How The Chamomile Queen Came To Be
I’m Anya, a small business owner, graphic designer, illustrator, and proud pitbull mama. I have moderate/severe depression, generalized anxiety disorder, OCD, and as of about 2 years ago, a panic disorder. On top of that, my stomach and I have been battling it out for over a decade with consistent and unexplained bouts of heartburn, acid reflux, and nausea.
I’ve spent YEARS feeling like my body hated me, like we were on two sides of a war no one could win.
But I reached a real tipping point about two years ago when I started having panic attacks every, single day. I had spent a few years at that point managing my depression with running, medication, and with the help of my fur baby, Blueberry. Here I was, happy and thinking I was in a great place, when I was blindsided with my first panic attack.
Needless to say, it was devastating. After all my hard work and progress, I was back-sliding all of the sudden—quickly and without any apparent way to get back on my feet. I getting dangerously close to rock bottom, so I started meeting with a psychologist and psychiatrist, and added a second medication to my daily routine for my anxiety and panic attacks. The therapy helped some and the meds did get me to a more stable place mentally, but they made me so fucking tired. I would sleep a full 8 to 9 hours a night and still need a 2 hour nap during the day to function. Not to mention it made running nearly impossible, which was one of my methods of coping with me depressions. I was feeling better and worse at the same time.
To make matters worse, my stomach problems had not only escalated, but my doctor and gastroenterologist couldn’t help me. After several expensive tests (that I couldn’t afford) I was told: 1) I, as a young and “healthy” woman in my 20’s, shouldn’t be having the stomach problems of “an overweight, middle-aged, white, male”; 2) there doesn’t seem to be anything really wrong with me; and 3) take Prilosec from the symptoms.
Take another medication? Uh…no.
It's coming up on the year anniversary of my first panic attack and I’ve had lots of people offer me numerous band aids for my collection of mental and physical health problems, but no one can ever tell me the causes of my struggles—no one can tell me why I am in a constant battle with my body.
Now, where things take a shift…
I started listening to a new podcast a few weeks back about creative business development and one of the first interviews was with a woman who created a supplement to help others with severe period symptoms after her own experience with doctors trying to band aid her symptoms. Instead of taking a hormone pill as suggested by her doctor, she got to the core of her medical problem and found a more holistic way to solve it. Not only did her period symptoms clear up, but she found that other problems she was having did too.
This had me thinking…maybe I’ve been going about this all wrong? Maybe my mental and physical health struggles aren’t separate matters, but rather symptoms of one core problem. My body has been telling me there was something wrong, something it didn’t like, and each time I didn’t listen a new or worse symptom would pop up. My body hasn’t been battling me, it’s been trying to communicate with me.
So, this brings us to today and The Chamomile Queen. I’m taking a new approach to my mental and physical health—one that is holistic and focuses on listening to my body instead of fighting her. I’m exploring herbalism, meditation, yoga, nutrition, and other more natural approaches to healing my body as a whole. And, because I’m sure there are so many of you out there like me who are tired of band aids are also trying to find better ways of healing, I have started this blog.
I want to share my experiences with you: what does and doesn’t work for me, the ups and downs, gains and losses, and my thoughts throughout the process.