My previous title was: be the change you want to see in the world, so let me set an example.
I mentioned that I have and have had a lot of complexes. Some of them are very vain and some of them; not so much. I've been battling depression since I was 14 years old. It's one of my dirty, little secrets. It's a difficult thing to put out there, for the world to see - and it's not something I do lightly. It's just one of those wounds that might never grow, and here I am; showing you my goo. Why?
I'm doing it because I want to fight. Because even though some of you might just see a "pretty" girl walking down the street or taking pictures of herself and posting them online; that's not all she is. It's not all I am. It's what I choose to do, despite my condition. Battling this darkness on its own is hard enough, why not prescribe fashion as an alternative medicine. I'm telling you this because I want to be more than a fashion blogger. I want to be me - and I want to feel like that's enough.
I started blogging back in 2001 because I needed to shift my focus from the endless pain I was feeling inside, and to be a part of a community. Fashion and style eventually became a natural choice for me. It has been both a liberating and welcomed break from my daily struggles. I'm not in it for the fame, for the money or for the goodies. I'm in it for me. And I always have been. You guys have been the best support a girl can have, always cheering me on and leaving comments for me. Regardless of what I wore, what depressing anecdote I spewed out or if I had been gone for days or weeks. You have been a constant friend, a secret therapist - and helping me, without even knowing it. Thank you for that.
I want to show you that even though you might think I'm perfect, I'm far from it. No one is perfect. And just like you can't see cancer - you can't see depression - but both of them are monsters eating you up from the inside. It messes up your mind, body and soul. And just like cancer might kill, so can depression. Personal battles are hard as hell, but not always visible to the naked eye. Whether it is cramming for exams till you feel like you're drowning in your own sweat or feeling like a walking target for bullies and haters everywhere. It's hard, because it's your battle. It's exhausting, because you feel completely alone - even though you know perfectly well that you aren't. There is, after all, over 7 billion unique individuals on earth.
There's just some kind of block in my life that prevents me from living and putting myself out there is an anxiety attack waiting to happen. Every single post is difficult. I can spend hours trying to write one. Some would consider it self harm, but for me it has been helpful. Extremely hard, but in a good way. They say nothing worth having comes easy, so I guess this blog is really worth having. And even though this post might not be a big deal for any of you, it is a very big deal for me. I've started writing it a thousand times over the years, but I've never been able to finish it. Until now.
So, hi, my name is Barbro Andersen and I'm fighting depression. With style.
Photo: Linnea Syversen
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Hi, Barbro. First of all, I want to say that I admire that you were able to post this and it is very inspiring.ReplyDelete
I absolutely know all you are talking about, since I am struggling with depression myself and like with you, fashion has been a therapy for me.
Depression led me to many things in my life, including studying architecture, being obsessed with politics and philosophy, painting, and I ended up writing a fashion blog, something I never expected and which fulfills me completely. I don't think I have the guts to confess this to my readers though, which is why I find what you did encouraging, brave, and admirable.
I know all you talk about bullies, being targeted and all that. Most people forget about those things the moment they happen, but with us, it stays and everything is magnified, causing an even worse damage.
Anyways, keep on doing what you do and stay strong, I want you to know you are not alone. You are beautiful x
Thank you for sharing this. It's about time depression stops being stigmatized as it is... If we all talk about it like we talk about our colds and our flus, hopefully things will get better and more understood.ReplyDelete
I couldn't agree more! If we are more open about it, I'm sure that - eventually - it will be better.Delete
Thank you so much for commenting, Mrs. D <3
Hello my lovely ... I can say that I can relate to you. For me I have this dark moments as well, where I feel the world coming down on me.. with all the pressures of life and my own, I press upon myself. Where I just feel exhausted of it all .. and sometimes not sure even why or from what exactly...ReplyDelete
It is truly so brave of you to come out and tell it like it is ... and putting yourself out there! With your weaknesses and total vulnerability, but on the other hand standing strong and true to yourself!
I admire you and wish you all the love and strength and all the good to come just right back to you as you give so much to all the people around you and inspire and touch us within your words and images.
Don't stop, look forward and smile to your future, because great things always come to those with good hearts, good intentions ... although I know it's not always the easiest of paths, but I believe that the best things of life show themselves to those who overcome the greatest of struggles and obstacles on there way to find the truest from of happiness and well-being!
