Unraveling My Security Blanket | Depression

You never know what someone’s going through at the time and you should never believe all you see on the surface. 

This past decade alone has really been a roller coaster ride for me. I’ve had many highs, but I’ve also had many, many lows. It’s sometimes hard to even look back because there have been so many dark moments that I’m not proud of and periods of time I’d rather not remember.

Everyone bears their own closet of demons and everyone fights different battles. It’s never an easy feat to overcome certain feelings, especially ones that you can’t explain where they come from or how to resolve them.

I’ve decided to venture into some very sensitive territory and talk about Depression because it has been a rather large part of my life, believe it or not. The hardest part is feeling like you’re alone, so this is dedicated to the deeper layer of myself and for anyone out there who feels like there’s no place to turn to and no one who truly understands what you’re going through.

What truly defines Depression? Does being sad all the time make up the gist of it all?

A lot of people actually can’t define what depression is and if they can, majority of the people don’t understand it. It’s not a feeling that you can just turn off. It’s not a means for getting attention or inviting a pity party. Depression is a real thing that you can’t control and I think that’s the worst characteristic about it.

To put an image in your head, I’d like to describe depression as a state of being that consumes you with no given warning. It may come and go, or stay for as long as it likes. There is no source and no reason to its existence but just the mere fact that it exists. The magnitude of it all can range from feeling sad, to useless, to completely dysfunctional. And sometimes when it starts, it manifests. At one point in time, it felt as if there was a large gaping black hole that was sucking the life out of me. A hole that I found myself drowning in, falling deeper and deeper to the point where I couldn’t tell up from down. There was no light, only darkness. And the more I struggled, the more I fell. The more I fell, the more I crumbled.

How can you help someone else?

I think the common mistake that people make when dealing with someone who exhibits signs of depression or who may be going through a period of suffering is to tell them things. This can range from the typical go-to lines of advice and worry:

Don’t worry, things will get better.
Don’t think that way, it will all be okay.
Stop overthinking things, everything will be fine.
Stay positive!
Maybe you should see a therapist.

The list can go on and on. But honestly, this is probably the worst thing you can do and the worst advice to give. A person who is suffering from depression, or even anxiety, doesn’t want to be told what to do. All they want, more than anything else in the world, is for someone to listen. Telling them things does not help them at all. It might be a struggle because what else can you really do besides offer advice and positive suggestions? Just be there, listen when they need someone to hear them out, and give them space. Depression is really something that the individual needs to deal with on their own. A person who seeks help, will ask for it. A person who isn’t willing to take advice, telling them what to do and how to feel will only cause more self destruction. But while you keep your distance, always be sure to check up on the person, make sure that you are constantly aware of any red flags.

What’s your story?

Well, I don’t exactly have a complete story. Depression is something that just hits you out of nowhere. It puts you down, makes you feel utterly shitty about everything, and then sometimes leaves without warning. It also affects everyone differently, on different magnitudes, and the response varies based on the individual.

I won’t go too deeply into my history of it because there’s just way too much and some of it is just too hard to write, but I will talk about one period of time that I label as My Great Depression (as depressing as that sounds). This was the longest breathing record that I’ve been depressed. If I can estimate it, I’d say it lasted a whopping four years. That’s a huge amount of time. I hit my all time low then. And trust me, when you think rock bottom, I think I went six feet under. If I could measure, I probably cried a whole new ocean and eventually lost the will to exist. It got to the breaking point where I would conceal how I feel and just pretend, pretend, pretend. Fake smiles got so good that I almost even convinced myself they were real. I broke. I felt numb and then felt the need to feel pain. I shattered. To the point where faking wasn’t possible anymore and functioning properly wasn’t even a choice. I got pretty frail and developed dark, sunken circles. I looked unhealthy and I lost interest in everything. I was forced into therapy, where I then lied of my state to get out of the damn visits. I have scars. I had my silent cry for help. It was probably the darkest period of my life and it’s truly amazing how I’ve managed to pull myself out of it. It is also such a truly scary feeling to not want to be anymore. To see no purpose. And I fight this every once in a while. Maybe not so drastically, but sometimes awfully close. And it’s something that hurts so much because you’re drowning in it and there’s really nothing that you can do. You only wish that you were saved.

