Mar 9, 2017

Brutally Honest Check In

So ... hey there.




Remember me? I know, I know. It feels like it's been forever since I posted with any regularity. Or played on twitter. Or showed off a book on instagram. And I've spent the last several weeks - months, really - debating on sharing what's going on. But I've gotten a few questions and I know I've been seriously absent-minded lately, especially regarding blog tours so I feel like it's time to come clean. I'll try to keep this short and simple and to the point.

Right before Thanksgiving, I started feeling ... off. Not quite myself. I spent the last year as a running joke with friends and family that I could never stay still. I was the girl with 6 jobs - full time job at a doctor's office, part time job at Ulta, blogging, blog tours, planning 2 book conferences, and trying to see my family and friends in my free seconds.

The beginning of December, I ... lost it. Call it a nervous breakdown, call it a mental breakdown ... Whatever it was, I lost it. I was drowning and could not find my way out of it. So many circumstances, personal and professional manifested themselves into this perfect storm of anxiety. I spent weeks in a state of panic attack. To the point where my body didn't know how to not have one. 

I stopped eating. I lost 26 pounds in 3 weeks. All I would consume was half a bowl of dry cheerios and a gallons of water. I cried every hour of every day. My coworkers started asking me what was wrong, watched as I literally fell apart on day and sat with me, holding my hands through the worst of it. 

My parents and my sister never left my side because I was terrified of being alone. I was a girl who loved to be by herself and suddenly, the idea of being left by myself was enough to make me shut down. They asked if I needed to go to the hospital and check myself in for a few weeks (I didn't ... but I probably should have).

At the worst of it, I was alone in my office at work and spent two hours researching the easiest ways to kill myself. What ways were most effective. What ways would cause the least amount of stress on my family to deal with. I wrote that letter to my family, detailing that they were amazing and I loved them, but I was simply too tired to keep going.

Needless to say, I stopped reading. I stopped blogging. I stopped being on social media. I couldn't even fake being happy. I had never been able to understand how people could get so depressed and so anxious that getting out of bed became a Herculean feat. But that's exactly what it was. I forced myself to live minute by minute for months.

I only told a super small group of friends and family how bad it got. I was embarrassed and ashamed. I mean ... I'm known for being sunshine and sparkles and happy, and I was so afraid that if people saw this broken, damaged version of me, that they would want nothing to do with me. I mean, I wanted nothing to do with me.

To those people, and you know who you are, thank you. I'm not kidding when I say you literally saved my life.

I'm getting better. I am better. I feel closer to being a calmer version of the old me. Having friends and family rally around me and keep me in check (and in prayer) is the best medicine. I'm still struggling to keep my focus in the blogging world, and it's why so many times I have posts and blog tours falling through the cracks. I'm stepping back for a bit and taking it slow.

So ... what's the point of this? It's not for sympathy. It's not. Part of it is an apology to the people I've let down recently - bloggers and publishers I spaced on, never emailed back, or went radio silent on. And it's to tell everyone what I've been going through so they know I'm not a total flake (just a partial one), and to let anyone out there who reads this know one thing:

I get it. I've been there. My door (inbox or DM) is always open. You are not alone.


19 comments:

  1. Oh Hannah, I've been there myself and only a few months ago. Sometimes we need to remember that we need to take care of ourselves. We are so busy worrying about kids, husband, work, the house, bills, school and all the other stuff that makes adulting suck (except kids and husband, I actually love them LOL) It can be a bit overwhelming. I just want to say that you are very brave for not giving up. You have a lot of people that care and love you. I mean, how could we not?! YOU are not alone and I am always here if you need someone to talk to. Xoxo

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  2. Loved this. I've been dealing with a lot of stuff, so it's so helpful and important that someone understands :) Thanks for posting it.

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  3. Sending you so much love, Hannah. Hang in there. I've been in this place too, and I know how hard it is to keep going. You can do this! We are all here for you! <3 <3 <3

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  4. Hey Hannah love you! Let me know if I can help. --Tashya

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  5. Oh Hannah I'm so sorry you've been going through all of this. We always love you and sending you oodles and oodles of love. ��

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  6. I know I already said this on Facebook earlier, but I love you and I am so, so thankful that you're still here with us. The world would be so different if you were not in it. I've been there. I've been the one looking up ways to kill myself and it's so hard to see any way out of it. I was so deeply into it that no one else knew and certainly not my family. I already felt like a burden to them because of all of my health issues. I didn't want to pile my depression & thoughts of suicide on top of that.

