Dresses from Shabby Apple

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I Have A Secret

I have a secret.

It's very personal.
It's not something that I'm proud of.
It's not something that I talk openly about.
My secret is not something I have control over.
It's something I've struggled with for most of my life,
but didn't know about until much later.
I could probably count the people who really know about my secret on one hand.

And today I've decided to share my secret with you.

About a year ago, I was diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety disorder.
Although I was just diagnosed a year ago, it's something I can look back and see I've struggled with since as early as middle school.
But as I got older, it got much worse.

I looked in the mirror and hated what I saw.
I always wished that I could be like someone else.
I didn't want to go anywhere.
I didn't want to do anything.
I didn't want to be around anyone.
There were days where all I wanted to do was to lie in bed.
I had panic attacks just thinking about the people I loved the most dying.

All of this over nothing.
Nothing bad had happened.
Everything in my life was going great.
I had no apparent reason for feeling this way.

Have you ever seen this commercial where the little depression blob is following this woman around and randomly turns into a hole she falls into?

That is what it was like.

I remember sitting in my doctor's office a year ago and bursting into tears when he walked into the room.

I've been on prescribed medication for a year now, and it worked great for me.
Don't get me wrong, it was no "cure all."
I still had depression and anxiety.
But I had lots of days where I was happy.

But now, for different medical reasons, I'm having to come off my medication.
And I'm scared.
Even at a lower dose I can already feel it.
It feels like a ton of bricks weighing heavily on my chest.

My depression and anxiety has lead to a condition called
Dermatillomania (also known as compulsive skin picking or CSP) is an impulse control disorder and form of self-injury by the repeated urge to pick at one's own skin, often to the extent that damage is caused.

Yep, that's right.
I pick my skin apart.

I know y'all are all asking yourselves the same question,
"Why do you put yourself through that?"

I wish I had an answer. All I know is that I can't stop.
It's brought on by stress, depression, and anxiety.
Sometimes, after what seems like minutes, I look at the clock and an hour has passed by.
And I look at what I've done to my skin.
And I feel guilty.
And ashamed.
And I want to stop.
And I do it again later.

Why did I decide to share my secret with you today?
Because I wanted you to know
I'm real.
I have bad days too.
There are lots of days where my life isn't all
butterflies and rainbows.

And I wanted to challenge myself.
A challenge to be honest with myself.
A challenge to change.
A challenge to stop.
A challenge to be the best me that I can be
with or without medication.

Now that you know,
can we still be friends?


  1. First off I think it is wonderful that you had the courage to post this. Nobody has a life is all butterflies and rainbows and if they that act like it is well it is just that an act. I hope things get better and know there are many people out there with problems they can't control. Good luck and I hope they can give you something that will help.

  2. I don't have to answer the last question because since you've told me it made me feel even closer to you because as you know, I went though it and still feel the affects of it regularly.

    You were very brave to post this to over 100 people, Rebecca. That takes courage and if anyone loses interest in your blog over it, they shouldn't be here in the first place because we like you for you. We like everything about you and we like the REAL you. There is nothing more real than being this open and honest.

    You'll see that you will get better. Little by little. And how do I know that? Because you want to. You're right though, you have zero control over it. But you have control over your attitude and you can refuse to let it keep you away from activities and people that you want to do/be around. Just closing it out where you can control will make you stronger little by little.


  3. Of course we can still be friends! You're human! Honestly, everyone has "unique" things in their life that they can't control, and luckily, you know what it is now.

    It's a very brave thing to do to share this with all of us, and I'm glad you did. No matter how coming off of your meds goes, you should know that we're still here for you :)

  4. It was brave of you to share this, but now you have lots of people rooting for you ... you can do it!

  5. Um, YES we can still be friends! You are not alone, dear. I was diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety as a teenager and I know that hole all too well. I was on medication and went off of it for my own reasons, but it is definitely a scary experience. One amazing thing I stumbled upon during that time was an article that outlined a study that found patients with severe depression who exercised for 30 minutes every day did just as well as patients on anti-depressants! It was totally true for me, when I made a point of being active everyday it makes a world of difference. (I don't get as much exercise as I should now, but every time I get more into it, it's amazing the difference it makes)

    Just remember to give yourself credit for the small things. Like sharing your story. That is SO brave. Give yourself credit for the smallest improvements each day, good moods, carefree moments. Remember that the bad moments pass. And lean on the people you love.

    Good luck!

  6. I think it is wonderful that you have enough strength to openly talk about such a thing on here. I really truly look up to you for that. :)

    Good luck girl... you will do great, I'm quite sure of it!

  7. First of all, of COURSE we can still be friends!!! I think this post shows so much courage and acceptance on your part. You are willing to expose yourself to people you don't really know, and I think that is great because there are people out there who might be going through the exact same thing as you and they just don't want to accept it or acknowledge it. It sounds like this blog will be able to help you through this potential rough patch of the lower dose of medication, and I think you should use it to your advantage! So many people read your blog and love you, and judging by these comments there are soo many people who are behind you on this journey!! It's easy to feel vulnerable, but just look at it like you are probably helping someone else overcome their fear of whatever they are going through. This post shows so much courage and bravery and you should be proud of that :)

    I'll be praying that everything goes well through this hard time for you!!

