Wednesday, December 9, 2015

31st Wellness Wednesdays - Meet Meghan Stolp

Meet Meghan - a fearless fighter of anxiety, panic disorder, depression, and ADHD.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY // Martha Keyes

 "If I had to say one thing to anyone that was going through what I do, it is possible to overcome it. While it may never go away completely, it is possible to be happy and to live life in a normal way -- no matter what other people say, no matter what labels you may feel like you put on it. You're still a person."

Her Blog, My Journey to Healing, has many inspirational posts. I just love her quotes on her side bar. 

One of her posts, No Longer Living in a Misconception, was a great reminder to me. She shares,

(Google) defines the word selfish as: lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one's own personal profit or pleasure.” Note that nowhere in that definition did it say that to do what is best for us personally is a selfish thing. Being selfish is when you are so self-consumed that you don’t care how it affects anyone else around you.

Thank you Meghan for sharing your story. It was amazing to work with you <3 font="">

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

30th Wellness Wednesdays - A WAHM with Depression

Tips for other WAHM (work at home moms) with depression
Trying to do it all like I sometimes try to do? Feeling pulled every which way. Guess what you can't do it all and it's okay! Here are some tips to try to focus on what you want most and get the support you need to reach your goals.

1. Support from Spouse (or Family & Friends)
Sometimes you just need to vent to hear it out loud and then move on. I've told my husband this and when I say something that he can just reply back, "That must have been frustrating" or something to that effect. Now when he says it to me, I smile knowing that he understands and can move on. I'm so grateful for his support especially this past year.

2. Time Blocking or Designated Days
I learned this tip from some of my leaders at a training. Schedule your week out having set times to do things: chores, time with family, business activities, self-care, church responsibilities, etc. Then stick to those times unless it's an emergency!
This past year I was called to be the president of a women's organization within my church in a very high needs ward. So sticking to my time blocking has been helpful in not making feel so stressed out. If my time right now is blogging, and someone from church calls (I use a Google Voice number just for church calls), then I only answer if they leave a message saying it's an emergency. I have found that people aren't as in a hurry as they want us to think.

That is why I'm super excited for the Erin Condren planner new hourly weekly layout! I have this on my wish list so I can take my time blocking and other planner stuff on the go =) Right now it's just on my bulletin board by my computer.
 "He who gains TIME, gains everything..." -Benjamin Disroeli

For those with young kids at home, you might have to do smaller increments of time like 15-30 minutes. I've tried to play with my kids for 15-30 minutes and then tell them mommy has to work for 30 minutes next. Having set days for things also might be helpful. Since a lot of my business is currently on FB and Wednesdays aren't the best days for sharing on FB, I try and designate most of the day Wednesdays (and part of Saturdays) for cleaning: laundry, floors, counters, big organization jobs, etc. Yes my house can look crazy the rest of the week, but I'm not great at cleaning so this works for me otherwise again I can feel like I'm pulled in too many directions, get stressed out which can trigger my depression and then I all I want to do is lay in bed hiding out.

3. Focus on Strengths
Cleaning is not my strength, but organizing is so I'm much happier doing that more often ---- that's why major cleaning is only one day a week for me. Don't worry my husband is an awesome cleaner so he helps the other days if needed =)
Business wise, social media comes naturally to me so I do most of my business on there to help spread my business nation wide, not just locally.
To learn more about your strengths and putting energy into that, then sourcing out for your weaknesses when you can, read The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. I get so much more done when I focus on my strengths than my weaknesses.
If you really want a weakness to be a strength, then find a mentor and ask them how they do it ----great tip I just read recently from a personal development book I'm reading, The Success Principles by Jack Canfield. Be willing to be educated so that it can become a strength faster....or you might learn that you don't enjoy it like you thought you would. Yes you could learn how to do everything by yourself, but that's not very effective.