Sending lots of Love! xo Cam 💝
P.S: Always here to talk.. whenever and whatever! 🌺
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been there, done that ... there were times when it almost crushed me, but I got out alive, fought like hell and left the bitch behind. I'm not saying I never have dark moments anymore, everybody does, but now that doesn't scare the shit out of me anymore because I have some very effective strategies to help myself with. now, if I could only recommend one thing, it would be to read the book Learned Optimism by dr. Martin Seligman. maybe the title sounds like some stupid self-help book, but trust me, that's not even remotely the case. actually, that was quite possibly the most important book I ever read. it helped me understand the mechanism behind negative feelings and provided me with ways to turn them into a more positive direction. some other things that also proved helpful to me were meditation, EFT, doing sports (especially running), a vegan diet with heaps of raw foods and vegetables, and doing things that make me happy, including helping others, which I find very important. so, please feel free to contact me if you wanna "talk", and don't forget getting better is possible - if I did, so can you! :*ReplyDelete
I totally agree with the diet change. I've battled with the same, and changing my diet has helped SO much. I am not vegan, but I have a lot of raw food and minimal cooking with my diet. I've stayed away from trans fat (even things labeled as no trans fat have them), and that makes you biologically able to handle life steadily.Delete
Dear Barbro, THANK YOU for your honesty, for being so generous and for bringing much needed perspective to the world of fashion & personal style blogs. I have always sensed that there was more to you than what you showed us in your pics, and now I know that my impression was right. Your inner beauty is far greater, and more touching, than your outer beauty; it is so because you are strong, brave and kind. It is our flaws that make us unique and even more loveable, I think, than our qualities. In trying to focus on something different from your condition, you have achieved a greater success - you have inspired all of us, bringing beauty into our lives one post at a time. THAT is true personal style and class! XxxxReplyDelete
This is a very moving post. I know depression well. And I know what it is to start a blog in order to save your own sanity. ;)ReplyDelete
Thank you very much, sweetie. Sane or insane, I'm humbled by yours, and everyone else's, reply <3Delete
It's nice that you are strong enough to write about it. You are not alone in having these feelings. Thank you for sharing about it with us. I'm glad you fight to "be the change you want to see in the world." I also like the photo of you at the top of the post. It's very pretty.ReplyDelete
Thank you very much, I really appreciate that. Really!Delete
Nå har jeg lest det du har skrevet siden i hvertfall 10 år tilbake - og det er nok derfor jeg følger med ennå -så fin og dyp på innsiden, og så nydelig på utsiden. Du er tøff som klarer å være åpen om det!ReplyDelete
Unfortunately, I am very familiar with depression. I lived with depression and with an axiety disorder as a teenager and as a young adult. At its worst I couldn't leave the house without having a panic attack. The best decision I took was when I finally agreed to go on medication. I was so ashamed but the disease was taking control of my life and I had to do something. It was the best decision I have ever made because the dark clouds in my head went away and it let the sun shine inside me. I would recommend it to anyone who has been battling depression and anxiety for many years.ReplyDelete
My doctor told me that I might have to take antidepressants all my life and I am okay with it now. If I had been diagnosed with diabetes at a young age, I would not think that I am weak for taking the medications but that I had just been unlucky. I see my anxiety disorder the same way. I was born with a defect and that's okay. I will do everything in my power to have the best life there is though - even if it means with medication.
Meds made my husband act less human than he is. He gained weight, was antisocial, and barely could feel emotion. I myself battled with depression and suicide, and what truly helped us get rid of depression was to change our diet and lifestyle. Using what's freely available to us in nature without having to spend countless dollars on synthetic crap that is used to treat symptoms and not cure us is giving into the politics of pharmaceuticals, making us dependent on them for the rest of our lives. Doctors are not aware of this, because they are taught to medicine, not nutrition.
If you want help, I am happy to reach out to you freely.
Medication is not for everybody. It is a very personal decision that you have to take with yourself and your doctor. Medication is not a decision I took lightly but I had reached the bottom of the barrel. I am fortunate to have a very good doctor.
I used to feel so ashamed for having depression, I was ashamed of my panic attacks, ashamed for my anxiety disorder, ashamed of my agoraphobia, ashamed of my sucidal thoughts and ashamed of taking medication. I am not ashamed anymore and I will not apologize for taking medication. I take a very light dose and it works for me. I am able to function daily, have a job and be good at it, go out and have a beer with my friend without having a nervous breakdown. That's what life is all about. Would I like to be able to do all these things without medication? Yes!! But I can't. It is my cancer and I have learned to live with it. The last years of my life have been the happiest and I don't think it would have been without the medication.
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, both Marie and Rachel. Meds aren't for everyone, that's for sure. It's a very personal choice, to take it or not to take it. Whether it is natural remedies or factory made pills.Delete
I'm really interested in learning more about the diet aspects of healing, and will have to read up on that for sure!
