April Fools Day is kind of a weird day for me. My blog FueledByLOLZ would cause you to assume I’m the queen of pranks and funny jokes today. Believe it or not, I’m not. I debated even posting this but at the end of the day, April 1st is like any day. It’s a memorable day for some and a day that gets pushed away by others.
I also have a lot of personal friends that read my blog, and I wondered what they would think reading this post about my struggles. Many knew me throughout my highest anxiety points and had no idea. Many friends had an idea but never said anything.
On April 1st, 2014 my husband proposed to me. We had been dating for a while, lived together and even moved together.
We began dating during an already turmoiled senior year of college. Then maintained a year and a half of long distance and eight months of living together.
Living together only reinforced our relationship. I made the decision in 2013 to move from New York to Texas, and I had no idea what to expect. I’ll never regret my choice.
The day after I moved in, I got a knot in my hair. It took over an hour to get the knot out but instead of remaining calm, I was in hysterics over a trivial knot.
He asked, why don’t you just cut the knot out?
I still think that could be a front runner of the most dramatic moment of our relationship. It caused me to panic immediately and get more upset. But of course, he remained calm and helped me work through the knotty situation. An hour and bottle of conditioner later…it was over.
Since then, he has been the calmer half and voice of reason. I panic and get upset, and he calms me down.
A long time ago, I blogged more about social anxiety and depression. I dealt with depression more in college and social anxiety after college.
Between working in Oswego, NY as well as living in Texas, I found myself isolated. I felt as if I was always moving and making new friend groups. After I had moved to Texas, I was more stressed and anxious because I had no family or friends, no job and nothing to do. We were 180 miles in the middle of nowhere. I had blogging, of course, but you can only enjoy blogging for a certain amount of hours, and you can only apply for outside jobs for so long…
There is a real world outside of the computer screen…
Even harder about the military lifestyle is if you aren’t married, you don’t receive the same benefits as a spouse who is. The city we lived in Texas is centered around the base, so there were a lot of obstacles we faced. Obstacles that added more stress and anxiety into my life and in turn, Tim’s life. Unlike where we live now, the base was the only thing to do.
However, I chose to move to Texas. I wouldn’t have learned so much along the way without. I did, however, notice old tendencies from college slowly creeping back. I began sinking into depression and with more anxiety than I had felt before.
When we found out we were moving to New Jersey, it was a relief. I’m sure I would have found my way in Texas, but NJ is a short drive to our immediately friends and family. It is a much better fit for us. September-December of 2014 flew by, and the change was good for me. I assimilated well into the Garden State and had so much on my plate with unpacking; I didn’t have time to breath.
Then the Garden State Honeymoon period wore off.
I had a very successful but often gone boyfriend; I couldn’t find a sustainable job, and I was struggling to make friends. My depression and anxiety began to creep through the cold winter months. I made friends through (the then small) Oiselle team I had a solid two friends, but that didn’t help finding a job. I applied to things in my field (public health) and outside of it (running stores as well as a couple of hospitals). I sent follow up emails but went weeks without hearing anything back.
Anxiety is different for everyone. Someone might struggle in overwhelming social settings like parties, but someone else might struggle with mental and personal thoughts. Personally, I battle with second guessing everything I do. Not in an average way but a way that can lead to panic attacks. A way that I have received help throughout the years.
Even when jobs weren’t calling me back, my husband reassured me I would be fine. We were financially fine, and I was making a small living, but I found myself spending weeks isolated. Maybe that’s when I made the goal of traveling New Jersey to go to every diner, but I can’t be sure.
It’s odd to look back and say “my boyfriend” but he supported me throughout everything.
He supported me through anxiety ridden meltdowns to even telling me: no, don’t work there, you will be miserable (and that was most definitely true).
Fast forward to late March 2014. I was running again; I had just begun working at a local running store, and my anxiety was dwindling. A long six months after moving to New Jersey my life was slowly coming together. Even though on paper I should have been happy, I still felt as if I wasn’t providing enough or not doing enough.
On April 1st, I was in the midst of another meltdown.
Anxiety is funny that way; you can be happy, sad or somewhere in between.
You never know, and there is no way to predict it. At the time I was crying my eyes out, sad…for what reason I can’t remember. I had gotten over it by the evening, but I was still in a funky mood. Was I going to go to bed sad again? It never adds up either…my life was coming together. I had a job; my running was going well, and I was making friends. For some reason that is always unknown, I had anxiety.
Tim proposed me to that evening. I was shocked, and it didn’t feel real. It took me a couple of seconds to not be as shocked but of course, I said yes.
That was a great week for me. I got engaged and ran a half marathon PR.
The engagement wasn’t a band-aid to fix my anxiety. It wasn’t a cover up to make everything feel better, but it was a turning point in my life. For a reason, I can’t explain it was the start of building myself out of a hole that I had dug for myself.
