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