I have always been into nature and natural products. Growing up in
the bush meant there was always an abundant supply of it. As a
teenager strapped for cash I would often make my own face product
out of items from the fridge and pantry.
As I got older I became removed from these principles. My late
teens and early twenties saw me abusing my body and health in
epic proportions. Terrible food choices, smoking, and frequent
binge drinking episodes.
2005 was my year! The perfect job. I married the man of my dreams.
And had my own house. Life should have been sweet. Right? But,
with any good story, there is always a twist. I was miserable!
Work had me so stressed and I remember thinking (I may have even said it out loud) – “I just want a break!” And December 2005 I got my break. Yep, the 5th metatarsal on my left foot! The universe has a very twisted sense of humour - as they say, be careful what you wish for!
Shortly after returning to work, I found I was pregnant with my first child. Some think it may be related to the foot injury, but I’ll let you decide that for yourself 😉.
While my pregnancy was “normal”, our little bundle of joy decided to grace us with his presence 2 months early. The emotion surrounding my son’s birth, while having a happy ending is still very raw and I won’t dwell.
So in less than 12 months I had got married, quit smoking, broken my foot, and had my first child! All of this left me with a whopping dose of post-natal depression!
After several months of struggling through, I finally went to see my GP. He got the prescription pad out and popped me on anti-depressants. I will say within 2-3 days of taking them I was like “WOW” I haven’t felt like this in a long time!
So, life churggled along “normally” for a while. I was learning how to be a mum (still am). Hubby and I decided that we didn’t need two incomes. Rock, paper, scissors decided who got to quit their jobs. I won. I think!
All was good until I approached my GP in relation to coming off the meds. He assured me that all was Ok and just stay on them. “You’re doing better”, he said. I decided to come off them by myself. The side effects were “interesting” and dangerous (massive dizzy spells when driving is not a good thing). I pressed the issue with my GP (again) and was given a reduced dose – just to see how I go.
In 2009 I was pregnant with my second child. I was assured by my GP that the dose I was on was safe and I didn’t need to come off the meds. I accepted this opinion at the time but it didn't feel right. After chatting with another mum at the gym, she suggested that I do my own research. Google here I come.
While on my quest for answers about the safety of my medication during pregnancy, I came across a whole wealth of research relating to non-pharmaceutical ways to treat depression. Even though I was told being on a low dose of the meds was low risk to my unborn child, I felt it was a risk I didn’t want to take. And, if I was still depressed (after coming off the meds) I would treat it naturally. As it turned out, by going to the gym and cleaning up my diet (a side effect of gym-going) I no longer felt that there was an issue. I do still battle from time to time as most of us do.
Little did I know that my journey to heal depression had sparked a massive fire inside of me. I had reconnected with my love for all things natural. I started making my own soaps, body scrubs and creams. That Christmas I was given a book on herbs and their uses for culinary purposes as well medicinal uses.
And that was that! I knew I wanted to be a naturopath!
Fast forward several years. Through many hours of study, blood, sweat and tantrums, I am proud to say I now hold formal qualifications in Naturopathy and Nutritional and Western Herbal Medicine. And it was during my time studying that I met Vanessa Wilson. As a practising Naturopath Vanessa mentored me and encouraged me to practice my skills and knowledge in her clinic.
When she rang me with the question of “Have you ever thought about us sharing a clinic?” – I don’t think I even let her get the whole sentence out before saying – Yes!
September 2015, we moved Vanessa's clinic and I had a space to started to building mine at the Astarte Studio. Since that time, we have grown from one small shared consult room to two consult spaces, reception and a shop area.
Every day I am living and working my passion. Surrounded by an awesome group of like-minded supportive women.
Life is sweet. Really sweet!!