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Go Little Rockstar

In this day and age you hear this word a lot... depression. I would not be surprised if everyone and I mean EVERYONE has some form and some level of depression. Whether it be from a traumatic event or even just a sadness you feel temporarily in your soul. But I will tell you right now... no matter what level of severity of depression someone has, or how long they battle it... their feelings are valid... all of them. Every person who suffers from any emotional trauma... big or small... you have every right to the feelings you have... never let anyone tell you different.

I am very fortunate, I grew up a generally happy human. I have always been the outgoing, happy-go-lucky friend in whatever friend group I was in. The golden retriever, the bubbly one, the one that always laughed and consistently smiled. But... if I am being completely honest not only with myself... but with everyone... I haven't been that girl for about four years. After losing everything in a California wildfire, finding out my mother had cancer, being my mothers primary caregiver, seeing her take her last breath and everything that has happened in the two years and counting after losing her... I have been struggling on a level that I never knew was possible.

I had always heard about depression, but when you don't fully understand the dynamics of what it truly entails it is really hard to comprehend the severity of it. Depression growing up in my home was never really talked about, no one I knew had depression and if they did they either didn't talk about it or didn't even know they had it in the first place. It was kind of taboo growing up and that makes me sad. Seeing how my generation has way more accessibility to mental health care than my parents did puts a lot of things into perspective. They went through just as much as we have, but their generation was told to brush it off, be tough, don't be a baby... I see how the "macho-ism" of being a man in my fathers era has really kind of hindered how he is processing the loss of my mom. It breaks my heart every time he apologizes to me for crying when he talks about her, how he is "supposed to be the man"... or "supposed to be the strong one"... which is so unfair... he lost his bride. He has EVERY right to grieve... EVERY right to cry... he deserves to feel. I know he is battling depression, just like my brother and me, but he won't tell me. He always puts on a brave and strong face for us, and I have learned that him taking care of us is the best thing he can do for himself right now. I wish I could take his pain away, and I know he wishes he could take away mine... that is why I always remind him that we are a team, we will get through it together... we are each others safe place... he is my best friend.... my absolute world.

Not going to lie to you...

...these pictures were taken on the same day... vastly different... I mean it is pretty obvious... This was a couple months after my mom passed away. If you would have told younger Hannah that one day she would lose her mom and start suffering from depression and anxiety on top of my debilitating body dysmorphia... not only would I call you a liar but I would probably have started crying. But here I am... and sadly I am not alone. Unfortunately traumatic loses and emotionally debilitating events are quite common and lead people to suffer in so many ways. I have been fortunate in the the amazing family and support system that surrounds me. But in the end I am the only one that can truly help myself. I use the incredible people in my life as strength to help build myself up... but I have learned I have to fight for myself along with them. I can not rely on them to fix me I have to fix myself... and that has been the hardest lesson to learn. I can't imagine my life without them, and it breaks my heart knowing that there are others out there suffering like me who don't have the resources and support that I do. I pray everyday that they find the strength in themselves to reach out and want them to know that they are so so very loved... we need you here... the world is so much better with you in it.

"It will all get better soon... you just have to keep pushing through." - <3 Anna

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