On depression.

by Andie Mitchell on July 9, 2012

Off and on for the past five years or so, I’ve gone to therapy. Often brief stints of me feeling low, sometimes lower than low, and not quite knowing what else could help besides a cake with one fork and an empty room. And so, I find a psychologist in my area and I spend a few months articulating the lowliness I’ve felt all my life, the one that hasn’t gone away even in times of thinness and health, success and wealth. Inevitably I decide that we’ve done all we can do, we say our goodbyes- my therapist and I- and we part ways. Lots of times I move states or countries and begin to feel a momentary betterment. Some geographic distraction.

The thing is, it has never quite gotten better entirely. I haven’t shaken that feeling of anxiousness, sadness, loneliness, utter boredom despite plenty to do. Not in twenty seven years.

The first time I called my mom to tell her of my shade of blue, I was 20 and standing out front of my college dorm.

“I just feel down. Everyday. Just…so lonely” I told her, standing no more than 15 feet from a group of my friends. Irony at play.

The heaviness, that foggy feeling felt familiar. It felt as though the sadness, the depression I was discovering- that it had been with me forever; I just hadn’t been able to articulate it until now.

I lived a full year in an outwardly happy, inwardly unsettled sort of way. I wasn’t sure what could be the matter. Other than an alcohol-soaked girlhood, a dad who’d died, and morbid obesity, I just wasn’t able to pinpoint the root of it. So I met with my first therapist. I can’t say it helped, but it felt proactive, and maybe that was enough to feel like I was getting somewhere.

Over the next seven years, two and a half of which you’ve known me here, I’ve felt a wavy up and down. It’s always progression and regression, peace and panic, a forever tingling of ants in my pants. If I were to try to describe my depression, I’d echo what Sarah Silverman wrote in her book, “The Bedwetter.” She described it as a feeling of homesickness when you’re already home.  This description is the only sentence I’ve read in all seven thousand self help books I’ve bought that actually makes me sigh, long and relieved, like someone gets it.

And what I’d add to this feeling of homesickness, is that so much of what I feel is contradictory. I feel deeply lonely, even with friends. I feel like I’m losing, even if I might have won. I feel like I’m struggling, drowning, even though I’ve got nothing nagging at me, nothing weighing me down. I feel tired, chronically, despite any stretch of sleep. I feel utterly, utterly bored but without enough ambition to seek activity. Hopeless. Like everyday is a struggle to get through, even the great ones. As though I am all alone and always will be, even if just in my head.

And really, it feels as insane as it sounds.

My life,

on paper,

is beautiful.

Maybe the fact that it’s so beautiful and I can’t quite feel its beauty is what makes me even sadder. There’s guilt in not being able to just wrap my arms around everything and absorb what happiness it could give me.

The thing is, I get through the days. I get through them very, very well. I wake up, I go about living in the way I’d want to live if I felt better. I try to be the person I’d want to be, were I more naturally inclined to being her. Mostly because- what else is there to do? The world, the show, they just go on.

It’s not that I’m not letting myself be who I truly am, it’s that I’m fighting against all urges to tuck under my covers forever. What’s interesting, I imagine, is that I seem happy. I seem light. And there are moments, lots of them, where I am happy and light. It’s just the other times, most times, when I’m working toward contentment of any kind.

My belief is that some of us have a happiness balance gone wonky. Our serotonin levels, our dopamine levels- whatever it may be- they’re just not quite up to par. And maybe medication restores some of the natural balance. Maybe it sets us at the same starting line as the rest of the world’s race runners, rather than twenty feet back. It doesn’t make us happier, not better, all by itself. But it lets us shake off a bit of that hopelessness, so that at least momentarily, we see that life won’t always feel like trudging through quicksand.

This week I’m starting to see a new therapist. To talk about life and anxiety and to ask her why, despite two book deals, traveling the world, and all the charming parts of my life, I’m still blue.

I believe in therapy. I believe in the experience of articulating feeling and thought. I believe in hearing myself say those things- crazy and non-crazy- and having someone else hear them, interpret them, too. It’s freeing. It’s validating.

I’m not sure this post has a purpose other than doing what I so love to do: letting my hair down, showing you that even if it seems as though my life is all manner of lovely, it isn’t always. So if you’re struggling, with anything really, I guess I want you to know that I struggle too. And that it’s all okay.

 

*Though this post is about depression, it isn’t meant to be sad. I don’t want anyone to worry about my emotional state or to think I’m floundering. While looking at my calendar this week, I saw the therapy appointment and I realized, as I often do when I toss out one of these types of posts, that this is the kind of honesty I like to share. Because I like empathy. And I really like thinking that we’re all in it together.

{ 311 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah July 9, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Thanks for sharing. You are so articulate. I some days feel this way too. It is encouraging to know the struggle is not just my own. :) To a week of yellows instead of blues. ;)

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Kimme July 18, 2012 at 5:47 am

This is my favorite comment ever. I hope you don’t mind my quoting you. I am off to make a week of Yellow’s!

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Juli November 18, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Wow. If I could have found the words that you so eloquently have, this could have been written by me. It’s nice to know I’m not alone going through life feeling this way. Hugs, Juli

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Bridget Ford July 9, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Thank you. So much. I can’t articulate how much I needed to read this today.

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Kristin July 9, 2012 at 2:24 pm

There are tears streaming down my face. Not because I’m sad (because today is a good day) but because no one has ever put my feelings into words the way you just have. I’m medicated to try and get myself up to the starting line and I’ve never felt better but sometimes at night.. oh nights are the worst. I slip. And I lay awake and I think of all the reasons I should be filled with joy except I’m sad and I don’t know why. Depression is hard and the thought that I’m (or that anyone has to) going to live with this for my whole life is terrifying most days. Thank you for sharing this, I think you’re fantastic.

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Tanya July 9, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Beautifully written. So many times, no matter your station in life, people think that someone has it better than them, and they must be so happy. I got over that a long time ago, when I realized I had so many amazing little things in my life and people actually admired certain parts of “my life” and I still felt like I wasn’t part of it. Thank you for this post…

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Kris July 9, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Every time I see something written about depression, I read it, hoping to see my experience validated. But it never is. When the post on depression appeared over at Hyperbole and a Half, I was excited, because I was sure I would relate to it. But I didn’t. I know, in my head, that every case of depression is different, but my inability to find a story that sounded like my own made me think that maybe I’m just a spoiled little girl who can’t handle a life that isn’t exactly what she always envisioned.
But if I were to write about the way I have felt since middle school, it would sound like this post. I’ve been to therapy, and it didn’t help. I refuse to medicate – it turned my mother into a zombie and made me distrust psychiatrists. I don’t know how I’m ever going to see the end of this, but knowing that someone like you, whose life (at least outwardly) I envy goes through these same struggles, well, it helps.
Thank you.

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Teresa July 18, 2012 at 8:40 pm

Kris,
I understand your fear of being medicated, especially since you saw what your mom went through.Please consider trying it again. Please consider finding a psychiatrist that is the right fit. I am currently on 3 depression medications and function normally (if there is such a thing:))I did talk therapy for 7 years while on one depression med after another. I finally gave in to seeing a psychiatrist just for meds and now we meet for counseling.I do not know where I would be without her knowledge and commitment to me and my health.

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Karlynn August 14, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Kris,
I loved your comment because it feels so like my own thoughts. I was depressed for a very long time, even though it seemed I had no reason to be. I attended years and years and years of therapy, both individually and with my family. I was medicated, it turned me into a zombie, and I went off the meds. The tiredness came back, but at least I could distinguish the appropriate emotions I should be feeling. I cannot pinpoint an exact moment in my life when things finally turned around, but they did. Life did not suddenly morph into rainbows and sunshine, but I guess I finally figured out how to live in my own skin. That isn’t to say I don’t still slip and have blue days, but they are fewer and far between. I hope this for you as well :)

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cakemix July 9, 2012 at 2:50 pm

i also would probably have tears streaming down my face, if i’d not agreed to anti-d’s just to function. thank you sooo sooo much for this post and for sharing with us. i found your blog via a recipe link – am so glad i followed the link…

…i hope it works with your new therapist.
i’m in the market for one myself!

hugs x

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kelly July 12, 2012 at 6:10 am

Just a thought, cake mix. I, like you am on anti-d’s and so relate to this blog post.
I know nothing about you but a comment of yours gave me pause. Appropriate anti-d’s should not hamper or blunt any normal emotional responses such as yours to the post.
Tears should still flow and smiles should be able to emerge.
If your ability to feel or express emotion is blocked by meds, consider the possibility that the meds (dosage or type) are not right for you.
Take care.

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Lu July 9, 2012 at 2:50 pm

My heart broke a little reading this. You are so articulate with how you feel. I tend to be more poetic, which makes me seem more detached. However, I’m struggling just like everyone does. Thanks for writing.

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Ange July 9, 2012 at 2:56 pm

The alone feeling is the worst feeling in the world, it tears you down and you don’t know how to get back up again

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Susan July 9, 2012 at 3:00 pm

As I’ve traveled those same hills and valleys, I’ve been grateful to learn that there are others who have journeyed close to me. Maybe not the exact same reasons, or the same problems, but there are people out there (and sometimes close at hand) who recognize you, who have had the same relatives/friends/relationships, who think that they have been alone too. We all want to be called by name, to be known, and when there are people around us who we can’t speak for fear of being as different as we think/know we are, we think we’re alone. But you are not, I am not, that person over there is not. We are kin. We have deep sadnesses and lonelinesses–but oddly enough, they turn out to be gifts. Strange gifts, but gifts. You are sharing your gift by writing and letting people know that they have a voice, they are not alone, and that they can encourage and be encouraged. That they can have one-step-at-a-time courage. Those one steps become two, and later, even tomorrow, you will see how far you’ve come, that you are not alone, that you have helped others, and that you give and love and grow. Blessings to you.

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Cheryl July 10, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and emotions! I too have depression – from being a family caregiver to my 88yo mother who has Alzheimers. I had no idea what was wrong with me, but i did know i needed help. It has taken awhile for me to acknowledge my depression, and i am getting help for it including attending Alzheimers caregiver support groups. I wish you luck, and is end you a thousand hugs your way. Thanks again for sharing of yourself!!!!!

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Melissa July 9, 2012 at 3:05 pm

You aren’t alone and it feels amazing to know I’m not alone either. The way that you phrase things is very freeing. Its an every day struggle and on the outside it shouldn’t be at all.

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lynne @ lgsmash July 9, 2012 at 3:06 pm

such a beautifully written post. best of luck with your therapist this week – i know you have readers who are reading this and feel a little less alone.

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Jameson Fink July 9, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Thinking of you, my friend. It’s brave to admit that while, on paper, everything points to happiness and fulfillment, you’re just not there. But I know you will get there.

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ciely July 9, 2012 at 3:29 pm

IMHO it’s all about fear. Knowing too many “truths” like how overweight people are treated differently, and all the effort and manipulation it takes just to have the privledge of any level of existance.

Once you find what is authentic in yourself & others, you begin to FEEL SAFER. FEAR LOSES ITS GRIP and cosmic consciousness has a chance. The perspective at that point is blissful & benevolent. (I’ll mail you my bill) LOL

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Simply Life July 9, 2012 at 3:40 pm

what a beautifully articulated post. thank you for your honesty and vulnerability.

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Betsy July 9, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Oh honey i have been there a million times over. Up and down, up and down. Sometimes the up’s last a long time and sometimes they don’t. Always in the back of my head is that urge to crawl in bed and talk to no one ever again. Therapy helped me tremendously and I still have to go back for a “tune up” every once in a while. I know depression is something that will be with me forever. I find that in the hardest times, I just focus on myself hour by hour. “How does getting out of bed feel? Ok. How about eating some food? What would not be terrible to do today? Walk around the block? Ok” No one really understands unless they’ve been there. You’re not alone. Don’t beat yourself up about not being “happy” enough. Just be you, and let the people who love you do that for you.

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Amanda July 9, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Thank you for sharing. I could have written this myself (if I was a better writer). It helps knowing others also struggle with depression and anxiety and hearing their stories.

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Lauren C July 9, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Thank you for your honesty. It’s beautiful.
I hope you find peace, as I believe you most certainly deserve it. I’m pulling for ya.

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Lorrie July 9, 2012 at 4:33 pm

This is a post I never expected to read on your blog, but this is exactly why I’ll continue to read as long as you continue to write.

I too have had my struggles with depression for as long as I can remember. Your quote from Sarah Silverman is stunning. I’ve always felt that those happy moments were out of body experiences for me. Too surreal and too fleeting to ever truly put my hands on or keep around. They just never seemed like me.

There is a lot of guilt with depression and I hope, as I head into my 30′s that I can let go of some of it. The guilt of still being sad despite the goodness in my life. The guilt that surrounds admitting to those that love me how I feel. That some days make my heart hurt and I don’t know why.

My hope is that you will find some inner peace.

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Mary S July 9, 2012 at 4:39 pm

Thank you, Andie! Again you’ve shown why everyone wants to be your best friend :) Thank you for your honesty and sharing your thoughts with all of us.

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Katie July 9, 2012 at 4:40 pm

I somehow want to reach through the computer and hug you, as if maybe that way, we could both feel emotionally what we know intellectually: life is a beautiful gift. But then again, isn’t tragedy beauty’s other half? I feel somehow that all our lonely togetherness might make it better. But I’m not sure either, Andie. After all, I’ve got this charming life here and I’m still just trying to figure out how to not feel so darn homesick, either.

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Monica July 9, 2012 at 4:53 pm

I wish I could say that I did not relate. I am rarely TOTALLY content/happy/fulfilled. There is always SOMETHING missing. What that something is, I could not tell you. I wish I knew. I ask myself why I am not just naturally happy or as fulfilled as I would think I should be, given whatever situation/accomplishment/happy occasion has taken place. Of course there are moments of happiness, but generally always a film, a layer of something that barricades the happiness I feel I should be absorbing from getting totally through. Thank you so much for your bravery, honesty, and as always, your genuine candor that remains unapologetic and inspiring.

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MommaO July 9, 2012 at 5:19 pm

I was forwarded your blog by a friend of mine that reads MY blog. Ironically on the same date I posted my first piece on my depression.
http://mommas-musings-by-momma.blogspot.com/2012/07/depression.html
I love how you describe it as starting a race 20 feet behind. I never read Sarah Silverman’s book, but I just purchased it for that one line you posted! Thank you for sharing, knowing we are not alone, is so helpful. Thank You!

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Sarah July 9, 2012 at 5:39 pm

Thank you so much. I feel like you have just described what I have been going through in a far more articulate fashion than I ever could. As alone as I feel its incredible to know that I am not alone, especially when no one else around me seems to really understand.

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Kate July 9, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Thank you.

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Anonymous July 9, 2012 at 6:22 pm

This is me. We are one and the same. I find comfort in the fact that others feel the way that I do. I hope you do as well. Truthfully, the only help and relief I have ever received has been from my relationship with God. Not a religion, but a relationship. Relying on him and sharing my hurts with him. I can’t explain it, but I feel as though he has been healing those broken parts. I still have hard days… today has actually been challenging, but I do know that I’m going to be okay because I have someone fighting for me.

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Deborah July 9, 2012 at 6:25 pm

Ditto

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Sarah July 11, 2012 at 10:25 am

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.
I can’t say it any better than this.
Times a million.
I pray for so many people in my life to see Him. To seek this relationship. For Him to reach their hearts.
I’ll add you to that list.
It changes everything.
Then you’ll be home. I promise.

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Crystal July 12, 2012 at 2:04 pm

I sooooo agree! Life will never be perfect here on earth, but a relationship with the savior gives hope in hopelessness. Praying for you.
You might seek out a therapist through Focus on the Family resources.

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Jessica July 14, 2012 at 4:39 am

Anon – Amen! Thank you for being so brave to share about your relationship with Christ so that everyone battling depression and life in general might seek him out as a way to alleviate that feeling of homesickness.

Andie – thank you also for being brave enough to share this vulnerable post with us. I will be praying that you find your way home :)

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Deborah July 9, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Thank you for sharing and you aren’t alone.

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Lauren E July 9, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Thank you Andie! You are an inspiration in every way. Coming from a young woman who has also been seeing a therapist on and off for over four years, thank you. Being so open and honest means a lot. It gives me the strength to push forward with my life and push through the rough times to get to the better days. Thank you again.

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Cassie July 9, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Thank you for being so honest Andie. I have dealt with depression since I was 15. When my depression was at it’s worst, I would spend days upon days in bed, simply because I couldn’t make myself get up. I’ve been on many different SSRI medications over the years and finally feel like I’ve reached a balance. That’s not to say I don’t have bad days (or weeks!), but I feel almost normal. I don’t know how you feel about medication or if you already take some form of anti-depressant, but they have helped me SO much. I truly hope you are able to find the same balance I have.

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Arika July 9, 2012 at 7:31 pm

If I hadn’t already loved your blog, I do now. I love the way you write, and I love your honesty. Please, keep it up!

