17 December 2010

Unhappy Holidays

This isn't going to be the happiest of posts and I debated whether to publish it or not. When it comes to our personal lives we tend to scrutinize what it is we choose to share with the world or not. And even though this post is personal, its the type of thing 
I feel NEEDS more awareness, and therefore is the reason I decided to publish it.

So what is it all about? Mental health, my mental health in particular.

It's ironic that most people who meet me describe me as happy-go-lucky, 
always smiling and full of energy. Yes, I am all those things, but never long 
enough for me to believe it in myself. 

I got off all my medicine, medicine I was prescribed for Bipolar 
(Manic-Depression) and BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder)
The medicine was making my life CrAzY and I couldn't find one that worked 
well with my body since I was so sensitive to them. 

The other bit about my health refers to my Adrenal Glands. I've always suffered with Adrenal Fatigue and more pronounced, Adrenal Exhaustion. A recent test confirms that I have entered the 3rd phase, Adrenal Burnout. Adrenal Gland Disorders 
are genetic in my family. My Grandma had one removed because it was tumorous. 

On top of everything, I'm at a point in my life where I want to move out and start 
my own life. At 21, this can be challenging for anyone and it scares me because of how unstable things are for me right now. When I'm happy I feel like I could take on 
the world, superhuman, superwoman. When I'm down, it's rock bottom for me, or it extreme rage and violent black outs. Roller coaster? More like a missile!


Sure, telling you guys this makes me vulnerable, but it's my issues and I choose to work with them than to deny them. It's made me look at my life more sympathetically and to question everything from a health perspective. When I did the mood guest post, I was reading Potatoes not Prozac, a fabulous book talking about the effects of sugar and excess carbs negatively affecting those with mood disorders

Since it's the Holidays, you can be theres been a lot
 of Sugar and Carbohydrate eating going on...

And all this is fine, for the average person. For me, it's poison. Lately i've been rapidly cycling (Quickly alternating from states of highs and lows)... and the anger and rage has gotten to an extremely unhealthy point. With my adrenals burnt out, the effects are heightened, and the need to avoid sugars is so important for recovery

Chocolate and Almond Cookie Brittle

So with the help of my parents and my doctors, I will be switching over to 
a High Protein, Higher Fat, Moderate Carb and Low Sugar Diet
2011 is all about Regaining my Mental Health.

I promise you will continue to see yummy recipes. Hopefully I can find a 
healthier path for myself, one that allows me a smooth transition 
as I move out on my own. I will explain more in the weeks to come.

This post isn't meant to worry anyone, just to help bring awareness and 
a face to Mental Illness. There is way too much stigma and prejudice placed on 
Mood Disorders, to the point where we feel should keep quiet and ignore or deny it. 
But I'm fed up with shutting up! It's time I take a stand!

Thank you for listening and sharing your support. 


Alex@Spoonful of Sugar Free said... [reply]

Thanks for sharing, Kelsey! Just because you share doesn't mean you are vulnerable. In fact, it makes me look at you with more respect :)

I have lots of sugar-free recipes for your new low-sugar diet :)

Also, I received your tea today!!!! Thanks so much, the card was adorable! I am very excited to try the teas!!!!!

Bridget said... [reply]

Hey Kelsey,
Thanks for sharing these personal things about yourself so openly and honestly. It takes a lot of courage to do that :)
I can relate in many ways as I am currently dealing with mood issues. I think I'm going through "rapid cycling" as well, since I tend to be up and then down quickly

Anonymous said... [reply]


Susan said... [reply]

Kelsey, you are so incredibly brave to be writing this post. No doubt your journey has been a challenging on, and will probably continue to challenge you, but the fact that you are taking a pro-active approach to make your life better says a lot about your strength of character!

Hang in there gorgeous girl!

Anonymous said... [reply]

You are such a wonderful person. Thanks for sharing. Is a help for a lot of us.

