I don't have it all figured out. Actually, I'm dealing with depression.
I was supposed to launch the #atwildwoman fall collection today. I haven't even made one piece for it.
The editorial schedule says I'm supposed to publish a blog post this week on "going BIG". I can't write it.
My Instagram followers have grown a lot recently after Tiny House, Tiny Footprint ran my interview. Little did everyone know, the day it was published I was crying and couldn't get off the sofa.
I'm not embarrassed to say this, but I'm hesitant. I'm worried you'll think I'm whining. I'm worried you'll leave. I know the truth under it all isn't about numbers or success, but the need for love. To be loved. Because when people unfollow or unfriend, it feels personal, like they are un-loving you. But that's just not true.
So if it's is too much, if you don't want to read about this, if you have something negative to say.. you're welcome to go.
If you're still here, I want to tell you. Because every time I receive a comment like "You are everything I want to be" or "What a perfect life" or "You seem to have it all figured out", first, I am so flattered. And then I want to say "Noooo! Don't be fooled. Not everything is as it seems."
Truth: I've been dealing with depression and anxiety.
(You won't believe how many times I tried to rewrite that statement.)
I have been dealing with these symptoms, off and on, for the past five years. It comes and goes in waves. Certain situations exacerbate it.
Like, say, living in a van by myself for five months.
This week I woke up in Boulder, Colorado in the middle of a month-long house sit when the weight of intense, built-up emotions from the trip came crashing down.
It felt like the universe saw me standing still for a hot second and was like, "Here ya go, here's all this crap! Good luck."
Today I feel like I am sitting at the bottom of a very big, steep mountain, and I don't want to climb it. I don't even want to put on shoes. I want to go back to bed and never have to make another decision again.
It isn't all dark, though. I smile every time I take my new pup, Dewey, for a walk or watch him awkwardly leap onto the sofa. I laugh at Internet memes and in conversations with funny friends. But when all of the external stimulation ceases, and it's just me, I feel paralyzed.
I find myself wishing I could be one of those girls who has big, exciting plans and "everything figured out". But I'm not.
And honestly, I don't think anyone is always that girl.
We all have our moments. Clarity and confusion. Thrill and dread. I'm sure many of us have struggled with some form of depression or anxiety at some point.
For me, the struggle comes when I am not in my body, and consequently, not in the present moment. When I stop taking care of myself and get too much in my head, it only goes downhill.
I'm not sharing this because I want sympathy. No. I want you to know that if you're struggling, you're not alone. I've said it probably a thousand times, and I'll say it again — nothing is just as it seems.
Suicide rates in the U.S. are increasing across the board. Disturbingly, in girls ages 10-14, it's tripled. I have to suspect this has something to do with social media (along with media in general) — its omnipresence and pressure to be perfect, positive, cool, collected.
I don't know the answer, but I want us all to be happy, healthy, and honest. I want to create a space where we can be real with each other. Knowing I'm not alone has been one of my greatest reliefs.
There is nothing to be ashamed of. There is nothing wrong with you. Just like we take care of our bodies, we also need to take care of our minds. What does this look like to you? Therapy? Meditating? Sharing with a friend? Exercise? Seeking further professional help?
Okay, let's start there.
This is definitely not the last you'll hear from me about this. I feel called to share about this and will again. Until then, stay safe, and take care of that beautiful mind.
If you ever need immediate professional help, please see the following resources:
- The National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255, answering calls 24/7
- Crisis Text Line: Text 'GO' to 741741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor