Hey, y’all! I’m Krystal Casey, your everyday American woman – a married, 30-something, hot mess, self-employed mom of (almost) 4 wonderful kids. I was born on an Army base in Germany to teenage parents and spent the majority of my childhood moving all over the USA. You might guess that all the moving was due to being a military kid, and that is what I used to tell people growing up, but the truth is actually WAY more complicated than that.
For the sake of time, we’ll just say my childhood was rough. The basic message that I received almost daily from the age of 2, when my parents divorced, until about 12 or 13 was that I was a “nobody” from “nowhere” who would amount to “nothing” and did not matter. When I entered high school, these messages were often triggered or reinforced and mixed with the message that my only value was in my body, which was violated numerous times over the next 8 years or so.
I was determined from a young age to make a better life for myself & my future family, especially a better home life for the latter. I never wanted to be anything other than a wife and a mother, but I also knew that I had to be careful, confident, and smart in my choices, for I had witnessed firsthand the consequences of making bad decisions. I had also learned that it was not safe to trust people or connect with others. So, I mostly kept to myself and filled my days with school and work.
I was blessed to attend a college-preparatory high school, mostly through the gifts of scholarships and financial aid. It took incredible self-effort, stubborn dedication and consistent hard work, but I graduated with Honors and promptly moved out of the house. Still unsure of a career path, I went on to complete my Associate of Arts degree while simultaneously working 2-3 jobs over the next 4 years. And then my life took the turn I had been praying for – but never saw coming!
I was halfway to my Bachelor’s degree when I re-connected with my soul mate, my on again/off again (7th grade through high school) sweetheart, Aric, who was finishing his service with the U.S. Marine Corps. After a whirlwind courtship, we married and quickly found ourselves in over our heads with the greatest, most frightening job there is – Parenthood!
A struggling young couple, we “temporarily” moved to Oregon when our first baby was just a year old to stay with my mother-in-law while we got on our feet. We never expected to fall in love with this beautiful small town or establish roots and raise our family here. Yet, here we are now: that baby is turning 8 this year and we’ve been blessed with 3 more!
It seemed as though life was finally falling into place for me. After all I had been through as a child, all that I had sacrificed and all that I had worked for… it was actually paying off! I had a loyal, hard-working husband who loves, adores, protects and provides for me. I had my babies, my ultimate dreams-come-true. I had genuine good friends and a support system in my new family like I had never known in my lifetime. But, for some reason, I was still falling apart.
Around the same time that I reconnected with my now-husband, I began seeking treatment for mental health. I didn’t know exactly what was “wrong” with me, but I knew something wasn’t quite right.
When I expressed my concerns to my general physician, he referred me to a psychiatrist who diagnosed me at my very first session with Bipolar Disorder. Over the next 14 months I was a human guinea pig, run though the gauntlet of prescriptions, strong anti-psychotics and anti-depressants that either enraged or sedated me… I saw a number of psychiatrists, psychologists, and hospitals… all with no alleviation of my symptoms, my pain. I was told this disorder was in my DNA and that I would be on medication for life as treatment. Medication, mind you, that WAS NOT WORKING for me. When I became pregnant with my first child, I decided to stop all prescriptions for the safety of the baby. And that is when I discovered holistic wellness and the idea of treating illness by treating the whole person: body, mind and spirit.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF WELLNESS PLAN
Through self-study, I began to make the connection between my past and my present. I started seeing a new therapist who specialized in treating childhood trauma, and after a number of sessions, he diagnosed me with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. No wonder all those medications weren’t helping – I was being treated for the wrong illness! Not only that, but I was learning that there were several things I could be doing at home to help myself heal that no one ever bothered to teach me. Simple things that would make a huge impact, like eating well, working out, getting good sleep, connecting with other people, taking a break and rewarding myself instead of always working, working, working…
Inspired by this new revelation, I wanted to learn everything I could about holistic wellness. So, I began to absorb whatever information I could get my hands on: books, articles, webinars, workshops – you name it! I have spent the past 8 years studying the impact of self-care and human connection on healing and happiness. I’ve been applying these techniques to my life, while simultaneously learning how to raise my family & develop a personal relationship with God. So far, the results have been amazing!
I’ve learned along the way that I am not alone in this struggle of motherhood, marriage, and life. I’ve also discovered the meaning of the phrase, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Now, I want to use this knowledge and experience to encourage other women to connect with one another, achieve their happiness goals.
While I definitely still struggle some days, I’m so much better than I used to be. I’ve been able to start and run a successful direct sales business for the past 3 years while I was developing the idea and business plan for The American Dream Makers and The ADM Studios. During this time I also:
- became a certified Country Heat LIVE! Instructor
- became an ACE Certified Group Fitness Instructor
- became Mental Health First Aid Certified
- graduated from both Parenting Journey I & II
- retained my status as a legally ordained Minister
I may be “nobody” from “nowhere,” but I DO matter… and so do you! Last year our family officially settled down when we moved to our forever home in the country. Now, we are working to establish our family business – breaking the cycle of my past and teaching others how to do the same, to find healing and build the life of their dreams at a new kind of wellness center for women – The ADM Studios. And you’re invited!