Don't think of the blog and the recipes. The most important thing is you and your health. We ll read everything you have to say, anyway because you are an interesting girl!

nourishedwellness said... [reply]

Stay strong girl! We are here to support you! <3

Amy B @ Second City Randomness said... [reply]

I'm glad you shared this. It's a powerful post. And you're a strong girl- and know what you have to do. I hope everything gets a little easier for you!

Anonymous said... [reply]

This Youtube video helped me through troubled times. I hope it helps you too :D


Keep on Squirreling!!!

Meg said... [reply]

Best wishes to you, girl! Amen for doing something to better your health! MUCH love!

Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen said... [reply]

This is an amazing post! You are such a smart girl and I love that you are taking control and trying to find a balance. I can't wait to here more about your journey through your diet and life. Thank you for being you! You are amazing!

Monet said... [reply]

Such a wonderful post my sweet girl. Thank you for being vulnerable because your words no doubt bring encouragement and hope to so many others. I've struggled with my own mental issues this year, and I'm currently getting help. I've had to make this my priority, and I'm so glad to see you doing the same. We will make it through this. We will be okay. You are beautiful, inside and out.

Bee said... [reply]

I admire you for being open and talking about mood disorders. I too am diagnosed with bpd & borderline so can completely relate to the rapid mood cycling. Its horrid and I wouldn't wish it on anyone but it doesn't last forever. There will be low times with them good times will follow and I know you are strong enough to come through this :)

You are adorable, brave and thank you for sharing with us readers.


Hayley said... [reply]

I'm so sorry to hear about the rapid cycling and rough transitional period. We've talked before about our common problems...you know that depression is something that has been controlling my life for years, so I understand how awful this must be for you. I definitely believe that diet plays a key role in mental health, and I really hope that by tweaking your eating habits a little, you can alleviate some of the mood swings and stabilize. I have experience with adrenal fatigue as well, and a naturopath made some helpful recommendations for me. I find that a regular yoga practice is helpful (which I know you already do...) Please keep us posted on how you are doing. You know I'm always here for support xoxo

Ilana said... [reply]

I agree with you- the more open we who suffer are about what we're going through, the less stigma there will be. I also have trouble with excess sugar and my mood, and I'm dealing with that right now. Thank you for being open and talking about it - definitely take care of yourself!

Marianne (frenchfriestoflaxseeds) said... [reply]

Way to own that which affects your well being, and I wish you all the best in finding a lifestyle that helps you control or overcome these issues. Bummer that it means missing out on all those holiday treats though!

Chelsea said... [reply]

You are so amazing for not only coping with all this, but also for being so open. I seriously admire your strength girl! <3

Good luck with trying out the new diet. I bet you'll have some fun experimenting with recipes for baked goods you can eat! ;)

Carrie (Carrie on Vegan) said... [reply]

You're an incredible asset to the blogging community and I'm rooting for you to be the healthiest, happiest person you can be. Life is not perfect and I applaud you for being honest and real. Thanks for being a continuing inspiration Kelsey!

Aspiring Steph said... [reply]

Kelsey, I really wish you Good Luck.
I know mood disorders suck...(I often experience depression and etc.)
In fact recently, I've been having these blood sugar problems although I'm eating more than I need to, and I was introduced with "Paleolithic Diet."
Perhaps you could try something along those lines?

Unknown said... [reply]

THis is so real and I admire it. I've been down that path and still am at sometimes. I usually do high protein/fat primal diet. Its helped A LOT! You are one WISE woman and I know you are strong. I know things will even out and we are all here to support each other. :)

Anonymous said... [reply]

hang in there! i eat no sugar except for 1/2 a small piece of fruit daily. some days i don't even have fruit! best of luck with the new things to come!

Jess@atasteofconfidence said... [reply]

Thank you for sharing your story and being real! Good luck with everything, I hope this diet helps you! <3

Anonymous said... [reply]

Awww.. I wish all the best to you on your journey! I can't wait to read about your new adventures in the kitchen and gettin' out on your own. You'll get there soon and it will make all of the effort so worthwhile!

