Magpie Coffee Shop

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I sincerely hesitate/am terrified to post this today only because I’ve always worked hard at only sharing “the pretty” and “the fun” with you guys — well, with people, in general really.

I’ve been a very private person my whole life and again, work overtime at only showing the ‘happy’ me (exhausting, yes). For some reason, for ME, I’ve always equated feelings of depression as a sign of weakness. And there’s nothing I dislike more than feeling weak, because I’m strong, gosh darn it!

But, this past week, I had some challenging days and the more and more time I spent with God asking for His help and what He would have me to do, I felt a push to open up with you guys about my struggle. So if it helps just one of you reading, I will consider this post a success.

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Magpie Coffee Shop

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Anxiety and depression…

So, I think my thoughts on feelings of depression and mental health in general, come from a lifelong history of watching close members of my family go through various mental illnesses and vowing to beat the genetic odds, so to speak.

I’m naturally an introvert. I think I worried my mom occasionally during my high school years when I would spend hours on end in my room, happy to be alone and in my own thoughts. As I’ve gotten older though and with the help of God and my amazing husband(seriously, the most confident, know-who-he-is-in-Christ man you’ll ever meet), I’ve come out of my shell and become semi-comfortable in my own skin. Ha! Baby steps.

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scripture quote

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So, while I’ve always kinda dealt with feelings of being “down” from time to time, I had pretty much always been able to just get through them after a week or so. But early last year as I was driving in the car with my mom on the interstate after shooting some blog photos, I suddenly, out of no where, began to panic behind the wheel. Like I could feel myself starting to black out and become out of control(that’s the best way I can really describe it) of my body. Kinda like I’m floating outside of my body.

You guys, it absolutely TERRIFIED me. I had NO idea what was going on. I pulled over and had to have my mom drive the rest of the way home. Once we got home I went through cold sweats and like my heart was going to bust it was pounding so hard. Don’t think me dramatic, but I thought I was dying.

Irrational, I know and yet, that’s honestly how I felt.

But after about 20 minutes, the feelings started to subside and I came back to feeling more like myself. After that I spent the next few months trying to figure out what was going on in my body to be causing this. I went to my general practitioner at the time and had her run an EKG test on my heart, that’s how scared and confused I was. Turns out my heart was fine. Only later did I come to find out I was having anxiety and panic attacks, which apparently are more common that I ever would have imagined.

I spent a year not visiting my mom, who lives two hours away, because I was petrified I was going to have another episode while driving. With some low dose medication and much daily prayer, things are SO much better now.

Here’s the deal though…even though I’ve overcome a lot of this (my anxiety attacks are nearly gone), I still have weeks where I just feel plain ‘down’ and not good enough for anything (enter last week!). Pair these feelings with style blogging where your image is close to errythang and there are thousands of successful, seemingly perfect bloggers out there, and it can get a bit overwhelming. I’ll be honest, some days I just can’t even get on social media. It brings me right back down again. BUT, at the same time, once I’m there and catching up with all of my gal pals, I suddenly feel like I’m back to the land of the living and it’s uplifting. So, I guess my problem lies with the innate dread I feel of the comparison game and less on the actual social media aspect of it. Not sure if that makes a bit of sense or not. Pretty sure what I’m dealing with here is partly a self-confidence issue, friends. When I’m having a ‘down day’, I’m way more low-key on the social media front.

Lately, in my alone time with God, I’ve been seeking more self acceptance and the ability to view myself as God views me. If you think about it, to not view yourself as “good enough” is to essentially say that God did not do a perfect job when creating you or I. We are utterly and completely perfect in His sight.

Wild, right?

You and I are unique, friends. God’s image has been imprinted uniquely on each of us. In God’s infinite creativity there are no duplicates. You are the only you there has ever been or ever will be. I encourage you to let that really sink in. Not just let it sit on the surface, but repeat it to yourself on a daily (hourly if ya like!) basis like I’m doing until it becomes an absolute truth in your mind and heart.

I believe that’s when the breakthrough will come.

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Magpie Coffee Shop

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Surround yourself with friends and family who will help to reinforce that knowledge for you. Ask and God will send people into your life who encourage these thoughts and remind you that who you are is MORE than enough and perfect in His eyes. He did this for me last summer with my amazing blogger friend, Angelle. She encourages me so much to know that blogging does not define me. It’s a creative part and desire that God placed in me, but it’s not my be all end all.

I am defined by Christ, alone.