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Morgan July 9, 2012 at 7:44 pm

Recently I just moved back from my college (dorm and all) to my hometown. I suffered from such bad anxiety that it was truly a challenge to walk to class each day. There were several weeks where I could barely get myself out of bed to go to class. Not because I’m lazy, or a slacker, but because I was having insane panic attacks. I was as pale as someone who had never seen sunlight, despite the fact that I would sit outside for hours upon end. I found salvation in novels, reading to get away from my own troubles. Wondering why I wasn’t happy. Wondering why I always got upset around my boyfriend who helped me through my troubles. I finally admitted my anxiety to him and it seemed to drive him away.

I started to realize the anxiety was my uncertainty. It was my distrust that one day my “perfect life” would unravel. I began to see that my boyfriend wasn’t the right guy for me, and upon breaking up with him dozens of people swarmed my inbox, speaking of how my tale helped him…how they had always seen me as a bubbly person. When I saw these comments it was a realization that I can be whoever I want to be, I just have to manifest it.

I’m not saying this is you by any means, but that I am so thankful that you shared your story. It made me feel just a little bit more…normal?

Thank you.

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Morgan July 9, 2012 at 7:45 pm

I meant my tale helped them* not “him”…sorry!

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Emma @ BITE | Boredom Is The Enemy July 9, 2012 at 7:52 pm

Well this was not at all what I expected. I’ve been waiting to hear about your struggles with depression for a while, since you’ve mentioned it before in the context of your relationship with food (thinking particularly of your exercise history), and I guess I always assumed that you had finally Solved It. Probably because it’s comforting to believe that depression is Solvable. But I think you’re right—some of us are just wired differently, and happiness is always going to be a work in progress.

I think the most misunderstood aspect of depression (which you articulated beautifully) is the fogginess/physical exhaustion that comes with it. I mean, you just can’t understand until you’ve lived it that it’s not just a matter of feeling sad. When I’ve had depressive episodes before, I’ve woken up one morning to find that I can’t think or move like myself for entire weeks at a time, like all my senses are on a permanent two-second delay, or like I’m watching myself in a movie. For weeks. And then it’s gone as suddenly as it starts, and I can’t even remember what it was like to feel that way myself.

I’m so grateful as always for your transparency, and so glad you’re getting the help you need. Sending you all the support in the world right now.

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Jess July 9, 2012 at 8:24 pm

I agree with so many others, this is freeing. It’s hard being told you are negative your whole life just because you don’t bounce into rooms with glee everyday. What you have described is so similar, if not exactly, my world. I will say, unfortunately, that when you add a spouse and children, it gets messier. Much messier. Because aren’t you suppose to just LIVE for them…? It’s just so damn messy. But having a wonderful writer describe it to a T makes is less messy and much easier to swallow. Thanks for this.

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Mythbusty July 9, 2012 at 9:02 pm

I completely understand. I wish you happiness.

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gina July 9, 2012 at 9:49 pm

Thank you for you:)

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Sarah July 9, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Wow. I could have written every single word of this. The homesickness thing is a PERFECT analogy. I’ve never read anything that described depression so very spot-on. It hit me so hard I almost cried. You’re right; someone really, truly gets it.

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Jessica July 9, 2012 at 10:50 pm

I know exactly how you feel. I have also been battling depression on and off for the past few years. Have you heard of the Mental Illness Happy Hour podcast? I find comfort that I’m not alone in this battle when I listen to this podcast.

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Alma July 9, 2012 at 10:52 pm

I can so relate to everything you said here–especially that feeling of homesickness. I also survived a childhood soaked in alcohol–which stole my father when I was six. My Mama died when I was 26, following open heart surgery. I’ve struggled with my weight, off and on, for years. When I was younger, I honestly didn’t know how to feel–but would hide behind layers–being quiet, being heavy–all designed to keep me safe…which led people to think I was sad or aloof. I always looked to the world to inform me of who I was and how I should feel. I’ve changed a lot in the 7 years since my Mama died. People now say I’m happy, and indeed, my life is as good as it’s ever been. I experience deep pockets of joy regularly, but I feel like I’m holding back a wave of something. I’ve never felt like I’ve been depressed on more than a short-term basis. I tend to climb out of things, but I do feel disconnected and lonely–like I can’t handle what I really feel, so I stuff it down somewhere until it can’t be contained. So, while I’m mostly happy–there’s an uneasiness about it. I feel like I almost seek out bad things to validate what I know exists inside me, but I can’t feel. I wish I could be well-rested and just…content. I feel homeless because all the people who were home for me aren’t here anymore, and I don’t know how to even start erecting new foundations.

But I hold on to the hope that comes from knowing the joy I do feel is real and palpable to others. I keep going every day because I know there is something else, an this feeling is temporary. I am comforted by the fact that, whatever exists inside me *will* come out when I’m ready to feel it. I’m just not ready. I don’t know if therapy will help me get ready–though I believe in it and will eventually be a therapist–but I know that this is more than I’ve ever felt, and just knowing that there’s something there to feel is–in some small way–progress. Life will give me what I need. It always has. I just have to be wise enough to wait for it–and brave enough to ask for it.

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Katie P July 21, 2012 at 10:49 am

You comment truly moved me. Your faith in the universe and perseverance to rise above the hurdles of your life is inspiring. You will be a wonderful therapist.

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Lauren Wilkman July 9, 2012 at 10:53 pm

I don’t typically read blogs. I have visited your blog previously to read (and re-read) about your weight-loss journey, but tonight something led me to your blog for this post. I have battled with severe depression since high school, but after my dad’s death last May it has escalated to a level I never thought I’d experience. Everyday is a battle and I often wonder if it is worth the fight. It is both comforting and heartbreaking to know that you and so many of your readers can relate to this state of sadness. I hope we all will find happiness in the future. Thank you for this post.

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Joelle (on a pink typewriter) July 20, 2012 at 5:55 pm

I don’ t mean to butt in here considering i don’t know you at all, so I hope you don’t mind.. but I stumbled upon your comment when scrolling to the bottom of this post and I just want you to know that no matter what, life is always worth the fight – even at the most unspeakable, painful, useless moments. If not just for yourself, but for those who love you – people you do and do not yet know, like this community here. Hang in there – you’re not alone.

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katie July 23, 2012 at 10:40 pm

“comforting and heartbreaking”… I so agree friend.

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kristen July 9, 2012 at 11:00 pm

I never realized how many people suffer from depression until it hit my immediate family. May 24 2012 my only brother (my baby brother) committed suicide, he was suffering from depression and was unable to handle the pain he was feeling. He didn’t let anyone know of his pain, until the day before it happened. He said he tried therapy, but he did not have a therapist that he felt comfortable with and said he was going to go to the hospital’s mental health facility for help, however, he never made it there. He was functually depressed (a term I read online for siblings coping with loss, and thought it was so true), he always was the life of the party and never once let anyone see how he was feeling. I struggle with being 36 years old, pregnant with my third child and the loss of my brother (who was also my husband’s best friend), but as I struggle I see that my family is not unique and we are not the first family to lose someone to this illness and that there are a lot of people out there suffering from depression. Hopefully posts like this one triggers something in people who are struggling and lets them see that it is OK to talk about it and there is no shame in being depressed and there is no shame in asking for help. I hate the pain that I am (and my parents) are going through and hope that one day there will be less families feeling this way as there really is no shame and that depression is an illness and there is help out there.

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Amy July 13, 2012 at 12:19 pm

I am so sorry to read about this unspeakable loss. My heart breaks for you and the pain, sorrow, and grief you are going through.

You sound like an amazing, loving, and strong person and you’ll get through this somehow. You are not alone.

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Lynne July 16, 2012 at 10:45 pm

My daughter was diagnosed with a severe depression in her first year of university. She had always had a darkness about her at times through her teens, and our GP incorrectly diagnosed her as bipolar when she was 18 and put her on the wrong medications which really messed her up. She tried therapy but couldn’t open up enough for it to help. She now has a really good consultant who correctly diagnosed her and who she sees every three months and she is much better. But still not right.
Things you said about your brother really hit a note with me, Kristen. My daughter is always the life and soul of any social outing – when she can be persuaded to go! My daughter has self-harmed because she said it either distracted her from her thoughts, or – when she felt numb inside – it made her feel, and even physical pain was better than feeling nothing. She will carry physical scars forever.
She could sleep the clock around if I let her. She has no energy to do anything. I bought her a labrador retriever puppy just to give her a reason that she HAD to get out of bed because he needs feeding, walking, attention etc. If nothing else, that dog who adores her and which she adores has given her a reason to live. So much else I could write, but I honestly wouldn’t know where to begin or even how to express it. So frightening watching someone you love going through it.

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Tiffany July 9, 2012 at 11:26 pm

Thanks for posting this Andie. I was recently diagnosed with depression and anorexia, about a month ago and have been on meds since then… You’re right, they don’t make the problem go away, they’re not the magical miracle cure, they just help you get to the point where you can get up in the morning and face the day at the same level as other people. I truly believe it’s a choice, and the meds give you the chance to pick which road you want to follow, your negative left hand road of the day, or the right hand road… some days it’s really hard to pick the right one. It’s a daily battle, and that’s okay. We all have our demons, and it’s okay to have a bad day… or several bad days… we just have to hold firm to the knowledge that eventually a good day will come around.

You have articulated so many of my feelings into words on the page, and for that I thank you. This post brought me peace on a rough day. Bless.

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Cassandra July 9, 2012 at 11:43 pm

I love this. Thank you for always being so open and honest in your posts. I can’t wait to buy your book.

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Jennifer July 9, 2012 at 11:47 pm

I had tears streaming down my face while reading this. Your blogs are so wonderfully personal that I feel like I’m hugging a dear friend and she’s telling me that everything is going to be alright. Sounds silly, I know. But I read your blog and I just feel like I’m not alone in my struggles. Like you said, we are all in this together. Thanks for being so inspiring and open.

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Ann July 9, 2012 at 11:50 pm

This is the first time I have heard depression explained so well. So much of what you’ve written is how I have lived my life. So often feeling as an outsider looking in; doing and acting the way I was supposed to; smiling on the outside…but the loneliness was always there, hopelessness at times too. And then normality would sneak in for a minute or two and I’d begin doubting myself all over again. It is comforting/disturbing to know that others experience life the same way I do. There is a certain consistency in that that makes me feel safe somehow. Thanks for your writings. A

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rescuekim July 10, 2012 at 12:36 am

I didn’t even recognize my own depression, my sister did. My primary MD started me on lexapro and what a difference. I came to find out that many women in my family are on lexipro. Made me feel better about taking it, frankly. Now, if I’m lax in taking it for a few days, I feel like a ‘cocked gun looking for someone to shoot’. Changed my life.

Kim

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Chole July 10, 2012 at 1:12 am

I’ve read most of your posts, and it’s such a unique experience to read someone else’s words that explain exactly how I’ve felt for forever. When I was growing up, I read a quote from Judith Thurman that resonated with me so much that I kept it by my bedside for years. It says: “Every dreamer knows that it is entirely possible to be homesick for a place you’ve never been to, perhaps more homesick than for familiar ground.” I loved that quote because it made me feel normal. Like I wasn’t the only one who felt unsettled, and that there were other people who didn’t feel quite at home at home either, like it wasn’t just me. I used to tell myself that maybe I was just meant to be more adventurous than other people were. It was my “it’s ok that I feel this way because…” excuse that I lived with for years.

Truth is, as much as I’ve loved seeing and living new places, I have always longed and ached for that place to call home and truly feel like I was home. And I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I’m more than just a little scared that if I ever do find a place to truly call “home” I’d have no idea what to do with it. That I’d run away or somehow mess things up and loose my chance at true peace and balance and happiness.
I think part of it was that I never really felt like I was safe or comfortable in the house I grew up in… I remember thinking “I just need to get to this X point in my life (or day) and thing’s will be better” even as a young kid… and I think that temporary-ness of living is something that has carried on with me.

Flash ahead about 10 years and I’m at a point in my life where I’ve lived in several different states and countries. I haven’t stayed in one place for over a few months in the last few years, and something seems to keep pushing me to keep moving on still, even now. I never really felt like I “fit” where I was, and I still don’t. Don’t get me wrong- I’ve lived some great places, had some great jobs, known some great people, have a graduate degree… and I guess like you my ‘on paper’ stuff looks great.

It’s just that at the time I always feel like I can’t quite enjoy the moment, and then the memories from my life are never as good as I wished they were going to be because I had too much nervous energy to get out and really live and do the things that I wanted to. I hold myself back a lot of the time. I tell myself that I’m not at a point in my life where I can enjoy “home” and “happiness” even if it were to knock on my door with a welcoming gift right this very moment. I’d probably peek out the peekhole and not have the guts to open the door. So instead I tell myself “not yet, I’m not ready to be ______ yet” (thin, happy, successful, in a relationship… really, almost anything you can think of would fit in here in my life right now)… it’s hard to explain. And it’s a calming, blanketing, numbing, horrible, awful, soul sucking thing to tell myself.

Someone once told me that it’s ok to run as long as you’re running towards something and not away, and I’ve tried to live my life that way ever since- except that now I try to calm myself enough to try walking in the general direction of good instead of running everywhere I have to/want to go so that it’s not so spastic and more… sustainable?

Anyway, this is long and I hate long comments (so, so sorry…) but I just wanted to say thanks for being a “walking buddy” for this time in my life. Maybe one day I’ll be as brave as you and start my own blog so you won’t have to read another rambling comment. Again, sorry… promise to not do it again! Thanks for all of your beautifully messy honesty. It’s soul-touching and inspiring.

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Janet Crit July 10, 2012 at 6:37 am

Andie and Chole, thank you so much for your honest perspectives.

My husband (and each of his 7 siblings) have suffered various forms of depression for their entire lives. Just this morning I watched him sinking again, how much he hates our neighborhood, our home, his job…He had just had a phone call from one of his brothers last night and it dragged him down.

You have just helped me to understand him in a perspective I have never seen before, and I bless you for it.

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Sue July 10, 2012 at 2:41 pm

Chole and Andie,

Thank you so much for sharing this. It really made sense.

Especially not allowing myself to be successful because I am not “ready” for good things to come to me and I never feel like I really belong.

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carolann July 10, 2012 at 1:17 am

My husband has suffered from bouts of severe depression for 17 of our 18 yrs of marriage, as someone on the outside looking in ( best way I can explain it)I have found it hard to make sense of, the description of feeling
homesickness when at home , made me go ask him if that’s how he feels and he said it is exactly like that. Thank you so much for your post and today you helped change my understanding of what my husband is struggling with everyday

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Laura July 10, 2012 at 2:39 am

Exquisitely written. And here I thought I was only deeply relating because of the weight issue. Amazing. You have obviously struck yet another chord within us. May we all unite and support each other in the journey.

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johnny July 10, 2012 at 3:03 am

You will find there are more people out there right now that are going thru exactely what you wrote about. It’s like what Miagie said to “Daniel son” ” You’ve got to have a balance” Some of us search our whole lives and never find it. Most times Money, fame, wealth, etc. don’t satisfy the balance. That’s why you see more of our so called celebrities always unhappy in their relationships.

Maybe we are searching in all the wrong places for the balance or fullness we want in life. I felt the tug and found that a relationship with God helped me more than all the therapists in the world. Like any solution, it doesn’t eliminate the problems but it sure helps having that hand to hold while we struggle thru.

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Sarah July 11, 2012 at 10:26 am

Amen!

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julie July 12, 2012 at 9:43 am

God has made all the difference for me too! My first thought after reading this blog post, was how we all search for hope & meaning. I truly believe that we can fund our TRUE HOPE in Him. He and He alone, gives us our purpose for living.

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Monica July 10, 2012 at 3:06 am

Great post, more people feel like this whether they care to admit it or not is another thing. The first step to balance is realizing that balance is needed and you are doing and I am learning to do that. It takes time but its great to know that there are others who have a successful exterior but have “blues” on the inside. Thank you

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tina July 10, 2012 at 3:34 am

Yes we all struggle and it’s ok- I love that last comment. God Bless.

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cait July 10, 2012 at 3:54 am

it’s beautifully odd how well-timed and well-put your post is for my life right now… i had actually been contemplating writing you about this very topic as the last three weeks have seen me in incredible highs (found out i was pregnant) to horrible lows (we lost the baby) to this weird new i-don’t-know-what level… food has been a challenge for me always, but this latest blow had me gaining 11 pounds in just a little over a week. i’m trying to fight my way back to hopefulness without food, or at least in a more balanced and healthy state with food, but…. i don’t know. that feeling of utter boredom with out the desire to actually do anything is exactly where i am. i want to move on and hope for the future, but i frequently just find myself stuck thinking, thinking, thinking about what could have been, what was & is, and the fears & hopes of what could be…

i am forever amazed at your forthright honesty and openness with your readers, and am truly thankful for it. i think it is so important to know you’re NOT alone in your feelings and that everything WILL be okay. i definitely needed the reminder right now. i hope that you find your balance, and thank you for helping me be a step closer to finding my own.

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Andrea July 10, 2012 at 4:10 am

Thank you. The feeling of homesickness is so true! I have days like that also
and that really pinpoints the feeling! God bless and love your posts.

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Holly July 10, 2012 at 4:33 am

My Dear Andie: We ALL have that hunger and thirst for something more that our frail, human selves can’t fill. We ALL search for pleasure, fulfillment and love in the form of food, people, travel, things… only to have temporary relief and happiness. We ALL have a God-shaped hole in our hearts that we try to patch up, but the truth is only HE-our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ can do it. I know first hand… there is no other answer. We’re ALL in this together-thank you for sharing your heart!
Matthew 6:33, 1 Timothy 4:8, Ephesians 2:8-10

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Megan July 10, 2012 at 5:10 am

This is exactly what I was moved to type…first, sweet and precious Andie, thank you for your beautiful words that, although pain filled, have given hope and a form of attachment for everyone struggling with depression, just like you. God has given you a gift and you are a blessing in many, many ways. Again, thank you for sharing your stuggle that SO many relate to (as is obvious in all the beautiful replies).

What struck me most, as many have alluded to, was the “homesick while already at home” quote. And, as Holly typed, I immediately thought of my faith in Jesus and the fact that God reminds me in my daily pains and struggles that, this earth is not my home. It’s temporary; for our Creator desires for us to dwell with Him, for eternity, in our perfect home, Heaven;
Matthew 6:19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But, store up for youselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

I am inspired by you for many, many reasons and today, you just added to that list; depression is real and it hurts and I am going to be praying for your healing; and that as you use all the gifts God has put in you, that He will begin to reveal to you His truer purpose for your life…the one that may not only bring that settled joy into your heart, but that will help you to see that there is more than this life, and it’s the fulfiller of our soul, Jesus Christ.

Love and hugs to you!

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Catherine July 10, 2012 at 6:09 am

Very well said. I’m also doing my best to have a closer relationship with Jesus and to ask for his wisdom and revelation in my life. I want to walk with Him by my side throughout the day because I know that’s where peace for me will be. Praying for you.
Hugs,
Cathie

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Sarah July 11, 2012 at 10:27 am

Look at all these amazing people He’s speaking through!

(ok, promise to stop dominating your comments now)

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Erin July 13, 2012 at 1:08 pm

That’s what I was going to say, thanks for saying it so wonderfully.

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jennifer July 10, 2012 at 5:01 am

its quite amazing how we all live in our own little bubbles, thinking we are unique, and that no one else has ever experienced what we are going through. sometimes, just knowing that you arent alone makes all the difference.

also, prozac.

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fhduval July 10, 2012 at 5:13 am

Thanks for sharing how you feel. After many months of feeling not right and doing everything possible to feel better, i.e., exercise, eating right I finally approached my doctor. He put me on a low dose Zoloft. The sun came out again, and I feel like myself again. I find it easier to feel the joy in all the little things around me.

I’m not sure if you do any volunteer work, but when I help others or animals (dogs) in a physical manner, actually getting out there I find it fills my heart with so much joy.

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berit July 10, 2012 at 5:19 am

I sometimes cannot help but think that in this day and age people are so fine-tuned to listen to their inner voices that the more sensitive among us cannot stop listening anymore. All the time we are asked how we feel and whether we are happy while forgetting that feeling just-so is perfectly acceptable as well.

:-/

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katie July 23, 2012 at 10:46 pm

I like this. I agree. My dear Grandma always tells me in some form or another, “Nobody is happy all the time, and no one ever was–the difference now is that we expect to be.”

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Chris C July 31, 2012 at 10:46 am

Well said. Your Grandma is absolutely right.

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Emily July 10, 2012 at 5:26 am

God damn it woman! I’m familiar with the feeling, and actually have lately been trying to work on trying to acknowledge it and move toward something better… Its a slow process and its ridiculously frustrating, yet it seems anything that I’ve looked at or read (my horoscope, tarot cards,etc) have been screaming that its time to deal-but I’ve been very stubborn about it and even though I know verbalizing it and not just overanalyzing my inability to deal with it would be a tremendous relief its a step I am terrified with, and then lo and behold I read your post today and there is another gentle reminder that I should just leap and be okay with it. Thanks for sharing, as always you rock! -emily

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Bridget July 10, 2012 at 5:29 am

Hugs Andie,
You are simply amazing. Thank you for sharing your words when I struggle to find my own.

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Ana Rodriguez July 10, 2012 at 5:44 am

Thank you for your words. My daughter, who is 16, has been struggling with depression for at least five years although we have been made aware of this only in the past few months. Reading your words makes me understand how she’s feeling, which she validates for me.

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The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh July 10, 2012 at 5:52 am

I think more people go through this than we know. Thanks for being you in all of your beautiful colors.

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talia July 10, 2012 at 6:09 am

Andie, as always, you put into beautiful words something that so very many of us feel each day. I have battled depression since I was 15 (18 years now) and while I have found tremendous relief with the help of meds there are always periods, be them days or even months at a time, that you just cant will yourself to feel right, to be happy, to appreciate what you have. Knowing that so many others experience the same thing and that you are not simply an ungrateful person makes it easier to cope. I think that the feeling you are somehow a bad person because you are not constantly joyous despite having achieved success, health and fortune is the worst part of living with long-term, biological depression. Just know that recognizing this and doing your best to help yourself, whether with therapy, medication or simply distraction is all you can do and i hope it brings you many more days of happiness than sadness.

On a tangential note, have you ever noticed that some of the funniest people also battle an inner war against depression? I find that very interesting.

Best of luck to you. You are not alone!

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Christy July 10, 2012 at 6:10 am

It is so comforting to know that I am not alone in the way I feel sometimes too. It was as if you were inside my head when you wrote this. Thank you for these very personal insights. You are amazing!! And the guilt is such a driving factor in my sadness as well. Granted there are things in my life that I’d like to improve on, but really I have a pretty amazing life and want to be that happy girl embracing it all and smiling constantly, but I can’t seem to get there every often. I think we all need to stop being so hard on ourselves and maybe we can get there. Much Love to you!!

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cherie July 10, 2012 at 6:25 am

Sometimes it takes many therapists, many theraputic experiences, to heal.
Not because one is better than the other, but because we can only touch what we can touch then, can only see what we can see then, can only hear what we can hear then.
Life is a journey – some parts are through the gloomy valleys.
It sounds like you’re doing a great job of moving forward, even if, sometimes, you’re not able to enjoy the ride.

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Stephanie July 10, 2012 at 6:27 am

You aren’t alone. I feel the same way. You just put it into words better than I do.

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Marcella July 10, 2012 at 6:42 am

I never wanted that post to end. That opening up and tumble of words that somewhere, in there, articulates exactly how I feel. I too act like the person I want to be, hoping that someday it sticks and I just wake up as her, because it can be utterly exhausting to be me. I think she’ll be happier, full of more energy, a ray of light in others’ lives and utterly completely 100% happy.

Thanks for sharing something that is so difficult to admit and articulate.

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Elizabeth July 10, 2012 at 6:51 am

I get it. I’ve been where you are. A lot. I’m so sorry but I’m so happy that you have this medium to share your pain with us. I hope it makes you feel not so alone and totally supported. I just went off welbutrin after 7 months. It never did much for me that I noticed. Now I feel a little more alive. I laugh deeper and harder. There is just so much up and down in life. I want to feel them.

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Allie July 10, 2012 at 6:56 am

beautifully said. The first part to winning a struggle is realizing you are in a struggle.
My fiance was paralyzed from the neck down in a car wreck we were in last year, and I’ve struggled with my up and down blues beccoming full out depression. I tried meds for a little while,gained 80 pounds, and had many mornings that i just felt like i couldn’t face the day. But ultimately, as said above, what helped me come back on the hill from the valley was realizing that the empty, afraid, numbness that greeted me every morning could only be filled by something not of this world.

My faith in God, my trust in him and his purpose and love for me have always given me strength to take the next step. I dont worry about 50 steps from now, just the next one, and in the moments that I feel I dont know if I could even pick up my foot, and that I will just lay down and give up, he is patient with me, gently whispering strength in my ear and covering me while I am too afraid to move. He is that way; personal, intimate, and ultimately familiar. After all, he knit you together piece by piece, and who knows a vessel better than it’s maker? Through Christ Jesus that fulfillment is possible. I know you arent looking for preaching from your readers, I hope I didnt overstep. But then again, who am I to find such peace and not be willing to share it with those around me?

Thanks for writing this, it is epic when people who struggle with feeling lonely realize that in their lonliness they are not alone.

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Katie July 10, 2012 at 7:15 am

This is such an inspiring post and I think you can see by all the comments that a lot of people have been where you are. I too have struggled with depression. I was diagnosed with post partum depression after my son was born in 2009. It was very scary and very hard because no one really talked about it then. Even in the 3 years since then, there has been a lot os buzz about PPD. Brooke Shields wrote her book and Kendra Wilkinson came out and said she had it. It was unexpected and very rough for me but I got through it.

I commend you for seeking out help because a lot of people are afraid to tell anyone. I didn’t know I had PPD until my sons doctor said somethign about it and even after that, I was still so ashamed. Not that I think medication can solve everything, but have you ever tried any form of anitdepressant. I have been taking Lexapro for almost 3 years and it has done wonders for me. Now that I know how good I can feel, it leads me to believe that I had depression for a number of years and didn’t even know it. I still have good days and bad days, and always will struggle with it, but at least I can get through the bad days. Just a suggestion so take it for what it’s worth. Thanks for sharing.

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Rachel July 10, 2012 at 7:23 am

i can’t thank you enough for sharing this in such a perfectly articulate way. just like sarah silverman’s words struck that “somebody actually gets it!” chord with you, your words struck that chord with me. thank you for explaining what i feel like i fail to time and time and time again. perfectly. it’s like you’re in my head….and while i am desperately sorry that either of us has to struggle with this, i am eternally thankful that even though it feels like we are all alone most of the time, sometimes we see glimmers that show us that we’re really not fighting by ourselves. good luck :)

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Christina July 10, 2012 at 7:30 am

I totally get where you are coming from. I love that quote from Sarah Silverman as well, it totally sums up a feeling that is so hard to describe.

After losing 60 lbs and realizing that I still wasn’t happy and all those fears and sadness were still inside of me, I decided to seek out therapy. It’s hard work, but so worth it. Most days I feel a little bit of lightness come over me as I work through my challenges. Other days, I feel blue. It’s ok to be sad sometimes, the key is to be able to look and identify why we feel a certain way. I’m still trying to learn how to NOT use food as a way to numb my feelings, but it gets better everyday day.

Your writing has been an inspiration to me and I often go back and read your posts about peace with food and your exercise history and cry. I cry b/c I am there and struggling right now. I cry b/c I’m trying to let go as well. Thanks for being you and sharing.

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Cadi July 10, 2012 at 8:21 am

I needed this post today, more than you will ever know. You’ve articulated what I’ve never been able to explain to anyone ~ the loneliness despite a crowd of loved ones, the displaced homesickness (my god, is there any better description?), the overwhelming boredom in the face of having plenty to do, the anxiety that you have so much to do with nothing nagging at you, the unnecessary worry about any/everything. You just described my life and gave me words for something I’ve never had words for. And I am nothing, my dear, if not the wordiest girl you’ve never met.

I feel as though you’ve given me permission, for lack of a better descriptor, to feel this way. Because others do too, and it will all be OK. We ARE all in it together, and you’ve given a lot of people a voice today with this post. We’re all looking off our respective desolate islands into the distance, and seeing others waving back for the first time in a long time. It’s comforting knowing that we aren’t alone.

Take care of you, Andie. And thank you, for everything.

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Tamara July 10, 2012 at 8:21 am

Your writing is so lovely, Andie. I’ve had a few bouts of depression due to circumstances, but overall, when bad feelings arise, I can often acknowledge them as the pesky visitors they are and then brush them off like cobwebs. I recognize that I’m lucky in this regard, and wish I could share some secret with you and everyone who suffers the things you describe so eloquently, so poignantly, in this post. But there’s no secret. I could say that it’s to choose happiness, which I do genuinely believe is our prerogative, but I also know that, for many people, it’s not nearly so simple. Would that it were!

I wish you well and best of luck with the new therapist.

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Laura Brooke Allen July 10, 2012 at 9:43 am

A song about Homesickness:

“If I find in myself desires nothing in this earth can satisfy,
I can only conclude that I was not made for here
If the flesh that I fight is at best only light and momentary,
Then of course I feel nude when to where I’m destined I’m compared.

Speak to me in the light of the dawn
Mercy comes with the morning
I will sigh and with all creation groan as I wait for Hope to come for me

Am I lost or just less found? On the straight or on the roundabout of the wrong way?
Is this a soul that stirs in me? Is it breaking free, wanting to come alive?
Cause my comfort would prefer for me to be numb
And avoid the impending birth of who I was born to become.

For we, we are not long here
Our time is but a breath, so we better breathe it.
And I, I was made to live, I was made to love, I was made to know You.

Hope is coming for me.
Hope, He is coming

-C.S. Lewis Song by Brooke Fraser. Cry out to Jesus, Andie. Nothing… Nothing… Nothing of this earth will satisfy, I can only assume that we were not meant for here. He came to heal the broken hearted. To set the captives free. He bought you with His blood. Purchased you. All you say is “Thank You. Yes, please.” To which He replies, “Can you stay for dinner?”

Be loved, beloved. He did it all for YOU.

You do not walk alone.
Laura

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Megan July 18, 2012 at 1:58 pm

wow…totally beautiful way to put it…that helped me too :) Thanks for sharing it!

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GLENDA July 10, 2012 at 8:22 am

Dear Andie-
Your comments on depression brought back a lot of memories. I have struggled with this for a lifetime. I was depressed at 4 years old!!! I was the cheerleader and prom queen from the nice family, that was so depressed, I could hardly function, but I put on a good front. Meantime I became an alcoholic and once I got treatment, I realized I had bee sexually abused as a child. Believe me, it colors all that you do. In treatment, I said out loud what I had held in for years and years. It has changed my life-I wish I could get back all those years to live through my new eyes. Live and learn.
Please keep going to therapy. You may or may not have been abused-and abuse takes many forms-you can be sexually abused without being touched. When I was in treatment I had to do the eating disorder protocol as well. I don’t remember anyone in there who had NOT been
sexually abused in some way. I am not saying you have been, but therapy is like peeling an onion skin. Also, there is magic in the telling as a dear friend of mine once said. It is the unsaid and the secrets that keep us sick.
You are a beautiful person and you deserve to have all you want.Keep on working on this. It is worth all your effort.
I love your blog and have told many about it weather they have weight issues or not-just a great site.-all the best-G

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Suzanne July 10, 2012 at 8:48 am

I appreciate you writing this post. Depression is different for everyone but you have very much put into words what I have felt for as long as I can remember. Because I ‘function’ in every day life, go to work, am responsible and don’t lay in bed all day, I’ve been told it’s not depression. I feel like something is wrong with me and why can’t I just snap out of it. I have so many great things in life but nothing makes me feel better. Why can’t I just be happy and enjoy all the great things and people in my life? Nothing makes it better and I struggle with the thought of feeling this way forever.

Anyway, thank you for putting into words what SO closely articulates how I feel.

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sarah July 10, 2012 at 9:02 am

I wont write what many many have already written, but know I think of you often and am sending you hugs and love.

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Rebecca July 10, 2012 at 9:09 am

I love your honesty, and I love that you post your ups & downs. I can so relate to this post. I feel like this most of the time too, when I should be Happy! I have a great life, but I still feel like I’m missing something.
Keep being Real and keep your head up, You Are Awesome!

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Katherine July 10, 2012 at 9:37 am

hey Andi,

I only recently started reading your blog, and I think like everyone else what I love (apart from your recipes) is just how honest and you, you are.

something i like to do if i am feeling blue is lay outside and look up at the stars and think about how tiny and inconsequntial I am. haha, everyone loves to pretend there is a cosmic and spiritual meaning to our life (and maybe there is, but no one really knows) but when you just see yourself as this tiny tiny part of this universe without meaning, then you feel this crazy freedom of just being and being able to create your own meaning and happiness by just enjoying life, because nothing really matters in the end.

and i suppose in some ways that can sound depressing, but I think it is so freeing and cool and happy in a way.

anyway, that might not make much sense, but I like it. loads of happy and positive energy to you!

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Katherine July 10, 2012 at 9:40 am

and p.s if you haven’t you should read ‘the conquest of happiness’ by Betrand Russell, he is my absolute favorite!

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Christy July 10, 2012 at 10:18 am

I don’t know if anyone would consider me “depressed”, but I can tell you that even though I am happy with my life, my family, my job…I’m not happy, haven’t been happy most my life. There is this underlying blah that is almost always there and its getting worse lately as I contiplate turning 40 in a couple years. I realize how much of life is gone and how much I haven’t done. I really identified with your words. And that quote from Sarah…wow. Hits the nail on the head. Thank you for sharing.