    If you EVER need to talk, please, please know I'm always here & I'm always in your corner. I'm here if you need anything at all <3

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  7. Hi, Hannah Banana! I'm so sorry this is happening to you. You are not alone. This is exactly what has been happening on and off in my life since I was in high school. My family are supportive when it comes to my mindset, but my therapist is the one who gives me so much more. There is no shame in seeking help, so please please please find you someone to talk to. It's not hard to go from zero to sixty, and it happens to so many ppl. I almost gave up last year, and I basically did the same research as you. My boyfriend noticed it and called my doctor for me, and then proceeded to call my siblings. I am grateful for them but talking to a professional helps a lot more than you know. My email is only a click away if you need to talk. Take care!

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  8. Hannah, sending you lots and lots of virtual hugs. I will be praying for you. Please let us or me know how we can help - guest posts, organize the tours or set up anything or if you simply want to chat.

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  9. I can understand what you're saying. I've had issues with anxiety and depression myself. Just know that we're all here for you. I was happy to be able to help with the tour materials, and like I said before, if there is anything you need help with, just shoot me an email and I'm available! I can't wait to meet you in two weeks at ApollyCon which I know has been keeping you pretty crazy busy! But I know it will be awesome! I'm not much of a physical hugger, I have a pretty big personal space/am pretty introverted, but know that I'm sending you plenty of virtual hugs!

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  10. I'm so sorry to hear about what you have been going through. I think it was really brave of you to share your story, and you never know who you may be helping by sharing your experience. I have suffered from depression and anxiety off and on since I was a teenager so I know how bad it can get. You are not alone. :big hugs:

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  11. Thank you so much for sharing your story, your bravery and honesty will help others more than you could ever know. To know that we aren't alone with how we feel. Thank you. ♥ I'm sending big hugs and tons of love and strength your way!

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  12. Oh Hannah! Sending you lots of virtual love. ❤❤❤

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  13. I am so sorry for your struggles, but how awesome and brave you are for sharing it here! Social media can connect us, but it can also put so much pressure on us and make us feel isolated. I'm so glad you have an amazing, supportive family. I'm so glad you didn't stay lost. I'm positive that you being strong enough to tell your truth will help someone else. <3

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  14. Hannah I am so sorry that you are dealing with this. I am glad you are feeling better. Sending you love and letting you know you have support and are not alone! ❤❤❤

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  15. Oh Hannah. I'm sorry that you had to go though something like this. There is really no rhyme or reason for depression and you don't have to apologize for anything. Concentrate on yourself and getting better and getting the help you need.

    You know you always have a friend in me and I will be praying for you too. Get ready for a big hug next time I see you!

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  16. You have no idea how much I respect you for this post. Many will be able to relate to you. Only those that have struggled with depression and anxiety really knows your struggles. Seeking help and relying on the support of those willing to help is key. I also attend weekly support groups. It keeps constantly working on self-care and also being a support to those that are in the thick of it. This step you have taken to go public shows you are headed in a very healthy direction.

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  17. Thank you for sharing. I love that you made this post. It's important in so many ways. I hope you'll recover completely soon. ANd please, don't hesitate to seek help if that's what you need. It's not failure. If anything, it's the opposite. Help or no help, both can be the right thing to do for each individual.

    Sending you lots of thoughts. :)

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  18. Thank you for sharing, even the toughest stuff! This is so real and so helpful for others out there thinking that they are alone. I'm glad you know you're not and hopefully we can reach out to your audience if you need anything!

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  19. Dearest Hannah,
    I am so sorry for everything you have been dealing with. Thank you so much for being so open and sharing with us something so personal. I so admire what an amazing human being you are, and how you have always made me feel welcome and cherish in our blogger community. Having had a similar breakdown many years ago, I know how hard it can be. I know how hard it is to share it or even ask for help from even those closest to you. It's especially hard to have to put on a happy face (mainly due to work) but feel like you are dying on the inside. It is tough to take the first step and to acknowledge that there is a problem, and to ask for help. But you have done it and you are doing it and that is what is important. I wish you only the very best and know that if you need anything at all or just someone to talk to/email/message that I am here for you, as are so many of your friends in our little blogger community. Sending you so much love, and positive energy. Hugs!

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