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How One CBD Company's Legacy Supports Mental Health Awareness

by Kelsy Chauvin

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Thursday July 22, 2021
Originally published on May 26, 2021

The hard fact is that internal darkness is part of being human. Feeling overwhelmed, insecure, lonely, worried — these are challenging emotions. They can be triggered instantly and last a long time, leading down a negative spiral of self-doubt.

Even harder is knowing that emotional pain is common yet isolating. But there are ways to help reframe one's mental state and potentially reset.

For Mike Sill, finding ways to share honest emotions, including the dark ones, is a key to coping with them. Sill is co-founder of Sunday Scaries, a San Diego—based CBD manufacturer that's on a different journey than other CBD brands.

Some people may know "Sunday scaries" as a term describing anticipatory anxiety, the kind that strikes when weekend fun ends. For Sill and company co-founder Beau Schmitt, embracing the Sunday scaries with their CBD's brand name is empowering. It starts with a black bottle and scary font, but the multicolored gummies suggest how hope can emerge from darkness.

From Personal Tragedy to a Positive Mission

Sunday Scaries' roots are deeply personal for Mike Sill. In 2011, his younger sister Julia took her own life at age 19.

"I remember receiving the phone call from my mom," says Sill. "I was just shook, mentally and physically. It was a state of shock. I hung up the phone and just immediately started crying. I was in San Diego and had to drive up to L.A. I didn't even pack anything; I just went straight to the car. I stayed in L.A. for a couple months with my family, and I was wearing my mom's clothes.

"Looking back, me and my family were constantly searching for a 'why.' Why did she do this? We were looking back at her Facebook profile, and she's literally smiling in every picture," he says. "And I think that was the toughest thing for us — that we didn't have any sort of perception into how much Julia was actually suffering, because she was hiding it so well.

"It just sideswiped the hell out of me because I started to think about what other friends I have who might be suffering so deeply inside that they could decide to take their own lives," says Sill.

The emotional damage that followed led Sill to therapy, meditation, yoga and journaling. "Anything you can Google on 'How to make yourself feel better to come out of the internal darkness' — I've definitely tried it, so has most of my family," says Sill.

At one point, he told his older sister Caroline about the funk he was in. "I said to her, 'I feel so alone. I feel like I'm alone in dealing with these feelings.' And she comforted me by saying, 'You're not alone. In fact, I deal with the same thing that you're dealing with, too. I call it the 'Sunday scaries.'"

"Immediately that clicked," he says. "And then I had this insight that it's really quite an enigma: How most people go through [mental and emotional issues], but everybody feels alone in dealing with them.

"So that was the purpose behind Sunday Scaries. We're trying to destigmatize stress and that internal darkness, that excessive worrying that people go through, and let them know that there's a community where they can be themselves — unapologetically themselves."

Building a Community

A friend shared CBD with Sill and Schmitt, and the pair discovered how well the hemp-derived compound improved their sense of wellbeing. They began to rely on CBD as a way to decompress, ease their worries, and reset their equilibrium. By 2017, the duo launched Sunday Scaries as a CBD brand focused on mental health.

In line with its mission, Sunday Scaries products are always THC-free (or "broad-spectrum"), so there's no psychoactive high. Products like the flagship Sunday Scaries CBD Gummies, Vegan AF CBD Gummies, and fruit-punch-flavored CBD oil also include D3 and B12 vitamins, each added to naturally support energy, focus, and balance.

Sill honors his sister Julia every day thanks to his work promoting mental health awareness. He and Schmitt also created a special CBD product in Julia's memory: Sunday Scaries Unicorn Jerky. Each little sugar-coated rainbow flag, sold in 10-piece pouches, contains 10mg of CBD. One dollar of each pouch sold is donated to The Trevor Project, the LGBTQ suicide hotline.

"Our company has this tagline: 'Don't worry, you're not alone,'" says Sill. "We want people to know that they may think they're suffering alone, but they're actually not. As long as you can go out there and find ways to make yourself laugh and to establish connections with other humans, you understand that these problems are very common.

"This mission is our ode to people opening up, and really trying to shine a light on mental health awareness."

If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts or feelings of hopelessness, visit The Trevor Project or call the 24/7 hotline: 1-866-488-7386.

DISCLAIMER: Products are not for use by or sale to persons under the age of 18. Products should be used only as directed on the label. It should not be used if you are pregnant or nursing. Consult with a physician before use if you have a serious medical condition or use prescription medications. A Doctor's advice should be sought before using this and any supplemental dietary product. All trademarks and copyrights are property of their respective owners and are not affiliated with nor do they endorse this product. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Void Where Prohibited by Law.

Kelsy Chauvin is a writer, photographer and marketing consultant based in Brooklyn, New York. She specializes in travel, feature journalism, art, theater, architecture, construction and LGBTQ interests. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @kelsycc.