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Tara July 10, 2012 at 10:27 am

Thank you so much for sharing this.
From my personal experience, I wanted to comment on the medication aspect. I grew up with friends and family that viewed being medicated as a sign of weakness, that imbalances in your brain chemistry were not of the same caliber as imbalances in your health elsewhere.
As I grew older, my depression gave way to extreme anxiety, which eventually lead to more depression. … I’ve been taking anxiety medication for about three years now. When I first began, I wanted a deadline to be off the meds – a timeline to be able to cope on my own. I will agree that the medication does not “fix” me on it’s own; but coupled with several months of good therapy and some exploration into behavioral therapy on my own, the medication allows me to actually employ better coping skills. It gives me a handicap, it lets me start on a level playing field.
Now, I don’t worry about “when I’ll stop taking medication” – for the moment, it works for me, and I will continue with this line of mental healthcare as long as it does. More days than not, I’m able to appreciate all the amazing intricacies of my life – so yeah, I’ll stick with that :)

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Donna July 10, 2012 at 10:49 am

I love this post! It is exactly what I would write — every word — about depression and how it feels. Thank you for sharing. Good luck with your new therapist. I just finished 8.5 years of therapy — my therapist retired.

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Mer July 10, 2012 at 10:57 am

It’s like you broke into my brain and wrote what’s in there! I feel the same way 99.9% of the time. I have great friends, am employed, get great enjoyment from my photography and belly dancing, have a great and supportive Mom…but still feel empty and “lost” most of the time. I finished a 1 year commitment to a therapy program (Dialectical behavioral Therapy) for BPD and learned ways to cope with the empties…yet they still hover over me everyday…
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and making me feel less alone in them!

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Jennifer July 10, 2012 at 10:58 am

Beautifully put. I think I have struggled with depression most of my life, and had severe postpartum depression, so I have seen the deepest of depths. Some days are better than others, but I think what you wrote about so well is the irony of feeling so alone when you are surrounded – it seems my feelings are worse when everything is going well because I feel like I “should” appreciate it more, “should” be happier. I have lost 100+ pounds, I am physically fit for the first time in my life, my girls are getting to a point of stability – this “should” be the best time we’ve had as a family in their entire lives, and yet there is an emptiness I can’t fill. Thank you for sharing your story – not just this one, but all of it. You have echoed so many of my sentiments so often.

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Courtney July 10, 2012 at 11:09 am

Thanks for posting this. Although I don’t wish this on other people, it’s nice to be reminded that I am not alone.

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LisaK July 10, 2012 at 11:12 am

Excellent post. Thanks for putting those feelings in to words.

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Wendy July 10, 2012 at 11:14 am

Beautiful post! I’ve felt like this many, many times in my life. Everything is going well, perfect even, and I can’t be happy. I just…..can’t. I didn’t realize how bad it was until the last few years when those feelings just seem to have gone away. I don’t know what I did, but now, for the most part, I’m happy. Not it’s-my-birthday-Christmas-morning-wooohoooo! happy, but content. I realize now that I probably was suffering from some sort of depression. I’d be sad for no reason. I hope you find the help you are looking for.

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Mary Ann July 10, 2012 at 11:30 am

You make many valid points. Not the least of which is that things often feel worse when they “should” be better. In my experience, personally and professionally, many who experience depression have histories of truamatic experiences. When things are hard, difficult or in crisis there is a familiarity and homeostasis that comes with struggle. What is so unfamiliar and destabilizing are those non crisis moments, when things are “fine”. Without the adrenaline produced during the stress response we can be left feeling lethargic, depressed and unable to access joy. Blessings to you on your road to healing.

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Carrie July 10, 2012 at 11:35 am

I love your honesty and ability to put complicated thoughts into poetic words.

My mother and I have struggled with depression all of our lives, my mother more so (she spent several months in a psychiatric hospital for depression, suicidal tendencies, and eating disorders a few years ago).

I encourage you to pray about this. I don’t know if you believe in God, but He loves you, cares for you, and watches over you EVERY DAY. My faith in God has been the ONE TRUE THING to bring me hope and satisfaction in an empty world.

Recently, during a time when I felt lonely, a song came on my iTunes that I KNEW God allowed for me to hear at that moment. It was Divine Romance by Phil Wickham. I immediately wrote down some of the words:

“The fullness of Your grace is here with me. The richness of Your beauty is all I see. The brightness of Your glory has arrived. In Your presence God I am completely satisfied. For You I sing and dance. Rejoice in this divine romance. Lift my heart and my hands to show my love.”

I hope this is an encouragement to you. :)

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Ashley July 11, 2012 at 6:36 am

What a beautiful comment Carrie and I have to totally agree with you in my own experience. Thank you. And thank you Andie for sharing. It also helps to see that I’m not alone in my daily struggles on this earth.

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Sarah July 10, 2012 at 11:45 am

Thanks, Andie.
Like all of the other people who’ve commented, I feel like someone gets it. Finally.
Over the past few years, I’ve found myself making a lot of excuses for the way I feel. For the anxious feelings, and for the days when I’m down.
I spend even more time trying to explain how I’m feeling to the people around me. It’s hard. And you’ve done it perfectly here.
For a while, the sinking, homesick feeling has consumed me. On many days, I don’t want to be anywhere but home, to the point where I decline invitations to hang out with friends, and when I do force myself to go out, I’m too anxious to concentrate, counting down the seconds until I can go home.
How do you tell a friend that means the world to you it hurts to be with them, and you can’t explain why?
I spend all of my time rushing to get home, and when I get there, the feeling barely subsides.
I’m always thinking, if I could just get home I’ll work on (insert something productive here). But it never happens. I once heard someone tell me “I’m not ambitious enough for my own dreams”, but I think for some of us those “homesick”, sinking, anxious feelings, the ones you have on the days where you can’t help but feel like you’re losing, get in the way.
Thank you for finally expressing what I’ve felt like I can’t for too many years.
It gave me something to smile about today, and made me feel, for just a moment, that if I’m losing, I’m not losing alone.

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debbie July 10, 2012 at 12:10 pm

So good to read a deep and lovely post from you. It’s what draws me to your blog every day, the hope of reading one of these posts.

I find that the times that I am truly happy are the times when I am fully immersed in an activity — where my brain has to fully participate in what I am doing and has no time to tell stories that make me feel anxious or sad or lonely. The struggle is staying in that place. I’m not so good a that.

So I fill my time with distractions to try and feel that feeling in easier ways. I read blogs, I surf the internet, I check facebook a few times an hour. And none of it gets even close to that feeling of learning to rock climb, running a race, watching a humpback whale breach 30 yards from the boat, a deep, beautiful conversation, a great book.

I sometimes wonder if I would be happier with a harder life — like living as a homesteader and having to work from dawn to dusk to feed myself and keep myself warm and alive. Perhaps I wouldn’t be happier – but I might be more fulfilled, more satisfied and I’d have less time to create problems in my mind where there really are none.

Maybe some day I’l give it a try …

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Amy July 10, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Andie,

I’ve been reading for a while but have never commented. I received the following in an email this morning. It spoke to me as I hope it does to you:

This is an absolutely incredible short interview with Rick Warren, ‘Purpose Driven Life’ author and pastor of Saddleback Church in California.

In the interview by Paul Bradshaw with Rick Warren, Rick said:

People ask me, What is the purpose of life?

And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were not made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven. One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body–but not the end of me.

I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act – the dress rehearsal. God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity.

We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn’t going to make sense.

Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you’re just coming out of one, or you’re getting ready to go into another one.

The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort; God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy.

We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that’s not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness.

This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer.

I used to think that life was hills and valleys – you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don’t believe that anymore.

Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it’s kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life.

No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on. And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for.

You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems:

If you focus on your problems, you’re going into self-centeredness, which is my problem, my issues, my pain.’ But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.

We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her. It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character, given her a ministry of helping other people, given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people.

You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life. Actually, sometimes learning to deal with the good is harder. For instance, this past year, all of a sudden, when the book sold 15 million copies, it made me instantly very wealthy.

It also brought a lot of notoriety that I had never had to deal with before. I don’t think God gives you money or notoriety for your own ego or for you to live a life of ease.

So I began to ask God what He wanted me to do with this money, notoriety and influence. He gave me two different passages that helped me decide what to do, II Corinthians 9 and Psalm 72.

First, in spite of all the money coming in, we would not change our lifestyle one bit. We made no major purchases.

Second, about midway through last year, I stopped taking a salary from the church.

Third, we set up foundations to fund an initiative we call The Peace Plan to plant churches, equip leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next generation.

Fourth, I added up all that the church had paid me in the 24 years since I started the church, and I gave it all back. It was liberating to be able to serve God for free.

We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity?

Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God’s purposes (for my life)?

When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, “God, if I don’t get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You better.”

God didn’t put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He’s more interested in what I am than what I do.

That’s why we’re called human beings, not human doings.

Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.
Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.
Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD.
Painful moments, TRUST GOD.
Every moment, THANK GOD.

God’s Blessings!

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meghan July 11, 2012 at 9:55 am

What a wonderful comment, it blessed me very much! Thanks!

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Michelle July 10, 2012 at 12:59 pm

I was just telling my friend that I am more unhappy then happy and she didn’t get it. I guess it was hard for me to articulate – but what you wrote is exactly it! Feels so good to know that I’m not the only one that feels that way! Thank you for sharing!!

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Kim July 10, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Wow. I have never considered myself depressed, however, almost all of what you wrote felt like it was coming out of my brain.

Yes. My Life is Beautiful. And I have those fleeting moments where I feel like I couldn’t be happier living my life… but most are just going through the motions of nothingness and loneliness and wanting to crawl back in bed and sleep for days straight.

Thank you for putting in to words what so many feel.

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Carol July 10, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Love you Andie. Needed this today.

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Meagan July 10, 2012 at 1:37 pm

I made it my 2011 New Year’s resolution to start seeing a therapist. I went to my first appointment in late June 2011 and have been going on a regular basis since. :) I can honestly say that it was one of the best and most important decisions I have made, and I admire anyone else who does this for themselves…because as I’m sure you know, it’s definitely not easy!

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Anonymous July 10, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Thank you very much for articulating your feelings so clearly because I relate almost exactly. I was thinking of skipping my therapy appointment after work today (there are just those days you don’t feel like talking, and I haven’t gone in weeks), but now I’m looking forward to it. Thank you for always being so eloquent and honest!

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Kari July 10, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Every word makes complete sense to me. Validation of our feelings is something we all need every once in awhile and you gave me a good dose today. Thank you so much for sharing.

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Mya July 10, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Thank you.

This makes me cry. When I saw the post title in my email I admit I was a little confused. You are right; your life is beautiful and it doesn’t seem like you should feel this way. But it never does.
On a more positive note: I am now more convinced that we are somehow the same person. So far the only differences I can find (with the exception of the obvious-family/friends, etc) are our age and opinions of shellfish. ;)

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Christine July 10, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Thank you so much for your honesty and for putting into words exactly how I feel. My life is also “good on paper” yet many days I feel like I’ve hit rock bottom. I feel lonely and detached from my friends, when really, they are right there for me.

Depression is something that tries to prevent you from enjoying the life you have.

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Ashley July 10, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Thank you for posting this, especially the part about having a beautiful on paper life, and feeling perhaps sadder for not being able to feel it’s beauty. That’s me to a T. You’re not alone; this life is a journey…keep fighting.

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Allison July 10, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Beautifully put! I, too have the very same struggles even though I am blessed with so much in my life. Everyday I wake up I am thankful for so much in my life yet I can’t help but feel like I am walking this journey through life alone and hopeless. I firmly believe in the purpose of therapy because I’ve been seeing one for 17 months since my mother suddenly passed away. You are not alone, even if you feel so. So many women suffer with this feeling of hopelessness. Just remember you have a beautiful soul. He brought you to it, so He will carry you through it…

xo

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lauren July 10, 2012 at 2:45 pm

I don’t think I have ever heard this described so well. No therapist or dr has ever made me fee like they understood my experience the way you just did in one short post. I think I was around 8 yrs old when I recognized my constant feeling of a heavy heart. I am now 30. I sometimes feel my search for a solution was never taken seriously because I was so high functioning in daily life and kind resigned myself to the idea that it would always be this way. Thank you for sharing this.

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Sarah July 10, 2012 at 2:57 pm

I’ve been there. (Sometimes, despite my best efforts, I still am there.) I understand. Thank you for writing this.

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Ellen July 10, 2012 at 4:04 pm

Wow–you have very succinctly expressed my life experience! I envy your courage in being willing to share those feelings in such a public forum–it’s not easy! The last few years, the lows have been stronger, and I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which was a blow in itself. Thank you for expressing our life experience so well, and best of luck in finding the inner peace we both look for. Keep us posted.

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Lori July 10, 2012 at 4:39 pm

“Our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee”. Augustine

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Stefanie July 10, 2012 at 5:09 pm

Thank you for posting this. It couldn’t have been at a better time for me. I just made my first call in to a counsellor to discuss my feelings of depression. The way you explained how you feel certain days is exactly how i just explained it myself.
To know that Im not the only one feeling this way; that what i feel is “normal”, really makes me feel better about myself.
Im learning that things don’t change overnight. They take time. Sometimes a long time. But it makes it much easier to go through things when you have people you can rely on to help you through it.

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Kelly July 10, 2012 at 5:53 pm

Andie, I too have struggled with depression for years. My formal diagnosis came when I was 18.

What really resonated for me was the phone call to your mom, and being geographically distracted.

I know what it’s like to feel lonely, surrounded by your closest and dearest friends…and to feel guilty about that feeling, because you are, in fact, surrounded by your closest and dearest friends.

I know what it’s like to move hours and hours away, and feel blissfully, stupidly happy for a year, only to spend the following year crashing and burning.

I’ve been grappling with going back to therapy in the last couple weeks as well, but am doing a lot of research on who I see this time.

I thank you, again and again, for your unabashed honesty – the honesty that keeps me coming back, and makes me think that if we were to meet over a cup of coffee, we might quickly become the best of friends.

To say I am looking forward to your book is the understatement of the century. Keep doing, being, blogging, and plugging on.

Thanks, a million times over….

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Kelly July 10, 2012 at 5:58 pm

Beautifully honest. Thank you for putting words to feelings that so many of us experience. We may not have ever met, but thanks for sharing with us like friends. Your words help so many.

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Lori July 10, 2012 at 6:08 pm

“Our souls are restless until they find their rest in Thee.” Augustine

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Mandy July 10, 2012 at 6:14 pm

I have literally just walked in the door from my therapy appointment and stumbled upon this article after viewing your recipes through a link on Pinterest. As so many others have said, this is my story. I was originally diagnosed with depression at the age of 17 as a freshman in college and like you knew that I had felt this way for my whole life (or at least as long as I could remember). I have continued this battle for 20 years since my first diagnosis and it is exhausting. I often have two dominant thoughts: 1. It is just not fair. 2. I am very tired – tired of feeling this way.

I find it very interesting that you quoted Sarah Silverman. Two weeks ago at my first therapy appointment after a six month hiatus, I too used that quote to describe how I felt. I feel like Miss Silverman was able to put this feeling that I have been experiencing for the majority of my life into words that describe it exactly. Good luck on your journey!

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Trisha July 10, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Love and respect you for making yourself open and vulnerable once again …

thank you for the reminder that we are all in this together… we are all one… we all have our battles…

<3

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Tracy July 10, 2012 at 6:45 pm

This really hit home with me today. I have tried for many years to put my so called “depression” or “bi-polar II” (as dx’d by my shrink) into words and you just spelled it all out. Thank you. I have a beautiful and blessed life. 3 healthy, happy, bright, beautiful children and a husband who loves and adores me and never lets a day go by without telling me. However, more often than not, I feel like I am just “functioning”, not enjoying. I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders and just don’t know how to let it go. I’m trying and I will not give up, there is too much at stake. I honestly believe that one day I wiill turn the corner and the fog will be lifted. Thank you again for your beautiful words.

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Maggie July 10, 2012 at 6:55 pm

Isaiah 41:10 – So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

I Peter 5:7 – Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Psalm 46:1 – God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

:)

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Nicole July 10, 2012 at 7:47 pm

Thank you.

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Marie B July 10, 2012 at 8:24 pm

Andie,
This has spoken to me more than anything you have ever written, and I have stalked you from the moment I first discovered you, haha… um ;). I am now recently engaged to a beautiful man, and just last night, I was woken up by “nightmares” of the WORST possible things that could happen on my wedding day. Call it anxiety or whatever you will, but it was uneasy to say the least. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being so honest with “US”. I strive to be as wonderfully beautiful as you :)

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Katie July 10, 2012 at 11:26 pm

WE LOVE YOU ANDIE! Please, wherever you go, walk in the knowledge that you are SO LOVED. You matter so much, to so many, and you have touched so many readers’ lives in ways big and small–just by being you. Wrap these truths tightly around you, and let them give you comfort and warmth in your darkest hours.

On a lighter note, in browsing your recipes a couple weeks back in the interim of your postings, I discovered that we have the same tiny colorful bowls from Anthropologie, which solidified my suspicions that we could in fact become best friends should we ever cross paths in real life. :) Also, one last thought: please, please read “The Fault in our Stars” by John Green as soon as possible. It will take your breath away and just make you grateful be alive, I promise you.

Thank you for who you are and sharing your voice with those who find themselves without one.

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Cathy July 11, 2012 at 6:43 am

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, I really do appreciate you posting this. Everyday I feel is a battle to get through the day. I think it may be time for me to admit I need help and find a therapist.
Thank you again and best of luck to you!!
Cathy

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Sharon July 11, 2012 at 6:56 am

This was so on par. Thank you. The feeling homesick at home quote kind of hit me. I’m so glad you posted this.

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Sara July 11, 2012 at 7:13 am

I can only echo what so many people have already said on here. What a great number of us have felt, you just articulated – beautifully. Thank you for sharing.

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T July 11, 2012 at 7:17 am

Andie, first you helped me identify my issues with eating. You taught me that food can be a crutch, and as I read your words, I learned the importance of flavor, texture, and history of the foods I eat. I am now more conscious, more streamlined, and purer in the choices I make in regards to food.
But the depression lingered. I’ve been to multiple therapists and felt better for periods of time. But the lows are low, and they seem to always return. Thank you for articulating how I feel. I, too, am starting with a new therapist this week. I know there are better times ahead for us. I know we can get through this. Thank you again for sharing. It means more than you know.

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D July 11, 2012 at 8:29 am

I cannot express how accurate this post is. I’ve been through major depressive episodes for “good” reasons (death, debt, parental divorce, betrayal & break-ups) and never had a problem understanding why or how it happens. But the hardest part is when I am supposed to be happy and I am just not. That Sarah Silverman quote is so unbelievably true, since it is a feeling like no other. Thank you for being so brutally honest. I can’t wait to read your book(s)!

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Elizabeth July 11, 2012 at 9:10 am

All of us who suffer from depression are kindred sisters. I have struggled with this all my life too and, like you, have so much to be happy about. I always say that depression is simply the lack of joy in being alive. Those who have it don’t know how monotonous life is without it! Every day is an exercise (for me) in cultivating an attitude of gratitude. God bless you on your journey!!

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Bree July 11, 2012 at 9:41 am

I have struggled with depression for years myself. I can not tell you how inspiring it is to see that you are beating in just a little everyday. Getting up. Not eating that cake. You give me hope that it will get easier for me to get up, get out, and make the right choices. It’s just hard to find the reason to start. Thank you for sharing. It helps.

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Tish July 11, 2012 at 10:19 am

Reading your post it felt like you were in my head. Your words explain it all perfectly, and it’s such a hard thing to explain sometimes. We all struggle in our own ways and it’s always comforting to know others understand. Thank you for this post!

And I love your blog :)

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meghan July 11, 2012 at 10:21 am

Firts and formost, Thank you for your openness that is such a blessing! When we hide the “stuff” of our lives it only torments us more, when it is brought into the light then we learn we are not alone and get support and encouragement. I must say I have never struggled with depression except after having my first child and it didn’t last long, but it was very difficult to deal with alone…so goin to therapy is great and having support from your friends and family is vital.

Honestly the best suggestion I can make and it sounds simply and to some silly…the best thing I ever did in my life (which was a complete mess from drugs and yuck) was accepting Christ as my Savior. He has completely restored my life and turned it into a beautiful thing…from complete decay. Be encouraged God loves you and has a plan for your life along with every other person he created.

Phil 4:6-9
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.7 If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, let me say one more thing as I close this letter. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.9 Keep putting into practice all you learned from me and heard from me and saw me doing, and the God of peace will be with you.

Blessings to you! Meghan

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Sue July 11, 2012 at 12:46 pm

thanks Meghan.

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Jessica Pierce July 11, 2012 at 10:35 am

So well done. You are wonderful. Thank you for this post!

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Emily July 11, 2012 at 10:38 am

It’s pretty amazing to see how many people feel this exact same way most of the time. I am in that boat with you, and it’s been incredibly trying for the past… oh, 16 years or so (I’m nearly 28).

Lately, the feelings of hopelessness have gotten pretty bad, much of it because I feel incredibly removed from friends and family (aside from my awesome fiance, who somehow manages to keep me afloat as I struggle to doggy paddle) and very alone.

I don’t remember ever NOT feeling this way, so it’s hard to imagine a day when I will leave the baggage of depression behind, but I imagine it may happen. Someday. For you and for me. I have to hope it will, anyway – that’s something I can do, deep down inside, under all these layers of sadness. Right? :)

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Sue July 11, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Emily…hang in there.
I know how you feel.

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Danielle July 11, 2012 at 11:21 am

Thank you for sharing how you feel. I felt the same way for so long! I was on medication. I was on paxil and then moved to prozac. One day(in december of 2008) I learned that my husband got orders back to my home town. I was on such a high(and so busy from getting ready to move my family of 5 more then 1000 miles away and buying a house) that I stopped taking those pills. I havent had one for so very long. I still have my ups and downs. Its even harder now that I dont feel those happy moments because I had 2 babies of my very own (my 3 older children were adopted). I cant understand with all the joy I have in my life why I still feel so empty!

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LG July 11, 2012 at 11:44 am

Thanks so much for your honesty. I have had bouts of situational depression (after a huge breakup) and sometimes still get into a funk which lasts days or weeks. Counseling helped, as did taking the Alpha Course to understand God better, and reading the book Feeling Good/applying the principles. That book is amazing and really practical…I’ve recommended it so many times.

These days I’m pretty content with life, but I also understand that it won’t satisfy completly, ever. The sweetest beauty on Earth is melancholy…I think it’s because it has yet to be transformed to what it will be when Heaven comes to Earth. This planet is like a violin – beautiful in itself but even more so because of it’s potential and kinda sad because of what it isn’t already.

Praying that you can find comfort and contentment during seasons when you’re down…

L.

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Sue July 11, 2012 at 11:54 am

LG …. i really like your thought on melancholy.. i thought I had it all and then I lost it

and i feel betrayed even to this day….I was told I was not what he wanted and then he told me to go find someone else … actually he picked the guys….

So after a while I found someone…

and I am still bummed out.
should I have stayed? or be here now and ?

sorry not really about depression, but I lost my dream….

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Molly July 11, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Andie,
Words cannot describe how much your blog/sharing means to me (and so many other people)

Thank you….its nice to know that we are not all alone in feeling this way. Although I wish my seratonin/dopamine levels weren’t so wonky in the first place

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LizB July 11, 2012 at 3:21 pm

This is a wonderful post, Andie, but most especially for all the comments stemming from it. We all struggle (very similarly, in some cases) and even in our alone-ness we are all connected. Thank you for sharing and reminding us of that.

I agree with the comments saying it helps to take the focus off yourself and put it onto God and other people. I always feel better when I go make someone else’s day. God bless.

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H July 11, 2012 at 4:58 pm

I cannot express how much relief I felt after reading this post. I go through days as though I’m in a fog, not quite able to see the goodness in the things I have, but I have never seen someone put into words how I feel as beautifully as you just have. For the first time in a really long time I feel like I am not alone in my daily fog. Thank you.

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Sue July 11, 2012 at 6:05 pm

H. I feel the same way you do. You are not alone. neither am I. we are together in our struggle. :)

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H July 11, 2012 at 8:55 pm

Sue:

Thank you. That’s all I can say. Thank you.

H

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Becky July 11, 2012 at 5:29 pm

Andie,
You know, when you post a message like that you really help people. It helps for people to know they are not alone and someone knows what they are going through. I felt that way after the birth of my 3rd child (11 years ago). I don’t think it was “baby blues” because it never totally went away. It rears its ugly head every now and then. But anyway, when I started feeling anxious/depressed I did feel alone. And I was mad….because there was no reason for me to feel that way. I had a beautiful new baby and life could not have been better! People think when you are depressed there must be a reason why…depression doesn’t have to have a reason. Thank you for sharing that post.

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sarah July 11, 2012 at 7:07 pm

How serendipitous that I hadn’t read your blog in a couple months, and decided to click over today. A week ago I decided to start seeing a therapist for the first time. It’s a scary idea for me, and the past few days I’ve reconsidered… Maybe no one really needs to hear the banal thoughts that wander (constantly) through my own head? The tears rolling down my face affirm that someone probably does.

Thank you.

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Naomi July 11, 2012 at 7:22 pm

Andie,

Thank you for sharing this. I too have struggled with depression and all those familiar feelings of unsatisfaction. Let me tell you.. I felt lost, alone, anxious, stressed, confused, worried, and unsettled. Then, I sought out the Lord and everything changed. I now have peace that surpasses all understanding. I feel incredibly loved, joyful in all situations, and satisfied through Him. I’m telling you, nothing in this world has ever or ever will satisfy me like Jesus has. His word, truth, and love have brought so much healing to my life. It took time to really start relying on him, but the best thing I did was listen to Charles Stanely’s audio podcast each day. It’s 20 minutes and speaks so much truth. And don’t take this in a weird way, but I am and will be praying for you!

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans that I have for you, declared the Lord; Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope.

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Elle July 11, 2012 at 7:24 pm

Thank you for posting this.

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Tanya A July 11, 2012 at 7:48 pm

You are a beautiful and brave soul. Thank you for putting into words what so many of us have felt our entire lives. Thank you, thank you!

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Sandy July 11, 2012 at 8:07 pm

Thank you for posting this. It’s so rare that I find someone who “gets” what I’m feeling, but you are going through much of the same things that I deal with every day. The Sarah Silverman quote is spot on.
I have regained the 60lbs. I lost 3 years ago, which just adds to the dissatisfaction. I’m so glad I found your blog last week. As I read through your posts about your journey, I had tears running down my cheeks. I feel like maybe there is someone in the world who can relate to what I’ve been through/am going through. Thanks, Allie, for sharing yourself with us!

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Tracy July 11, 2012 at 8:14 pm

Andie,
Thank you so much for posting this. I have been dealing with what seems to be an insurmountable amount of depression lately and it helps tremendously to know that I am not alone, we are not alone. While I have so many things to be thankful for, I still at times am grasped by intense depression. I think, unfortunately, that women are so much more prone to depression. I read something lately that basically said that we should live a thankful life and that will change our whole perspective. I realize it’s so much easier said than done, but that’s what I’ve tried to do lately. While I still have days where the depression is somewhat suffocating, it really does help on days where I have a clearer mind. Again, I am so thankful to hear that I am not alone in this life sucking depression, but I sincerely hope that you continue to deal with it the positive way that you. We all need each other, whether we are truly friends, or have been brought together through an internet blog. We all have the opportunity to touch each other’s life in an amazing way! Thank you for sharing your story and I truly wish you the best! xoxoxo

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someone July 11, 2012 at 8:32 pm

good luck getting out from under your storm cloud! What did it for me was that I happened to meet a series of people (some very religious, some just very carefree) who totally changed my perspective. AND I banned myself from listening to wallow music. Now I make sure to keep my heart light and talk to God every day. I’ve been storm cloud free for over two years now!! :)

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Chandra July 11, 2012 at 8:45 pm

“Homesickness is just a state of mind for me. I’m always missing someone or someplace or something. I’m always trying to get back to some kind of imaginary somewhere. My life has been one long longing.” – Elizabeth Wurtzel

ok not all of us experience our depression as Wurtzel, who wrote prozac nation ( a great yet depressing read) but i think that she has summed up a feeling that plauges many of us. A feeling of disconnect and yearning to make human connections and feel as though we are an active part of the experience both physically and emotionally. You are not alone.

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Andrea July 12, 2012 at 12:46 am

THANK YOU!!!
I’ve been checking out your website (and trying out the awesome recipes) for a while now and have always admired your style of writing, but this…
Your honesty, openness in this post are beautiful and I cry because I feel like I would never be able to articulate this well what my life feels like sometimes.
So thank you for sharing your journey, thank you for letting me / us know we’re not alone!

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Kimberly Marie July 12, 2012 at 7:47 am

Such a beautiful post. This is something I can relate to and your honesty and story inspire me and give me hope. Thank you.

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andrea @ my kinda perfect July 12, 2012 at 9:07 am

thank you for your honesty…and you’re clearly not alone!

i’ve often wondered if speaking with a non-biased type person (therapist) would make me feel refreshed in my own thoughts. as an only child, growing up i often felt lonely…but truthfully, it’s so much harder as an adult. i see my boyfriend and his two brothers and my very good friends and their siblings and i’m so envious of that sibling relationship. while i also know there are delicate relationships with siblings too, i often long for a sibling… maybe to feel connected to someone…maybe to feel less lonely…

but i totally get that homesickness feeling, even while home…amongst loved ones that “should” fulfill you…especially when you have your health, shelter, income, and all the basic needs that are met…but still feel blue. it’s challenging, to say the least.

thank you again. this was a beautifully written post from the heart. =)

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Nidia July 12, 2012 at 10:14 am

Thank you for this. I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone describe how I feel better than you just did.

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Kristi Porter July 12, 2012 at 7:05 pm

Thanks for sharing. It’s always touching to hear others’ experiences with depression. I’ve had it off and on for over 10 years and have seen several therapists over the years. It’s extremely difficult to feel trapped in your own body, and not having others be able to relate despite how much they love you and accept you. After my second counselor, I accepted the fact that I will have to do this same process off and on throughout my life. And I’m totally ok with it. Sometimes we just need it. I’m just glad that I recognize that and am willing to do something about it. Thanks for your posts!

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Gina July 12, 2012 at 9:12 pm

I can’t believe this…my mind is completely blown. I thought I was alone in my homesickness, in feeling lonely all the time. In feeling stressed out when I have virtually nothing stressful going on in my life. Thanks for writing this. I feel better just knowing that I’m not crazy. That I’m not some selfish, disfuntional person that just ‘needs to be less pessimisstic’. Thank you.

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Sue July 13, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Gina

I feel the same way.

hugs to you

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Gina July 13, 2012 at 9:31 pm

Thank you Sue. Hugs to you too…glad I’m not alone in this.

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rachael July 13, 2012 at 12:15 am

read the book “the emotion code” by bradley nelson. It can’t hurt to try this!

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Julia July 13, 2012 at 8:43 am

A talk called Finding Joy In Life that i love to turn to: http://www.lds.org/general-conference/1996/04/finding-joy-in-life?lang=eng
I just started reading your blog and love your honesty. thanks for sharing!

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Amelia July 13, 2012 at 8:47 am

Thank you for sharing. Sometimes saying these feeling “aloud” take away some of their power.

Like many, I have been going through the exact same thing. I feel like our lives parallel frequently!
Upon doing some research for myself, I learned that S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder) isn’t limited to winter months. It can affect people in the summer too. Perhaps this is something to look into?

Sending you positive and healing vibes!
-A

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Laura July 13, 2012 at 9:26 am

I would say there is something to that as well. I moved frequently as a child and loved winter, fall, cold air, mountains, woods, etc. But as an adult I married and had a child and am a bit stuck in my least favorite state, Florida. The summers last forever, filled with hurricane scares and heat so intense the perspiration literally drips down my face and I don’t even want to go outside for months. At the beginning of it, knowing I will be facing 9 months of this, I get so sad and depressed. Every year. So, yes, I would say this may not be the cause but it certainly adds to it.

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Jessica July 13, 2012 at 9:15 am

I’ve been on and off meds for years to help with anxiety, but for some reason I refuse to go to therapy. I had a really awful experience when I was younger and just cannot get myself to give it another try. This sort of made me consider trying.

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Janna July 13, 2012 at 9:33 am

your post, the comments… It is comforting [to me] to know that there are so many kind and even kindred souls out there to help lift us up and encourage. I hope that you feel it too and pray your heart and mind find peace for the moments; just as you have come to peace with food. When the days are dark, cry to Jesus!

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Hope July 13, 2012 at 9:41 am

Thank you so much for writing this. I too struggled with this issue for my time in junior high – my first semester of college. It got so bad that I ended up having to take a semester off to get myself in a place where I felt I could function. But I was lucky because I found the therapist who helped me find my path after my second attempt.

We ended up realizing that my issues all come from not expressing my emotions which causes me anxiety which makes me depressed. It’s a vicious cycle that I have to monitor so I don’t slide back into the black abyss.

I was also lucky that even in high school, my friends were supportive in my decision to see a therapist. During a time when your friend’s opinions matter so vitally, it helped get me on a right path. One I still journey down every day.

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Laura is Undeterrable July 13, 2012 at 9:45 am

This is exactly how I feel. My GP wants me to start counseling again because I have so many great things going on but I am paralyzed by indecision and depression.

Good luck to you.

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Michelle in N. Cal July 13, 2012 at 10:01 am

You are not alone, Andie. And that quote about being homesick when you are at home – I’ve never heard it but thank you, it hits the nail right on the head for me too.

{{hugs}}

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Anna July 13, 2012 at 10:19 am

I was depressed for nearly a decade. Meds, therapy, exercise, seeking out activities I love, all helped, but none of it could shake the fog I felt.

What finally helped? Getting pregnant. But not in the “oh this baby changed my life” sort of way. But in the “it rebalanced my hormones and the depression really just disappeared sort of way”. Anyway, I’d seen an endocrinologist who specialized in female hormones and he said that some people are just more sensitive to the shifts in hormones (natural ones) that happen in life and that can cause depression. He said we could try some therapy with birth control pills or I could try getting pregnant (I was married and thinking about it anyway).

Now my docs say that any subsequent pregnancy is like a roll of the dice (that’s why some women end up with PPD).

Anyway I know having a baby isn’t in your life plans right now, but when I was depressed the fact that it could all be caused by a hormonal imbalance was not something I considered.