Sadly, depression is not something you can run from. There’s no cure and I honestly do not believe in turning to medicine to help “ease” the pain. I feel like that’s just another form of running away from the problem. But, to each their own. My biggest suggestion is to find an outlet. The thing that helped me most was writing. I wrote scattered bits of poetry. I’ve taken several times to look back and read my pieces and it’s shocking to even imagine that all those words ever poured out of me. Whether it be writing, like me, or rocking out to music, fitness, painting, or what have you. Channel your energy into creating something. There are always bad days, and sometimes really freaking shitty days. But we all pull through. Everything is a work in progress and everything takes time.

To all my dearest readers out there, please feel free to send me an email if you need someone to talk to or most importantly if you need someone to just listen. I would love to be able to help if I can and if my help is wanted. It really sucks to go through things alone. And it sucks more to be surrounded by people who love you but they just don’t get it.

We are all strong. We all survive.

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21 comments

  1. Oh my dear friend, as painful as it must have been to write some parts of this, I am so glad that you shared your story. As you know, I have struggled with depression myself, and I can completely relate to everything you described. My instinct was to yell “YES!” at the top of my lungs while reading your suggestions of what not to say to someone who is depressed. I can’t tell you how many times I just wanted to punch the lights outta someone who gave generic one-liners of advice to me – like, come on guys, you don’t think I’m trying to do everything in my power already to get out of this pit of despair?! Gah. It’s insane how quickly the darkness can pull you under, but wow, just like me you turned to writing. I have so many poems from my darkest days, and I bet that they would certainly mirror so many of yours. Here’s to knowing we’re not alone in this mess, and that we have each other to lift us up and remind us of the joyous life surrounding us when we’re down. Sending massive hugs and so much love to you, girly. You are a warrior.

    Stephanie // SheSawStyle.com

  2. Thanks for opening up about this Jen. I have depression as well and you’re so great for opening up about this! It’s so hard for people to open up about it and I think this will help a lot of people know that they aren’t alone in this! Keep up the amazing work!
    All the best,
    Jordan xx
    http://www.thehatlogic.com

  3. Wow Jenn, I am touched that you shared such a personal story and journey with us all. You have been through a lot yet when we see just squares of your life, we wouldn’t even know all the pain and suffering you’ve been through. Thank you for sharing this intimate part of your life, and I know that by sharing you are also helping others along the way. You are so inspirational in your posts and your photos and we truly look up to you! xoxo, Christine
    http://dailykongfidence.com/

  4. Jenn, you are such a strong and brave woman for going through and battling depression, and then writing this blog post about it. I’ve been through really really bad times (although I’m still not sure if I can label them as depression), and it was always hard to come back out too. I hope things are slowly but surely getting better for you, and while you kindly offered others a listening ear, I’m always an email away as well 🙂 much love<33

  5. Thank you darling for opening up! One thing for sure is that you look so strong and confident from the outside. We really never know what someone is going through. I’ve had anxiety nearing the end of 2016 and it was so hard. Until today, it’s still so hard to conquer it. I’m glad that you were able to pull yourself out from those destructive years. I’m glad to see how you have evolved until now.
    You are definitely helping someone out there by sharing this with us; you should be very proud.

    I wish you strength and sending you much love!

    Bisous, Josie
    http://www.petiteandbold.com

  6. You have such a beautiful soul and you’re a deep person Jenn! I feel like I’ve really come to know who you are through your posts and Instagram. I’m so sorry that you dealt with depression in your life, but know that you’re not alone in this struggle. I, myself, had my insecurities and low points throughout my life and I’ve learned to love myself throughout the years. Everything is definitely a work in progress and we don’t need to beat up ourselves for not meeting up our own expectations cause we need to enjoy the journey of life.