Anonymous said... [reply]

Love this post. Thank you for sharing your story. You are so brave!

zoe (and the beatles) said... [reply]

sending you a massive, massive hug!!!!! i'd like to commend you for your honesty (i'm a big, big, BIG fan of it). sharing personal issues can be incredibly difficult. you're a brave one, kelsey. i wish you all the luck in conquering your demons. and i am with you...sugar makes me an emotional wreck. i'm in the midst of reevaluating my diet, too. i'm so tired of the ups and downs...

thanks again for sharing, kelsey. <333

Emily said... [reply]

thanks for bringing awareness to this important issue, kelsey. many thoughts and prayers heading your way. i think you are also very wise to pursue a lower sugar diet. i hope it is helpful in healing. <3

Katie ♥ said... [reply]


We all have our struggles and life is difficult, I really am sending you lots of good vibes and good wishes for a great 2011, you know Im always here for ya! xoxo

lequan said... [reply]

you are more powerful than you think, Kelsey. just by sharing this with us already makes me respect you so much more. it takes a lot of courage to post something like this on the internet. use that courage to your advantage and try to stay strong. we're behind you.

Tori said... [reply]

I really respect what you're trying to do. It's not easy to talk about that kind of personal problem and especially to tons of people you barely know.

But you seem to have a plan of action, and you're not being stagnant in the situation. You really want to get to a healthier place, and live your life to the fullest. I wish you the best of luck in the year to come and all of the changes you're starting to make.

<3 Tori

Joanne said... [reply]

Thanks for sharing Kels! Until I was "taught" about eating disorders in med school, I never realized how little people who've never had a mental disorder can understand them. After suffering from anorexia, to hear people describe anorexics in such a negative light was so disheartening. People really don't understand how much of a struggle it is to suffer from a mental disorder! So I'm so glad you posted it. Love you girl! I'm so glad you're being proactive about your health!

Anonymous said... [reply]

Thank you for sharing your story, Kelsey. You are a beautiful, strong person whose blog I have always enjoyed reading. I also always appreciate your honesty - what you do is not easy.

Kath said... [reply]

Thank you so much for posting about this! Although I'm not affected by this myself, I know several people who are, and how much they suffer. I very much appreciate that you want to make the step to tackle it by adjusting your diet. I had to do the same (for different reasons) and although it wasn't so easy in the beginning to throw out most sugar (I'm such a sweet tooth!), it was definitely for the better, and I discovered many new thing I like to eat. Out diet will be very much alike - high protein, higher fat, moderate carbs, low sugar: That's what I do, too, and it has worked so well for me! I wish you all the best on your journey!

Krista said... [reply]

You are brave for putting yourself out there and I totally respect that. I hope that you see changes quickly with these dietary changes so that you start to feel more "even". Hugs!!

Jes said... [reply]


Anonymous said... [reply]

I struggle with mental health problems as well, but now that I'm a little older (29) I'm finding what works and what doesn't. I've had similar frustrations over the years with medicines and it is a frustrating process.

I just discovered your blog about a week ago and I love it! Your posts really brighten my day. Thank you so much for sharing your struggles. Mental illness is so prevalent, and stories such as yours helps to decrease the stigma that is often associated with it.

elk said... [reply]

I truly hope you can find what works for you, Kelsey. And I know others have said it above me, but I have to say it too; that I respect your honesty and admire what you doing. Because you are right, more awareness does need to be brought to mental health.

I realise I don't really speak about personal issues on my blog, but it was from reading other peoples' blogs that got me into it, and connecting with some people has really helped. I genuinely appreciate those who put themselves out there.

I don't suffer from bipolar, but an ex and a few of my friends have. It's hearthbreaking, sometimes, and there have been times where I wish I could have known what to do, particularly when I was younger.

You've actually made me want to do some proper indepth research. So, I guess your desire to raise awareness is working :)

sara said... [reply]

i think the feelings you described are far more common than one might think, but not something that many people feel comfortable sharing, or are self-aware enough to realize and put into words. that's why it's so brave of you to talk about your experiences. it does raise awareness and helps others. i hope your new diet plan gives you the results you're hoping for. good luck on this new path!

