Vernon and Tania, a married couple of over 12 years, live in the Atlanta, GA suburbs with their 9 and 11 year old sons. Vernon is an IT Manager and Tania is a former classroom teacher, but now a stay at home mom and a lupus warrior since her diagnosis in 2012. They are also the owners of shoppeblvd.com. Together, they recently decided to open up about their battles with anxiety and depression.
They both lived with depression from their youth, but were unable to express their true feelings because it was a taboo. They continued on with life experiencing anxiety and depression while still having to hide it from family, friends, church members, and co-workers. It certainly wasn’t easy to pretend to be okay at work as an employee or to pretend to be okay in front of their children at home.
Tania experienced post-partum depression after each of her pregnancies. When the deep sadness came upon her, she was simply told it was just the “baby blues”. When the “baby blues” did not go away, Tania felt the pressure to hide again. She did not want to give the impression that she was not a “good enough” mother. She did eventually come out of it with treatment and support from loved ones.
Often, anxiety goes hand in hand with depression and even lupus. For Tania, she has experienced anxiety and panic attacks countless times. Whether at home, social events, activities for the boys, or even on vacations, she has endured the debilitating effects that it had on her. It had gotten to a point where something had to give.
Out of frustration, Vernon and Tania started walking in the evenings to talk through solutions that could help them. They allowed themselves not to focus on the daily stressors of life during those walks. Soon they realized taking long walks in the evening was helping. They were on to something. Exercise! Exercise helped them to reduce anxiety and ease depression. It even helped to alleviate some of Tania’s lupus symptoms. Getting fresh air and spending time outdoors in parks with their children started them down a path of a healthier lifestyle. They soon started eating a healthier diet and practicing deep breathing exercises that they learned from books and other online sources.
Soon, the quest for solutions evolved into discovering life coaches and motivators on YouTube. Their favorites include, Lisa Nichols, Infinite Waters, Tony Robbins, Eric Thomas, Napoleon Hill, Dale Carnegie, Les Brown, and Bob Proctor. These influencers help them with overcoming fear, changing thought patterns and paradigms, gratitude consciousness, healthy eating, meditation, and self-acceptance. Not only are they learning these lessons, but they are also teaching them to their children.
Now, Vernon and Tania have chosen to help in the mission to spread awareness about anxiety and depression. For this reason, they have decided to give 2% of every sale from their ecommerce store shoppeblvd.com to Anxiety and Depression Association of America. ADAA was chosen because of their dedication to help people find treatment, resources, and support to improve the quality of life of individuals with these disorders.
Vernon and Tania have benefited from the information and support provided by ADAA and they want to help ensure others can get the help they need as well. They want you to know that there is help out there and that it is possible to live life fully.
“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.” -Proverb