Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Silver Ribbons

Yesterday, I sent an e-mail to several family members and friends. Since I have not posted on my blog in a while, I thought that maybe I should post it here, too. It's sort of my "coming out". So here is the e-mail:

I have recently mentioned to some of you about a blog that I follow. The writer calls herself The Bloggess and her name is Jenny Lawson. ( http://www.thebloggess.com or @TheBloggess on Twitter). She's the lady with the giant metal chicken named Beyonce. I absolutely love her sense of humor, although not all of you would probably find it as funny as I do. But the reason I am e-mailing you about her is because she is so very open and honest about her struggles with depression and anxiety. Hers is a little different than mine. She self-harms. My anxiety tends to be worse than my depression. But, she recently put into words how a lot of us who deal with regular depression feel:

When cancer sufferers fight, recover, and go into remission we laud their bravery. We call them survivors. Because they are.

When depression sufferers fight, recover and go into remission we seldom even know, simply because so many suffer in the dark…ashamed to admit something they see as a personal weakness…afraid that people will worry, and more afraid that they won’t. We find ourselves unable to do anything but cling to the couch and force ourselves to breathe.

She also writes: I’m lucky that I’ve learned that depression lies to you, and that you should never listen to it, in spite of how persuasive it is at the time. This is so important, because sometimes it is really hard to not listen.

This woman is such an inspiration to me. She started a social media movement called #TheTravelingRedDress. To summarize, she has always wanted a big, red, silky ball gown. She never allowed herself to buy one because she deemed it frivolous and wasteful. And that is when she realized that she needed it the most. "Because when you start to think that your dreams are wasteful that’s a sign that you need to go after them before they run away forever.”

So now this same dress has travelled to many people who need it for one reason or another. To use it to battle their own demons. There is an outpouring of love from Jenny's many followers and now there are dresses all over the country being shared by women and blogging about the dresses' journeys. I hope to buy my own dress to add to the mix soon (so far I haven't seen one out there in MY size). I hope to have my hair done and pictures taken, because feeling pretty, for me, is a huge part of feeling better. But the red dress is a metaphor for doing something you've always dreamed of doing. Skydiving or going back to school or....whatever.

And chances are that many of your friends, family and coworkers are dealing with things like this. Things that are killing them a little inside. And that is why I am writing. Hoping that you read this and know that whatever your struggle is, you're not alone. And you are welcome to forward this to someone else if you know they are struggling with something. I love the comments at the end of her posts. One might have become my new motto. "You're broken. That's okay. So am I."

The silver ribbon is to depression what the pink ribbon is to breast cancer. I'll probably be making mine soon. Or maybe I'll get a tattoo when I turn 35. Just kidding, Mom!!! Well, maybe I'm kidding... :-)

I love you all.