Why Being Diagnosed With Depression Made Life Better

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I’ve been the saddest happy person I know for as long as I can remember. At heart I am the same rainbow-loving optimist you see on my Instagram (@healthybunhead), but I’ve struggled with depression for ten years.

It started when I was fifteen. At the time we treated my “sadness” as a hormonal imbalance, but as I got older, the sadness clung on to me and grew deeper. It ebbed and flowed. Life would be good for a couple of weeks and then the sadness would hit me like a freight train. It took control, both physically and emotionally. I lost interest in my favorite things. I stopped talking to my friends. I slept all the time. I felt so confused and helpless. I was living the life I always dreamed of. I had an incredible support system. I wanted for nothing. Why was I so miserable? 

I thought for sure I was the only person on earth so flawed and damaged. I called my mom to ask her why I was so broken. She instantly booked me a trip home and a doctor’s appointment. (My mom is my hero.) Within a month I was diagnosed with depression. 

To some, this may feel like a death sentence, but I have never been more liberated. My sadness had a name! A treatment plan! A community of hundreds of thousands of others feeling the same way I did! I was flawed, but I was not broken. I could breathe again.  

For years I lived with the incredible guilt from the pressure to be happy because I was (and continue to be) so blessed. But as hard as I tried, I just couldn’t maintain a steady state of joy. I thought it was my fault, but that was far from the truth. Depression is a physical illness that was just placed in my cards at birth. You can’t prevent it, and above all else, depression is not your fault. 

I have learned to live with both the happy and sad parts of me. They are both valid and important. I will always have bad days, no matter how perfect life is. But my diagnosis set me free, for never again will I blame myself for something that is out of my control. 

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Depression is a part of me, but it is not who I am. I am a sparkling, smiling unicorn that lives in a magical city with one million and one things to be grateful for. I still get sad sometimes, and I celebrate that sadness is okay. 😊 

With Love, 

 

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Winter Top Three

Hi, blog fam! Long time no see! 

I have yet to publish a blog post since my major website renovation. In the last few weeks, I have had some incredible experiences that have absolutely shaped my year thus far and I definitely don't want to skip over sharing them. Although I could write endlessly about my life this winter, I will choose instead to share my top three highlights! 

 ( January 2018 )   

( January 2018 )

 

1. PEAK by JW Marriott

Wow. Where do I begin? This had to be the first highlight shared and will remain a highlight for the rest of my life. 

In January I had the opportunity to attend a wellness retreat in Scottsdale, Arizona hosted by JW Marriott Hotels and Nora Tobin, celebrity trainer and lifestyle coach. We stayed in the Camelback Inn, one of JW Marriott's many resorts and spas. The retreat took place over four very transformative days. We started each day with a high-intensity workout and a superfood smoothie. All of our meals were hand-selected by Nora, a nutrition specialist, and crafted by master chef, Paul Millist. We also enjoyed spa treatments, a hike up the great Camelback Mountain, and daily yoga and mindfulness sessions. 

Not only did I take away tools for a more healthy and inspired life, but I made great friendships and gained a mentor in Nora. PEAK found me at a time where I lacked motivation, drive, and optimism. I was intimidated going in to the experience because I had no idea what to expect, but was instantly put at ease and felt right at home. I'm so grateful for what this retreat brought out of me, and I want to book a one-way ticket to Scottsdale, my desert paradise! 

If you want to learn more about PEAK, click here

 ( March 2018 )

( March 2018 )

2. Happiness Club

Last year was a tough one for me. I lost my grandfather, my job, and my favorite spin studio all in one fell swoop. To say that I spent 2017 in a funk is a major understatement. I have had a difficult time bouncing back, and at times I feared that the unhappiness was permanent. 

After attending PEAK, I felt a huge weight lifted off of me. I found a new job (that I love), I devoted more of my free time to my friends (which are my ultimate sources of happiness), and most importantly, I started talking about my feelings. I usually held it in, because I was afraid that talking about it would only make it manifest deeper, but I found the opposite to be true. After meeting with a therapist, I found relief in confiding in an unbiased, unfamiliar ear. My family and friends were incredible support during the last year, but ultimately I needed greater help. (And it's 100% okay to admit that you need help!) 

Now I like to say that I rejoined the "happiness club". I'm living in a state of stability and comfort once again, and it feels so good. It's definitely something that I continue to work on, but I'm in an upswing and I will not take it for granted. 

 ( March 2018 )

( March 2018 )

3. #GirlBosses

I knew already that I had an incredible best friend, but recently my BFF and I have been planning adventures more exciting than our usual outings. It's nice to have friends that cheer you on, but it's even more comforting to have friends that share your goals. Between Rockette audition prep, planning a business trip to Los Angeles, and negotiating our first business contract together, we have been busy bees this year. Jenna, you are serious #squadgoals! (And a fab photographer; thanks for making my Instagram feed so on point this year!) 

And that's a wrap! At least for this season! This winter has been great and I am so excited for what's coming up next. With my mega website revamp and return to my blog, you can expect new posts weekly, exciting upcoming collaborations, video content, and more! 

Stay tuned! 


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