Whatever the answer is, I hope you find one soon. Depression is something you can only understand when you’ve been there. Hope the fog lifts soon and that you make a great connection with this therapist.

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Jennifer July 13, 2012 at 10:20 am

This post felt like a giant hug. I couldn’t have explained my anxiety and depression better myself. I’ve never been able to explain it to someone without them looking at my like I’m crazy because they can’t understand what I’m saying and/or feeling.

Thank you, Andie, for your transparency and remind me that I’m not the only one who feels the way I do.

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Michelle July 13, 2012 at 10:34 am

Wow, so many comments. Girl, you hit nail on the head. I have been searching for words to say how I feel and this is it. I just can’t get anyone to listen to me.

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Sarah July 13, 2012 at 10:56 am

Oh, it’s a vicious cycle, isn’t it? You feel bad, then you feel guilty for not appreciating all you have, and that makes you feel worse.

All I can say is that, for me, it’s been so helpful to just allow myself to feel whatever I’m feeling and love myself. “I hate the world today…and that’s okay” or “I do not want to get out of bed today..and that’s okay.” Just being okay with myself, no matter how imperfect I may feel.

It’s like giving myself a little internal hug, each time. Try it.

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Sarah July 13, 2012 at 10:58 am

umm..wow. Relate to this big time. Reading this coupled with watching Parker Posey in Broken English last night ..realizing all this is such a universal struggle. Thanks for sharing.

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Sue July 13, 2012 at 11:25 am

Thank you! This was just what I needed to read today. As so many others have already replied, I hear you. I empathize. I walk a very similar path, experienced so many of the same things. Yet I keep going because I know it’s the best choice even though those covers I want to crawl under keep calling my name.

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Erin July 13, 2012 at 12:04 pm

I’m going to join all the others before me who said thank you, and who empathize with you because…yeah. Us, too. It’s awfully comforting to find out we aren’t alone. Much love and loveliness to you, and to all the others who’ve commented here. Thank you.

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elizabeth July 13, 2012 at 12:24 pm

wow. just wow. you took these words from my soul.

thanks for voicing what I have struggled for decades even to define to myself.

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Sarah July 13, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Thank you for this post. I teared up because what you are describing is exactly what I’m feeling. And the quote from Sarah Silverman about feeling homesick when you’re already home really describes it. I, too, feel that on paper my life looks great and there’s really no reason why I should be feeling this way. And when I’ve tried to describe it, people’s reactions are something similar to “stop whining”, “get over it”, “your life can’t possibly be that bad”, etc.
I’ve toyed with the idea of going to a Therapist, but am kind of afraid to say some of the things that I feel, think, and have done that have probably contributed to this feeling. I feel like I’d probably just be judged by that person like I am by others.

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Chelsea @ Chelsea Eats Treats July 13, 2012 at 1:15 pm

I feel this way too sometimes. Kind of a lot, actually. I never thought about it as depression but that’s totally what it is. Now I’m wondering if I should go to therapy too?

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Samantha July 13, 2012 at 3:42 pm

Thank you so much for your post. I completely relate to your situation, it’s been my own struggle as well especially after my weight loss. Thank you so much for your bravery, knowing that someone else who leads a blessed life and has a similar strategy has sought therapy gives me the courage to too. Thank you :)

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Meghan July 13, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Andie,

I have been going through a terrible painful patch. I was going to e-mail you to ask you how you stay so positive and then I read this post. I immediately showed it to my boyfriend who struggles to understand the terrible feelings I have everyday.

Unfortunately I have been plunged into an incredibly vunerable spot. My boyfriend of four years has left to study abroad, I am so happy for him but I am not certain how I will be able to go day to day with this on top of my depression. He is my rock, and although he doesn’t quite get it I feel at ease most of the time when I am with him.

I lost my brother twelve years ago to a brain tumor. I have been the victim of domestic violence from a former boyfriend. It is hard for me to seek comfort in other people when I feel like I will lose them or they will hurt and betray me. It makes it hard to keep friends or even begin. So it creates this cycle that I cannot get out of, I’m so afraid that it cripples any attempt at being social.

Thank you for sharing, it makes my feel better to that maybe you have a bond with a whole bunch of people who feel the same way.

I just need a way to get out of my own head and quiet my heart. I just am not sure how.

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Jennifer July 13, 2012 at 6:54 pm

Thank you. You wrote about me exactly. It’s like we are the same person. God bless you!

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Kelsey July 13, 2012 at 7:15 pm

Hi Andie,

It takes so much courage to show the world the shadowy, dark parts of your life instead of just the highlight reel. You have always been honest, but I think your readers have expressed, and you understand, that what you just did was something entirely different. I was never brave enough to go to therapy until a blogger I follow wrote an incredible, articulate piece on his struggle with depression and it was exactly.the same.as.mine. I cried, and then picked up the phone. I hope you find comfort in knowing, that you have most certainly done the same for at least one person with this post. (But very likely a whole lot more). Thank you.

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Gin July 13, 2012 at 8:52 pm

Blimey–I am in the depths of depression right now myself. It hard today, and yes, I carried on and did my work, but truly, truly, it helped to have you talk about this today. Thank you.

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Anon July 13, 2012 at 9:39 pm

I believe a great deal of who we are is inherited. There is nothing we can do about how our brain works. That has been decided for us. What we can do is find who are, find our authentic life and live it.

I too had dark thoughts throughout my entire life. Obese, odd, seemingly unloved, I had many a dark thought. I used a scheduled life to get by for sixty years. A schedule that got me out of bed, off to work and back home again. Doing something each and every second to keep my mind busy. For an idle mind would lead to an idle body filled with dark thoughts. Not that dark thoughts didn’t bubble to the top. They did. it is hard work to see the light.

That kind of life was just existence, not living. I felt my best when I am doing that which I loved. Outside advise kept me from doing what I loved. I was living an inauthentic life. Only by blocking out contrary advise and opinions of others could I see the light.

To find your authentic life you must look inside. All the answers in the universe are inside. Look deep inside. Find your answer and begin to live the life you were meant to live.

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Moran July 14, 2012 at 12:57 am

as someone who works in the health “business” i highly recommend Alternative medicine (though it’s hardly alternative these days..), such as acupuncture. there is something about touch that is just so therapeutic, and those needles can work magic.

just a suggestion, do whatever feels right.

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Wendy July 14, 2012 at 6:36 am

Thank you for sharing your feelings. I don’t remember how I felt before I turned 30, but a few months after my 30th birthday my fiancee took his own life. My world was shattered. I emotionally checked out for a good 5 years. I tried different therapists and a cocktail of antidepressants. I lost weight and gained weight. I held onto a very prominent job and continued to take care of an extra large house that I no longer needed. It was just me and my dog. I have great support from family and friends but my life was forever changed. Fast forward 10 years and I’m happily married and have a 4 year old son. I’m able to stay at home with him and cook gourmet meals for my wonderful husband. At the end of the day, yes I am happy but I feel the same way you do. Depression is hard. Again, I’m not sure if I always felt this way or if it was brought on by circumstances. I am a great actress because no one knows how lonely and sad I am sometimes. Thank you again for sharing. Knowing others exist, despite outwardly looking happy, is comforting and encouraging. I’m sending one big hug your way!

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Katie July 14, 2012 at 8:11 am

Thank you. You put into words what so many of us feel.

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Tammy July 14, 2012 at 10:58 am

Thank you for your honesty & openness. I have always felt this way (I’m 46) but I’ve never been able to voice it as well as you did. It gave me a reference point…maybe somewhere to start being able to articulate my inner self.

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Yasi Moshiri July 14, 2012 at 2:47 pm

I could sit here and write paragraphs echoing what you’ve written and my sentiment for putting it so eloquently. Instead, I’m just going to say thank you. I’ve planned on printing this out and reading it to my therapist when I see her on Tuesday.

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Em July 14, 2012 at 4:33 pm

As a clinical therapist, I’d love to mention some resources available to anyone struggling with depression or anxiety:

For individuals who find themselves in crisis, here is a list of US organizations that have crisis and suicide prevention hotlines:

http://www.befrienders.org/helplines/helplines.asp?c2=USA

Another (more subtle thing) is to know what to look for in a therapist: it can be a confusing process for anyone, but particularly difficult when you’re already feeling vulnerable. I would *strongly* encourage individuals to look for therapists who specialize in a type of therapy called “cognitive behavioral therapy.” It is absolutely the gold standard treatment for both depression and anxiety disorders (as well as eating disorders and several other types of psychopathology.) To this end, it is the only type of therapy that universities like Harvard, Yale, and Oxford teach their doctoral students. Here is a website that can be helpful for locating a therapist in your area who specializes in it. I believe they also list low-cost therapists.

http://www.academyofct.org/i4a/member_directory/feSearchForm.cfm?directory_id=5&pageid=3348&showTitle=1

One last resource I’ll mention is a free on-line self-therapy program called MoodGym, which basically teaches people many of the skills one learns in therapy. (As an aside, in-person treatment with a skilled therapist will always be superior to self-administered therapy, however many people find programs like this helpful if they’re not ready to see a therapist or even as a supplement to in-person therapy.)

You can find the program here:

http://moodgym.anu.edu.au/welcome

My hope is that someone might find one of these resources helpful. I applaud everyone who has the courage to seek help when they need it (and everyone needs it at some point!)

My hope is that someone might find these helpful.

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Lindsay July 14, 2012 at 5:03 pm

I appreciate all of your posts because you really share a lot of things that most of us are dealing with. You are so relate-able. I just want to pat you on the back for sharing your story/situation. I can guarantee you one person that you touched with this post: me.
Keep on, keepin on!
Lindsay

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Ferreh July 14, 2012 at 5:39 pm

Thank you for sharing… for those of us who are right there with you.

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Hillary {Nutrition Nut on the Run} July 14, 2012 at 7:43 pm

Thank you for your bravery in sharing this post, in sharing YOU. Tears are running down my cheek, because yes — we are in it together.

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Angela @ The Dancer Bakes July 14, 2012 at 9:42 pm

That Sarah Silverman quote that you shared really spoke to me too – that’s exactly what I feel a lot of the time, despite the wonderful life I’ve been given. We can be surrounded by blessings and love and still feel alone, and as sad as it is to hear that it’s happening to someone else, it’s encouraging too. Because to me, it means that I’m not actually alone, and that if I truthfully share what I feel – as you’ve done here – no one will call me absurd, or ungrateful, or weak. In posting this honest account, I believe God has used you to help others like you. And like me. Thank you so much for having the courage to confess your struggle here, and for encouraging me to be willing to do the same. I’ll be praying for us both! Much love from Buffalo, Angela

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Julie July 15, 2012 at 7:55 am

Your honesty is what I love most about your blog. Although I can’t relate to everything you write about, I love that you don’t sugarcoat the lows in your life – it’s easy to start feeling bad about yourself when you read all these beautiful blogs full of beautiful people who make delicious food and have amazing photography skills to boot. When I read your blog, I truly feel like I’m reading an email from an old friend. Thank you for sharing so much of your life with us – I too believe that we’re all in this together, and your frankness does so much more than I think you could possibly know.

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Sue July 15, 2012 at 8:11 am

Wow… what a great post. I know EXACTLY what you mean that… especially the “happiness balance gone wonky” thing. Yep. That’s me.

Stumbled in here via the awesomeness that is Pinterest. Amazing blog.

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Meghan July 15, 2012 at 11:26 am

It’s funny (not really funny) but this is exactly how I am feeling today. And I’m also struggling with my self-love today too. It’s nice to know that even though we haven’t met, that I’m not alone in this struggle. Thanks.

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Kelly July 15, 2012 at 11:33 am

You’re amazing. Thank you.

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admattai July 15, 2012 at 12:32 pm

this post is great – i can def. relate to this. i feel sad because i feel like i can’t appreciate how good my life is. and i feel lonely even with friends and family around me. it’s hard to explain, and therapy def. helps, even just for someone to talk to.

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Andrea July 15, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Beautiful. I love that you gave the reason of ” we are all in this together” as your motive for writing this. Even though this is not something in particular I struggle with, it is beautiful, uplifting, and humbling at the same time to remember that each person has struggles of their own. We are all in this together, no matter how alone we can feel from time to time… Your words touch many.

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Cindy July 15, 2012 at 1:52 pm

I believe in therapy AND, if the blueness persists, medication.
It took me several years to find a balance of therapy and medication to feel like myself. I didn’t realize how much I missed myself until I came back.

Thank you for sharing.

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lindsAy July 15, 2012 at 5:04 pm

this is how i feel. a lot of the time. thanks for putting it out there. we really are all in this together, and it’s nice to be reminded.

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Brandy July 15, 2012 at 5:10 pm

Wow. I am not usually a comment-er, but I felt that I needed to come and say Thank You for this post. And, what a surprise to see that so many others felt the same urge.
I feel like I can relate – I am very outwardly happy, and mostly inwardly happy too. But much of my life is “someday I’ll do XX thing,” or “later I’ll be really close to XX” – but that day really never comes, does it? I feel like I’m holding back, not really enjoying any given moment. Sort of watching from the sidelines. Not sure how to fix that, really, but I will keep trying. Glad to see that you are too. And that you’ll bring us on your journey :)

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Melissa July 15, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Andie, I just love you. So so much. You can articulate the parts of my heart that I can’t even face. And so eloquently. And so beautifully. Thank you for this and for, once again, making me feel that I’m not alone. This could not have come at a more perfect time. XOXO (x infinity)

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Beth July 15, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Thank you for sharing this. I feel like all of us that have had to struggle with depression feel like we are alone, so it is so amazing when we find someone who knows exactly what it feels like. Maybe if enough of us talk about it as bravely as you have, it won’t be something we feel we have to hide anymore. Much love to you.

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Kristine J. Trudeau July 15, 2012 at 7:21 pm

Thank you for writing on this subject. This is exactly what I needed to read at this exact time.

You described my depression-life to a “T”. I’ve been taking a low-grade antidepressant since I was in my 30s, which means I’ve been on them for nearly 30 years. They help most of the time to control itching that I have with Fibromyalgia and to keep me from jumping off of a nearby bridge, but they don’t control the chronic fatigue and ever-present feelings of loneliness and hopelessness you describe so perfectly.

Thank you for your honesty. It’s good to know there is someone else who knows these feelings. And from reading the other comments, we’re not really alone.

Kris

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Taryn July 15, 2012 at 7:29 pm

This kind of honesty is so comforting, and it’s admirable that you’re okay being so vulnerable with a world of strangers. It’s evident after reading through all of these comments that everyone feels the way you describe sometimes, maybe even all the time, but that it’s OKAY and they’re not the only ones on the planet who feel that way. Often when I feel blue, it seems like I’m on a boat in an ocean of loneliness with no one who can possibly ascertain how I’m feeling, but the truth is that most everyone gets it in one way or another. Thanks for being the other boat in that ocean.

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Leah July 15, 2012 at 9:08 pm

I’ve struggled with depression for years. Fortunately it is well managed with medication.
I do remember though when I started the medication, and it finally began to kick in, thinking, “Oh! This is how the rest of the world experiences life!” It was almost like this physically present fog had been lifted. It’s not that I don’t still get sad, or upset, or that I’m happier than other people. It’s more like it just put me at the same emotional starting line as everyone else.

I hope the same is true for you!

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Mallory July 15, 2012 at 11:01 pm

I first gathered the courage to ask my mom if I could go to therapy shortly after my 17th birthday. I had just started my senior year of High School. The last time I saw my therapist was the day before I graduated. I truly credit her with doing a lot to help me get through that year…Now, 6 years later I am about to turn 24 and have been trying to gather courage to start seeing a therapist again for nearly a year and once I feel like I’ve hit the last straw, my mood sees an upswing.

This resonates with me specifically

“I feel tired, chronically, despite any stretch of sleep. I feel utterly, utterly bored but without enough ambition to seek activity. ”

Perhaps it is time to quit waiting for the upswing and seek a therapist once again…

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Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy July 16, 2012 at 2:21 am

Thank you for sharing this. I spend many years feeling like this too. You can be in a room full of people and still feel like the only person in the world, just so alone. It took me a long while to work through this – but it does get better. I still have days like that, and I think accepting that it will never be completely better is a good step to take. It can be controlled though.

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Brooke July 16, 2012 at 4:32 am

Andie,

I’ve not written to you in a while…but I’ve been catching up on your adventures and travels! Girl, I hear you. I heart you. I know this is a tough struggle, but reading your post, I can relate. I’m suffering another bout of major depression. Its a struggle to even get up..putting one foot in front of another one. I’ve been in therapy on and off for 10 or 11 years. Can’t believe its been that long. All the demons just won’t get away. Even when my life should be happy. I am thinking about you. Know you aren’t alone. The comments above made me feel like there were more of us who understand. I pray that you and your therapist get a good, trusting relationship going. That makes all the difference. Thank you for validating how I feel as well. Take care of yourself. You are beautiful and courageous! B =)

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Jen July 16, 2012 at 5:06 am

So guess what – someone else who’s going to say “yep that’s me.” And I was, am, will probably always be. But here’s the thing…you have to GET OUT OF YOUR OWN HEAD.

