Hello and welcome to another edition of #TransparentTuesday! During #TransparentTuesday, we remove the rosy filters of social media and share real life.
Today, we're going to have some real talk about depression. I wrote a previous Transparent Tuesday post back in 2014 about depression, and wrote about my history with depression and anxiety WAY back in 2011 here. If you want to go even further back, you can find me talking about this back as early as 2009. Even with this lengthy history of talking about mental illness, I don't think I talk about it enough. There's so much stigma behind depression, anxiety, ADHD, and other mental illnesses. Many of us deal with aspects of it every day in some way, whether it's taking a pill (or in my case, pills) and going to another therapist appointment. Yet through the rosy lenses of life on social media, it's buried and hidden.
So today, I'm going to share with you all the lies that depression told me in the past 3 days. I share with you not because I want pity or reassurance – I completely understand these are LIES! SO MANY LIES! But when depression has its grips on you, it's hard to see truth from lies.
- Eventually I'll do something to screw up in my relationship and Steve will leave
- This wedding is a waste of money because it will fall apart anyway like my first one
- I should just be alone because then there's no one to disappoint
- Steve should find someone else who is better than me
- My friends don't like me/are mad at me/are excluding me
- I'll never make new friends in Louisville
- I shouldn't go to any networking events because my social anxiety will leave me crippled anyway
- I don't make friends easily
- (As the wedding invitations are about to arrive at my house) No one will want to come to my wedding so this is a waste
- My business isn't exploding so I'm a failure (truth: I have zero more hours in the day to bill)
- I'll never have enough savings and retirement to feel completely secure
- People don't appreciate my work
- Why try so hard if others can do the minimum?
It's painful to write these things out, and honestly looks silly to me now that I'm not under the haze of depression and anxiety. Who wants to admit they think these things about themselves?! Depression takes away my self confidence and headstrong nature and turns me into someone I don't recognize. But here's the thing: having these thoughts doesn't make me weak. They make me human, with depression and anxiety. And so what if there are self-doubts? EVERYONE is a work in progress. It doesn't indicate success or failure, or worthiness as a person.
So what are some of the facts that help me put things in perspective?
- Wedding planning is no joke: Planning a wedding, even a small one, is a lot of work. It's not super fun when you're planning without family or overenthusiastic early 20-something bridesmaids and self-funding it. If I never have to think about uplighting again, it will be too soon.
- My medicine has changed: When I was a teen and on my first antidepressant, my mom would say things like “did you forget your medicine?” every time I was moody. This drove me insane, because I'm allowed to be in my feelings, meds or not. But, the fact is that I've been on multiple different meds in the past 3 months to try to address my ADHD. This impacts the other medicine for depression and anxiety, so those have changed. My body is a bit of a chemical mess and I'm not going to ignore that it's hard to work through.
- House stress is real. Steve and I have spent the past 1.5 years in house chaos. First, it was me renovating my old house to sell. Second was moving to his house, only to stage it the following week for sale. Then it was rushing to find a new home in Louisville. It's been fairly quiet in the house until the past few months. A couple of gutter and flashing issues on the roof created a headache. Then, a hail storm pummeled our roof (thankfully, insurance is covering the replacement). Now, our dining room ceiling is dripping because the master shower above (one of the selling points of this house) has a faulty shower pan. The whole thing will need to be ripped up and re-done. I'm a bit shell shocked from dealing with all the contractors from my last house. Working from a home office, it makes sense for me to be the one to deal with them so Steve doesn't have to leave work (even though he's offered.) But it also means I'm dealing with breaking up my workday to talk with or wait around for people, or to deal with pounding on the roof and a barking dog the rest of the workday.
If depression is telling you lies right now, know you're not alone. I can wear sequin skirts and pose with a mini horse on the weekends, but it doesn't mean the full truth about my life is on Instagram xo
A great resource for more information on depression or other mental illnesses is NAMI – National Association on Mental Illness:
Learning the signs and treatment options about depression and other mental health conditions is a place to start, as is reaching out to a trusted friend or family member or listening and offering help and hope to someone in need. If you are or know someone who is struggling with depression or a mood disorder, you can contact the NAMI HelpLine at [email protected] or at (800) 950-NAMI for information and tips. And if you or someone you know is in a crisis, contact the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-TALK (8255).