I was a self-proclaimed, cape-wearing, blogging, community service doing, business owning, church going, traveling, adventuring, independent, SuperMom. I thought I could do it all, have it all, and juggle it all. The truth is, I can’t.
And that’s ok.
I don’t write many deeply personal sappy posts, but every now and then I feel like I need to connect with my audience on a more personal level so that you guys see that I’m not a robot or this person with this fabulous perfect life. I fail, sometimes miserably. I get down in the dumps. I’m human.
Sometimes as a digital personality we lose sight of that. The demand to produce beautiful imagery and provide content that our readers can use to virtually escape real life can blind us to the fact that we are still just regular ordinary people struggling through life just like everyone else.
So I’ve decided I wanted to pull the covers back and open up to you about why you haven’t seen new content from me in a while, why I’ve been ghosting sponsors and partners, why I’ve neglected relationships/friendships, why my IG has been as dry as the Sahara, and basically what the heck has been going on with me over the last year or so.
Bare with me because this is so far outside of my comfort zone and it may get long winded but I’ll try to stay on track.
I’ve been battling depression for the better part of a year.
No, I’m not under the covers hiding from the world and for the most part I’m still functioning through my daily life and no one is the wiser to what I’m dealing with.
But I know.
I knew on my birthday last year.
My solution was what has usually worked for me. I ran away for solitude.
Remember the solo camping adventure I had on a small Florida island last February? Yeah, that was my attempt at self-care.
And normally it works for me. For a time it DID work for me. I came back feeling better and feeling rejuvenated.
But this time it didn’t last. Slowly but surely those feelings of being alone and overwhelmed crept back up on me and before I knew it I had taken on more than I could handle and I was drowning.
Part of the source of my depression is being burnt out from mom’ing.
I’ve been trying to come to grips with the fact that my son is graduating from high school this year. That in itself is terrifying and scary. It’s always just been me and my baby boy and suddenly there’s a young man in my house. I’m not mentally or emotionally ready to watch him leave the nest. I won’t stand in his way of course and I’ll support him at all cost but it has definitely taken a toll on me emotionally as that day draws nearer.
Additionally as you all know I’m a football mom! His dream is to play at the college level and possibly beyond. So this past year I’ve been a “momager”. Football recruitment is not for the faint of heart, let me tell you. The truth is that he is an amazing player but he’s undersized for his position. We had numerous camp visits lined up for him last summer but ultimately he couldn’t partake in most of them due to an injury.
Missing those opportunities was a set back and recruiting for us has been an uphill battle. Getting him seen and getting his film created and in front of the right people was a job I took on all by myself. It’s how I spent countless evenings and nights, looking up coach info and sending out film and running his social media. I’m also keeping him on track with filling out applications and paperwork and making sure that all the administrative stuff is in place.
I was taking him to workouts across town, finding combines so he could be seen, and if I didn’t have enough to do, I become one of the football Team Moms during the fall. Football season was unbelievable busy for us.
I had to be out of my mind, but I wouldn’t trade that time I was able to spend with him and getting to know his teammates. It was a sacrifice but it was well worth it.
Meanwhile, the other parts of my life were falling apart at the seams.
On the professional front, I was abruptly moved to a new team under a manager that made me hate coming to work everyday. She was an added source of stress and frustration. Eventually I was promoted out of that team and while it’s a great opportunity, of course moving into leadership also comes with its own inherent new stressors. I love it but it definitely takes up a lot more of my time, you know all that extra time that I really didn’t have to begin with.
On the personal front, my dating life has been abysmal. I love alone time and me time and all of that but sometimes you just want a warm body, someone to bounce ideas off of, someone to talk to, someone to just be present and be there for you. I’ve missed that.
Being 36 and single with no real prospects sucks.
On top of that, I haven’t felt as confident as I normally do about myself and my appearance. I’ve been unsure of what to do with my hair, struggling this year worse than ever with my weight, my uterus has turned against me in angry protest, and I just haven’t been feeling like ME.
Add to that having to deal with deaths of some people that meant a lot to me just within the last month and a stomach virus that just about killed me a few weeks ago and I’m really over 2017 and ready to throw 2018 in the trash already.
I realized around the end of the year that I wasn’t ok and that I wasn’t going to get back to being ok by myself.
So, I used the services through my job to find a therapist and I’m seeing someone to help me navigate this space I’m in and give me the tools to deal with it better than I have been. In full transparency, we haven’t discussed a need to medicate to treat my depression but if things don’t get better we’ll explore that option.
Unfortunately when a person is dealing with something like depression it can affect innocent bystanders too. I know that I’ve hurt some people along this journey. I’ve burned some bridges and damaged some relationships.
Outdoorsy Diva is super important to me and it’s not something I neglected willingly. It’s a piece of me and an extension of who I am. But when so much energy is being exerted elsewhere, something else is bound to suffer. I just didn’t have anything left to give.
To have a “successful blog” you must have great SEO, great fresh content, keep up with all the latest social media do’s and don’ts and trends, respond to emails and inquiries, seek out opportunities, and have business calls. And if your nitch is adventure and travel like mine, you’re expected to actually have adventures and travel. With what time?!?
Pfffff, the nerve.
It just all became too much with everything else I was dealing with and I had to step away for a while.
So first off I apologize to you all, my faithful readers and audience. I haven’t replied to emails, comments, and messages like I normally would. I didn’t plan any of the group activities for the Facebook Group. I feel like I abandoned you guys and for that I really am sorry. Thank you for sticking with me and I hope that I’ll be able to get back to adding value and positivity to your lives.
To my sponsors and partners, I truly do apologize for not being able to fulfill all my obligations last year. I took on too much during a time where I really needed to step away. I thought I could handle it all and I couldn’t. Depression has a way of doing that.
I’m sure many of them won’t see this post but I will be reaching out to each of them individually to make amends and fulfill my obligations.
To people in my personal life, if I’ve blown off an invitation, not responded to an email, not returned a phone call or a message, it wasn’t anything personally against you. I just had to shut myself off.
I’m happy to be getting the help that I need and to be getting back to doing the things that I love. Therapy is a help and I’m getting back to strengthening my relationship with God.
I’m making space for things that bring me joy and removing the noise and the clutter as much as possible.
I’m going to pace myself for sure and I won’t be taking on too much but I’ve missed Outdoorsy Diva! This platform is a source of joy for me so I don’t want to neglect it.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, not like yourself, depressed, or whatever it is I encourage you to talk to someone. Get the help that you need. There’s no shame in asking for help.
Contrary to what I thought, I’m not a damn superhero. I was never meant to be everything to everyone all at the same time. And neither were you.
Thanks for listening and sticking around with me for the ride!