My Experience at Alternative to Meds Center

I’m in my second to last quarter of naturopathic medical school! As part of my program, I am to complete some hours doing preceptorships (kinda like internships) with other naturopathic doctors. I’m going to focus a lot of my practice after school in mental health so I decided to preceptorships at Alternative to Meds Center in Sedona, AZ. Its an inpatient program specializing in treating mental illness and addiction with integrative medicine. I posted a link to my blog post about my experience in the as well as my interview. It was cool! Enjoy ūüėä

Can’t hardly believe I’m almost done. I’m ready!

A New Chapter

I started this blog in 2009 to help other people who were also going through OCD.  Turns out in writing these posts I learned how to accept myself.  I felt so much support that I wanted and was fortunate enough to give a TEDx talk about just how healing it is to share your story!  I kept trying and in the end it was ACT and naturopathic medicine that helped me to heal emotionally, physically and spiritually.  And although I think of my OCD as a thing that ended years ago, I feel just as passionate about helping others get out of that box as ever.

So, while my blog posts are from years ago, I hope you still find comfort in knowing you are not alone. ¬†It’s not easy, but it will get better!

It’s time for me to help in a new way. ¬†And that’s what is frustrating, is I’m not a doctor YET! ¬†Soon enough, I will be and I am so excited to be able to share this medicine! ¬†You’ll be the first to know! ūüôā

In the mean time, I will be posting more on instagram: EatAWholeTree

Stay strong!


The Good Things about OCD

For a change, let’s talk about the good things that come with mental illness that may not shine through often, but make us unique. ¬†YES! ¬†I swear they exist, and sometimes those qualities are the very reasons that keep us out of treatment, because we don’t want to lose them. ¬†The key (easier said than done) is to aim for¬†healthy and let go of the not -so-great stuff so each day we can try to be a better version of who we are.

Here goes:

  1. Intense Emotion: Sometimes, and often it all just feels “too much!”, but then other times, isn’t it pretty cool¬†to feel something so strong just like it was new? ¬†I can get so excited over simple things just as I can get anxious over seemingly nothing, but when I have those joyful moments, it’s fun.
  2. Empathy: This skill is special.  It hurts, but when we learn to manage the double-edge sword, then it can be amazing for us and those close to us to feel a sense of understanding.
  3. Passion: “Overwhelmed” is a great way to describe it when emotions are¬†on a roll, but the good news is we don’t have to look far for passion.
  4. Creativity: Finding our own ways to work within our brains to treat our conditions requires true creativity.  I also love to make art and see art.
  5. Insight & Awareness: We get really good at feeling the ground shake well before the invasion because we have experienced it so many times before.  We have real insight into some heavy emotions because of our painful pasts.
  6. Intelligence: Yep, there are studies that demonstrate a link between higher intelligence and mental illness.
  7. Compassion:  This was not a given for me, but once I practiced, I developed a skill I now use all the time in a positive way.  Showing compassion to myself, other people, animals and the earth is special.
  8. Obsessive thinking/Analysis: Mostly awful, but I think that sometimes the reason I can follow through with a task and not lose interest for a long long time is because of my tendency to latch on to an idea.
  9. Persistence:  We have a lot of practice at not giving up!
  10. Impulsivity: This one can be dangerous, but when it is harnessed, then impulsivity can become adventure!

Stay strong!


I started this blog as a way to figure out OCD and beat it. ¬†I wanted to connect and help others share in a collective voice so we could feel a little less alone.¬†¬†That is still my priority, which is why I took so long to write this because so much has changed and I didn’t know how to take it. ¬†Here goes.

A year ago, I gave a TED talk which was amazing!  I left the stage to be treated by a psychologist from Harvard.  She said that she didn’t think I had OCD.  Ugh…..WHAT??

No, she thought I had OCD, but another more umbrella style diagnosis to account for the symptoms that never went away. ¬†It’s true, I never ended my talk with “happily ever after” but that was never the point. ¬†My OCD cleared up, but my self-harm, fear of rejection, lack of sense of self, intolerance of¬†intimacy, and substance abuse were just as bad as ever. ¬†After a lengthy¬†talk she referred me to a therapist in town for a full evaluation, and for the third time, I got¬†diagnosed with something just as stigmatizing as¬†OCD…

Borderline Personality Disorder.

Except it made sense this time. ¬†Not good. ¬†I had seen enough movies to know how everyone saw the “psycho borderline girl”. How could I tell anyone? ¬†Who would ever date me? ¬†How can I write my blog now?

So, I completed a year of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and I feel ready share it.  And although it was a surprise, it made too much sense, just the way OCD made sense when I was diagnosed.  I am a whole lot of diagnoses, but a lot else too.  But the truth is that I have come a long way, and after getting the right treatment, I feel better.

My OCD is mostly asymptomatic, self-harm is not in the picture, fear of rejection is in a healthy perspecitve, and intimacy is now comfortable. ¬†That’s right! ūüôā

I love this blog because I still strive to nurture a space where people with OCD and anxiety can participate in a voice, and feel a little less lonely.  I have some topics I am eager to discuss like POCD and maybe even Borderline, and happy to make a video about anything anyone else wants.

Stay tuned, but more importantly, stay strong ūüôā