4. Personal Development Books
Motivational books that help me understand and develop myself more so I can continue to grow in all areas of my life. I mentioned two in my #3 tip. Reading just 10 minutes a day can help you grow exponentially. Ideas form for me from reading and also help me to help others in my business and in my church responsibilities.
One of my favorite personal development books is The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson.  Reading that helped me to know that the little things I do matter and will make a difference in time as long as I am consistent. Too many times, people quit right away because something doesn't work out. I've found if you keep going especially in something you love, you'll learn and grow and find what works for you as long as you're consistent in it. It's all about one step at a time and added together compound exponentially.

5. Self Care
 For me this includes proper nutrition, eating right. I love 100 Days of Real Food's ideas on nutrition. For me I use essential oils and essential vitamins and supplements to keep me focused, motivated and energized each day. When I don't do this, my day tends to drag and I get irritable easier.
Other parts of self-care for me include yoga, meditation, joyful breathing, reading, praying, journaling, something from my joy list: crafting, dates with my husband, etc. I try to pick 1-2 of these each day. Life is so  busy and you need time block this as well. When I get my self-care in, everything else tends to fall more into place.

 What tips do you have to share as a WAHM especially when people ask how do you do it?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

29th Wellness Wednesdays - Kylie's Fight Song

Meet Kylie -- a fearless fighter of ADD, anxiety, depression, rape, and sexual assault.

I am grateful to her for sharing her story so honestly. There are so many people who need to hear this. She is so courageous. I loved getting to know her and was impressed with how smart she is and all the cool things she is doing with her school and her work. #dontstop

PHOTOGRAPHY BY // Martha Keyes

"Anyone else that's gone through any of this: there are so many people out there. It's amazing once you open yourself up and acknowledge that you have a mental illness but they are treatable. You can do it! But once you acknowledge it, for me that was the first step in being able to be strong enough to get help and be able to look for other people. Now I'm parts of support groups... the support will save you. It saves everything."

To anyone struggling with mental illness, domestic violence or addiction, you do not have to go through this alone. You are amazing and you are loved. Don't let anyone let you think any differently.

Friday, November 13, 2015

141st Fashionable Fridays - BeBop

Need some Brightness to your Day?

Here's an outfit I wore this past summer. My husband nicknamed me "BeBop" when wearing this outfit because it looked like I was going to a sock hop smile emoticon

Top from Dressing Your Truth store
Necklace from my friend...I think she got it at maurices
Earrings from Paparazzi Accessories - Jana Bake Independent Consultant ($5 Accessories!)
Belt (I think) and Skirt from SexyModest Boutique
Shoes from Kohls.... my yellow wedges broke = ( I've had like 3 pairs of shoes break in the last couple months.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

28th Wellness Wednesdays - My Fight Song - #IAMSTIGMAFREE

#IamStigmaFree: Here are the questions we were asked to prepare for our interviews. Wanted to share my original thoughts from paper since I'm not always so eloquent in speaking. Italicized added thoughts.
More of my story here

PHOTOGRAPHY BY // Martha Keyes


How does your illness or disorder affect your daily life?  I get irritable with my family easily, sometimes feeling like no one cares enough to help me and then feeling overwhelmed trying to do it all, but having no energy to start or knowing where to start. I have to fight everyday to not feel this way, but I'm grateful that I have hope again for the future right now. I feel like everyone is tugging on me and I can't keep my head straight to focus on one thing. When I feel that way, then when my family asks for things I get overwhelmed and lost.

What advice would you give to someone living with your same illness? Communicate with your loved ones. For me I have to communicate with my husband and children and try to explain how I’m feeling. Some key words I gave to my husband to say when I feel like I'm falling into a sinkhole. He says, "That must be frustrating," after I share my thoughts, trying to explain what's wrong. I always feel a little silly saying all the things that's happened that day that triggered my feelings of overwhelmedness, but it's so hard to explain sometimes. I just feel like the floor was sucked out under me.
If you don’t live with family, make sure you have really supportive friends that you can turn to when you need to talk. Without a few really supportive friends in high school, I’m not sure I would have made it.
It’s been a little over a year now since I wanted to see myself to be brave to take better care of myself so that I can manage my depression better, start sharing my experiences with others so I could never get so low as feeling I was falling into a sink hole back like I did in February 2014.
My fighting for myself and being brave everyday includes Self Care: Sacred 10 or a Morning Routine. For me those things include using essential oils, essential vitamins and supplements, reading and taking action on personal development books and scriptures, and participating in yoga. When I take care of myself, it’s easier to take care of others. Of course some days are better than others. Take it one step at a time. I’ve added things to my self-care a little at a time in the last year. I’m still a work in progress.

