Here I was, spending the last month or so contemplating the idea of pursuing another 100 Happy Days challenge as a little reminder to get out of this funk I’ve been in for a while..and then I stumble upon this social movement via a fellow blogger in the IF/RPL community.
So, #snapshotsforsanity is a social media movement started by Kimberly over at Sunshine Spoils Milk about raising awareness and stopping the stigma about depression (and I’m throwing in anxiety, too, because they can go hand in hand!) by taking photos of yourself on a daily basis for a week, a month, a year, however long you want.
You can be happy, stressed, sad, or excited; you can be alone, with your kids, your friends, your french bulldog. You can be you! The point is not what you look like, who you are with, or what you are doing—or not doing—the point is to highlight that depression takes on many faces, and not all of them are weepy. Have you seen depression commercials lately, or even how it is portrayed in the movies? Women and men stare longingly through rain covered windows, their knees held to their chests and their hair hanging down over their eyes. Sure it conveys numbness, isolation, and an unending amount of sadness, but it also implies that is what depression looks like—all day, everyday. Not only is this imagery trite and cliched, it’s downright misleading! While some days I do look like that, MOST of the year I do not…which is why so very many people were surprised to discover I suffered from depression. I didn’t “look the part.”
I looked “normal.”
— Kimberly, #snapshotsforsanity
I’m participating in this movement because the topics of depression, anxiety, and suicide are close to me. And I guess, as I’m writing this sentence this very second, I’ve decided to be open about that to the world for the first time. So…here goes, then.
I’ve struggled with depression on and off for over ten years—and more recently, anxiety. I had very little self-worth in my late teenage years, and contemplated suicide several times—even landing myself in the hospital one night during my freshman year of college. And even though I didn’t necessarily hit that dangerous point again, I got very close after my second miscarriage. I spent a lot of time in my own head, questioning everything. What was the point to ever trying to be happy? The one thing—one, goddamn thing—that I wanted more than life itself seemed out of reach. Becoming a mother was something I’d dreamed about for what felt like forever.
If you have problems with depression or anxiety, it’s rare that they ever go away completely. They can come and go on a daily basis, they can stay for a long time or stay away for a long time. And nothing ever fixes you.
I’ve found that these are common issues in the infertile and loss communities. Be it the stress of trying so hard, the intensity of the grief of loss, the anxiety and fear of losing a baby again, the depression over maybe not being able to completely achieve your expected parenting dream (or even, at all)…for those who remain childless, who continue to try to conceive, and even who ultimately get that take-home baby, these feelings continue to remain very present.
It’s not all bad. Like Kimberly says, it’s not all the time. But there are still those days.
So, I’ve decided to support her and join in on this movement for the month of September by posting once a day for a month on my private Instagram account. I think this is an incredibly important message she’s trying to get across, and I want to be a part of it. I want to help in my own way to #stopthestigma.
At the end of the month, I’ll share the photos with you guys here on my blog.
Thanks for reading. 🙂 ❤
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please remember there is help out there. Call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or go online at www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org. Please speak up. At the very least, know I am here if you need someone to talk to. ❤