The Hiatus Is Over: Living With Depression and General Anxiety Disorder

Dear Lovely Grimms,

This letter marks the end of my hiatus, which I am excited about. I am so thankful and appreciative of the fact so many of you continued to visit GrimmGirl, even though new content was scarce.

I know when I originally started my hiatus I really didn’t give much of an explanation. I alluded to the fact I was stressed and needed to take time to build up posts but it was actually much deeper than that.

Something that I don’t discuss very often is the fact that I have Depression and General Anxiety Disorder (GAD). I was diagnosed in high school although I have struggled with it since middle school. I have been able to live my life medication free since my second year of college but in order to do that I have had to become very aware of what I need in order to work through depressive episodes.

I have also had to learn how to manage my anxiety on a daily bases. I’m incredible lucky that I have a very strong support system in my husband and close family members but I still have to be aware of my triggers and the warning signs.

My hiatus had a lot to do with my struggles with anxiety and depression. During these past view months I have been dealing with a lot of stress. This stress is of course a trigger in itself. My husband and I are in the process of adopting our second child and on top of blogging I was working three jobs. We are also looking into buying our first home. The adoption and house thing is of course exciting and I love to blog but depression doesn’t take into consideration the things you enjoy.

If you have lived with depression or know someone who has struggled with depression then you probably recognize your (or that persons) signs when they’re falling towards a depressive episode. I could recognize mine.

I realized that I needed to cut back.

Due to my depression I was having difficulties writing for GrimmGirl, I couldn’t find the motivation, which led to more anxiety, which of course just feeds the depression. I wasn’t sleeping because of all of my jobs and also because I have a really hard time sleeping when stressed. This of course just makes me feel worse. I was also worried about the adoption and buying a house. The anxiety of these things caused me to begin to hyper fixate on them.

This is never a good sign.

If left unchecked my depression can of course lead to suicidal thoughts and my GAD can lead to insomnia, severe panic attacks, migraines, and obsessive thoughts. My goal as a person who lives with these disorders is to avoid the severe symptoms as much as possible. So when my family or I start noticing warning signs we take action quickly.

I knew I needed to take some time to get myself back to a healthy place. I quit my bartending job, re-organized my hours at my normal job, and started to rely more on my co-director for my afterschool job. If you have dealt with depression then you understand the necessity of having to sometimes lean on others for help. It can be very hard to do and it took me years to be able to do it but I can now understand how healthy it is to accept help from others.

It is okay and we shouldn’t feel guilty about it.

I also stopped writing regularly for GrimmGirl. I needed to get into a mindset where writing was enjoyable again. The thing with depression is that it has away of taking things that you really love doing and making them unbearable. So I stopped everything and tried to make my goal more manageable.

I love OWLS and everything the group stands for so writing once a month for our tours helped me to find enjoyment again with my writing but in a very low pressure way. Coming out of a depressive episode isn’t easy, but writing is a helpful way for me to do it. I just need to be able to do it in a way that benefits my mental health.

This is why I was able to continue my OWLS posts.

As I write this I’m about two weeks away from the end of my hiatus and during this two-month hiatus I have only written three posts in addition to what I’m writing now. Two of them were OWLS posts; only one is actually a scheduled post for April. I mention this to highlight how long it can take a person to work through a depressive episode and how it is able to take the things you truly love and make you feel incapable of enjoying them.

I began this hiatus at the end of January and it is only now (the middle of March) that I finally feel like really blogging again. I know this site has taken a hit when it comes to my posting regularly, responding to comments, and even looking at my fellow bloggers work and I wanted everyone to understand why.

I also wanted to talk about it because it is something I have a really hard time talking about outside of my close family members. That might sound strange but even though this is really hard for me to discuss I want to start being more open about it. I know that if I hadn’t felt so guilty and shameful about it growing up I would have been able to find help a lot sooner, but I was scared and I felt abnormal… Like I was disappointing everyone.

BUT THAT’S NOT TRUE

If, like me you deal with depression/anxiety or any mental health disorder just know you are not disappointing. I wish growing up I had known how many people this affects and that it was talked about more openly.

So even though it is difficult for me I want to start trying to be more open about this subject in order to help others and myself fight the stigma of mental illness.

I will always live with depression and GAD and that’s okay. It’s okay because that’s part of who I am and it isn’t a bad thing. On my good days I like to believe it helps me to be a more empathetic person and that my GAD helps me to think of things from multiple perspectives. I try to be optimistic. To remind myself that acknowledging my depression and GAD is not a sign of weakness. Even though it is really hard I want to find the good things about myself. I want to accept myself.

Somedays (or weeks) are harder then others and when that happens I’ll need to take time away to work through that but that’s okay. It’s okay. I hope that if you are dealing with something like this or similar you are at a point where you realize that it’s okay for you too, because it is.

Thank you all again for supporting me

I’m excited to start writing again and I think you will all really enjoy the future posts. I can’t wait to start creating again. It feels good to want to do the things I love.

46 thoughts on “The Hiatus Is Over: Living With Depression and General Anxiety Disorder

  1. First off, I can honestly say that it is very brave of you to share something so personal. I simply respect anyone who writes a post like this. My best friend deals with depression as well, and I know how hard that can be. I try to be supportive in any way I can for her, but it is also hard to try and be there. Especially if she has a bad day, and at times lashes out to me. That does not stop me from being there for her though. I myself at times am going through a lot of stuff as well, and while I would not go so far as call it a depression, I do at times feel very sad. My blog suffers because of it as well, because at times I lack the energy to write new posts.
    So posts like these give me new energy. I am very glad to read that things seem to be going better for you, and ofcourse I look forward to reading any new posts you care to write in the near future. All I can say is keep going and be brave: which you honestly already are😊

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for your kind words. I know exactly what you mean by lashing out because I know I’ve done that too. Even now that I’m a bit more experienced with my depression I still have moments like that but they were much worse in the beginning. I know your friend really appreciate the fact you’re still there for them. It can be very draining for the people around me though. That’s something else I’ve had to realize and come to terms with. I’ve had to learn that there are going to be times where they have to take a moment as well to recharge because my depressive episodes do not just effect me. I’ll admit that this post is really out of my comfort zone for me. I have a hard time discussing it because I’m still trying to get to a point where I don’t feel so ashamed about it. But that’s really why I wanted to write it because I know logically that this effects so many people whether they have it themselves or know someone he does. We also all deal with times of sadness and like you said our blogs and other projects suffer from it so I wanted to be able to say, hey it’s okay! Sometimes we’ve just got to put our mental health first! Our blogs will still be there when we are done 🙂 Thank you again!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Well, all I can say is: there is nothing to be ashamed of, not at all really. I know that may be easier said than done, but seriously what is there to be ashamed of? Everyone in this world has something he or she might not be proud of but it can also make us stronger in the end when you finally accept it as part of your life. I always had a very low selfconfidence. In a lot of ways that became part of me because of being bullied in the past. In the end though, I choose to move on, and accept myself for who I am. If others don’t accept me: tough for them. Does that mean I am completely cured? No, especially currently I am facing a lot of tough things,and that at times makes me doubt myself. But in the end I know it will pass, and become a thing of the past.
        And trust me on this: that will happen to you as well. By writing a post so personal and so out of your comfortzone, know that you have taken a first step towards accepting it. And that takes a lot of courage to do something like that. Yes you read that right: it takes courage! So know this: focus on positive things like that😊 Ofcourse I don’t know you personally, but from reading posts like this I just know you are going to pull through in the end. Keep the faith in yourself 😊😊 I hope all will continue to go good for you, you deserve it 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • Exactly! I admit that sometimes I still need remind of this but I’m trying really hard to get in this head space. I want to get to a point where I can say I truly accept myself depression/anxiety and all realize that it is just a part of me but that doesn’t mean it has to control me. Sometimes I feel that way but not always… But even that I’m taking as a win right now 🙂 Because in the beginning I couldn’t think that way at all. You are 100% right, “…it will pass, and become a thing of the past.” I really like that.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this . It’s inspiring and helpful . It’s so vital for us to remove the shame from mental illness , and sharing openly about our challenges is one of the best ways to do that. I also very much appreciate the way you model self-awareness and extreme self-care . So important ! Thank you !