Why is it important for you and others to be stigma free? It’s important to be stigma free so that people won’t be scared to seek support, share their feelings. I’ve dealt with depression since at least high school; some years were worse than others. It took me 10+ years to even tell my parents and other family members. Once I was able to make that step, it became easier little by little to tell more people and share my story. I get scared and anxious every single time I prepare to share my deep struggles with others. I hate that ball of tangled fishing line feeling I have in my chest and don’t want to feel like that when I want to share my story with others, worrying about what someone thinks – thinking that I’m making this up or that I want people to feel sorry for me.
I want to see you be brave; so more can do so too.

Help spread awareness and break the stigma on mental health with these brave women who have shared these stories. We've made it on LDS Daily =)
Be brave, share your story - "say what you want to say and let the words fall out..." - Sarah Bareillis "Brave"

We need your strength, your conversion, your conviction, your ability to lead, your wisdom, and your voices. - Russel M. Nelson
Click on the photo for his full talk.

Friday, November 6, 2015

140th Fashionable Fridays

Fall Colors - I've  been loving fall! I'm grateful to live in a place again with lots of trees to enjoy those beautiful colors. I'm scared it's going away soon though. We had a few snowflakes falling yesterday, but they didn't stick.

New Glasses: Firmoo Online Optical Store
Really affordable glasses. I love that you can upload your photo to try their glasses on. I couldn't believe they could do my high prescription for free. Next time though I will pay the extra for some things like thinner lenses and the anti-glare so I don't have to worry about pictures.

Top: thrifted or clothing swap
Tank: DownEast Basics
Pants: can't remember; they're at least 10 years old smile emoticon
Bracelet: BPriceless
Necklace: Dressing Your Truth store
Earrings: can't remember they're at least 5 years old

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

27th Wellness Wednesdays #IamStigmaFree Music Video


Here's our Music Video to Fight Song

All of this came together in about less than a week for the participants. Most of us learning the dance in 1-2 days. Hearing Fight Song on the radio gives me such a boost. Just yesterday I was really struggling with everything I have going on this week. I felt like I was going to have a panic attack, trembling. I haven't had an attack in so long. I heard this song on the radio and was able to calm down some and try to focus.

one of the girls took this picture with their phone; pretty amazing!

One fan mentioned liking the visual of having the wooden posts and some of us behind those because it gave him the illusion that are so many more that we can't see that are still struggling.

Some parts featuring me =)

Part of my Individual Dance

My Handwriting =)

FILMED + EDITED BY // Tucker Dansie + Chris Peck
PHOTOGRAPHY BY // Martha Keyes
HAIR + MAKEUP BY // Becky Swasey (
CHOREOGRAPHY BY // Chantel Stucki
MUSIC BY // Rachel Platten

Click on the Photo for all 17 women's individual interviews.

Monday, November 2, 2015

106th Mommy Mondays - Rebecca's Story about PPOCD

I was grateful to meet this woman and learn from her as part of the #IAMSTIGMAFREE campaign movement. Learning from her, I believe I also dealt with this with my 2nd child which probably made my depression so much worse. I am grateful though to be able to understand myself better.

PPOCD: PostPartum Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is one of the most under-reported PostPartum issues.

If you know someone who is pregnant or recently had a baby then say something like, "I know you probably don't have this problem, but I promised my friend Rebecca, who had a postpartum issue, that I would mention this to anyone I know who could have any possible chance of dealing with this. It's called Postpartum OCD and it's where you have scary thoughts that you might hurt your baby. It's really common, and can be easily treated. Most women who have this are too scared to tell anyone, and that's why I'm mentioning this. Just in case you or anyone you know ever has to deal with this or some other postpartum issue." 