The problem is when you think too much about it, vacillate too much. In essence – you are thinking too much about yourself. You say “…despite writing two books, traveling, etc….” – well guess what – THOSE THINGS WERE ALL ABOUT YOU.

I’m not saying this to be mean. I speaking the truth. I know, I’ve been there. When you are so self-absorbed in you, your mind, your thoughts, about you and your fears, your past, etc. – then yeah, you’re stuck. You have to shift the focus – you need to do something in life with purpose and focus.

Your writing, your books have been all about you – your past, your present. This very post – again about you.

Again, I cannot iterate enough how I am not saying this meanly!! Trust me – I have and still am in the same shoes in many regards. But you won’t start feeling better ever until you find something in your life that has a greater purpose and meaning – something that isn’t about you. You, I, everyone are just little dots, spots in this world. I know it’s cliche to say “think of the starving children” . And I know that really that doesn’t make you feel better. But that’s not just it – think of all the god-damned beauty in the world, think of what God (or whoever) creates everyday, think of the people searching for love everyday, think of the people dying for your country everyday – but not just the sad stuff.

When you feel that shit coming on (and yes, it’s all just your mind telling and giving you shit)- tell your mind to F&*K OFF!!! Seriously, who the F is your mind to control who you are and how you feel?

It’s bullshit. It’s an excuse.

FYI – therapists have a great role…but tread lightly. PLEASE FIND ONE WHO DOES CBT – COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY. SITTING DOWN AND TALKING ABOUT YOUR PAST AND WHY YOU FEEL THE WAY YOU DO…SORRY BUT IT’S BS – THAT JUST MAKES YOU MORE DEPRESSED AND ANOTHER EXCUSE OF WHY YOU ARE UNHAPPY OR THE WAY YOU ARE.

GUESS WHAT?? YOU ARE NOT YOUR PAST. YOU ARE NOT WHO YOU WERE…YOU ARE WHO YOU A-R-E. AND WHATEVER YOUR FATHER, MOTHER, FRIENDS, BOYFRIEND, FOOD, WEIGHT DID TO YOU IN THE PAST?? MEANS SHIT-ALL. GET. OVER. IT.

MOVE ON. BECAUSE LIVING IN THE PAST ISN’T GETTING YOU ANYWHERE.

TELLING YOURSELF THAT YOU’RE “LOST” ISN’T GETTING YOU ANYWHERE. Turn up some music, go for a swim, go dancing, go volunteer at a hospital, paint – do anything but sit down and fucking “meditate” and “reflect” and think more and more about your past. It’s rumination and it gets you nowhere fast.

Read: “MIND OVER MOOD” and get over yourself.

Cheers and good luck. It’s a battle we all must fight every day of our lives. The trick is to hold on tooth and nail and fight as hard as you can to shove the beast down the other side.

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Amreen July 16, 2012 at 7:51 am

Jen,
Hi, I did come here to tell andrea that yes, ur simply echoing my thoughts of two years ago!
and urs definitely is a diametrical take on her post… But tbh, I don’t know if ur advice also makes that much sense… I mean yea, volunteering and thinking abt helping others may help… but it doesnt take away from the loneliness you feel or the feeling that there is a purpose for you out there, but you’re just not getting it. How do u shake that feeling off?

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Taylor July 19, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Totally agree- were (those who are depressed) are always encouraged to help others, volunteer, etc., as ways to help us feel better, but to be honest, sometimes these ideas seem like temporary fixes-they don’t solve the true, underlying feelings.

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Megly July 16, 2012 at 1:54 pm

Dude, this post isn’t cool at all. Maybe you meant well but learn your shit before you start screaming at someone to just “get over” their depression.

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Jen July 16, 2012 at 5:09 am

Oh and re: the therapist…because it’s just another excuse to sit down and talk about yourself and mellow in your history and past again. Every time I did that? It got me nowhere. Just more depressed and more aware of the same blatantly obvious reasons of why I’m depressed, sad, angry, mad, sick, etc.

It doesn’t fix the problem. So what – you know what caused you to be the way you are?? WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? That’s all that matters.

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Melissa July 16, 2012 at 7:24 pm

Your feedback isn’t completely wrong, but it’s also not offered with any particular grace. I get that this is something you feel strongly about, but with respect, your experience is not universal. Also, you’re railing at someone, in all caps, no less, to “get over” herself and stop focusing on her own feelings, but the primary evidence you offer for why she should do this seems to consist solely of…a whole bunch of stuff about you.

Andie, I really think that this person meant to be helpful, so I hope the harshness of the approach doesn’t destroy the constructive nature of some of the advice. When I had my last really bad episode I read a book called “The Depression Cure”, and the doctor who wrote it recommends some of the same strategies when you’re sinking–namely to find distractions to help keep yourself from ruminating as much. You may even have looked into this before, but both this and “Feeling Good” were helpful to me in climbing back out of my hole.

I’m sure you’ve explored a lot of this before, and you’ve probably had plenty of advice from therapists and everyone else. Just take away from this that your readers care about you and want to be supportive. We know depression is insidious and it creeps in and out of life. Hang in there and we’re pulling for you.

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Lynne July 19, 2012 at 9:57 pm

I couldn’t agree more, Melissa.
I agree jen probably was trying to be helpful, but Jen: at the end of the day if getting over depression was as simple as “getting over yourself” and “mind over matter” it would not be the serious issue that it is. Especially with the physical and mental and emotional inertia that completely paralyses one.

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Laura July 16, 2012 at 9:16 am

“homesick when you’re already home.”

amazingly well put.

thank you. god bless.

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Kelly Jagielski July 16, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Your descriptions are spot on. I’ve never been able to pinpoint exactly what it is, but I think you’ve done it beautifully. Thank you for putting into words what I’ve never been able to.

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JaNelle July 16, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Hey there. This post meant the world to me. Thank you for sharing your life, if the parts many are afraid to talk about. Makes me feel like someone gets it. Love and hugs!

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Megly July 16, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Another amazing and honest post- thank you. I’m not great at advice to begin with, especially since I don’t REALLY personally know you, but I got the sense that on top of being depressed, you also feel like you shouldn’t be “allowed” to be depressed. If you feel guilty about your depression, I hope you can let that go….it’s not a conscious decision or something you can control.

Best of luck with your journey, I’ve been through the therapy thing before (briefly). I hope it helps!

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Anna July 16, 2012 at 3:57 pm

WOW! I am the exact same way … in and out of therapy at different ‘low’ points in my life. I have lost weight hoping it helps, and it does for a while, but then I feel like I have to set the next weight-loss goal (I have a ways to go to be exactly where I think I should be) to be happy again. I have a fantastic life also, I don’t have any regrets anymore, but will still have low points for whatever reason! It makes no sense to me because I should be so happy. I am happy. But still sad at times. I am always looking to change something about myself or my surroundings (something as simple as our home decor). I love that you put your life and feelings out here for us to read, there are so many who can relate and helps us all feel we are not alone in this battle called life! :)

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Alison (Fueling for Fitness) July 16, 2012 at 7:20 pm

You are so beautiful. Thank you for being so honest.

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Sam July 16, 2012 at 8:44 pm

It is so great of you to share something that so many struggle with. I just have to tell you.. You are fearfully and wonderfully made by a loving creator. He loves you so much and has created in all of us a feeling of discontentment with this world. We are created for Him and that isn’t something this world can satisfy. As soon as I learned of this great Love when I was in my early twenties ) I was released from my bottomless lonliness. God provided a realization to me. “This world will never give you all you are desiring. Not your parents, not your friends, not that new boyfriend, not that new job. Only Me.” A great little daily read that will speak to you is called “Jesus Calling” By Sarah Young. I think you would really love it. Prayers for you <3

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Emina July 17, 2012 at 12:26 am

Keep going! I wish you and everyone all the best!

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Katy July 17, 2012 at 1:24 am

I’ve been struggling with depression for 11 years from the age of 15. I can have up to a year where I’m completely fine then I suddenly find myself covered in a fog that seems to take forever to disperse. Right now is one of those times, at a point in my life where I’m finally commited to running, my body looks the best it ever has, I’m just through with my first year of university and although there are problems, I shouldn’t be as low as this. You described how I feel perfectly. I just wish I knew how to fix it.

We’ll get there. Hopefully my therapy sessions start to work and yours do too.

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Laura July 17, 2012 at 9:17 am

How timely. my first appointment with a therapist is at 4:30 today. First time I’m going to someone to actually talk instead of having someone throw some pills at me and say “come back in a month”.

Thanks for sharing your struggle. It makes me feel less crazy and a little less loney and a little more empowered about seeking some help.

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Katie P July 17, 2012 at 11:05 am

Our stories intersect in so many ways. I too spent my teenage years morbidly obese and lost over 100lbs. I feel lonely although I am surrounded by wonderful friends and family.
Thank you for articulating with such eloquence what I struggle with everyday. I too feel like I spend my life searching for that feeling of belonging, I love the way you put it. Being home. I often find myself longing for the peace that would come with that.
Over the past year I have found myself on a downward slope and have been unable to stop my decent as of yet. I have returned to my old ways of trying to fill the void with food.
It’s as though someone muted the tones of my once vivid life. I have returned to medication in addition to hypnotherapy and more traditional therapy in an effort to reignite my fire for life.
There are really no words to express my gratitude to you for writing this post, it’s amazing how words on a page can make a person feel like they know you.

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Caroline July 17, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Thank you for being so vulnerable and sharing. We live in a society where we continually polish the image we present to the world. Look at Facebook. My joke is: life isn’t all rainbows and butterflies, but when it is, I post on Facebook. On the day you posted this, I celebrated my 23rd wedding anniversary. Yes, you have an old reader! But i love you. Your honesty is both charming and disarming. I am in the process of trying to lose 30 pounds and I come to your website for inspiration. It’s okay to not be perfect. No one is …despite what they post on Facebook. Just know that I am so happy you are on this planet. You are making a difference and touching people, and that’s a big deal. I admire you for getting help when you need it. Love and light!

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Flor July 17, 2012 at 4:44 pm

I was impressed with your osincerity and openness to share your deepest thoughts and feelings.
But I really want to encourage you to keep working with your life and specially your mind, there, in our mind, is where all of us human beings struggle to survive, and I do know exactly what I am talking about, I am 45 years old and have never loved myself until now. It took me a long time to understand that I am the only one responsible for my thoughts about myself and I am the only one that can change it for me. So, you have a lot to be proud and happy, you fought yourself with wight issues and have given you the chance to live longer and healthier and besides that, you are able to travel and keep working without being trapped in an office, most people can´t have that, but you do.
I do pray that you can find the strength to fight your thoughts and be free to live, love and laugh for the rest of your life!

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Dana July 17, 2012 at 6:33 pm

Thank you for being so brave and open with us, your readers. I know that I am always thinking that everything will somehow be “better” or “perfect” when the weight is gone. I know better than that. We all do, but we just can’t help it. I know that being perfectly, contently happy is going to be a process that will take just as much work as dropping the pounds. Just knowing someone else is going through the same thing is inspiring. Thank you for letting us in and know that there is nothing but acceptance here. Much love and happy thoughts!

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Leanne July 18, 2012 at 9:10 am

“Homesick when you are already home” describes it perfectly. Thanks for sharing your story. I think by giving voice to it and voicing the desire for change, you can bring light to the darkness.

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auntie July 18, 2012 at 11:34 am

Yes. Yes to all of this.

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ASuburbanLife July 18, 2012 at 2:28 pm

I so admire your honesty and courage in writing about your depression – and you do so so beautifully. I know the feeling you describe so well because I have been there myself. It’s not just being sad or having “the blues”, it’s an actual physical feeling. I remember feeling weighted, as though a large stone were sitting on my chest and it was hard to fully breathe.

I needed therapy AND medication to help me get through my last depression. I remember not long after starting the medication feeling a little “giddy”. It was strange and when I described how I was feeling to a social worker friend she told me “that’s how NORMAL people feel most of the time”!

I hope that you have a good connection with your new therapist, and I hope that soon you will be able to enjoy the many things in your life that I know you appreciate but want to really feel happy and excited about.

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Naomi July 18, 2012 at 5:19 pm

This sounded all too familiar to me as I too struggle with depression. I know it’s difficult to open up about, but reading posts like this makes me feel like I’m not alone in my similar struggles. I think there are many, many people who deal with depression and it helps to know that there are others who can empathize. I find it’s a great form of support so thank you for sharing this.

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Bridget July 18, 2012 at 6:40 pm

Wow. I love your honesty and bravery. Thank you so much for sharing. I’ve never identified with a post so much. Never identified with anything so much. I can’t tell you how much I love this! I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. What a relief to know that someone feels just like I do. And since you’re so clearly awesome, well then…… I can be too. I hope all the encouragement you’ve provided comes back to you tenfold!!

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Lorrie B July 18, 2012 at 7:11 pm

Words are hard to find right now, but every word rings true to me. Thank you.

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Teresa July 18, 2012 at 8:50 pm

I found this post through a friend and it is like you wrote my life story. And with all the comments it is evident lots of people have depression too. It took me a while to be open about it, I don’t shout it from the rooftops, but I will share it. Even though I am so much better and feel “normal,” it is still right there waiting to rear its ugly head. Thank you for your honesty that hopefully not only helps yourself but helps others as well.

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Shan July 18, 2012 at 10:44 pm

It is quite simply not possible to thank you enough for this. Each one of us has our own journey that we alone must navigate. That said, your words could very well have come from my own heart. Your words, your feelings…they touched me to my core. You managed to thread the needle that so many of us have been unable to do.

I have so very much to say and really nothing at all. You truly have said it all.

And so I shall simply say, thank you. Thank you for this post, thank you for being you, you are so very appreciated.

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joey July 18, 2012 at 11:01 pm

Life sucks. No matter what you do. No matter who your friends are. Life just sucks. At least you realized this. They say suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Well, therapy is a temporary solution to a permanent problem. The problem is life will always suck. The reason is people suck. People are not good. They are only out for themselves. They will ruin you if it suits them without thinking twice about it. There’s no reason not to be depressed. Everyday I wish an asteroid would obliterate the planet. If God exists, he is Satan.

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Lynne July 19, 2012 at 5:31 am

@joey – that has got to be the most unhelpful and callous response I’ve seen. If you do not have something useful or supportive to offer then you should not be joining this discussion.

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Angela July 18, 2012 at 11:48 pm

So amazingly honest and beautifully written. I too, have struggled with depression since childhood. At the end of last year I finally agreed to try medication which lead to a 30 pound weight gain in 3 months. I am a mother of 4 and have never truly struggled with my weight until now. It can be so disheartening. I appreciate every aspect of your blog. Thank you for being willing to show those of us wondering if we’re alone that we’re not.

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Lindsay July 19, 2012 at 5:55 am

I found a link to your website on Pinterest… originally I was here to check our your recipes then saw your entry “On Depression.” It really struck a chord with me. I always jokingly (sort of) say that I feel depressed a lot of the time. Nobody seems to take that comment seriously, not even my husband! This feeling really started 4 years ago, after we graduated college and my then boyfriend, now husband got a job 500 miles away from home. I opted to move with him. You mention feeling completely alone, although you really aren’t. I say how lonely I feel all of the time. The feeling of being utterly bored… ding ding ding. I have that, too. I also started getting panic attacks about a year after moving. They got pretty bad for a while, and were triggered by bumper-to-bumper traffic, and being home alone. I can’t explain it, and no I have not gone to a therapist about it. However, I don’t have any trouble getting up in the mornings and starting my days (most days). I don’t feel tired all day (some days yes, but that’s normal). I haven’t been like this my entire life, so I feel like whatever has triggered this “naturally” can be fixed “naturally.” In other words, I really don’t want to be put on medications. Perhaps it is because I have gone through really big changes in 4 years… moving farther away from home than I’d ever been, getting engaged/planning a wedding, getting married, having a full-time job, also losing weight (although I was never considered obese or terribly overweight, I needed to shed those college pounds!). I have been taking an herbal remedy called Holy Basil for about a month now, and it has reduced my anxiety a bit. Have you heard of this?

Hmmm.. sorry, this has become a long comment.. more like me venting to someone who may understand. :) Anyway, thanks for being so honest, it made me feel a bit better and not so alone.

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Taylor July 19, 2012 at 8:53 pm

I so hope you write more posts on this topic and go into more detail on your own experiences!

Thank you.

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hanna July 20, 2012 at 1:49 am

wow, thanks. I struggle with the same things, almost as if I wrote it myself.
I have such a great life, but I’m so insecure that it pulls me down. Sometimes I can be the great person I believe I am, but other times I feel like everyone is against me and that I can’t be happy. I think I’m not beautiful or smart enough, but why is it so important to be the best? Just have to work on it and believe more in myself, thanks for posting it :)

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Katy July 20, 2012 at 9:13 am

Thank you for your words, Andie. And despite your disclaimer at the end, I did not read that post as a sad one. It was frank and constructive. The homesickness while at home is such a perfect analogy. And these sentences you wrote rang so true for me:

Maybe the fact that it’s so beautiful and I can’t quite feel its beauty is what makes me even sadder. There’s guilt in not being able to just wrap my arms around everything and absorb what happiness it could give me.