I know how you feel. I myself used to suffer from it. I've written a couple of posts about suicide and how I battled with it. I couldn't even finish reading Sylvia Plath's Bell Jar, because her story affects me more than the average person reading her work. Blogging/writing really helps me as well, but of course if I compare my success with yours, I should be a lot more depressed! I see the rich and the famous being depressed, and I think to myself, these people probably never worry about whether or not they're going to eat the next day (which some of us do)! However, a depressed person is never satisfied, even if they reach their initial goals. So, I can't judge anyone for being not grateful or their depression unjustified wherever they're coming from. It's a state of mind, not an actual state of living or being. Even if that is so, depression is a very scary and real thing to the person experiencing it. My life or your life might not be as bad as the homeless person on the streets, or the kid who lost her parents in the typhoon, but we all equally suffer from this evil inside our heads.
You may or may not believe in spiritual things, but I do, and that has helped me (along with the proper food) to battle depression and suicide. I will be thinking about you and praying and hope that you will get better! :)
Hi Rachel. Thank you so much for commenting!Delete
Depression is chemistry and psychology and so much more. It's just such a personal and private battle, within yourself. It doesn't matter if you're rich or poor, depression doesn't see the difference. And what some people consider success, others consider failing.
I consider my day successful if I can get out of bed and go to the store. If I can make, and eat, dinner before 9 p.m. That's all. I'm not high maintenance. And some days it's just all about surviving. Some days are good, some days are OK, and some days are not at all.
Thank you again for commenting. I really appreciate it!
Dearest Barbro. As I read this, my heart aches. For you and for all you've been through and still battle with, for myself for knowing exactly what you're talking about, and for everyone else out there struggling with similar difficulties. You are SO INCREDIBLY STRONG for sharing this with you readers - I was blown away by the strength of your words.ReplyDelete
After fighting depression, anxiety attacks and eating disorders all through my teens and well into my adult life, I slowly started to realize that all I truly want to do is to become a psychologist and do whatever is in my power to help others who, like me, find it hard and painful to live in this world. In my eyes, it's not so much about going from "sick" to "healthy", but more like finding a way to cope, manage, and change the way one is affected by all those thoughts and feelings. I don't find it surprising that a lot of your readers are able to identify with this post - not only because depression is so common, but also because, in my experience, people who have struggled with these issues tend to be drawn to others with similar backgrounds, since they can relate to the way these people express themselves and look at the world. Most of my friends have been through things in their lives that is not very different from my own struggles - even though we did not know these things about each other back when we became friends. I guess we just seemed to recognize something of ourselves in one another. Personally, I do have a soft spot for people who have not had the easiest lives and tend to surround myself with those people.
To put it in the words of my greatest hero, Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes:
"But don't be embarrassed by your troubles with living
Cause it's the ones with the soarest throats who have done the most singing."
Lots, lots, lots of love to you. Thank you for your honesty and your courage. I believe that letting people know they are not alone in the wars they're fighting against themselves is one of the greatest gifts one can give a person battling depression.
Oh, Annika. You are one of the strongest people I "know", and reading this from you really means the world to me. Thank you so much, just for taking the time.Delete
I know exactly what you mean about people with similar backgrounds being drawn to each other. It's a very strange, but wonderful, phenomenon, in a way. And I think it's quite amazing what you are doing. Not just for yourself, but for all the people you are going to help along the way.
You might not know it, but you've helped me. Being honest about your struggles really encouraged me to do the same. It has taken a long time just getting here, but I don't mind that. I have all the time in the world.
I beginning to realize that it's OK to have a soar throat. It's the singing part I'm struggling with.
Big hug to you, Annika. Thank you for being so wonderful.
My Dear Barbro, it's been 4 years since I've found you on The Fashion Spot, this gorgeous dark haired creature, surrounded by snow. I've reached for your blog and discovered your words. I fell for them. Hard. I didn't know you've been depressed for so long, but I sensed this sadness and deepness in your words, something that hinted that sometimes things weren't that perfect in your life and mind. And I related to that. That's probably why I was so drawn to you. Like I've said to you - countless times - you ARE MY FAVORITE BLOGGER, not because of how you dress, but because of the way you portrait your own soul arround here. In and out, you are a special girl, one of a kind. I would read your words and see more than just a fashion blogger - you were NEVER just that - at least not in the 4 years I've followed you. You've always been more, you ARE so much more than meets the eye.Delete
And just like you and Annika said above (sweet Annika, I miss you so damn much, wish I could still be in contact with you and check if you're alright; my heart is happy to see news from you, even if indirectly <3), when people share some kind of sadness, when something pains in our minds or hearts, we unite, we reach for other. My blog has helped me in a lot of ways. I found a lot of people - virtual and physical - that gave me support, that helped me change, evolve, that helped me love myself. I was a sadder person before this. Now, I'm actually happy most of the time, and I own a lot of it to the way my blog - and the people that read it - were a company, a refuge, something I could hold on to. I was never that sick - guess you could say I was a "blues" person, rather than depressed - but I can totally understand that your own blog - and us, your followers to some extent too - helped you out somehow.
