Depression is like falling into a deep, deep hole.
In this hole, you are surrounded by complete and total darkness. The floor is dirt. The walls are cement.
In this hole, you fall right in the middle and everything around you spins like a tornado. It is not quiet; it is not peaceful.
Directly to your left, there is a ladder to the top. You are not prisoner in this hole but, still, you feel like you will never escape.
Directly to your left, there is this idea that if you just take one step up, you might be able to take another. But you’re stuck. You feel broken and exhausted from the fall, and your limbs won’t move.
At the top of the hole, there are people telling you to ‘cheer up,’ to ‘just get out and do something,’ to ‘stop feeling sorry for yourself.’
At the bottom of the hole, you feel like a failure, like there is something wrong with you, that you’re a burden, and that people look at you differently now that you’re at the bottom of this hole.
When you sleep, it is not for long, and, when you wake, you remember that you need to face another day in this deep, dark hole.
What will you do? How will you pass the time? Will you try to climb the ladder? No. Not today. Maybe tomorrow.
The next day, you try to climb the ladder. You get halfway up, but something stops you and you think, this is useless.
You fall back in.
Back on the ground, you gaze at the top. You think, even if I get up there, I won’t last long. I’ll be back here again in no time. You resign yourself to stay in the hole forever.
Then, one day, you wake to see a person climbing down the ladder into the hole. They reach the bottom and reach out their hand. You eagerly, albeit hesitantly, grab it, excited for a lifeline, but afraid they aren’t actually real.
This person lifts you up and guides you up the ladder. Not halfway this time, but all the way to the top.
You look around. The top of the hole is bright. There is no longer a tornado spinning around you. Your limbs feel light.
As you walk with this person, you look over your shoulder to see the opening to the hole become smaller and smaller and farther and farther away.
As the days go by, flashbacks to your time in the hole become less frequent. You breathe a little easier.
The person that helped you out of the hole sticks by your side.
You feel supported.
You feel safe.
You are not alone.
* I felt inspired to write this blog post early on Sunday morning. I was thinking about writing more about my struggles with depression on my blog, but wasn’t quite sure what to say or where to start. This is the result.
In this case, the ‘person’ who pulls me out of the hole is a metaphor for treatment (therapy), but it could mean a friend or family member too. If you struggle with depression, feel free to interpret it however you like. If you don’t suffer from depression, I hope this helps you understand how a friend or family member might be feeling if they are suffering. Remember, it’s never helpful to tell someone who is struggling to ‘just cheer up.’ Believe me, it’s never that easy.
I wrote this post to help start a conversation, to help end the stigma. Depression is a very real disease. I hope you will share this post if you are in any way inspired or moved by its message. As always, thank you for reading.
My last few posts have been a little on the heavy side so here’s a fun post to lighten the mood!
Currently I am…
1. My Backyard Cat Gang. If you haven’t already seen or heard on social media, let me fill you in. Jeff and I have acquired a group of around 6 or 7 stray cats in our backyard. I’m not sure where they came from but I’m pretty sure they’re here to stay, especially since I’ve started feeding them. Just last week, I contacted Friends2Ferals, which is a program of the nonprofit Humane Society of Buncombe County that utilizes the Trap-Neuter-Return method of dealing with free-roaming cats. Basically, we love having these backyard guests and want them to stick around, but did you know that kittens can mate and become pregnant at as early as six months old? So, to keep our gang safe and free from multiplying, we’re trapping them this week and having them cared for by an awesome organization. I post pictures of these cuties regularly in my Instagram stories, so follow me there if you want to see regular updates.
2. Reciprocity. Again, if you follow me on Instagram, you might have already seen my post about how much I love shopping at Reciprocity. I even partnered with them to give away a $25 gift certificate. Don’t worry if you didn’t win though, Toni and Stewart, the awesome sister duo that own the shop, have generously offered 10% off your purchase through the end of September if you simply mention that you know me at checkout! Just say, “hey, I’m friends with Rosey Rebecca,” and BAM You’re in da club. You can even shop off their instagram page– they offer free shipping and 24 hour holds. P.S. I have to disclose that though Toni and Stewart did not ask me to write a review or pay me to run a giveaway, they very kindly gifted me with a gift certificate to thank me for being one of their biggest fans! As always, all opinions and reviews expressed on Rosey Rebecca are my own. I would never talk up a company or product that I didn’t fully stand behind.
3.Strength Ratio. I recently celebrated one year at what has proven to be the best gym I’ve ever joined. The improvements I’ve made in my strength and endurance have been incredible. The coaches/owners are so helpful and knowledgable and the community is so supportive and kind. One of the things I love most about being a member of Strength Ratio is that it doesn’t matter if you’re lifting 100 pounds or 2 pounds, everyone there cheers you on no matter what. They really encourage you to leave your ego at the door and just progress at your own pace. You don’t need to know anything about weightlifting to join either, so hit me up if you want more info.