PHOTOGRAPHY BY // Martha Keyes

For more support if you think you are dealing with this, check out this website:

Friday, October 30, 2015

139th Fashionable Fridays - StigmaFree

B&W Baseball Tee, Dog Tags, and Red Lipstick for the ‪#‎IAMSTIGMAFREE‬ campaign

Photography by Martha Keyes Photography
All of these amazing women's stories are officially up on Don't Stop Sargeant to help break the stigma and spread awareness on mental health.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

My Story, My Fight Song with Depression

I'm back or really trying to be. 2014 was a very hard year for me. I had to take a step back from a lot of things so I could focus on self-care and get "my act together" again as I fought with depression really hard in 2014. I've had the opportunity to share many parts of my story in different ways. I want to continue to be brave and so I've put the full story as much as I could get into words in one place.

What a great end to an amazing week this past Saturday! I had the privilege to meet and work with a powerful woman Ashley Sargeant who is helping to change the world by spreading the word on mental illness through social media, Don't Stop Sargeant! It was amazing to work with other amazing women wanting to be brave and share their stories to empower others. It was honor to be a part of this Stay tuned on Saturday, Halloween, for the music video to Rachel Platten's Fight Song which has also been my theme song this year. =)
Great read:

Here's my interview from Saturday, October 24th. I can't believe I did this! I've been anxious the last couple days waiting for this to be posted.

“I just want others to be brave and share their story because it will help spread awareness so that you don’t ever have to feel like no one else understands you. I’m so glad to continue to share my story because I kept feeling this ball of tangled fishing line in my chest every time I tried to share my story and it has become easier and easier to do so.” 

I didn't know I had depression in high school. I know I had suicidal thoughts sometimes in my high school years. Without the help of friends then, I don't know how badly I could have became. I'm grateful to my best friend who made VIP to help me to work on self-care, little did he or I know that's basically what it was. I'm grateful to my boyfriend, who is now my husband, for never judging me and my life. I tried so hard to be perfect. In college, about 8-10 years ago, heard depression explained from a classmate and started to think that was what I had in high school.
I'm the oldest of 3. I took care of my brothers many times as my parents had to work night shifts for a time. I was taking accelerated classes and AP classes.
My biological father left shortly after I was born.

My daughter, my 2nd child, was born in April 2011. I didn't have family around to help and all my other friends were having their babies too so I didn't feel like I could ask them. She got RSV at 3 weeks old. My son at the same time got Croup. I tried so hard to be strong during these times, but I was terrified. Later I really struggled to wean my daughter from breastfeeding. I wanted to wean her because neither of us were sleeping well....I was getting probably 2-3 hours of sleep a time. More on weaning my daughter. 75th Mommy Mondays, 77th Mommy Mondays, 80th Mommy Mondays

At 18 months, I got on a birth control that I didn't really want to get on, but eventually felt pressured to get on to help wean my daughter. I think that's what really triggered my depression again. October 2012. For those next 6 months, everything felt like a blur and so hazy. I stopped the birth control because it didn't really help me wean my daughter and my hormones felt so out of whack.

PostPartum Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
In the last week, I've learned others' stories with mental health. One is of woman who dealt with PPOCD. As she was brave enough to share her story on FB prior to meeting us, I have come to realize that I must have had this as well after my daughter was born which was probably another major trigger to my depression.
Here's some of her explanation on this:
"Women who suffer from Postpartum OCD (PPOCD) know that the repetitive thoughts they are having are horrible and completely unwanted, but they can't stop these horrifying thoughts from mentally attacking them.
Postpartum Psychosis is something completely different-- the woman might not recognize the thoughts as horrible. She might even think she should act on them, which is what puts her children in grave danger.
Even though women with PPOCD have FEARS that they will hurt their baby, there is fortunately ZERO EVIDENCE that anyone with this disorder has ever acted on any of their fears. In fact, most mothers with PPOCD are awesome moms who care so much about their children. They love them so much and would NEVER want to hurt them, and that's precisely what makes the intrusive thoughts so awful and scary. You can't understand why they won't go away. It makes you doubt yourself. If makes you wonder if you are some kind of monster.
If only I'd known. It would have saved me over a year of self-hatred and crying when I was alone, because I was so ashamed. I was scared to tell anyone, because I was afraid they'd take my baby away from me." More of her story:

For more information on this, check this site out.

