It was God's plan. We are just the vessels being used to do His work. Simple Matters is about going back to living our lives the way God intended us to, a sort of "regressive evolution" involving the products and foods we put into our bodies, as well as the way we live our lives from day to day.
I (Kristin) was at my tipping point; a perfect storm was brewing and I was about to get caught in the middle of it. Little did I know, it was all part of His plan and it was going to change our lives for the better....but it wasn't going to be easy.
I had given all that I possibly could to my family and friends, but it wasn't enough and it never seems to be. Physically, emotionally, and spiritually I was barely holding on to what little was left of my will to keep going. I did all that I could to put up a front and be strong for my family. Fast, easy meals with little to no nutritional value was the norm and so was my inability to get a good night's sleep. I had been breastfeeding Brielle for 2 1/2 years at this point but now, my body was broken.
I had made the choice to breastfeed all of my children as long as I possibly could because I wanted for them what I felt was the best start to life that I could give them, but it came at a cost to my own health. My body was depleted of the necessary vitamins and nutrients that I needed to keep going and I wasn't replacing them fast enough or with healthy enough food to keep up. I was averaging 4 to 5 hours a night of broken sleep, far too few to manage a household, a family, and relationships being pushed to the limit.
On an emotional level I was overwhelmed and on a spiritual level I was lost. Overwhelmed with an array of emotions that I could no longer control and a relationship with God that I no longer relied on, my mind and my spirit were broken.
The first sign that something was terribly wrong occurred on January 22, 2016. At 2:30 in the morning I was woken to my heart pounding through my chest along with a sense of confusion and despair. What was happening to me?!! I was terrified. I woke up my husband Randy and he got our blood pressure machine out that I used during my pregnancies. We took my blood pressure and I couldn't believe my eyes, 210/140. The highest recorded reading I'd ever seen before that night was in the 140/95 range.
We had Randy's family staying with us and we didn't want to wake them or cause any concern from them. Once again, I had to pretend like I was okay knowing deep down inside that I wasn't. Randy had lost his job earlier that week at a company that he had given everything he had to. I witnessed the sacrifice, dedication, and hard work he endured there in order to provide for our family. He felt betrayed and I felt it for him; it was all I could think about at the time and it was probably my tipping point; the storm had just begun.
Over the next few months, I endured so many different physical health scares that not even doctors understood them or why they were happening to me; they simply couldn't help. As my health worsened, my emotional state became unlike anything I've ever experienced and there were no answers for it. We found ourselves in more doctors offices over the next few months than I had been in the prior 38 years. I had lost almost 40 pounds in less than a month and no one understood why, no one could help, and all I could do was endure what I can only describe as a living hell with no way out. I couldn't eat, I could hardly sleep, and I couldn't be alone for the fear of what I would do to myself. My blood pressure spiked to levels that even alarmed my doctors and cardiologist; I was in the middle of one of the worst storms I could ever imagine and I felt all alone inside. I knew I couldn't give up, my daughters needed me and I wasn't going to let them grow up without a mother. God had other plans for me, I just had to trust in Him and have faith that He would pull me through. He did and it has completely changed my life.
One of the first things I remember doing that gave me any sense of hope during my darkest hours, was pray. I knew that God had never left my side, it was me who pretended that He wasn't there. As I started to repair and improve my relationship with God, my physical symptoms began to subside and I was left only dealing with the emotional and psychological components of this sickness, mainly anxiety and depression.
There were a couple of months where out of desperation for relief I was seeing a psychiatrist and taking prescription medicine (benzodiazepines) to help me cope with my anxiety and depression. However, the pills only worked temporarily and I could feel my emotions being masked by these drugs. I had to find a way to attack the source of my emotions and not just cover them up with a "Band-Aid." For weeks I was just going through the motions, having felt no love, no joy or happiness, not even anger, nothing. I was numb but somehow that made me feel even more depressed than I had felt before I started taking these pills. I had to do something different because I felt I was getting worse.
