|Photo from my Instagram|
I'm clinically depressed. I have good days and bad days but I try to be very careful to handle my day-to-day as healthily as I can. I believe I have been depressed off and on for much of my life and am probably genetically programmed to be a chemical hot mess. If you are interested in me talking more specifically about my depression, let me know and I can visit that for another post.
But today, I want to talk about blogging while depressed. That's a new one for me (having only been blogging for a year and a half). Here are three ways depression affects my blogging and blogging affects my depression.
BEING LESS PRODUCTIVE:
"You are only as good as your last post." I read that somewhere and it stuck with me. One, it's great and very true advice for a blogger. But a blogger that's depressed - it sends me into a tailspin. There are days, weeks, maybe even months where I am able to be very productive. I feel inspired, I conjure up meaningful outfits, find a picturesque location, I orchestrate photo shoots one after another, edit the all photos, write and organize the blog post and promote the posts on social media. Yay! I'm winning at life! I feel accomplished and proud of my work and can see myself growing as a blogger, stylist, writer and creator. It's a great feeling and honestly, highly addictive.
But. There are also days, weeks, maybe even months where doing ONE of those tasks is TOO much. Brushing my teeth in the morning is too much. Putting on a tulle skirt in this damn heat and twirling around and smiling for the camera - are you out of your damn mind? I would prefer to sob into my Coco Puffs, thankyouverymuch.
So I tell myself that it's okay to rest, lounge by the pool, read lots of books and catch up on all 10 seasons of Grey's Anatomy. Because it is okay. But then the Evil Depression Voice hits: You're lazy. You've lost all your momentum. You'll never get it back. You're loosing your hard-won readers as we speak.
It can be a struggle at times and I have to remind myself to tell that voice to go shove it.
COMPARING MYSELF TO OTHERS:
The Evil Depression Voice (Mr. EDV for short) is really good at saying other things to me as well. Most of the time I gorge myself on all my other favorite bloggers on bloglovin. It's one of my favorite things to do to relax and wind down from the day. I find so much inspiration from the beautiful and clever posts these ladies create every day.
But Mr. EDV likes to steal inspiration as much as he does productivity. On good days, I look at a one of my favorite bloggers' recent posts and think, "I really like how she matched those orange pants with that gingham top. Brilliant. And how clever to capture her earrings in that angle! Oh! And how the sun hits her hat to show us the perfect basket-weave detailing… And that pose! I need to remember that pose! It's a nice, natural way to show off a medium-sized clutch. I need to pin this right now. I'm gonna try and recreate that. Good stuff…"
On bad days he says things like, "You can't do that. What's the point? Those people have more talent, more resources, more drive. You won't ever get that good. Also, you're fatter than her and you wear the same boring things all the time."
Y'all. EDV is mean. And I know what he says is not true. I'm sorry if you're one who hates inspirational quotes but I love them. They help get me through the day when I have to listen to this guy. One of the quotes is, "Comparison steals joy" and it is so true. When Evil Depression Voice is trying to rob me of my joy, I have to just shut my computer and do something else. Which honestly pisses me off. Because like I said, I love reading all the fashion blogs!
PRESENTING ONE SIDE:
Speaking of fashion bloggers, people talk about this all the time: are bloggers - fashion or otherwise - fake? Maybe I'm biased but I think that's a loaded and unfair question.
I am not happy all the time. Obviously. My instagram looks pretty happy. I'm not having a huge melt-down anywhere on my blog either. But do you honestly make the effort to click here of all places (when there are so many cat videos out there calling your name!) so that you can see my "real" life all the time? Many days I don't bother to wear any make-up, much less style my hair and I'm lucky if I wear an outfit that has any sartorial-inclination whatsoever. You don't go to a fashion blog to see that crap. I don't look in the mirror so I don't have to see that crap. Why would I subject you to that?!
I also believe blogging is somewhat of an escape. At least it is for me. It's a place where I can create a beautiful world where everything in my immediate surrounding is vintage, or tropical or kitchy. YOU KNOW THAT'S NOT TRUE. I KNOW THAT'S NOT TRUE. I'm creating an illusion. A snap-shot. It's fun! I'm not trying to depict this perfect, fake world but instead a world that is crafted from my point of view. I view the world in beautiful dresses and lipsticks but that doesn't mean I don't feel real, raw emotion. If you saw me IRL, I make no secret that I'm not always feeling like a ray of sunshine. Also, when you click on a picture of a watermelon purse, do you really want to hear my sad emo-thoughts?
I'll leave you with one of my favorite favorite songs by Rilo Kiley that gets me through the day and makes me feel like I'm not so alone. They get it.
Have you ever been depressed? How do you handle? Are these struggles that you as a blogger ever go through?
I sincerely hope you know that when I write these words, I am not humble-bragging or hoping to get your pity-follows or anything like that. I just felt I needed to share with you and to be ME. I'm proud of me and I'm proud of my struggle. I'm proud of my blog. However, thank you so so so much for reading!