I used the two oils together and about 5-10 minutes later… he just kind of sat down on the couch and was QUIET for 30-45 minutes… then he came out, asked for a drink, and went back in and hung out in his swing. :O WHAT?! I’m looking at him like… what just happened?!?! lol No freaking WAY did those just help him calm down. I didn’t get a chance to see how they work with him going to school, which is why we are -primarily- using them with Ty. To help with his meltdowns at school… to help keep him calm and focused throughout the day. But he’s been sick this week and hasn’t gone to school. So, I’m excited to see how well it helps with him there when he needs it most.


I get how this stuff works, but I really don’t. I just cannot grasp the concept of how these oils work, but I don’t need to REALLY understand something in order to know how much they’re helping out family. (I KIND OF know how a car works, what the parts do… but I don’t REALLY know… but that doesn’t mean I’m not thankful for having one that works lol)

I’m REALLY looking forward to buying some from her and finding new great ways to use them with my family and around the house. Justin has Type 1 Diabetes and theres an oil to help with that!! Or for the boys Dad. He was in a VERY bad car accident almost two years ago (he broke almost everything on his right side) and there are oils that will help him with his pain! 😀

I’m really super sensitive to smells… I don’t use candles and I don’t wear perfume, and I’m surprised how much these don’t bother me. If one does seem to bother me, I just make sure to use it in an area farther away from my face and wash my hands afterwards.

Justin, Tyler and Jax all have sensory issues and none of them seem bothered by the smells either. 🙂

If you’ve made it this far lol I’ve found some pictures online of some of the oils Young Living offers and what they help with to see if there might be an oil that could help you or your family. And hey… don’t knock it until you try it. 😉 (I know there are a lot of pictures, but I’m a more visual person, and I know I’m not the only one! lol) 😀

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