Anonymous said... [reply]

love you girl. thank you for sharing with us. i feel best when i consume very little to none (white) sugar and processed carbs, and mentally so much clearer and happier when im eating tons of vegetables and healthy fat. as soon as i eat sugar its like a horrible cycle of continuously wanting more and being in an awful nasty mood, especially to others around me who don't deserve it. you are a beautiful and so smart, and i totally support you. there is DEFINITELY a stigma around mental illness, thank you for sharing your story because you are reaching out to so many women who feel the same!!

Anonymous said... [reply]

you have all my respect for sharing with us here your medical problems. I did think alot too about wether I should go public about my colits but I think it is great to have someone as open as you around to helps those who do not find the courage yet to look up to you!
all my love and strength to you kelsey

Tatianna said... [reply]

Oh my gosh! Clearly I DO have catching up to do!
I am so sorry that you are struggling right now Kelsey. No one deserves to be put through such a misunderstood illness. I think it's great that you are being so incredibly open and honest though - a true sign of how hopeful you are.

I can't wait to follow you on this new journey (provided my google reader doesn't pull some magic tricks again)!

Toronto Girl West said... [reply]

You are a brave girl. And you have my prayers. I have no doubt that you will come through this horrible journey and all will be better on the other side! :o)

Missy said... [reply]

Its all good girl...I have been reading and I remember that day the gluten turned you into a monster. You were still a lovable monster!

Hallelujah for keying in to how your body responds to nutrition...so rewarding, right?

Hey -- If you need any help or questions about going no sugar/low sugar hit me up.
My meal plan forbade ANY sugar higher than the fifth ingredient and no flour. I was on it for years.
The junk is EVERYWHERE.
Especially in sugar free stuff.

Sarah (used to be @Gluten-free tries Vegan) said... [reply]

Kelsey, thanks so much for sharing this. Everytime I post something personal on my blog I'm conflicted about it. I'm prone to stress and anxiety and sugar defo makes me worse. But I'm also addicted to sugar - it was such an emotional attachment for me. It's what I seek when I'm stressed, need a hug etc. In 2011 I will join you on eating a low sugar diet.

Thanks so much for sharing. You're awesome, and you will find the way to manage this. I'm not sure if you've heard about Stephen Fry - but he's never taken drugs to control his bipolar and just rides it out and uses the mind over matter approach.

All the best with this new chapter in your journey. Lots and lots of love xxxxxxxx

Kristi said... [reply]

Thank you for posting this. I can't wait to see how your diet affects your mood disorder. I'm on medicince now for depression and anxiety. Maybe seeing how you do with changing your diet will help me. I don't want to be on medicine the rest of my life, and would love to find a more natural approach.

valen said... [reply]

Thanks for sharing! This is a tough time for me as well. I've been avoiding sugars and some carbs for almost a month now. I decided to take a break from sugar because to me it feels like a drug. Like if I plan on eating say a piece of pie, I will scarf it down in 2 seconds, can't get it in fast enough and then I will want more and more. I never used to be this way. And I decreased my carbs to lose some body fat and help gain muscle. good luck

Anonymous said... [reply]

Aww dear girl -- what a powerful woman you are just for posting this. And yes mental diseases are the most masked, the most shied away from. And because of that they never get the attention they are due.

I hope you come out of this journey on the up side ;)

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said... [reply]

I am glad you posted this. You are so honest, and that is what I love about your blog and you :-)

Anonymous said... [reply]

Girl I am so sorry you were/are going through a hard mental time. I dont know if you will remember from an email or not, but I have had my battles as well. Be strong! And be with your friends, they are such good medicine.

Unknown said... [reply]

You are wise beyond your years and such and such a beautiful person! You remind me so much of an old friend that went through similar issues in college. I find myself battling and getting offended by doctors offering any meds to me. But I find it so comforting to find someone sharing what it is like and being so honest to help others not feel alone. I really look forward to reading more and I definitely have to cut sugar because of inflammation so you can really help me out! God blessed me with a new blogger friend!

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