House of Oilworx products are so awesome, I’ll pimp them for free.

I’m going to take a step back from promoting my writing and trying to run Lowe’s Home Improvement out of business to do something good for the world in general. This is my very first product endorsement, so let’s see how this goes.

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If you know me, your’e probably aware of two things. If not, buckle up. The first thing is I’ve struggled with Generalized Anxiety Disorder my entire life. The second thing, I strongly believe that marijuana and all of its derivative products are the most compelling proof in existence that not only is there a higher power, it genuinely loves us. Wide-scale hemp production will prove instrumental in helping improve the US’s financial standing, as well as begin to offset the devastating effects of global warming. But, enough about that.

For everyone that hasn’t rolled their eyes and clicked away yet, I could go on and on about the medicinal benefits of marijuana, but everyone already knows what they are. I could also point out that hemp can be used to make everything from cloth to biofuel, but everyone knows that too. So, I’ll just share my personal experience with CBD oil, so anyone out there who relates can find the help I did.

Help from where you ask? From this company, House of Oilworx, based in Minnesota.

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Make with the Clicky.

Let me tell you a little bit about what I was dealing with before I found this oil. Like I said, I’ve always struggled with anxiety. Literally my entire life. A lot of people assume it’s social, but that’s not it. Yes, I’d rather be alone, but only because I’m highly empathetic and other people exhaust me. I’m not afraid to talk on the phone, converse with strangers, or be in a large crowd. As a matter of fact, I provide exceptional customer service. Sure, I come home and sit in darkened silence to recharge when I’m done, but that doesn’t mean I have social anxiety. My aversion to being around people I know and actually like is actually stronger than my aversion to strangers. People I know and like, their connection to me is stronger, therefore so is their draw on my energy.

My anxiety is mostly existential. For example, did you know earth has experienced several extinction events that almost completely wiped out all forms of life? I know it. I think about it a lot. Were you aware that should the planet be struck by a comet or meteor, not only would we be highly unlikely to see it coming, there would be next to nothing we could do to save ourselves? Because I think about it every day. Did you know that there was a sun before our sun?  Yeah, it lived for billions of years, then it died and reformed to make the blazing source of life which hangs in our sky today. Well, what if that former sun had inhabitable worlds around it, and the sun grew to encompass their orbit? You know, just like our sun will do some day. Someday, the sun will eat Mercury, Venus, Earth, and all of our moons. And on that day, every trace of art, music, history, technology, and every single grave of the billions and billions who died before us and who will die after us will be gone. Destroyed. Forever.

Religion won’t matter then, so does it really matter now? Our gods will die with us on that day, provided they ever existed at all, which any reasonable person would question. That’s setting aside the fact that the universal consensus of people who’ve actually died is that there is no life after this one. By their own accounts, they passed into literal Nothingness. So…what’s the point of anything?

This is how I make my co-workers cry.

Those as just the big fears I deal with on a daily basis. I deal with the regular every day fears of generalized anxiety too. Every time I hug a member of my family, I wonder if that’ll be the last time I ever see them. Every time I get into my car, I wonder if this will be the day I’m killed in a traffic accident. Every bite of food runs the risk of chemical contamination, e. coli, salmonella, botulism; hell, even actual poison. While I’m at work, I wonder if my house is burning down with my dogs inside, and then I picture it. Oh so very clearly, I can see them in my mind’s eye panicking, scratching at the door in terror, howling for someone to save them.

Are these thoughts logical? No, but knowing that doesn’t make them go away. And, I can function in spite of them, so I guess I have that going for me. I can work. Cook. Clean. Write. Be in a committed and loving relationship. I can appreciate my family and how very lucky I am to have them in my life right now, in this moment, which is all I really have anyway.

In summary, my demons know they have to attack me physically if they want to get anywhere. There isn’t a part of my body that hasn’t been effected by the constant flood of stress hormones being released from my brain. I suffer from gastric reflux, insomnia, daily headaches, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, chest pains, chronic fatigue, irritability, nausea, and a general achiness that never goes away. At times, my ability to think and concentrate is nonexistent. Finally, when I’ve been spiraling hard for a few days, I get to deal with depression on top of everything else. That’s when it’s the worst, when I know how lucky I am to be surrounded by love, and the greatest family in the world, and I’m still utterly incapable of experiencing joy.