Throughout the wedding process, my husband was there for me when he could be. The wedding planning took up plenty of time, but it wasn’t ever that stressful. Another interesting point of anxiety is that it can make you very Type A in a certain situation and laid back in certain situations. The wedding was one situation I was laid back.
So where am I now?
I’m reflecting and thinking about where life has taken me in the last few years. If you asked me three years ago:
Would I be living in NJ and loving it? I would have laughed.
If you had asked me two years ago: Would depression be out of my life? I would have also probably laughed.
If you had asked me a year ago: where I see myself after one year of marriage…I don’t know what I would have said. I would have laughed to buy time but, to be honest, I’m not sure what I would have said.
While depression is something I am currently not dealing with, anxiety is something I always will. There are periods my anxiety is worse and periods where it is almost nonexistent. I would not consider it a day of day battle but I also wouldn’t consider it over either.
My husband has been there for me throughout everything. Throughout the good, the bad and the ugly. Throughout trivial meltdowns that I can’t explain and the highs and lows. Social anxiety will be something I will deal with off and on, but the major battles are thankfully in the past. April 1st will always have a different meaning to me.
Our wedding Anniversary is on April 12, 2015, so I’ll have more of a story then.
Thank you so much for sharing your story. Depression, anxiety and mental health in general is something I’m super passionate about and try to bring awareness too. I live hearing others stories. I’m so glad you’re in a better place now and if you ever need to talk feel free to email me 🙂
I can relate Angie, I wish more people talked about it. I do think it would benefit others. I can only hope bringing awareness allows others to be more open and share their stories.
Hollie, I admire you so much for your candor and sharing your story. Depression, anxiety, and other mental health challenges can be so isolating. You are brave and smart to deal with them head-on. And it’s wonderful that Tim has been so supportive and compassionate. This post is such a lovely tribute to your relationship and the way he has supported you. Cheers to an awesome supportive husband!
I’ve also battled depression my whole life, secretly. Your wedding photos are beautiful, you look like a model!
That really means a lot, the photographers, Justice Images, truly do beautiful work
Thank you so so much for sharing your story! I’ve had friends with similar stories (where they were fighting a hard fight with depression and anxiety and sometimes I had no idea at all!) I’m glad you have Tim and I’m glad he’s able to support you emotionally 🙂 You guys are a great team and I’m glad you’re in a better place!
Such a great and important post. And how lovely that your husband is there to be with you in your times of need.
Mental illness and mental health need to be better understood and talked about more than they are.
Thanks for sharing your story Hollie! Through social media and blogs it seems like everyone’s life is picture perfect so I love when someone is brave enough to say differently. It’s nice to hear that others go through the same struggles I do. I’m glad you’re in a better place now. Your husband sounds like a great guy. Your weddings pictures are adorable; I’m looking forward to your one-year anniversary story (I just got married in September so I love sweet wedding and marriage stuff!).
I appreciate you commenting Kaci.
I enjoy reading a good wedding story as well. I think it’s hard because a lot of people do choose to only share positive or happy moments. I try and take the best of both worlds, whether that is with running or life!
I definitely understand the feeling of isolation as a military spouse. I met my husband when I was 26, had a career, a great group of running friends (and “other” friends), and was completely independent. I gave all that up for his job, and, while I love my husband, it was tough because I wasn’t the same person I had been before we moved. I couldn’t find a job, I had no friends and felt completely isolated. I’m glad you feel comfortable sharing these things, it’s nice to know there are others out there to relate to!
Thanks for sharing your story! So many people deal with depression and anxiety and feel like they have to hide it. I know I definitely have anxiety and I’ve dealt with depression in my past also. You do feel alone and that’s really tough. Our wedding anniversary is April 13! It’s a good weekend! 🙂 Have a great day Hollie! Can’t wait to hear more of your story!
Thank you for sharing this! I think it’s so important for people who have struggled with anxiety, depression, or other mental illness to be open about their experiences. I believe it does wonders in helping reduce the stigma surrounding them! I’m glad you are doing better now… I’ve gone through really horrible spells of anxiety and depression as well, and I know how awful they can be.
I love this post! Not only because I think it’s important that people share their struggles, but because Tim is so right for you and this just makes that so obvious. Having a husband that is such a good match is so important and it sounds like you really did find your other half.
I can relate so much to this! I battle Generalized Anxiety Disorder and also have an amazing husband who proposed to me in the midst of a hard time (they REALLY must love us! Haha). Although wedding planning was hell for me, I wish I had been as laid back as you! 😉
Thank you for sharing! It’s a shame mental health sometimes has a stigma because it’s so important to take care of yourself. 🙌🏻
Thanks for stopping by Paula and I do agree, it’s a shame that mental health is a stigma.
Thanks so much for opening up about your struggles, Hollie. I’ve dealt with anxiety and depression on and off for as long as I can remember, so I can definitely relate. I’m glad that you’re in a better place now, and that you have Tim to help out during the rough patches 🙂
thank you for sharing your struggles, sometimes with things like this you really feel like you are the only one. you are so lucky to have found your “person” who supports you and helps you. i struggle with the social anxiety piece but at times, suffocating at times but luckily my puppies are really great at helping me through.