You were incredible brave for writing this post. It's not easy to come out and say "Hey, I'm NOT perfect and I've actually been depressed most of my life." I know you're strong and a fighter, and I actually STILL think you're perfect...I have a thing for sort of "broken" people - my own best friend in the whole world is on the sad side...his childhood and teen years were a mess of sadness - I think most soar throated people, like you girls say above, can be better than "ordinary" people... Difficulties make us more human, more sensitive, more lovable.
You know, I would love to be a psyciatrist and help people cast outside the demons inside their own mind. It's one of my options when I get to choose my medical speciality a year from now. Fighting personal battles is the worst and I would love to give out a hand for those in need.
I wish you the best strengh into fighting against your own emotions. Sending all the force and love possible to you.
My dear, sad, gorgeous, true, amazing, pained, human Barbro, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I hope days get easier, and that you're able to manage your own issues better and better each day. Step by step. Be strong, sweetie!
You're a true inspiration and I'm sure you've helped other people too!
My Fashion Insider
I can only imagine how difficult it was to publish this. I've written out entire posts trying to communicate some of my struggles only to delete them. As bloggers we only show the world a tiny fraction of our lives (usually the most pleasant) and it can be hard to connect deeply but I've often felt that's exactly what I crave. Sometimes it feels like a balancing act between sharing beautiful things and being real and honest. But it's amazing to hear you derive so much comfort from the community; having positive outlets, no matter how superficial, can be life changing. I have a friend who struggles with depression and his outlets are video games and comic books. They may seem childish but they helps him cope with the feelings that live in his head. I hope you continue to find support through this community. Your actions make the rest of us braver. Lots of love.ReplyDelete
Vakre du ♥ReplyDelete
Endelig skrev du om det, åpenhet er et viktig steg for å komme seg videre :) !
Keep on keeping on lovely ♥
Tusen takk, fine Marita. Ting tar tid. Å akseptere det er noe av det vanskeligste jeg har gjort, og fortsatt gjør. Heldigvis er det litt lettere når man har så mange fine mennesker rundt seg <3Delete
Thank you, for this post, for your honesty. <3ReplyDelete
Thank you so much for reading it <3Delete
It's Anika, from your "I care" list! I changed my blog's name for the 1000000th time...
To be honest, watching your photos, I would never thought that it's happening to you. But depression is like a weapon, it doesn't choose victims. And in this day & age, there's so much things to be the trigger. So it's very brave from you that you finally got encouraged to write about this.
I'm fighting with an anxiety, depression and panic attacks for few ages, medication helps a lot but still, there is it - we have to learn how to live with it. It is especially difficult if you can't find support in family (like me).
Reading from your last paragraph- I wouldn't agree that writing your posts is a self harm. It's the way of curing any anxiety - stepping out & away from our safety & comfort zone. This is the key of the treatment with the best relief.
Stay strong & take care of yourself!
P.S. - Your instagram photos are awesome, your modelling photos too! And congrats for having your shoes exhibited in Bianco storo. It wouldn't happen if you weren't blogging good!
Oh, and I voted - all I have to do is to click "stem"???
Veldig bra og åpent innlegg! Vi møttes såvidt på vixen blog awards forje helg, og du virket som en solstråle uten like! Skal prøve å gå innom din blogg og stemme samtidig som vi er inne og stemmer på oss selv når vi er så utspekulerte at vi gjør det ;) Hehe. Ha en fin dag, du er tøff, åpen og inspirerende! :)ReplyDelete
Tusen takk, Cecilie! Setter kjempestor pris på det!Delete
Vi må jo stemme på oss selv og vise at vi støtter oss, selv! ;)
Krysser fingrene for deg også og stemmer på Sprekfisene! ;)
Thank you for posting this ♥ReplyDelete
I'm sure after reading all of these comments you know that you are not alone in feeling this.. but I just wanted to say again, you are not alone! But you are so brave to just come out and say this, and I think it is really good for people to realize that many, many others suffer from depression. It's not a big horrible secret, but something that effects many people and can be helped with the right support/medicine/therapy. You are the best, and so inspiring, and beautiful ♥
Oh, I'm afraid you didn't get my comment on this post :/ I tried to comment it twice already :/ not lost in your e-mails, sweetie? Please let me know.ReplyDelete
kiss kiss, Nádia
My Fashion Insider