Yeah, I know life is hard. I know everyone has problems. I know I’m far better off than most. Do you know what shaming me for feeling the way I feel when I have no control over said feelings changes? Nothing. Not a damn thing. So…

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I’ve tried two different prescription medications to treat my condition. The first was Paxil, which replaced my anxiety and depression with utter apathy. I started around the time I wrapped up Book Three of the Watcher Series, and I didn’t start working on Book 4 until I finally weaned myself off of Paxil a year and a half later.

Living unmedicated turned my brain into a swirling cesspool of dark thoughts again, which was less than ideal. I went back to the doctor. This time, I was given Doxipin to help with my insomnia. I took it for two days before I threw the entire bottle away. The shiniest example of how the medicine affected me would be the time my husband’s snoring woke me and I slapped the pillow next to his head. I was aiming for his mouth.

But, this story has a happy ending, because I’ve found it. I’ve found a non-habit forming, no side effects so far, not terribly expensive treatment that actually works. It’s completely legal all over the United States, is available without a prescription, and won’t make you pop dirty on a drug test. I can honestly say I feel like a completely different person, like a normal human being, and it is all thanks to CBD oil. No exaggeration, this stuff has been a complete game changer for me.

I’ve been taking it for about two weeks now, and my sense of general well-being has never been this good. Like, ever. With the Paxil, killing my anxiety killed every other spark within me, from my ambition, to my creativity, to my desire to do anything but lay on the couch and watch tv. CBD oil does what I wished Paxil and Doxipin did, as in quiet my fears so I can do something beside white-knuckle my way through every day.

As for my stomach issues, I still have to take my acid reducers every day, but I barely need my breakthrough medicines anymore. My stomach, which used to always be tied in knots, has unraveled and is now just a regular stomach. My appetite even came back, which would be a great thing if I was nauseated from chemo or anorexic or something. I’, neither of these things, so I guess the medicine isn’t perfect. I’m probably going to have to start dieting and exercising soon, so boo. BUT! Thanks to the oil, I think I’ll actually have the energy to do just that.

One of the things I was hoping the CBD would help me with was sleep. It didn’t, at least not right away, which disappointed me. I spoke to the owner of House of Oilworks, and she suggested just giving it a little while. The effects of CBD are cumulative. Or, I could give myself a slightly larger dose in the evenings (full instead of the half dose, which I had been doing). As it turns out, the full dose route was unnecessary. After a week or so, the CBD began to help me fall asleep and stay asleep. I’ve also noticed that my anxiety dreams have pretty much stopped. The last one I remember was from right around the time I started taking it, in which my house was under attack by a herd of Walking Dead. Since then…nothing. Nope, nothing. I sat here a good five minutes and tried to remember if I’ve had any more nightmares since starting the CBD and no. Not that I can recall. So, win!

I chose House of Oilworx for several reasons. First, my friend owns it. Hardly a qualification, I know, but I believe is absolute honesty. Now that CBD is becoming widely accepted as a nutritional supplement to combat afflictions like mine, there are dozens of providers out there. So,what makes House of Oilworx stand out?

In a word; professionalism. The websites are all pretty comparatively priced, but some are more professional than others. Personally, when it comes to the manufacturing of this sort of thing, I prefer to imagine scientists in lab coats sitting in a pristine lab somewhere performing very exacting procedures to ensure their product is top quality. As opposed to, say, some aging hippie in a garage boiling hemp in a dirty stock pot of vegetable oil. I’m sorry, but I am very unashamedly American in my views of who is and who isn’t qualified to handle the substances I put into my body.  When it comes to that, I’m going to have to go ahead and demand the dudes in lab coats, and House of Oilworx does the labcoat thing. My friend partnered with a professional extraction facility, whose products are exceptional.

The owner being a friend of mine aside, the customer service was amazing. After placing our order, the oil got here so fast. She was ready, willing, and able to answer all of our questions and settle all of our concerns.

As for the product itself, I take the oil sublingually, which means I squirt half a milliliter under my tongue twice a day, hold it for a minute, then swallow. In doing so, the effects last all day. I’ve tried other tinctures, which also worked but had a very earthy taste and unsettled my stomach. I’m pretty sure that’s because the other tinctures were alcohol-based, where the CBD oil was not. Finally, it tastes like mint. That’s it. It didn’t burn my tongue, there was no earthiness, and toothpaste leaves a stronger aftertaste than this stuff.