    http://www.atsunamatsui.com

  7. Girl, you have no idea how much this hits home for me! It’s something I’ve also dealt with that not many people know about and as nonchalant as the people were I tried to talk to, it was honestly better off that way. Depression is actually one of the main reasons leading me to blog and YouTube and I really think having an avenue to write and speak freely is one of the things that allowed me to cope with it better. You may have just inspired me to finally share my story about this! It’s nice to know I’m not alone 🙂

    http://www.thebeautybeau.com/

  8. I have been diagnosed with dysthymic disorder, which basically means you’re running on a lower frequency than everyone else. I have also had several bouts of depressions. The ups and downs go with the territory. I agree with you. Having someone to listen to you is key. Usually I don’t want to share with my friends because a) I don’t want to burden them or b) I don’t want to hear empty platitudes. But when you find someone who will listen, it really lifts the burden to just get things off your chest. And no I don’t mean a therapist. I can’t even afford a therapist right now with my ridiculously high deductible. But the best is when you find a friend who has the exact same condition as you and you realize when talking that you’re not alone. You’re not insane in the membrane haha. But you can relate to the other person and hopefully learn new ways from them of coping too. Anyways, I hope that you’ve found a long-term method to cope with your illness. Because I know it’s something that can’t just be fixed. Thanks for sharing your story girl. It’s tough putting yourself out there. Please reach out to me if you need anything.

    xx Yasmin
    http://banglesandbungalows.com

  9. Wow this post was so deep and I have to admit, pulled some strings in me! It’s so admirable to see bloggers like you open up and be so honest about their feelings in a post like this. I can definitely relate in many levels and on days I feel depressed, I find it hard to open up to people about it because I don’t like dragging others into my negativity. Everyone has different ways to cope but everyday is a new day with fresh opportunities! In any case, you are such a strong being with a beautiful soul. It’s been a pleasure watching you evolve and grow over the past months. Thank you for inspiring me everyday! xo, sharon

    http://www.stylelullaby.com

  10. Dear Jenn, thank you so much for story! I think it is our duty as bloggers and spokespersons to actually lift the dark veil surrounding mental health and issues related to it. There should not be any taboo in speaking of mental health, or as in my case, addiction. If someone has cancer everyone bursts into tears and comfort them in any way they can. If you tell people you have depression, anxiety, addiction or what not, it’s not considered a “real disease”. The struggle IS real and whether people like it or not these are lethal conditions. The scars you carry with you are physical proof of that, but the thoughts in your head don’t show on the outside. That’s what we’re so good at, faking, hiding, lying. Whatever it takes for people not to notice our mental health issues. A huge thank you for raising awareness to this topic and babe, you are one hell of a strong individual who has the courage to tell your story as openly and honestly as you did here. I’m sure it will help many others out there, me included!
    Love,
    Thomas

  11. Jen wow you really touch me with this post. Thanks for opening your self and sharing you history with us. One of my best friends suffers of depression a lot and the best thing I do is always listen to her and be there for her. However this post really help me understand much better everything. I know must been hard to share your history but all your followers like me really appreciate your honesty as always. Please keep inspiring us.

    Love
    Marcy

  12. Thanks for sharing your experience with us and writing such a well-written post about a topic that is so often misunderstood. I can totally relate to a lot of what you’ve written here, as someone who has experienced depression myself. I am so grateful to those in my life that took the time to listen to my feelings without reservation. I’m sure your insightful post will help those who are undergoing depression as well as their friends and families to understand it a little bit better. You are truly an inspiration, Jenn!

    xo, Jo
    http://www.cutandchic.com

  13. Thanks so much for sharing such an intimate part of your life. It can’t be easy, and feeling alone is even harder. I know your words and advice will help so many people who are either dealing with depression or know someone who has depression. You are a total inspiration and really brave for opening up.

    Xo,
    Miki
    http://mikialamode.com

  14. Jenn, let me first start by saying thank you for touching on such a personal topic. I know it can be hard to talk about our feelings, especially depression, but I applaud you. I can totally relate to everything you wrote—I’m finally at a point in my life where I’m starting to feel truly happy, but I came from the same position you are currently in. I know that sometimes you feel like you’re in an endless, dark hole, but you are beautiful, inspiring, bright, smart young woman and I know you’ll find the light soon. Let me know if you ever want to talk, just know there are people here for you <3 xx Camille

  15. This is such a difficult thing to share. You are so brave to do so. Thank you for giving us this insight. I often have not known what to say to a friend who I have seen struggle with depression. This has helped, it is very inspiring to read and see you open up like this. I wish you all the strength that I can.
    xx Jenelle

  16. This was an extremely touching post; thank you for putting yourself out there and for welcoming others to seek help and give help at the same time. I’m happy that you found a medium as an outlet, love! The world needs stronger women like you. xx

    Kit | THINGS SHE LOVES

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