I was first introduced to essential oils by a friend, Robin, who gave me some bath salts with a popular essential oil blend for stress. I didn't know much about essential oils but Robin suggested I try them because they had helped her in the past. Immediately after using these salts in my bath, I felt balanced and normal again. I remember going to bed that night with hope that there might actually be a time where I would be back to feeling like myself. Even though I went back to struggling with anxiety and depression, when I used essential oils, I at least had a temporary reprieve from the roller coaster of emotions I was otherwise experiencing.
After being introduced to essential oils, I asked a lot of the same questions you're probably wondering about now. What are essential oils? How do they work? Why have I never heard of them before? Do they really work? Which ones do I need? How much do they cost? My husband experienced the power of these essential oils through me, and we both decided to dive into researching and getting to know all that we could about them so that one day we could use them to help others.
Through a friend, I was introduced to a multi-level marketing essential oil distributor. It was through her that I developed an urge and will to use essential oils for not only my own benefit, but to those who may be going through what I was. My initial thought was to make bath salts and lip balm infused with essential oils that would make people feel better, the same way they helped me, but God had bigger and better plans for us.
A few months into my ordeal, I met a church elder and incredibly talented Christian Counselor, Jean Bringol (Link) whom I started seeing. This was part of what I needed at the time, someone other than my husband to talk to and help guide me through my emotions. It was through Jean that I was referred to Dr. Jason Albracht, a chiropractor and advanced nutrition practitioner (Link) who practices and believes in holistic and natural medicine. For me, Jason was a godsend; he developed a "map" of where I was emotionally, physically, and energetically and how he was going to get me to where I needed, and was supposed to be. From that point forward, I've continued the improvement in my health and state of mind thanks to Jason's knowledge and experience. Over a year later I can honestly say that if not for Jason Albracht and his practice, I wouldn't be where I am today.
This entire experience has completely changed the way we think, the way we eat, the products we use in our home, as well as our faith and relationship with God. It is from this experience that I felt the calling in my heart to use it to help others with the knowledge and information I learned along the way.
Simple Matters was born from a trial in my life that turned out to be both the worst and best things that could have ever happened to me. We now use the hashtag #PainToPurpose on everything we can because it means so much to me to be able to teach others what I feel helped me get through my experience. We've read about and know of several people who have been through what I went through, but it took them in some cases several years to find and get the help they needed......some never do.
My prayer is that those people experiencing depression, anxiety, mental health related issues, and a need for spiritual wellness will find that it isn't something to be ashamed of, that so many are going through it and in need of the same help they are. When I was sick, some people didn't understand what I was going through. In fact, I had both friends and family that simply didn't believe that I was as sick as I was. "Aw, she's just being dramatic" or "she's just looking for attention" and the infamous "we're enabling her if we help" were some of the remarks made by those whom I trusted and thought I could turn to when I needed them the most. It was the "strangers" at Church, neighbors I hardly knew, and acquaintances I had met in the past that turned out to be my biggest supporters. Many people will turn their backs on you when you need them the most, but what I've learned is that people are afraid of the things they don't understand. Because there is a social stigma attached to anxiety, depression, and "breakdowns," people are afraid to discuss them or get involved. When you're going through something like this, you need love, support, prayer, family, friends, and most importantly, your faith in God to get you through it.
Our purpose through our company, Simple Matters, is to provide support, education, and products that we know can help you as much as they did me and my family. We've also launched our official blog website, www.paintopurpose.com where we get much more involved and detailed in the products, lifestyle changes, and day to day topics that we feel will be most beneficial to the people that need help.
Also, in coming blog posts, I will discuss the things that I've mentioned in more detail that I feel have helped me get to where I am today: prayer, exercise, essential oils and related products, proper diet, and natural/holistic medicine. God gave us everything we'll ever need right here on this Earth (Revelations 22:2), it's our job to use it properly for our own good.
Don't be afraid to email us questions about my story, your own experiences, things that helped you, product questions, comments, and so on. We'd love to hear from you and we hope that my story will serve as an inspiration to those who may be experiencing what I went through or similar; what doesn't kill you can only make you stronger!
Until then, love yourself, love your neighbors, and may God bless you!