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your support. It has taken me a long time to get to this point but I can remember in the beginning thinking that I would never find a way to live like this. I really think that it’s important for people to know that we can get to a point in our lives where we can start to be comfortable with ourselves ❤ I also agree that removing the shame for mental illness is a really big issue. We def have a long way to go with that in society. Thank you again.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have depression and anxiety too (mine is either generalized or social, we haven’t dwelved too deep into it tbh), so you’re so strong Kat. Three jobs, adopting a second child, buying a home, plus your blog and all the work you’ve been doing, you’re amazing! 🙏🙏👌
    Tbh, I’m RN in the middle of a depressive phase, I’ve been barely able to read other people’s posts, which I used to go through every day, and I’m just hermiting, reading fiction and fan fiction and just staying away from most social platforms.
    I’m pretty sure I need medication because I have constant drops throughout the year, especially when I’m gearing up to do all the things I wanna do IRL.
    I only searched for help last year, because I felt like such a massive failure for not being able to control how I feel and react. I’m glad you’ve been able to manage your issues. It’s not easy 🙏
    I’m glad you’ve found motivation, passion and joy to blog again, hang in there Kat! 🙏🙏✨

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know exactly how you feel about feeling like a failure. That’s how I felt at first. To be honest when I first started receiving help it wasn’t at my choice. Luckily I had a mom who was very supportive. I think it is really amazing that you were able to make that decision yourself! That’s a really huge step ❤ Working with a doctor will help you to narrow down your symptoms. For example while I have depression I also have seasonal depression so I have more frequent depressive episodes in the winter months and they tend to last longer. Understanding that was really vital for me. I'm def still a work in progress but I can recognize that I'm in a much better place than I was a few years ago. So keep your head up too! I know the depressive phases can be really hard and they truly feel like they will last forever but you just have to remember that they won't. And that the steps your a taken now to find help is a sign of how STRONG you are!

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  4. Pingback: Last Week Today: Week End Recap- Mar. 26th to Apr. 1st – Nice Job Breaking It, Hero

  5. Thank you for pointing out that people do feel guilty for being sick, but that they shouldn’t. It’s always very soothing to hear this aspect of the struggle well discussed. It’s one of the parts that I struggle with a lot. Feeling judged and pressured is par for the course but… I wish it wasn’t. Thank you for writing something so honest and true, and for speaking out about your mental illness, especially about how it doesn’t go away even thought it can get better. If you ever are comfortable to write about it, I’d be very curious on your advice for transitioning from medication to living without it (or if you already have a post on that please link me to it). Again, thank you for writing this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That would actually be a really good blog post idea. I’ve never written one on the subject but it was a verbbig transition and you have to make sure you do it safely. It didn’t happen over night but it was a decision I felt ready for. I’ll put that blog post in the works. It might be a bit before it goes up bc I admit I really struggle writing personal posts. But it is something I want to do. I think that if I’d heard about what the transition was like I might have felt even better about things. At the very least my expectations would be different. Thank you for reading my post ❤️ I agree I still sometimes feel judged or really guilty/shameful but I’m in a much better place now.

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  6. Kat, you are a strong and brave woman. I had some experience with depression during high school and I had to go to months of therapy for it, so I understand how challenging it is to deal with it. And I also agree that a strong support system is key in dealing with it. I hope that you feel better soon. You are admirable that you still manage everything in your life and blogging here at GrimmGirl despite all the things that you’re dealing with. Stay strong, beautiful! /hugs/

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  7. Glad I was able to find out more about you by reading this. I think I might be struggling with strong anxiety as well, but my parents (and I) don’t wish to acknowledge it as such for fear of it all only getting worse. It truly does fuel itself. Looking forward to whenever you write next! In the meantime, do take care of yourself–you’re on the right track as far as I know. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah with my anxiety I really had to train myself to think a different way. Especially with panic attacks. I have to almost have a mantra of, “I am in control of myself.” I also have to really remind myself and check with myself, “Is this rational? Is this logical? Why am I so worried about this.” I have to do a lot of self direction or you’re right it completely takes over and fuels itself 😰 It becomes this crazy cycle where all of a sudden I’m worrying about being worried! Which sounds silly but it’s what can happen when it starts to run rampant. So I hope you find a good balance for yours. Just remind yourself that you’re in control of you 😊 ❤️ Thanks for your words of kindness on this post. It was out of my comfort zone so I appreciate it a lot!

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