As for the price, I’m looking at around $65 a month to feel like a fully functional human being all the time. Maybe $130, if I break down and get two bottles to do the full dose twice a day, though, at this point, I don’t think that will be necessary.

So, in conclusion, I can’t support House of Oilworx strongly enough. It’s a ground floor business, so I promised I would do everything I could to support its growth, because this place deserves to succeed. When I asked my friend why she decided to invest everything she had into opening this business, she told me, “I tried CBD oil and it saved my life. I decided I wanted to sell it myself, because I wanted to help people.”

Now, so do I. In fact, as soon as I can figure out how, I’m going to put a permanent link to her site on my front page. I believe in this stuff that strongly.

 

Where the hell have I been?

I’ll bet you thought this webpage had been abandoned, didn’t you? That’s extremely fair. I only ignored it for a year and a half, let the paid subscription lapse, and stopped writing altogether for roughly 15 months.  I can see were you might have gotten that impression.

Where have I been? The short answer is I finally got treatment for my anxiety disorder. The long answer; I started taking Paxil, then lost all interest in writing. I got a second low-paying job to supplement the income of my first low-paying job, then I sort of got lost in the endless grind of existence for a few months.

Until, Writer Kate stepped up, then I broke free.

So, hi. I’m Kati. I have social anxiety disorder, which causes occasional depression, and I choose not to treat it. That doesn’t make sense, you say. No, it doesn’t, but hello, anxiety disorder. I don’t want chemicals messing with my already messed up brain. Plus, the meds I’ve tried didn’t help much. Paxil is really just apathy in pill form, and Doxepin made me…a little violent and extremely hateful. Luckily, I didn’t take it long.

Which leaves treating myself with diet, exercise, and a can-do attitude. Unfortunately, I only have one of those things. My diet consists of whatever I can grab, not have to cook, and eat on the run. My exercise regimen is bust my ass at work and home, be constantly on the move, because if I stop at any point, I will fall asleep.

The thing is, I’m a lot luckier than most. I can function outside the home, even though it sucks and I have an awesome support system. I know a few people with the same disorder, or other equally scary mental illnesses, that can’t say the same.

So, what does that mean for my writing? While I was taking Paxil, I still had story ideas, absent any desire to actually write them down.  When I decided, essentially, that writing was more important than my mental health, the need to write came back. I’ve been working on Book 4 in the Watcher series for about 4 months now and I’m getting close to finishing the rough outline. Oh, it’s not a 600 page book, or anything. It’s just coming to me as easily as a Barbie doll giving birth to a 15 pound baby. And, writing another book absent an audience to actually read it is an exercise in pointlessness that pushed me onto the Paxil in the first place.

Who’s fault is that? Oh, it is 100% my fault. I wrote those books, published them, then never, ever looked at them again. The very idea of talking about my books with other people triggers a mini panic attack.  I don’t have a publisher or literary agent to back me up, so building an audience was supposed to be my job. I dropped the ball off a cliff.

So, here’s my dilemma. How do you build a social media presence when your mental predisposition is to keep EVERYONE at bay? It kind of feels like being on the bomb squad. If you’re successful, nothing happens. If you screw up, everything blows up in your face.

I am a wife, and I love being a wife. I’ve got 23 years experience at it. I used to do it professionally, until the economy tanked. I can talk to other people about being married, and I know I could give them good advice.

I am a mom. I absolutely love being a mom. I could talk to other people about what it’s like to raise kids in this world.

I am a writer. I could talk about writing all day,  and I like helping people with the stuff that they are writing. I offer a second pair of eyes and give honest feedback, which is essential for any artist.

I also have social anxiety and generalized anxiety disorder. It affects every aspect of my life. It drains me mentally, it affects my physical health, my ability to think clearly at times, and severely limits my social interactions. And so, this thing that I’ve kept hidden for the most part from everyone I know is the part of me that everyone needs to see.

There are a lot of people like me.  They’ve been made to feel ashamed. They’ve been told that there’s nothing really wrong with them. They get accused  of making it all up, or of acting out for attention.  So,  they’re the ones that need my help. Even if it’s just me changing the way I do things, to show them they’re not alone, and that it is possible to do the things that freak you out. Maybe, in the long run, doing those things will help you.

Because I’m broken, not useless.