I Am NOT A Total Wreck (Healing from Anxiety and PTSD)

OK – THIS is beyond amazing. I am NOT a total wreck!!!
First, a little back story (and by “little” I mean make a cup of tea and relax, this might take a minute).

On September 5th 2017 I gave birth to our youngest child via C-section. It was a Tuesday. A typical hospital stay after this type of major surgery is a minimum of 3 days. However, with Hurricane Irma heading our way I checked out of the hospital on Thursday Sept 7th, 48 hours after surgery. While Eric (the hubster) was boarding up the windows on our house I was packing bags and, bent over at 90 degrees to keep my surgery site ‘protected’, was loading luggage into our mini van to evacuate. We loaded our three kids and my mother into the van and started driving in the late afternoon.
Our baby’s first “crib” was our cousin’s sock drawer lined with towels up in Gainesville, where we stopped to rest that night on our way to Georgia. We couldn’t fit the rock n play in the van to take with us so we just had to improvise.
Our beautiful baby spent most of his first few days of life strapped into a car seat. We pulled over often to hold him, feed him and change him but then strapped him back in to keep driving. I pumped breast milk from the front seat of the mini van. We struggled to find gas as most of Florida evacuated in the only direction available to get out of the state, North.
I had an allergic reaction to the medical silk tape they had used on my surgery site and, consequently, was covered in large open blister burns all over my belly. I had to clean them and change the dressing in public restrooms.
We cleaned baby bottles and pump supplies with boiling water from gas station coffee machines. When we could find an open gas station that is.
We made the entire thing seem like an adventure to our two older children (ages 5 and 3 at the time) as we tried to protect them from the trauma of the reality we were in.
Restaurants were closed. Hotels had no rooms. Traffic was bumper to bumper in some places.
On Friday we stayed in the home of a friend in Helen, Georgia. Then we had to leave that location because it was rented to someone else. So, then we went to the home of another friend’s friend. The hurricane hit land in the panhandle of Florida and weakened but headed straight to Helen, Georgia. On Sunday the power was out indefinitely as trees were down all over the remote area we were in and had knocked down power lines. I had to pump in the van with the car adapter charger. 
With no power we made the decision to head back home. So, we loaded everyone back into the van and started driving once again. 
While driving we booked a hotel room online at about the mid point in our drive home. When we arrived at the hotel at around 10pm on Monday the hotel was booked. The online system had been booking rooms they did not have available. Everything was sold out. With no available hotel rooms within a few hours of our location we decided to drive through the night to get home. We arrived at around 7am on Tuesday morning. Again, stopping often to hold, feed and change our new born baby.
We arrived home to a neighborhood with no power and two refrigerators and freezers full of spoiled food. FULL of all the food I had bought and prepped ready to come home to with a new born baby.
Thankfully my mom’s place still had power so we went there for a little over a week until our power was back on, the refrigerators and freezers were cleaned out and we could all, comfortably, move back in.
The entire week felt like a post-apocalyptic zombie movie.
I was in total shock at the circumstances of the entire week.
I was not ok. Once home I had a hard time leaving the house. I sat on the couch a lot. I didn’t want to see anyone or talk to anyone. I was scared all day long.
It took me about 8 weeks to feel like I could go to the store or run errands. It took me months to be able to work my part time job the full 20 hours a week.
I was struggling with anxiety and PTSD.
One year later, I thought I was doing ok. I was wrong.
I remember the day I looked up at the TV and saw the spaghetti model for Hurricane Michael. It was the first hurricane of the 2018 season. I remember seeing that image on the screen and then couldn’t leave the house, or the couch for that matter, for a little over a week. The panic and fear was heavy. I relived every moment of our ordeal the year before over and over again every day. It was paralyzing. I felt like a total wreck.
Two Mental Health Therapists, a Physical Therapist, a Naturopath Physician and many herbs and supplements (aka thousands and thousands of dollars) later and I was doing much better, but still not as calm and peaceful as I wanted to be. On an anxiety scale of 1 to 10 I had made great progress and my anxiety was reduced from a 8-9 daily to a 2-3. And then…..COVID! Anxiety was creeping back up and I was “self medicating” with alcohol. Lots of alcohol. As I drank more wine I gained more weight. This was not how I wanted to look or feel. 
And then I decided to give hemp CBD oil a try. The Full Spectrum kind that has a tiny bit of THC in it (and by “tiny” I mean 0.3% THC, it’s a minuscule amount). I started using it about 2 weeks ago now. I am so much calmer, less overwhelmed, more focused, better rested and more energetic. I knew I was feeling great. But I didn’t know just how great until about 20 minutes ago.
There is a tropical storm warning as a big storm heads in our general direction. The spaghetti model images are strewn all over my social media feed and we are smack in the middle of them all. And, I am having no emotional reaction to these images or the fact that there could be a major storm heading our way. No rise in heart rate, no tears, no panic, no overwhelm, nothing. Nada.
I feel grounded. I feel prepared. I know that we will be fine, no matter what.
It’s been almost 3 years of battling. Almost 3 years of feeling like I was living in an episode of The Walking Dead inside my mind. 3 years of wondering if I was going to have a good day or a bad day where I’d be stuck on the couch with negligible productivity.
I started my path to healing in November of 2019 with the amazing results I got from herbs and supplements but this past two weeks have been the finishing touches to my journey. Introducing the Envoi Botanical hemp CBD oil was exactly what I needed as a last leap to feeling more like ME than I have in years. I do not feel like a wreck. Not one bit. Not even at all. Quite the opposite. I feel connected, grounded and capable. I feel really good!
Keep working towards health you guys. DO NOT GIVE UP! We are designed to be vibrant and energetic beings. You can get there! Connect with your self, listen to your body, get help, invest your money in your health even if it means you have less material belongings. Health is waaay better than a designer purse or a new couch.
I’d LOVE to help you. If you’d like to talk and get some guidance let’s hop on a call and talk about YOU and YOUR health. I’m available. Schedule your call HERE.


  • Thanks for sharing your story Gemma! It’s comforting to know someone else has similar anxiety and that there’s hope! I’ve been dealing with anxiety for 15 years. I was diagnosed with cancer at age 39, the day before I delivered my third son, and lost my mom unexpectedly 3 weeks later. I recently started using CBD too and feel calmer and more rested. Take care!! ?

    • Patty – sweet mama. I am so sorry to hear about your struggles. Bless your heart and soul. I am so glad you are getting amazing results with CBD too. What CBD brand is your favorite 🙂

      • Gemma, I have only used Envoi Botanicals for CBD. Because of being a cancer survivor I’m very careful of what I put in and on my body in order to limit toxins. I totally trust Envoi as they follow strict guidelines from start to finish!

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