Sometimes my life is scarily perfect, so the guilt I feel for being sad just perpetuates the sadness! But like you said, empathy is a great help, so thank you for creating an empathetic space here!

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Jennifer July 20, 2012 at 9:59 am

once again you crawled into my head, gathered my random thoughts, emotions, pain, pleasure, joy and sadness and articulated them in a way like no one else. You are amazing. I’m devastated to hear that you suffer such a lonely existance – I would wish this isolation on no other human being. Please know that you are not alone, in fact, you are me, my sister, my friend, my co-worker… we together a very lonely confused bunch of amazingly fantastic women. Welcome to my club, my door is always open.

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Andrea July 20, 2012 at 4:56 pm

It’s great to see people more open to sharing these types of problems. It makes me feel not so out of the ordinary. Thanks.

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Joelle (on a pink typewriter) July 20, 2012 at 5:58 pm

Andie my dear, your honesty never fails to take my breath away. I have experienced a few depressed moments in life – not quite a constant battle, but more moments in the last couple of years than I’d ever like to admit, mainly due to a cross-country move and constantly deployed (ex)boyfriend… which I’m sure would also astonish people who know me because, like you, I seem so light and so happy at all times. But it happens.. and I wish you the very best at finding the sunshine despite the blues. I hope you know i’m always here if you need an ear to listen – email anytime.. and I mean that!

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Roseanne July 23, 2012 at 7:23 pm

Your words are true and scary. Scary because being thin is suppose to fix everything. Scary because I saw myself in your words and I felt the same, high and low, instead of cake it was ice cream and a spoon. Life long depression and life long obesity seem to have gone hand and hand, I wonder why I can’t let go of the obesity. I have been in therapy and on anti-depressants for over 10 years and I’m still obese and going up and down. Finding your blog has been a blessing because you seem to be the only one willing to say you’re still depressed, exercise is not fun and food still tastes good. In the meantime, like you I’m thinking it’s time to reconnect with my therapist, I’ve been drifting towards the low again. Thanks for saying it’s okay to not be okay.

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Laura July 24, 2012 at 11:36 pm

Thank you for putting in words something I could never express myself. You are wonderful and inspiring. Thank you for explaining me better than I can.

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Betheny July 25, 2012 at 9:28 am

Thank you for this! I know the feeling as well. In fact, the day you posted this, I called the therapist (again) and your post helped me decide to do so. THANK YOU

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Randi July 25, 2012 at 9:09 pm

Andie, you have touched me with your heartfelt post. I don’t know what else I can add because the many comments before me have already said it all so well. Just know that your words mean a lot to someone out there struggling with the same issues.

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XLMIC July 27, 2012 at 9:16 pm

In all of the 278 previous comments, I’ll bet someone else already mentioned this…adrenal fatigue. Your words eerily describe much of how I have felt for the better part of 30 years…maybe more…I forget :( It was recently suggested to me that I suffer from adrenal fatigue/exhaustion and I’ve been treating it for approx. 18 months with success. It is a tricky, ‘mutating’ situation…and that homesickness while being home feeling and that tired feeling… again, your words really resonated with me. I, too, believe in therapy :) Here’s to good health and feeling WELL in every way.

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Mary @ Fervent Foodie July 29, 2012 at 3:05 pm

I love this. Thank you for being brave enough to share this with us all. It makes me feel a little less crazy, a little less alone.

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Chris C July 31, 2012 at 10:56 am

I am not sure I have depression…never been diagnosed. But I feel these feelings. Being an overweight person for 90% of my 46 years, I can relate. I often wonder if it is depression, or the fact that I am just unhappy with many aspects of my life.

I wrote this a few years ago. I sometimes write things, and I read them later on and wonder…Did I really write that? At the time, it was truly how I was feeling. Alone, dissatisfied, unhappy. Little has changed since writing this, but I am trying to find peace.

“She sits alone in a quiet room. A room filled with pictures of memories of her life. Memories of friends and family. She sits in this room quietly contemplating her life. Asking herself the questions that we all ask ourselves at one point or another during our lifetimes…Am I truly happy? Did I make the right choices in my life? What could I have done differently and why didn’t I?

She looks closely at these pictures that surround her, and studies every pixel…colors, emotions, composition…every one of them tells a story of her life. The picture of the running waterfall…water rushing by the camera lens, and blurred because the shutter cannot keep up…rocks on all sides of the water, many different layers and angles..trees hanging onto the cliffs…as if dangling by a string. She looks at this picture and thinks a little deeper. What do these words say about her life? Is this the way she defines her life? How would another person describe this picture?”

It is comforting to know that we are not alone.

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Sue July 31, 2012 at 11:18 am

Chris C. if you want to talk to someone let me know and I will give you my e-mail address. you are not alone.

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Katie P July 31, 2012 at 11:57 am

Wow, this was beautiful and touch my heart. You are not alone. We have to let out walls down and reach out, I struggle everyday to do this.

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Linda August 6, 2012 at 5:42 am

I think it’s great that you write all kinds of posts to your blog. It makes it so much more full of life.
I don’t know anything about depression unfortunately, but have you been tested for hypothyroidism. It’s kind of illness that causes symptoms that are similar to depression. And that is really common illness nowadays (at least here in Finland).

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Tricia August 6, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Wow. You have managed to write exactly what I have been feeling but couldn’t describe for a long time. I’ve been on anti-depressants for almost a decade now, and most days are good but there are also those days when I just cry for no reason at all. Even though I hate to hear about others suffering from depression, it’s always nice to know when someone else feels exactly the same way. There’s part of a C.S. Lewis quote that fits perfectly here: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one!” Thank you so much for writing this.

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dena August 7, 2012 at 8:47 am

thank you – you’ve summed it up in a nut shell – i am sitting at my precious house – next to my sweet dog waiting for my fantastic bf to get home completely unmotivated and feeling empty but not knowing why!

and i feel like an ass because my life is pretty great compared to most but i keep wondering what’s gonna put it over the edge to greatness….

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Kristin August 8, 2012 at 4:14 am

Thank you for writing this post. It was honest, inspiring, and even surprising, so you must be doing something right. :) I’ve wished so many times to just be able to get out of my head, to enjoy the moment, to be happy and grateful for what I have. I try to “fake it ’til I make it” but that nag is never really gone. I love your blog and appreciate your honesty and your writing. Your personality brings me back even more than the recipes (which is saying a lot). I hope that things get better, or that at least knowing that others share what you are feeling helps ease the gray a bit.

Thank you!

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Emma August 8, 2012 at 7:51 am

I know that many people in the 288 comments prior to mine will have already said what I mean to say about your ability to accurately and eloquently capture such feelings, so I’ll leave it at that.

You are amazing. Not just because you’re beautiful and smart and talented and all of that. Simply because you exist. I hope your therapy finds you bolstered, and your bobs find you sinking less deep in the waves. <3

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Clara Emily August 11, 2012 at 7:17 am

It is truly wonderful to read not only what you, Andie, have written, but that so many people struggle. Wonderful not because we are all struggling, but wonderful to know I am not alone.

I am 27 years old and have been struggling with depression, weight (gain, loss, gain, loss…) and self-hate issues for as long as I can remember. I feel it has gotten to a stage where that is the only place I know for me in life. Like I wouldn’t know how to be happy anymore even if everything was OK (which it is, apart from recently having gained weight yet again).

I do have many loving people in my life but I don’t let them in most of the time and while they really do try, none of them truly understand why I can’t ‘just’ be happy or ‘just not’ go and buy sweets when I know they’ll make me feel a million times worse.

I have tried about eight different therapies, along with Overeaters Anonymous while I was living in London in 2008. OA made it worse!!
I have also been on medication for the past three years. It did help at first. It helped me get out of bed and out of the hose at all and felt kind of like a safety net, like I wouldn’t be able to fall quite as far while taking them. I have recently stopped taking them because now they don’t make a difference and only remind me on a daily basis that I have a problem.

I am going to try hypnosos next, hoping I’ll get to the source of why I can’t be happy. Looking for the cause rationally and consciously hasn’t worked so I am going to let my subconscious work for me.

ANYWAY, it feels good that there are people out there who GET IT, who won’t condemn anyone if they ‘still’ aren’t happy and who may even read this ;)

<3 from Germany

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Sue August 12, 2012 at 9:03 am

Clara Emily, I understand how you feel and am sending you a hug. Hang in there sweetie. I think we are al lconditioned to think every one else is “happy” and we are supposed to feel a certain way. When what I have found in my life (I am 48 next week) is no one is really happy and most people just do their best to muddle through each day, so maybe letting your expectations of having to be happy go will help ease your struggle.
:) from MN USA

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Clara Emily August 12, 2012 at 11:53 pm

Sue, thank you so much for connecting! I will try that, sounds like a load off to stop expecting so much.
Hug back! ;)

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Sue August 14, 2012 at 2:28 am

Clara E, just be you. we are all imperfect perfect people. and i know life can really be hard sometimes. I believe in YOU Clara.
:)

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Brooke August 15, 2012 at 10:37 am

“This description is the only sentence I’ve read in all seven thousand self help books I’ve bought that actually makes me sigh, long and relieved, like someone gets it.”

This is how I feel when I read everything that you write. You get it. The way you think/thought about food. The dreadful running, the messed up yet perfect childhood. I feel like you are the only person who gets me and I don’t even know you! You’ve changed something in me, I’m sure of it, and I just discovered this blog today. You rock; you’re beautiful, smart, witty and an inspiration. I have read every single weight loss success story in the entire universe and I feel like yours is the only one that I can relate to. Honestly, I feel that you’re the only one being honest. Which, I know you’re not the only one, but you’re the only one who speaks my type of truth. I commend you, I look up to you and I am so glad I found you. Keep being awesome.

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Abby August 30, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Every thing you wrote coincides exactly with what I have been thinking and feeling all my life. I’ve had my own family issues and body issues, but I don’t know why I am sad. I feel like anyone looking at my life would think it was perfect, but I’s just so empty. I don’t know how to fix it either, but it helps to know that someone with as much going for them as you do can feel the same way I do. All we can do is keep trying to find what we are looking for.

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Brittany Landers September 6, 2012 at 8:18 pm

“My belief is that some of us have a happiness balance gone wonky. Our serotonin levels, our dopamine levels- whatever it may be- they’re just not quite up to par. And maybe medication restores some of the natural balance. Maybe it sets us at the same starting line as the rest of the world’s race runners, rather than twenty feet back. It doesn’t make us happier, not better, all by itself. But it lets us shake off a bit of that hopelessness, so that at least momentarily, we see that life won’t always feel like trudging through quicksand.”

I directly relate to this paragraph. This thought is EXACTLY mine at this moment. I’ve been depressed for 5-7 years, a year into medication…the medicine has never made me feel 100%, top of my game. Instead, it has leveled my sadness to a point that I can SURVIVE. Thank you for sharing!

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Katie September 14, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Hi Andrea ….Such eloquence and grace. I have enjoyed several hours of just reading your blogs. Your honesty and writing style is refreshing and addicting.
I am reading while in bed semi-paralyzed by my own sadness. Only wanting to get up to eat some carb-colorie laden item. You are inspiring.
Look forward to you book being published.

PS My cousin loved White’s Bakery as well

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JS September 26, 2012 at 5:02 pm

i feel exactly like this. i’m intensely aware of the depression but when i’m happy, i can feel so happy, free, appreciative. there’s a history of depression in my family. but there are also real events i can pin my spiral to. so i don’t know if it’s chemical. i’m not sure i want to.

this is something i wrote months ago, and everything above resonates with it:

“I’m still a happy person, I don’t know. But it’s this like cringing bitterness that’s at the center of everything lately. And I’m just so sick of it and it makes me want to lie in the dark for weeks. I’m just that tired. And I’m scared that after I finally leave here [school] it won’t go away.”

it’s a feeling of having no energy, of expending such an immense effort just to meet baseline, just to get through every day–even, as you wrote, the good ones. all i ever really want to do is nothing. lie in the dark. nothing asked of me. either nothing, or anything that will let me bolt, forget about reality and what it requires. even if all it asks is presence, breath. even that feels impossible.

but if you can carve out such a full and beautiful presence for yourself, despite this feeling that has followed me for years, that gives me so much respect for you, and at least a little bit of hope.

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Allison October 29, 2012 at 6:46 am

I have these same feelings, and I appreciate your honesty. I am currently reading a book called The Emotional Life of Your Brain by Richard Davidson; a neuro scientist. It sheds light on why, even at our highest times in life, we may not be able to shake the blues, and what we can do to change it. I bought it on audio, so I can listen to it when walking.

Here’s the link:

http://www.amazon.com/Emotional-Life-Your-Brain-Live/dp/1594630895

Thank you for your awesome blog!

-Allison

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Lee December 27, 2012 at 11:41 am

Thank you for this post. It appears that many, many people can relate to this topic. Finding this post comes at a great time for me. As I’m winding down from Christmas and looking forward to all the gloom headed my way (i.e. winter, cold, a return to 5-day work weeks, not to mention the fiscal cliff) this post puts into words what I have been feeling for a while now.

I was married this year to the man of my dreams. Moved to a new state to set up a new life. I feel like I should be a lot happier then I am. When I look at myself from the outside – it seems like I have nothing to complain about. But from here on the inside – things don’t feel all that great. And there’s not anything in particular I can point to as the reason for feeling so blue…just a nagging feeling of loneliness.

It just feels good to know I’m not alone in this.

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Molly December 28, 2012 at 3:58 pm

You need true religion.

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Cassie December 28, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Reading this post I could have been reading something I wrote… and you have absolutely no idea how incredibly validating and profoundly comforting that is.

You get it. I think you are the first person I have ever read that gets it.

At 28 my depression feels like what you have written here… and it puts me in a miserable no mans land. I’m “too” functional for anyone to care. And I get it. Doctors are overworked and with more than a year-long waiting list to get in to psychiatrists or mental health services I get why those precious, precious spots go to those who cannot drag themselves up, go to school, hold down a job and successfully keep their toilets clean. I get it, but I hate it.

The idea in your post that really sung? That desperately lonely feeling when your friends are standing 15 feet away. The fact that I can sit on my couch next to my husband and feel entirely alone. Bored with a thousand things to do. Continuing on with life for a lack of anything better to do. That’s my life.

Thank you for ‘getting it’. It’s really nice to know that I’m not the only one.

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Shelly January 15, 2013 at 2:31 am

Andie, as I read your words I could relate so well with them and recognized many of my own symptoms. This is just a shot in the dark but have you ever had your thyroid checked? I’m not talking about just the normal routine tests but also an antibody test. I have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis but it took them years to find it due to lack of proper testing. It will cause weight gain, depression, tiredness, and a lot of other symptoms. It’s very common but greatly overlooked. If you are interested in hearing more please email me.

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admin January 15, 2013 at 9:37 am

Hey Shelly!

Thanks so much for this comment as I do hope that it can be of help to some others. I have had my thyroid checked and tests have come back normal. Always good to be mindful of these things, though!

Andie

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Amanda February 18, 2013 at 1:18 pm

I just found your site on Pinterest, and have been reading it for 2 hours strait ( at work which is probally not good), I am in love. This post though has pretty much summed up how I feel all the time. It is nice to hear somone sum up those feelings so well. I have often thought of going to therapy, but don’t have the courage to do it yet. After reading this I will take a harder look at what it can do for me. You are a beautiful person and your recipies are making me soooo hungry right now :)

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Tammy May 13, 2013 at 10:08 am

Well said!!

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sharon September 18, 2013 at 7:39 pm

My son has struggled with depression, which translates to we all have. When a loved one has been afflicted , everyone in the family feels the battle. It is so heart wrenching and leaves you feeling so helpless. We celebrate the good days as if they were a holiday !! My son wrote a song about depression called RAIN, I think this community might understand and appreciate it more than anyone. Give a listen … it’s beautiful!!!

http://youtu.be/swnQrinEww0?t=1m22s

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Andie Mitchell September 18, 2013 at 8:05 pm

Sharon, your son’s son is beautiful! Thank you for sharing it :)

Andie

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sharon September 18, 2013 at 8:31 pm

Thank-you Andie, he is one gifted guy :) It should be the Star Spangled Banner song of Depression, ha ha. I am so glad I have found your site. I love your raw and honest voice of matters that need some light !!

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Rach September 24, 2013 at 7:26 pm

I know my thoughts will annoy some readers, perhaps even you lovely Andie (I hope not), but re-reading this post I feel like a balloon blown up too tightly–I’m about ready to burst unless I release a little of my hot air, haha. I will limit myself to two statements in the hope that I won’t be nauseating. First, I can relate word for word to the emptiness, boredom, loneliness, sadness, anxiousness—the feeling you can’t quite diagnose except that it’s misty and chasmic. I’ve known this feeling off and on since I was about eleven. Second, here is my reason why the feeling is mostly “off” or at least greatly reduced these days (after a very long journey that isn’t over yet). Saint Augustine said it perfectly: Fecisti nos ad te et inquietum est cor nostrum donec requiescat in te. (Yes, you can Google the English translation.)
That is all, except for a big mental hug.

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Sue September 28, 2013 at 12:57 am

Rach….. I hear you ….. not there yet but I wish I could get that peace…..bless you

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