1. 13 FREAKING YEARS WITH JEFF. How did this even happen? Wasn’t I just 18? Didn’t I just meet him? Oh gawd, now I feel old. That’s right, friends, September 16 will mark 13 whole years with Jeff. Some people are lame and say that only marriage anniversaries count. Rude. I’m sorry, but if you think I’m not justified in celebrating putting up with the same person for 13- THIRTEEN- freaking years, then you can just take a walk, because you’re wrong. Anyway, the whole story of how we first met is somewhere on this blog. But here’s the short version in three words: MySpace, College, Achoo. TRY AND FIGURE THAT ONE OUT! (Or you can just click on the link in the sentence above. Whatever floats your boat.)
2. Fall. Like, real, live, actual fall. I know some of you think fall starts at the end of August because that’s when kids go back to school and when Starbucks releases its pumpkin spice latte, but let me just be a hater for a second and say FALL DOESN’T START UNTIL SEPTEMBER 22. Period. End of story. Call me old fashioned, but it also can’t be fall if it’s still 90 degrees outside. Now, I know peeps way down south don’t actually experience legit fall weather, but I’m from New York and, in my book, it’s not fall until the air is crisp, the AC is off, and I’m wearing, like, 300 scarves. Sorry. Not sorry.
1. OK. Some of you know, some of you don’t, but (again) if you’re my friend on Instagram, you might have seen me confess very recently that I’m struggling with a bout of depression. I’ve talked about dealing with depression on my blog in the past, and if you struggle with depression yourself, you might already know that it ebbs and flows. Sometimes it can come on quite suddenly with no clear trigger or warning. I started going to therapy again about a month ago, and, now, after twice-weekly appointments for the last several weeks, I can say that I’m finally feeling OK, not 100%, but OK. The thing about depression is that, when you start treatment, you feel like you’re in this hole that you’ll never climb out of, and that even if/when you do, you feel like you’ll eventually fall back in. Therapy is a wonderful thing though and I’m confident that with continued sessions, I’ll feel a lot better really soon. PS- writing this paragraph inspired me to write an WHOLE other post about dealing with depression, which will be up on Wednesday. Stay tuned.
1. Pretty much the same thing every single day. I know, boring, but super effective in my current attempts to lose weight. I’ve lost almost 20 pounds since March, but not without help from my friend/coach Becca Lee at Strength Ratio. She sat down with me at the end of March and helped me figure out my Macro (Proteins, Fats, Carbs) requirements and while I’ve always hated counting calories in the past, I realized that, in order to lose body fat, and not the muscle I’ve worked so hard to build at Strength Ratio, I needed some general parameters. I really love this Flexible Dieting approach to weight loss because it’s pretty easy to get the hang of and I never feel like I’m restricted in what I eat. I feel like it’s less of a diet and more like a lifestyle that’s much easier to stick to in the long run. I eat mostly healthy foods ~90% of the time with some junk foods mixed in the other ~10% of the time.
2. Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack. OK. file this under the 10% of junk food I eat because it’s so. damn. good. You might be asking yourself, “what the heck does a vegetarian order at a fried chicken joint?” OH, LET ME TELL YOU: veggie chicken and celery sticks. Kick me out of the south if you need to but I think it’s freaking amazing. Rocky’s uses Quorn Chik’n cutlets as its veg option. Stuff those suckers in a wrap with cheese, pickles and ranch and you’re set. I always get the celery and carrot sticks on the side to pretend I’m being even a little bit healthy.
The Night We Met by Lord Huron (This song is for my mom, who has probably had it stuck in her head since I played it on repeat during my visit in February. I can just hear her voice in my head saying, “Rebecca, play me that song by that group that you played that one time.” Should I be worried that I can hear my mother’s voice in my head from 700 miles away? Help.)
1. Flat Broke With Two Goats by Jennifer McGaha. I took this book on our beach trip in July and read it in two days. I especially loved it because the author lives in western NC and it felt kind of cool to know what she was talking about when she referenced specific places and things.
2. The Yellow Envelope by Kim Dinan. I actually found this book on Instagram. Kim and I are insta-friends and I very recently (like, yesterday) realized that she’s walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain with her two-year-old daughter. They’re doing 370 miles together and I can’t wait to meet up with her when she gets back to Asheville to hear all about it. Meanwhile, I bought her memoir about her previous adventures from Malaprop’s Bookstore. Can’t wait to read it.
3. Fear by Bob Woodward. Because duh. It’s Bob Woodward. I went to school for journalism. I can’t not read it. Plus, without talking too much about politics because I don’t like to do that here, ya know, Watergate and all that.
1. A trip to The Montford. It’s been too long since I’ve sipped a cocktail at my favorite rooftop bar. Planning a trip there STAT. Who’s coming with me?
4. Hole Doughnuts. I think I list Hole doughnuts in every single post I write like this. I can’t help it. I always want one. I could also use a croissant from OWL Bakery. One time, I had a crossaint from OWL, a doughnut from Hole, AND another doughnut from The Rhu in, like, a two hour period. It was the best sugar coma ever!
What’s up with you lately? Have an awesome day! <3