As I read her story, I reflect back and I'm almost 100% sure I had this as well with my daughter. I feel like because I didn't have the support from family this time around near me, I felt like no one cared for her as much. Which probably brought me back to not feeling as loved or of worth since my biological father left me as a baby. (I had grown up thinking that he had left before I was born, but knowing he left after meeting me, seeing me, made me feel unloved or like something was wrong with me).
One of the recurring thoughts I had when she was a baby was that I would somehow stab her. I'd be so scared about this horrible thought that I'd be very deliberate when I was handling a knife or scissors, cutting things up. I'd walk to the cutting board or even the sink to put it away warning those around me or carrying the knife high above me just in case I tripped or acted out those horrible thoughts. I felt so paranoid.
I know that this is my main reason why I have been so fearful about having more children. There's hope now that I could possibly have more children. We'll see what promptings we receive since we've always received promptings on when to have our children. I'm so grateful to have met this amazing women so I that I continue to understand myself more and help spread awareness to others.

January 2014
We had just made the decision for my husband to quit his job in December 2013because they weren't letting him progress like he wanted to. We tried to prepare for this financially. Being me, I worried so much over this and just became more and more stressed out all while trying to rely on my Heavenly Father that everything would work out and even getting such strong spiritual confirmation that this was what we needed to do. Just because it was right, didn't make it easy though. 

February 20, 2014
This is was the worst day of my life. All I could hear was my failures from people for the last couple years about my parenting, how I took care of my home, not going home to visit, and little things with my skills and attempted work, but I didn't feel like anyone could give me enough support to help me through it. I didn't have family around; no one was able to come help me when my daughter was born; she was strong spirited, loving breastfeeding. My husband didn't end up having a job for three months. Those things just kept adding up on top of another until I just broke, not knowing what was wrong with me? Why couldn't I have all the answers, get my daughter to eat better and sleep better, why couldn't I keep my house clean and do a business at home, etc. etc. ?
All I knew was that I'd rather be with my Heavenly Father and my Savior who could give me the support and answers I wanted and who loved me unconditionally. I struggled to breathe that night and all I could feel was blackness surrounding me. I knew if I left the house, I would try to take my life so I just stayed by myself, hiding for a while so that I wouldn't leave the house. I lived off a 50 mph road at that time in Idaho, about 10 minutes away from the hospital. I've talked to others who have driven themselves to the hospital when feeling such extreme suicidal thoughts. Honestly I have no idea how they got themselves there without trying to crash the car. My husband didn't understand; he didn't know what to do.
For days, weeks after that I just went through the motions, trying not to feel. I felt like I failure for every little thing people commented about that wasn't good enough.
In March, I started to go to counseling every week. I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder. My counselor did tell me right away that if I ever did have suicidal thoughts again that extreme that I would need to call someone to drive me to the hospital over 30 minutes away in another city because they specialized in that.
It helped some, but I just kept thinking about the past and how often I felt like I was doing stuff alone or on my own like I was expected to do everything.
One story shared to me during my counseling was the worth of a $5 bill.
Here's a video that is pretty similar to the story: Inspired by Dieter F. Uchtdorf's 2010 talk "You are My Hands" and the story of the 20-dollar bill's continued worth.
"Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless; but no matter what happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value.
Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still
priceless to those who love you. The worth of our lives comes, not in what we do or who we know, but by ...WHO WE ARE.
You are special - don't ever forget it."
After having my first child at the end of 2008, I came to realize that I was beautiful everyday no matter what. If I was beautiful though, why did I still feel like people didn't care about me or want to support me. I didn't think I was of worth because I didn't feel like I was doing enough. This story helped me to know that I am always of worth.

May 2014

I went to my first leadership retreat for my work as a wellness advocate and that was like counseling for me in a way too and with like-minded people. Leaders were encouraging and gave guidance, always positive. People I didn't even know that well told me that they could see me making a difference and being able to go far in this business. I started making changes, small ones.
Sara Bareilles' song, Brave, helped me to have the courage to start sharing more of what I was going through. Knowing myself, this was my biggest step in fighting depression.

