In Her Shoes

IMG_0824

I’m sure you have seen the sad news that Kate Spade has passed. She committed suicide and left behind a husband and a young daughter. I can’t imagine the pain her family is in right now.

What I do know is this, I’ve been in her shoes. Literally, as show above, and figuratively.

I’ve suffered from anxiety and depression for several years. I’ve spoken about this many times. It’s not something I broadcast nor is it something I’m ashamed of. I take medication and I work on myself every single day. Every morning when I wake up, I have to make the conscious decision to be better and try harder. All it takes is one little thing to send me into a downward spiral into a dark place.

You can read the full post on my old blog here and it goes into more detail about my lowest low. Long story short, my life wasn’t where I planned or thought it would be after I graduated college. I had really high expectations of myself and when I fell short, I was REALLY hard on myself. I would literally spend hours thinking of every way that I failed and what I could have done better to be where I wanted to be. In case you didn’t know, that’s really unhealthy and I don’t recommend it.

I wrote letters and planned to go home and end it. I was in an awful place. I thought there was no way out. Then, I thought about Windsor and how much I love him and how he is dependent on me and that was enough to make me reconsider. I know I joke that I’m a #crazydoglady and that is true, but Windsor will always be more than a dog to me. He saved my life.

After that day, I vowed to never let myself get to that place again. I meant it with every part of my being. I’ve had some lows and bad days since then, but I have never let it get that bad again and that was 4 years ago. It’s not easy. It’s a daily struggle and an uphill climb. I’ve had to reconsider relationships and take a step back from a few because there are certain types of people that just aren’t good for me.

Here’s the thing Kate Spade and I have in common, no one knew. My parents were shocked to learn that I had been feeling the way I had. That’s the thing about mental illness, there are no physical signs. I went to work every day with a smile on my face and said all the right things to all the right people, but on the inside I was hurting. I wanted to keep a brave face. I didn’t want anyone to worry about me. I wanted to overcome it on my own. I wanted to be stronger and rise above.

This is why change needs to happen. She had money, family, fame, and notoriety, and it wasn’t enough. Mental illness doesn’t discriminate in any way. I hate that on days where my anxiety is crippling to the point that I can barely get out of bed, I can’t call in sick because of my anxiety. That’s taboo. I can call in if I have a cold, the flu, etc., but mention anything of or related to mental illness and you’re stereotyped and treated with kid gloves because you’re crazy or sensitive.

Money can’t buy happiness and it sure can’t buy your way out of depression. Trust me, I know that too. I ran up a nice credit card bill in the thick of my dark days because I was looking for anything to give me 5 minutes of happy. I knew I was buying things I didn’t need, but I so wanted to feel something other than pain so to me, it was worth it.

Another issue for me was and is not feeling like I’m enough. I sometimes feel like no matter what I do or how hard I try, I come up short. While reading some of my old blog posts from Louboutins & Lipstick, I realized just how far I’ve come. I’m not that girl anymore. That girl was sad, lonely, anxious, and so lost. After reading some of my old posts, I felt such a sense a pride. I’m so proud of how far I’ve come. I don’t often toot my own horn but TOOT, TOOT! On the hard days, I remind myself over and over again that I am enough. Others may not think I am, but Jesus thinks I’m to die for (literally) and His opinion is the only one I care about and the only one that really matters.

My faith in Jesus Christ and my family really helped me through that dark time. If you aren’t a person of faith, seek the counsel of a friend or professional. Find someone. Keeping in bottled in just makes it worse, I know firsthand.

Here’s what I do when I feel anxious or low
1) Let it all out. I open a Word document and type everything that’s on my mind. I can type faster than I write, but if writing is your thing, grab some paper and get busy. I type till I feel like my brain is empty. Then I delete it and I almost always immediately feel better.
2) Talk to a friend. I don’t have a professional therapist or counselor, though I could probably use one, but I do have some awesome friends, one in particular who has similar issues and really understands. You’ve got to have someone to go to. You can’t “fix” this on your own.
3) Pray and talk to God. I talked to Him so long one night that I knew he just had to be tired of hearing me. I was tired of hearing me. Fortunately, He’s always there to listen and didn’t hang up on me 😉 I got to a point where I knew I couldn’t handle it on my own, it was too big of a burden to carry by myself. I HAD to take it Him.
4) Find the good in every day. Every day might not be good, but there is something good in every day. I heard that phrase a long time ago and it has been a guiding light for me. Every night when I do my devotion, I write down the “good” of my day. It may be something major, like getting a raise, learning something new, making a new friend, or something as routine as sweet snuggles with Windsor. There is good in every day, if you woke up in a bed, in a home, in a safe place, you’ve already had so much more “good” than most.

Kate Spade was an icon and her legacy will live on. I LOVE her designs and almost everything she did. She and I shared a love for classic pieces, polka dots, glitter, bows, and lipstick. She encouraged us to live happy and colorfully even when she wasn’t practicing what she preached. The world got a little darker this past Tuesday, but some people refuse to let their sparkle be dulled. Kate Spade was one of those people. Her sparkle and light will shine on for years to come.


Whether you’re struggling or life is peachy keen, I want you to know that you are enough and it will get better. I know you don’t think it will. I know you think there’s no way it could any worse and you have no other solution. I’ve been there. I’ve had those same thoughts. That’s why I can say with confidence that you just need to hang on. This too shall pass. It may take a while, but you will come out on the other side. It will get better. The sun will shine again and you will be OK.

If you hurting and feel like you have no one to turn to, you’re wrong, you have me! I’m not a professional, but if you’re reading this and need someone to talk to PLEASE contact me. You can email me {{ thehannahhardy@gmail.com }}, message me on Instagram @thehannahhardy, or tweet me @thehannahhardy. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255.

Don’t suffer in silence alone. You are loved. You are worthy. You are enough.


Sorry if my grammar isn’t perfect or this doesn’t flow well. This was just really heavy on my heart to share my story and my brain was moving faster than my fingers. I’m finishing this at midnight and I’m sleepy and too lazy to go back and reread to check for errors. Forgive me.

2 thoughts on “In Her Shoes

  1. Crystal

    Very brave Hannah! We so often don’t feel like we can’t share our struggles, but it is so important that we find an outlet. I too had a very difficult time after college realizing the real world wasn’t all I had anticipated it to be. I felt like I was a disappointment to my family, my school and myself. Our culture tells us to pretend everything’s perfect, especially with the growing obsession with social media. We have to speak out. We have a responsibility to spread love and not condemnation. Thank you so much for sharing!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s