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what defines you

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Whew, ok, that kinda took a little different direction there than I had anticipated. Kind of a anxiety/depression/self confidence bundle wrapped up into one. Ha! I’ll work on getting my thoughts a little more organized next time around. You’re getting the total ‘brainstorm sesh/thoughts on my mind’ version here today. Like I said before, if this post does nothing more than to let you know that you are not alone in having these kinds of struggles, I’ll be a happy lady.

Thanks SO much for sticking around and getting to the end of this one! I’ll see you back here tomorrow on the blog!

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Magpie Coffee Shop

(Photography by Vivid Dream Photography)

14 Comments on My Depression and anxiety and how I overcome the hard days

  1. Rayrayes
    March 28, 2017 at 3:21 pm (5 months ago)

    Very inspiring, January! Thank you for sharing this!

    Reply
  2. Hayley
    March 28, 2017 at 5:21 pm (5 months ago)

    This was such a great read. I struggle with anxiety, and sometimes just a little reminder that you’re not alone can really help! Thanks for sharing your story.

    Reply
  3. Angelle Marix
    March 28, 2017 at 5:44 pm (5 months ago)

    I love you!! So proud of how vulnerable that you have become in the past year. I know that Jesus is doing something amazing inside of you. This is only the beginning to so much that He has in store for you.

    xoxo,
    Angelle

    Reply
  4. Leslie Presnall
    March 28, 2017 at 8:39 pm (5 months ago)

    Thanks for sharing! I know that takes a lot of guts to put all that out there. You’re absolutely amazing and so inspiring! And absolutely freaking gorgeous, girl! Don’t ever think different 🙂

    Reply
  5. Lindy
    March 28, 2017 at 8:44 pm (5 months ago)

    Powerful stuff ~ I completely understand the struggle! Thank you for stepping out and sharing.

    Reply
  6. Teresa
    March 28, 2017 at 10:14 pm (5 months ago)

    I would give you the biggest hugs ever!! I can completely relate. I’ve had a few anxiety attacks and have also spent countless hours trying to figure out why. And I am also an introvert ….. putting myself ‘out there’ was a huge thing for me. I’ve pulled *way* back into my introverted self over the past year or so, and I can yell you, it’s a lonely place. I’m so happy for you that you’ve found a friend that helps you through the rough patches. This almost feels too private to have posted on your blog 🙈

    Reply
    • Teresa
      March 28, 2017 at 10:15 pm (5 months ago)

      I mean for me to have posted on your blog, not that you posted this on your blog. I should think before I hit post…..

      Reply
  7. Toni Johnson
    March 28, 2017 at 10:31 pm (5 months ago)

    Thank you for sharing this and being so transparent. We live in a society where everyone wants people to think they are without problems and issues. But, that is so far from the truth. Thank you for being obedient to the Spirit of God and sharing. I am sure someone, if not many were touched by this. I was touched just in knowing you were sharing with us.
    Blessings!!

    Reply
  8. Brianne George
    March 28, 2017 at 10:51 pm (5 months ago)

    You are amazing, January!! This post definitely encouraged me 🙂 There are days when I feel down also and getting on Instagram makes it way worse for some reason, so I feel your pain in that aspect!

    Xo, Brianne

    Reply
  9. Morgan Klein
    March 29, 2017 at 8:46 am (5 months ago)

    Thank you so much for sharing this- I know this couldn’t be easy! You are amazing! Xo

    Reply
  10. Amy
    March 30, 2017 at 10:19 am (5 months ago)

    Girl! I cannot tell you how much your words have touched me. I’ve been mulling over them the past few days, so impressed with how brave you are for putting yourself out there & being so vulnerable. My anxiety/depression came to a head when I left my friends & family for the first time & moved to BR for law school, a place where showing fear or anxiety is definitely seen as a weakness, so I totally understand your hesitance to share your story. Please know that your story has resonated with me, that I see so much of myself in your words, & that it has comforted me to know that I am not alone. You aren’t alone & there are more of us out here dealing with the same things. Thank you so much for sharing this!

    ~Amy

    Reply
  11. Hillary
    March 30, 2017 at 11:27 pm (5 months ago)

    Thank you for being so open and vulnerable and sharing your story with us. I struggle with anxiety and depression as well. I also struggle with confidence issues so my friends think I’m crazy for being in the blogging world, for all the reasons you stated above. It’s hard to not compare your everything, but know that you are doing you the only way you know how and I think it’s amazing!

    ~Hillary
    http://www.styleinasmalltown.com

    Reply
  12. Donna
    April 7, 2017 at 6:53 pm (4 months ago)

    Thank you so much for posting this. I could’ve written it myself as the similarities to my issues are scary. Also a blogger, I have been in a slump for several months with the same issues you described. Thank you for sharing. You have inspired me. Know that you are not alone!

    Donna

    Reply

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