July 2014
I told my families about my struggle when I went back to my hometown. First my in-laws so that my FIL could give me a priesthood blessing and then my parents. It was nice to have people know so they could try and offer support in helping me reach some goals I had.

August 2014
We made another big decision. My husband wasn't happy at his current job so again relying on the Spirit to know of Heavenly Father's will, we quit and acted on a leap of faith to move to Utah, again not having a job for some time; this time for about 2 months.
I was really scared that I would sink into depression again especially because this was something I didn't want to do. We would have leave our home from the last 5 years and the towns we had live din Idaho for the last almost 10 years. We would have to get rid of things and downsize for this move.

Depression, to me, is falling into a sink hole, scared and hopeless.  . . so hurt that you can’t get out, don’t know how, and feeling hopeless that no one will care enough to try and help you.

October 21, 2014
Turning Point - my 30th birthday
We just moved about a month before and I was starting to feel that nagging from people and felt like I was failing again. Why aren't you all unpacked yet. You have a lot of stuff. It took my husband about two month to get another new job when we moved. The night before my 30th birthday, I realized that my License expired and I couldn't renew it unless my green card was renewed. This gave me a ton of anxiety because I needed a lot of paperwork to renew my green card or get my citizenship in place along with a lot of money. With just moving, it would take a while to get that paperwork and with my husband not having a job for 5 months in this past year, I didn't know how this was all going to work out. Again no one offered support or help or they didn't remembered what to do so I was stuck again trying to figure out how to do things on my own. I didn't know anyone around except my husband's brothers but they were busy too. I didn't have other people to celebrate my big birthday how I wanted. I was starting to feel how I did back in February and that scared me so I started to think about the changes that I'd been told to do from my business leaders (not necessarily to help depression, but to improve my life overall) while I was smelling my Joyful Blend essential oil, breathing deeply. The two things I felt I had to do to make the biggest difference was the essential vitamins and Personal Development. Personal Development Books I've read.

Pictures of how I was feeling that night - I had been crying and tried to be happy and smile. I stayed up crying and getting pretty depressed since the next day was my 30th birthday, and I had no party and didn’t have any plans with any friends since we had just moved to the area. I watched some chick flick, ate some food, and used my Joyful Blend and kept smelling it. It’s a great oil for mood support. It really helped me to calm down again and remind myself that it’s okay.

Maryanne's 30th Birthday4

Within 3 weeks I started to see a difference working on those self care things. I tried to fight the difference, thinking this couldn't be happening. I had calmer, happier days and started to see the blessings. Of course my days haven't perfect. I still have tough days, angry days, but I'm not left feeling hopeless or feeling like a failure. I actually have hope for the future. I can actually picture the amazing things that I want to have happen in my life like owning a house, being financially secure. I couldn't picture anything good before. I was just living to survive.

The differences must have been pretty huge the last couple months of 2014, because in 2015, I was called to be the Relief Society President in my ward of 3-4 months and I also jumped 2 ranks in my business. For those who are not LDS, Relief Society is a women's organization in my church. In my ward, congregation, there are about 125 women. I was really nervous to be taking on such a big responsibility and worried about the pressure since I had just felt like I was getting my act together. I knew that I was supposed to accept this calling though I did ask for support from my husband's family since they are all active in the church just to make sure I could do it.
2015 really has been amazing, with several goals reached from my efforts and not worrying about what other people think. Following my heart has been key to my fight song. In past years, I had been so concerned about what others thought and feeling pressure from them to do what things how they did them. I'm grateful for advice and I hope to continue to take it just as that; not necessarily what's true for me and my family. My family has received major blessings in all areas of life this past year.  We've still had a quite a few challenges, but I again I have hope for the future. I hope to help people find that for themselves, but they have to be willing to put in the work and want to change.

This picture is from January 2015 ---- really showing how amazing I felt that 2015 was going to be! =D

One of the girls part of this movement, and actually one I learned from back at that retreat in May 2014 and she moved into my ward a couple months ago.....share this quote recently. It describes perfectly the changes in my life in this last year.