But Behind That Fair Facade...
... I'm afraid she's rather odd!
Awe yes another day, another Disney lyric. While watching the live action Beauty and the Beast for the tenth time the other night this lyric from the song Belle really resonated with me. It reminded me of a post I've been considering writing since forever. I don’t personally believe that what I am going to discuss today is necessarily odd, however I still appreciate using this lyric for this post.
First of all, I firmly believe that every person has something behind their fair facade. I have always admired those who are willing to be so vulnerable and carefree with their struggles and insecurities. Today marks the first time I have had enough courage to discuss my own, which is that I have depression.
There are so many reasons why I don't like discussing this illness. Now all too often, mental illnesses are thought to be sensationalized to gain attention or favor. I have always been terrified of what anyone would think by my saying that I have depression. This fear is only intensified by the knowledge that I know I have a pretty fair facade. Due to this suspected judgement from others I have been forced into an odd state of a quasi-honesty. Meaning that I don't feel like I am living authentically by not sharing this significant part of myself. Though in truth, some of this judgement is not suspected. I can't even tell you how many times I have told someone that I have depression and instantly feel their judgement and denial. It is rare to find someone who does not look at me as a cliche or simply as undeserving of the title "depressed." I have never wanted to be treated differently because of my mental illness. However, I do wish to have the ability to be honest and hold a discussion on this topic without scrutiny. Which I realize may very well be a vain pursuit.
However, it is not solely others' judgement that has kept me from being entirely honest. My own demons must be credited as well. My negative self-talk frequently tells me I have no right to feel the way I do. That I certainly have no right to claim any sort of discomfort within this world, which has otherwise been so kind to me. In my mind I believe that I should sit pretty and not share my feelings. After all, who wants to hear the pretty young lady who appears to be so happy share anything but that? Clearly, she does not know any real struggle. Too frequently, I let this voice dominate my existence. If there is anything I am good at, it's discrediting my own thoughts and feelings!
And yet, the other day as I was in another state of disarray my mother said something that oddly enough really struck a cord with me. She told me how Ginger Zee (the chief meteorologist on ABC News) wrote a book on her experience dealing with depression. My initial thought was hmm I never knew she was depressed, but yeah I guess that doesn't mean that she isn't. The next thing on my mind was how immensely brave I now believe her to be. I mean come on here's a beautiful, intelligent, successful woman speaking on the fact that she has been struggling with depression for years. In all honesty thinking about her publishing her story gets me emotional. I admire her courage and am grateful for it. Dealing with mental illness is difficult enough without even confronting the social stigma involved. Having someone like her speak on this illness that is often shrugged off meant a lot to me. Mind you, I don't even watch Good Morning America! But, as you can see Ginger Zee's courage inspired my own.
I know that this story has nothing to do with fashion, but it does have to do with my own personal style. My depression is something that causes my personal style to change almost daily. Not to mention the impact it has on my readiness to create and post on here too. Still, this is the one bit of information I thought I would never share, so naturally in the spirit of growth through vulnerability- now I have to!
I was encouraged to write this post now because I have in fact been feeling exceedingly depressed the past few weeks. This blog is incredibly personal to me, yet I have been feeling disconnected and discouraged to even work on it. I have come to recognize that I want to be able to feel completely free and honest on here. So, if I think that means sharing my brain’s inherited biochemical imbalance, then so be it.
I’d like to end today's hodge podge of an intimate post with something my favorite professor said, "if it is an honest experience, then it is worth sharing."
- Disingenuously Dressed