  8. Kudos to you for sharing this and putting it out into the open. Maybe sharing this will help others share something they need to OR help you connect with someone in the same situation.

    I hope that you do well getting off the medication you've been taking. Know it's always there if you need it.

  9. You'll always have your bloggy friends!

    It takes a lot of courage to show people that life isn't always sunshine and butterflies. I personally always feel like a blogger becomes more "real" to me when they break down and say that they've got things they struggle with or imperfections in their life.

    Anyway, I'm sorry to hear your struggling with this. I'll be sending you some positive vibes, I hope things get better for you and you and hopefully your medicine transition works out for the better. :)

  10. First off, of course we can still be friends!!! I would much rather be friends with an imperfect person, than someone who is perfect, because honestly, no one is perfect and you're only human. I applaud you for having the courage to share this with us. Maybe one day, I'll be able to do the same. Chin up, dear, and take one day at a time. :)

  11. I really love this post. And I truly respect you for posting it. I struggle with "putting myself out there" on my blog and I am so amazed at your strength and courage.

    I think you're being incredibly brave and I know you have your wonderful husband support system. I don't really have a lot of experience or advice to offer but just know you can push through and you are stronger than the depression or the picking. No one is perfect, everyone has "secrets", just some are better at hiding them than others. Know you are not alone.

    I'm glad to have you as my friend :)

  12. That was really beautiful. For sharing something that is so hard for anyone to deal with. You are a wonderful and beautiful person. Don't be ashamed of that. I know that you'll be able to over come this trial. For we are all given trials in our life, but a loving Heavenly Father won't ever give us more then what we can handle. So I know, that you'll be able to handle this. You will be able to over come. I am sure that you'll have the support of your husband and family to lean on. You are amazing!
    Thank you so much for sharing this. The more people talk about depression and anxiety, the more others will support you, or have the courage to get help themselves, if they need to. You are a great example. Don't give up or give in to those dark thoughts. I'll be praying for ya!

    I am so proud of you for sharing this story. I can't imagine how hard it must be for you 1.) to share your story and 2.) to have the courage to go off of your medication when you know that's what you have to do.
    It is so great that you opened up to share this, I'm sure others who are going through the same thing can use this as inspiration.
    Best of luck, and I'm here for you!

  14. Rebecca, I just came across your blog this morning and I am so glad that I did. You are a brave girl for sharing your struggles and I really hope that someone will read this and realize that they aren't alone.

    Three years ago my dad committed suicide. Even though there is awful stigma associated with suicide and mental illness, I make a point to take about it on my blog. If we don't talk about it then the perception and shamefulness is never going to get any better!

  15. I'm very impressed you shared this with the blogging world because I can't imagine how tough it was for you to open up about something so personal. I am also really inspired by the sweet comments you've already received! I will be sending so many good thoughts your way as you battle this. As you can see from all of these posts there are a lot of people thinking of you and rooting for you! :)

  16. My sweet buddy. You are so strong to share this! I am praying for you that going off of the medication doesn't cause all the doubts and anxiety to come back. I can't imagine the feelings it must create. We will always be friends! Don't you worry about that! I know you are amazing and know that you aren't alone sweetie!

  17. Oh, honey. My heart hurts for you that you are going through life with this big, giant rain cloud over your head. Although I can't relate completely, I did go through a really rough depression after my daughter was born. I can understand how it makes you another person, sometimes changing you forever.

    There aren't a lot of words to describe how it feels, but you've got a lot of courage, darlin'. It takes a strong person to put herself, her WHOLE self, out there for other people to analyze and judge. If you have the courage to do that, you'll find it to get through even without the medication.

    Don't be ashamed to turn to your family and friends (including the bloggy ones!!) when you need help. Keeping it all to yourself is never going to do any good. I'll be praying for you sweetpea!

  18. Still friends? YOU BETCHA! It took courage to post this, and I'm proud of you. I'm so glad that with your doctors, you were able to find something that worked for you. I also hope that with their help, the effects from the adjustments of your medication will be minimal.

    If you have a bad day, let us know. There is nothing like a virtual hug, or the feeling of the prayers of friends to wrap around you. They helped me so much when I was in the hospital last year, so I know.

    Thank you for this brave post and I hope that it all turns out well for you. You So Rock!!

  19. Wow. I envy your courage. You are such a brave and beautiful person. Everyone has something they are dealing with, something they'd rather keep hidden in a closet. Your courage is amazing. All of these people here who read your blog aren't here because they have to be, we're here because we want to be. Your energy is contagious through your posts, and we'll all keep coming back, depression or not! Call us your virtual support group! We're here for YOU!

  20. I have major depression, generalized anxiety, OCD, Panic disorder (comes and goes), and dermatillomania. Of all of those challenges it's the dermatillomania I had the hardest time saying out loud to another soul. I didn't even tell my first psychologist. I am so happy to see you talking about these things out loud- it's so important that we all find a way to put our challenges in the light and not keep them in a dark closet.

    angelina from


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