My mental health journey should be preceded by a trigger warning as I’ve struggled with a lot of intense things that may bring up others demons. I’m a 20-year-old entrepreneur still attending college at Brigham Young University. I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety since high school, but growing up my dad was a “crying won’t fix things” and a “cowboy up” kind of guy. So I was under the impression that emotions were a sign of weakness.
It was for that reason that I tried to just power through and never said a word to anyone until my freshman year of college where the perfect storm arose and I couldn’t take it anymore. I was in a long distance relationship with my toxic high school sweetheart, struggling to live on my own by working and doing school full time without letting anyone down.
My best friend was a fellow male student named Kamaron who saved my life one night when I was ready to literally give up on life. I was disappointed in myself and filled with self loathing. (Although in hindsight I had no reason to be as I was doing quite well for myself). I texted him my last good byes while he was in a Calc class and he immediately stood up and started running with his backpack full of textbooks to my apartment- texting me all the while, because if I was texting my explanation, it meant I was alive.
He eventually arrived, much to my surprise. He sat with me in my living room, watching me like a hawk for 36 hours until I came to my senses and decided maybe things could get better. Being the supportive friend he was, he encouraged me to seek counseling where I was diagnosed with Pure O OCD.
It’s a strange little subset of classic OCD where the compulsions are all mental and physical manifestations are minor, but the obsessive thoughts and tendencies are much more intense and much darker than its standard counterpart.
It often goes undiagnosed because no one can see it from the outside and the one suffering fears judgement if they share the intrusive thoughts that haunt them. After this diagnosis I was prescribed an anti-depressant/anti-anxiety to combat the disorder and I became a much happier more functional person, just for my mental health to be challenged again.
The aforementioned toxic high school sweetheart I was dating at the time was becoming increasingly more jealous, possessive, and demanding. I realize now that because of the dependency on him for support as I battled my OCD, he had come to expect a level of complacency that could be easily manipulated into whatever he desired: the epitome of emotional abuse.
However, in hindsight I thought that all could be rectified if I just went to visit. It was on this visit that my worst fears were realized. He sexually assaulted me and I felt blindsided. I should have seen it coming, but I didn’t. This was finally a big enough wake up call to terminate the relationship, but it was all so traumatizing, I eventually ended up in therapy again with PTSD. Kamaron continued to be the most supportive person I’ve ever met and so our friendship became a little more and he eventually became my husband.
As I was recovering from both the final event and the emotional abuse leading up to it, he encouraged me to believe in myself and chase my dreams- including one of starting my own company. My parents told me that I needed to “focus” and the business would only take away from my ability to perform in school. My friends told me it was “financially unwise.” I suspect my ex would have told me that I “wasn’t allowed.”
My husband told me I had a great idea, a great mind, and if anyone could do it I could, so I began to encourage myself to prove them all wrong, to prove that I was enough exactly how I was and how I wanted to be. Because of my history, I was determined to bring comfort to all the women I could reach.
We often times feel alone and sometimes the world makes us want to be alone, but it’s when we are alone that we have the least comfort by our side. I wanted to fix that. Society also condemns us for our nature, painting our emotions as volatile (which even when they are, is perfectly fine) or hormonal, so we pretend that we are better than that, when in reality it’s those two things that make us beautiful bosses!
I decided to attack those taboos head on. I wanted my company to promote the emotional chaos we sometimes feel and to normalize menstruation whilst providing comfort to women when they struggle. Enter Ovary Reacting. We’re a snack focused brand, because in my experience, it’s the best comfort you can find when people aren’t there for you or you need alone time.
We’re a monthly subscription box, so that you are always prepared for your period and can worry about taking over the world or watching Netflix and stuff. (Trust me, you can do both and I wholly support it.) We have all inclusive options. Post-menopausal or use a Diva Cup and still want snacks?
Try our Mouthful Package, it’s just a customized box of comforting snacks! Still got Ol’ Aunt Flo to deal with? Try The Works. Both the snacks AND your pads/tampons are customized to your preferences.
Trying to eat clean while you indulge your period cravings? Check out the Garden Temple package! It also has an option for organic pads/tampons if you’re concerned about chemical exposure.
Do you sometimes forget you’re a queen? Let me remind you with a Pamper Package, filled with make up samples, bath bombs, face masks, etc. and STILL get the pads/tampons and snacks from the other boxes.
Whatever your needs, I got you, so let me send you a comforting chocolatey hug. Since I LOVE this blog’s mission to promote mental health among amazing women like you and me, I’m offering 5% off any subscription with a 3+ month prepay using the code GIRLPOWER, but since I know some of you ladies are living on a tight budget we also have a FREE digital 2020 Planner with inspirational quotes and period tips.
Our website is https://ovary-reacting.cratejoy.com/ but if you ever just need a friend to talk to or a fresh set of eyes on something, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, find Ovary Reacting on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and MeWe, or message me, Cici Woods, personally on Facebooks.
Love you all and have the best holiday season!