Spreading Love Despite Mental Illness

An interview with Sara Woods of Sunshine Teas and Catering

Sara Woods spreads love through tea.

Sara Woods has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, major depressive disorder, anxiety and impulse control disorder. She additionally has hydrocephalus and/or chiari malformation that causes her brain have seizures and may explain some of her mental health symptoms. She is the owner of Sunshine Teas and Catering. In this article, she shares her experience with mental illness.

This article does not constitute professional medical or psychological advice.

Sara's story with mental illness

Sara was first diagnosed after she attempted suicide at age eighteen, and has been in countless forms of treatment since. She stated that she stopped seeing mental health professionals after they tried to keep her on anti-depressant medication when she was pregnant, despite her refusal. 

She notes that the hardest thing that she struggles with is despair. Having experienced seven evictions and being often on the verge of homelessness, she knows struggle all too well. She is a strong woman but even so, is not always able to think positively.

How Sara stays strong

Sara notes that reminding herself that she is still alive and that she has to make tomorrow better is one of the things that has been most helpful. She states that she cannot give up, largely because of the love she and her children share, and feels that she owes it to them to continue to try.

Spreading love and care through her business

Sara owns the business, Sunshine Teas and Catering, for which she makes fruit infused crystal elixir teas. She focuses different energies into each tea, such as "peace," "love," "happiness," and "strength," much like Masaru Emoto's experiments which observed the effects of human consciousness on water molecules.

She states, "I want to spread these attributes all around me, and hopefully as we transform the world, it will be a better place and my sadness will disappear." She hopes to do her part to make the world be a more caring place.

Sara's advice to someone struggling with mental illness

Sara's advice to someone struggling with mental illness is to keep pushing. "I have a card on my desk that says 'you are stronger than you think.' " She states that this card reminds her to keep pushing through at times when she feels weak.

Her daughter wrote this card, and it also reminds Sara that she is here for her children.  She notes that her mother gave up on her, her grandmother gave up on her mother, and her great-grandmother gave up on her grandmother.

"I am NOT going to give up on my kids. I am going to push through.  So, that is my advice.. keep pushing through."

About Sara

Sara is a wife and mother of six children: five girls and one boy. She is a tea lover, community organizer, family chauffeur, philosopher, soccer coach, trans-racial adoptee, Deadhead, person of mixed racial heritage, artist, poet, writer who loves to swim, read, and run around with her family.

Check out Sara's blog for Sunshine Teas as well as her blog about her life as a transracial biracial adoptee.

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