I had a pretty awful Monday. It started at 6am when I attempted to pull a mug from a high shelf and ended up knocking another mug out the cupboard – that mug promptly fell on my head and cracked in half. I picked up the pieces and proceeded to get ready and head to a video shoot. As I drove to the location it began to rain and, after 30 minutes at the location we had to call it off. Only for the weather to clear an hour later. Driving home I took a phone call and found out that I lost my partnership with my primary sponsor. This was all before 12 noon.
I’d like to say I ranted and raged and then pulled myself towards myself. I’d like to say I was an emotional wreck. But I wasn’t. I was completely indifferent about all of it. It just felt expected. Because that is what depression does: it grooms you to be in a negative headspace and when the bad stuff happens you just go “Well yes, of course this happened.” It causes you to scroll through Instagram feeds and see your beautiful friends, but rather than celebrating their beauty you fall into a trap of comparison: she’s so skinny, she’s so pretty, she takes such incredible photos – I’m nothing like that. I’m so fat. Look how overweight and disgusting I am. Oh well. Depression sucks your emotion from you and causes you to beat yourself up in the most awful of ways. You’re not angry or mean to yourself – you’ve just become that horrible parent we see in a million movies that goes “you were always going to be a disappointment and I’m not surprised.”
If you’ve been part of the Tech Girl community for some time none of this will come as a surprise to you.
Two weeks ago Constantine104 mentioned to me how a friend of hers, a member of our little community, had asked if I was okay. She’d noticed the darkness circling me for months – it was apparent in my content and my tone. It didn’t matter if I was grinning in YouTube videos or being hyped on stream – she saw through the momentary light. I’ve known the darkness for a good few months now. I’ve not publicly said anything for fear of seeming insincere. Another blogger recently shared her battle with depression and was immediately attacked on social media because she shares beautiful travel photos on instagram and was told she was “fake” and perpetuating a falsehood. I didn’t want the same.
Isn’t it ironic how, regardless of how the darkness circles you, the light constantly tries to break through
I arrived home to a gift. Pandora had sent me a piece from their limited edition Valentines Day range. A simple band with a “love” locket. On the back “you are loved” was inscribed. The gift included a T emblazed with #LOVED as well as some cards with loveable sayings. It was incredibly fitting. I wrote in early 2019 that I’d make this “the year of me”. The industry I work in is tough. I’m the product. And sometimes people don’t like the product. Maybe they don’t like the way you laugh or the way your bum looks in those jeans or maybe they just don’t think you work for whatever they’re doing. But its hard to rub off rejection and see it as “business”. Because, as I’ve said before, I’m not a brand or a product – I’m a person. iPhones are good products. They do everything you want. But maybe you prefer an Android operating system, so you buy a Samsung. Does the iPhone sit and wonder if it needs to change? Does it worry that maybe it is too fat? That its display wasn’t bright enough? Of course not. But I do.
I needed a reminder
In 2017 my family gifted me with my first Pandora bracelet. When we found out I’d be travelling extensively come 2018 they gifted me with a host of charms – each charm had a special meaning and was a reminder of the person who gifted it to me and their love for me. The bracelet is so dear to me. However, now I have a second bracelet and much like the first was a reminder of how loved I am by those closest to me, this new one needs to be a reminder that how I am loved by ME. I seem to have forgotten that. It is almost like I’ve fallen out of love with myself because of the environment around me. I think we all do it from time to time. When I look in the mirror I see cellulite, fat thighs and a bulgy stomach when I should see an able body that is able to move and run and express joy. When I’m mid conversation with someone I hear my voice that amplifies and someone who kills conversations and “rubs people up the wrong way” because I always try share a story that seems relatable…. Rather than someone who has confident in her voice and eagerly wants to let the person she is speaking to know that she too has experience their emotions and that she sees them and appreciates their journey.
This doesn’t mean I’m not going to focus on being healthier and becoming physically stronger. It doesn’t mean I’m not going to try listen more than talk. Self love and self improvement are not mutually exclusive.
It’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow. Maybe you think it is a ridiculous corporate sell out. Maybe you’re a hopeless romantic. Regardless, spend some time tomorrow reminding yourself about the stuff you love about you. Organise a cupboard or prep lunch for Friday. Do something small to help future you’s burden. Remind yourself that you are loved, by you. And that is the most important love you can give.
Disclosure: The Pandora bracelet mentioned and photographed in the post was sent as a gift.