Tag Archives: Depression

Reflections

Do you ever have moments when you feel ‘alone?’ No one understands. No one hears you. No one sees you. No one gets it. No one gets – you. What do you do in those moments? Do you cry? Do you work harder? Do you reach out to someone? Or do you just look in the mirror?

You know, it’s funny – I started this blog, feeling alone. Drowning in self doubt, I started to ‘speak up’ about my struggle. My fears. My depression. Funny because I wasn’t speaking at all. I was hiding out, behind my computer screen. Talking to no one. No human interaction. All that stared back at me were my words. A reflection of Me. Myself. My deepest feelings. My craziest of thoughts. Nothing more. Nothing less. Never really knowing ‘who’ was reading. Never really knowing ‘who’ cared enough to come back for the next post. Never really feeling ‘connected.’ Once again, alone. Once again, looking in the mirror.

Unsatisfied, soul exposed, thoughts free floating on the Internet – a representation of me – I longed for support. Dreamt of the day I received an anonymous email from a stranger just to say, “Hey – read the blog. I can relate.” For months, family and close friends smiled and said – be patient, Ki – you’ve only just begun. And I waited, reflecting about each post, wondering how I could be more exposed, how I could go beyond the point of comfort and into the realm of reality…. A destination just past my feelings and within reach of touching another’s soul. Embracing empathy and relating to others’ pain. But how? I didn’t know. So I ended each day perplexed, looking at the girl in the mirror.

Addicted To Doing became LifeofKi and something shifted. My confidence? Maybe. My free spirit emerging? Probably. I noticed my writing became my therapy. My lifeline to healing. The inevitable therapist who would hear me – scared, suffering, desperate for change. Writing brought the tears. Writing wiped those tears away. Writing brought the fear out – and set it free. Looking at this blog now, I see the past. I see the change. I see the shift. I see the good, I see the bad. I see the reflections. The shades of Ki. Neurotic, crazy Ki. Loving, mommy Ki. Confused, desperately longing for something more Ki. Lover Ki. Fighter Ki. I see it all. Right here. In the mirror that is LifeofKi.

I’ve dreamt of days like today – when I wake up and see emails from all over the world. Italy, Canada, the States, Israel, etc. My friends, reaching out to me, reflecting on life – struggles – work – dreams. You see, when you tap into your authentic self – when you show who you are, who you want to be, who you’d rather not be – people feel it. People see it. People empathize. People reach out. People respond to that.  Maybe these friends see something good in me. My hope is that they are responding to the good within themselves. My hope, to you friends, is that you look into the mirror too, and know you’re not alone. Know you have my support; you have my help; you have a piece of the shades of Ki. When you look in the mirror, see more than just the reflection that stares back at you. Remember who has helped create and continues to support that beautiful being in the mirror.

 

 

Musical Inspiration behind this post; thank you Danny —

Mirror

 

 

 

**Featured image courtesy of Righno Boutique***

 

Related Post:

Weeks Like This

Gratitude

I recently seized an opportunity to write for an inspirational website called The Easier Softer Way.  Writing for a new audience gave me a chance to distance myself a bit from LifeofKi and challenge myself as a writer to speak in a new voice. I hope to have opportunities such as this one in the future to branch out — reaching new eyes and ears. For now, I’d like to share the intimate ‘original piece’ I wrote in honor of my dear friend’s late father.

“It happened again today – when I learned that my childhood best friend’s father is dying. I am, once again, intimate with fear; death; dying. I think I pushed it away when my Grandpa passed.  Could be any day now – his death. What to say when all we do is wait for him to die? Words fail me in this moment. Words fail me today.”

With eyes blinded by tears and hearts stricken with grief, we mourn the loss of my dear friend’s father. His soul left his body but a few weeks ago. As she drowns in his memories, my friend feels lost and alone. I cannot begin to comprehend her grief; the enormity of the loss; the depth of the void she now feels. Words fail me yet again. So I offer to her the most beautiful healer of all, Mother Nature….  for the ‘original piece’ in its entirety —  The Easier Softer Way

 

Related:

In a Sea of Unknowns — (Post for The Easier Softer Way)

 

 

 

 

 

Weeks Like This

Sometimes I wonder if I’m truly getting better.

The seed of doubt enters my mind and spreads like wildfire. Am I really defeating the anxiety, the depression, the fill in the blank, you name it? – Maybe I’ve unknowingly perfected the art of convincing my ego that “Yeah, Ki you’re doing great! No panic attacks this week, good for you! You’ve finally got a hold on this thing. This thing called life.” Bullshit.

Well, it has been one of those weeks. The kind of week where emotions plan the daily agenda. My intimate Waltz with Fear is practiced every day at noon — followed by Stretching with Tears at 1PM and Dinner with Self Loathing at 7PM. It is the kind of week where I find myself staying preoccupied at home, avoiding friends, and choking back the tears when anyone asks, “How are you doing, Ki?” It is the kind of week where even small chat with neighbors is terrifying – terrifying because frankly, I don’t even know what the hell to say to people anymore. My smile is painted for show, conversation is forced, and quite honestly – I am really terrible at pretending like I care about weather forecasts and association fees.

This is the kind of week that leaves me stuck at the corner of What am I doing with my life? and You will never amount to anything short of a total f*^ck up. Yep, these thoughts are real. I go through them every now and then (And by that I mean, every couple of days, ha). I allow fear into my life, and this is what it does. I let it drag me down. I fear opportunity. I fear advancement. I fear life. I fear living.

