Tuesday, February 3, 2015

One Day, Little Girl...

I am a fairly private person, and this blog has always been about communicating with images more that with words, so I've asked myself, is there any point in revealing private pain? Does it have any place here? 

I think it does. I would like to let you know what's been going on. I have suffered from occasional panic attacks since 2010. Things got worse in 2013 when I had two surgeries to remove a benign - but aggressive - tumor from my breast. I would have a few good months, then a few bad ones. Things became unmanageable last November - when dark obsessions moved in permanently. Anxiety, panic and depression had locked my brain in a prison of fear and despair.

I don't really know why or how this happened, but in December, I was sure I needed help. I am currently in therapy and I also see a nurse practitioner for counseling and medication. My hope is to come out of this one day, and to come out stronger. I have new empathy for others who suffer from mental illness - especially those who live in rural areas where options for help are limited.

Many other bloggers I love have been candid about similar struggles, and I admire them for sharing - it lets me I know I'm not alone in this.

I am grateful to be getting help. I am grateful for my husband, who is patient, understanding and above all, loving. I may not be okay right now, but I believe I am on the right path. I don't have much advice to offer, but in my experience, reaching out and seeking help is a difficult but important first step. While I had the support of my family, I had to do a lot of my own research to find the people who could help me. It was very difficult, but worth it.

These photos are from the first hike we've taken in almost a month. Winter seems so bleak, but I know that spring is coming.

Thanks for your patience. I'm sorry I haven't responded to comments in a long time, but I appreciate every single one of them. My wish is to continue blogging here and make this space better than ever.

Much love,


  1. this is so lovely. the words, photography, everything. please know that you are not alone in your depression and other problems, and that i'm praying for you. here's for a better year :)

  2. I'm so sorry to hear you've been struggling, but so glad things are improving for you and you're able to get help. I've been having a lot of struggles with mental health myself lately so I can relate, and it's so hard to open up about it, I really admire those who do speak so candidly about such issues. I really appreciate you're bravery in posting this ♥

  3. Sending much love and good vibes to you, thank you for feeling you could share this with us.

  4. I'm so sorry to hear that you are going through such a difficult time, but I am so glad to know that you are getting help and that you have the support of loved ones around you. Mental illness is always such a hard thing to come to terms to and express to others. I admire you for sharing this and I hope others can gain courage from your post to also seek help for themselves. Take care xx

  5. Is there any point in revealing private pain? Yes, because then you can get help. It's such a difficult step to take, and in some ways it's even harder if you have acute anxiety, but now you've taken it you are definitely on a path to being better. And a health scare like that would make anyone anxious! Glad you're finding some blue skies again, both literally and figuratively.

    (btw a friend of mine has been posting little comics about anxiety, I've found they're helpful to show people to explain the condition: vivianeschwarz.blogspot.com)

  6. Thank you for sharing something so personal. I know it can be difficult to reveal something like that, but I really do think being open about the struggles that we have can be cathartic and cleansing. It's not something to be ashamed of, and I think feeling like you can open up about it helps remove some of the stain that surrounds dealing with issues like these.
    My mother and my grandmother both had mental health issues, including depression and bipolar. When I was growing up, sometimes they were on their medication and managing things well; other times they weren't. Living with them at the time was very difficult, but in retrospect I can see how hard they tried to deal with mental health issues that they didn't understand and which could be really overwhelming for them. We lived in rural Colorado, and there just weren't a lot of resources to help people who had those kinds of issues.
    I'm glad to hear that you're getting help, and I believe that things will turn around for you. Best of luck for the future, and keep looking out for spring to come again.

  7. I'm so glad you're taking those steps to getting better. While no two people's experiences are the same, I've also struggled with similar issues and finally sought help last year (and not been very public about it). If you'd like to talk privately to somebody who totally gets this stuff, feel free to shoot me an email (which I think you have, right?).

  8. You are so brave to talk so openly about your struggles. One of my dearest friends and ex-lover just recently lost his long battle with depression a couple of months ago- mental illness can be the hardest thing to understand. Always here if you need to talk, of course. I hope you can find the peace of mind you need, lovely. I love seeing your posts show up on my feed. :) <3

  9. Anna, I admire your openness and honesty so much. You have been through a lot and you are truly a brave woman. We're all thinking about and praying for you, and I wish you all the best as you rest and begin to recover. Esme Wang is a writer and blogger who writes openly about living with mental illness, and you might find her writing comforting. http://journal.esmewang.com/ Much love and lots of hugs!

  10. Oh, wow. I am so glad you are able to get the support and help and that, even if it is still a journey, you are feeling things will be spring again, not only physically but metaphorically.

    Your honesty and integrity are amazing!

  11. I'm so glad you found this a safe and positive space to share your personal struggles—because it is. I wish you all the strength in your recovery, but it sounds like you have overcome many of the initial hurtles and your faith and hope in the future will carry you through the rest. Beautiful photos to accompany your words from the heart. xx


  12. I'm so happy when bloggers open up about issues like this. Mental illness effects a huge number of people in this world, and yet it is something not many feel comfortable sharing. I too have suffered from mental illness most of my life - depression, anxiety. Often times I feel like I am okay and have gotten through the rough parts, and then things get bad and I wonder if things will ever just be okay. But reading this has brought me comfort and made me feel like maybe one day I'll feel comfortable enough to share my experiences on my own blog. You are very brave and I admire you for sharing something so personal. I wish you the best of luck on your road to recovery. It won't be easy, I know. But talking about it is a huge step in the right direction. You deserve happiness and I hope you find comfort in knowing you are not alone and that everyone here who reads your blog wants to see you well. Take care, beautiful. xo

  13. Thanks for sharing - I know that takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there like that. I had an onset of anxiety, panic attacks, and depression after my daughter was born and had to go for counseling, meds, etc. It is a real struggle; you are not alone!