I love this. I know from personal experience that it’s really hard to be in a relationship with someone with depression. I have anxiety too and know that it’s difficult to calm me down or talk me down from things sometimes. Love you lady!
this was an amazing post. I can directly relate with the feeling of uncertainty and loneliness that comes along with moving to an area where you have no connections and you just feel anxious about everything. It can be especially tough when you’re making big life decisions far from family, but its amazing when you have someone along that compliments you perfectly and eases your soul. you’re a very lucky girl.
Thank you so much for sharing your story, Hollie. I know all too well how scary it can be to share about depression and anxiety, and how dark things can seem when they’re taking over.
We are very different, but have been through a few similar things.
I always tell people when they open up like this, you never know just who will be helping — but you will help people; to know that they aren’t alone, aren’t freaks, that there is another side.
While I met my husband as a freshman in college, we didn’t start dating until I was a senior. We weren’t engaged when we graduated, and I moved to MD & he moved to VT for our jobs. I knew no one in MD, and I’m shy, but I did eventually make friends & my 2 best friends from HS eventually moved there, too (in fact, they STILL live there!).
We lived apart about a year, and then we got married and I moved to VT, where, you guessed it, I knew nobody. And I hated living in VT. But eventually I made a few friends there, too.
And then guess what? We moved to TX! Austin. We fell in love with it almost immediately. We really thought we’d retire down there. I made some great friends fairly quickly.
After 17 yrs there, my husband’s company moved to NY (where I’m from, originally). We lived apart for almost 2 yrs, with monthly visits, hoping he’d find a job in Austin. And now we’ve been in NY for 7 yrs. Another “temporary” assignment.
It was really tough. I stopped working shortly before we moved to NY. I didn’t know anyone. I was in my late 40s, and don’t have kids.
NY is still not where I want to live, and we don’t plan to retire here, but I’m close to my elderly parents. and I’ve slowly met a small circle of friends — and of course, now I have blogging and running.
Seriously, you just never know where life will take you. Some of it is good, some of it is bad, but in the end, I do believe most things happen for a reason.
I’m so proud of you for sharing all of this in such a candid way! It will only help you and who knows how many others, who are struggling with some of the same issues. I do know that running and having someone to ground you helps tremendously and, you have both!! Happy early anniversary Hollie and keep moving forward 🙂 xo
Thank you for sharing all of this! It is so helpful for others to know that they aren’t alone. I struggle with depression and anxiety all the time. I still love your wedding photos. They did an amazing job.
Hollie, thank you so much for sharing your story. I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression and can feel the stress rising as I get closer to my college graduation. It always helps me to hear other people’s stories. Happy early anniversary and thank you again!
I’m glad you enjoyed reading Brittany. I wish you the best for college graduation and if there is anything you want to talk about, feel free to email me!
Thank you so much! Have a wonderful Saturday!
It takes a lot of courage to be open and honest about your struggles–that says a lot about you and the support system you have. One of my college’s deans told us senior year that in life, “the highs will be high, and the lows will be low.” I always remember that when things are going really well and when things could be better.
Thank you so much for opening up in this way. Depression was the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced. Thanks to the grace of God, lots of therapy and medicine, I am no longer living in that hole. Anxiety is something I’ve only started to experience this past year. I never thought I’d be anxious about the possibility of being anxious.
They are difficult feelings to understand if they haven’t been experienced, but nonetheless awareness is valuable.
I love how you husband is woven into your healing. I find that being loved and cared for and known can fix a lot of things.
Thanks for sharing your story. I definitely battle with high anxiety from time to time. I dont think I really realized it until I connected more with myself through yoga and I try to meditate when I can or just do breath work to work through it. My fiance has always supported me though even though there were certainly rough patches where I was really stressed. It is wonderful to have that support from your best friend though.
I have a theory that people who are attracted to long distance running are also prone to anxiety. I run with a group on Sundays and have noticed various things that tip me off that someone is struggling with anxiety…a woman who runs even when clearly sick…another who was extremely nervous about selling her house…another who is reading a book about not being a people pleaser. I think we are attracted to running because we like goals and feeling in control of something. It’s a process!
Reading through this, I found myself nodding along. I can relate to much of what you’re saying! I couldn’t help but laugh about the knot in your hair – my husband would have responded exactly like Tim and I would have responded exactly like you! I think it is hard for people who have never experienced anxiety or panic attacks to understand how everything just feels like it is spinning out of control and logic is totally out the window. I’m glad you shared some of your story and I hope things keep getting better for you!!
I deal with anxiety and social anxiety–sometimes i feel all alone with that type of stress, so it’s brave of you to talk about it. It helps me feel like i’m not alone though, so keep talking!
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