Aside from continuous support from friends and family (even text messages every morning reassuring me that I am worthy, beautiful, and not alone – love you Lindsey), the only thing getting me through weeks such as this is a quote I read a few weeks ago. I will paraphrase terribly, my apologies in advance. The quote says something along the lines of, “It is as though people nowadays are more afraid of living than they are afraid of death.”

I’ll admit: I am among those people who are afraid to live. I am terrified to take chances. Terrified to ‘put myself out there.’ Terrified of change. I’m terrified of people reading this blog. Terrified of people seeing me. Yes, literally just walking past unfamiliar people gives me anxiety because I hate the feeling of other people looking at me. Side note, please do not inquire about why I’ve pursued modeling lately – as that is still an unknown to me. Bottom line, I fear everything… during weeks like this.

I know some of my readers experience anxiety and depression on a daily basis. A few have commented on how I seem to be doing better – as it has been a while since I have written about my struggle. I thought I would share these feelings because although I am doing much better than, say, a year ago — I do continue to have intimate encounters with these devils quite often. I’ll be honest, I’m not sure if it ever goes away. I’m not sure if there comes a time when you just have to accept it. I’m not sure if there is a perfect concoction of medication that will be enough – for those of you taking any. All I know is that the struggle is real, but you must continue to fight. There are so many beautiful moments in life that are worth fighting for. Don’t fear living because if you are reading this right now, Life is on your side. Live every day as best you can. Force the smile if you have to, engage in the small chat that you would rather avoid. Keep pushing through it. Live your way into the answers of the unresolved issues in your heart. Life is meant to be lived, not avoided. Take a deep breath and remember: During weeks like this, you are not alone.

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Related posts on anxiety&depression:

Reflections

For Lucas

Cabin Fever

Panic

How do you know?

How do you know?

Most days I wake up and I just know. Some days, I’m really good at fooling myself. I am greeted every morning by the sweetest little face I’ve ever seen and think to myself, “Today can be a really good day… that face will make it all better.” Lucas and I make breakfast, run around and sing, but something’s just not right. I remind myself, “Stay positive Ki, it is only 9AM.” We get dressed and finish the morning routine, and I’m more certain of it now: it’s clear. After the sweet, innocent snugglyness of a newly awoken Lucas wears off and the terrible-twoness sneaks in, there’s no fooling myself anymore… it’s going to be a fever day.
How do you know it’s a fever day?
It’s really difficult for me to explain to people the difference between being in a bad mood (and being able to come out of it) vs. being clinically depressed. Let’s face it, I’m not a doctor and don’t try to recite the fancy terms that go along with the laundry-list of symptomatic feelings linked to depression. Rather, I just like to tell it how it is. I’ll be honest, I’m not ecstatic about using the term “clinically depressed” because it is a very limiting title. I do not believe I’m limited exclusively to depression, or anxiety, or OCD, or (fill in the blank) … I experience symptoms from all of the above.
 
Let me just start with this – if you’re reading this and suspect someone you love is going through something that you don’t quite understand (or necessarily agree with – because I acknowledge some people believe depression can be cured by pulling up your big girl panties and getting through the day, HA) here are a few tips to help clue you in…
 
How she/he is dressed – I mentioned in an earlier post a recent panic attack I experienced at a mall. I expressed my conflicting emotions about a hat I was wearing at the time of the attack – the feeling that I was hiding behind it. Often times if I am struggling, I cling to tangible items that I feel will hide who I am – I.E. hats, jewelry, baggy sweatshirts, scarves – anything to divert attention from the person I am. I steer clear of fitted clothing (that may bring unwanted attention) and wear less makeup. So remember, if your loved one displays drastic differences in appearance from day to day, it may be a red flag.
 
Excessive crying – If your loved one is a woman, this may be a normal occurrence especially during “that time of the month.” (haha, okay now let’s get serious) For me, however, this can be a dead giveaway that the day is going to be paired with speed bumps… or more appropriately, mountains.
 
Fears & Obsessive behavior – Does your loved one express irrational fears about the world around him/her? Ex. – Fear of leaving the house, avoidance of specific places that in reality pose little threat of danger. Or perhaps you notice repetitive actions such as excessive cleaning or checking… all of these examples can be serious signs of anxiety. Here is a great summary of everyday anxiety vs. an anxiety disorder.
 
Irritability  If you call your loved one and he/she gets upset that you called at 12:04PM instead of 12:05PM, then perhaps he/she is having a rough go that day (yes, this is an actual example). On days when my fiancé comes home from work, exhausted and hungry, and I start bitching that the dog needs to go to the vet before I even utter “Hello, how was your day?” – it probably hasn’t been one of my better days. Make sure to really listen to what your loved one is saying… if he/she is stressing over minuscule tasks, is quick to argue, or is making rude comments out of the blue, try to take a step back and empathize with that person. It is easy to be offended and argue back; it is beneficial to observe and take notes.
 
The first step in helping someone is understanding his/her behavior. Like anything else, you have to KNOW before you DO.
 
**This list of ‘clues’ only skims the surface of signs of mental health disorders. In no way am I saying if you experience these, you have a problem… but these CAN be serious signs that should not be overlooked. It is better to be annoyingly observant of your loved one than to accept his/her actions as quirks and ignore the severity of what the signs could really mean.