Postpartum depression is an odd thing. The way that it comes and goes without warning never ceases to catch me off guard; one moment I am fine and the next something has touched that deep sadness in me and it rises up to be prominent for a few days before sinking back down again. It’s not constant. It’s not predictable. It’s barely definable, to me.
This past weekend started with the slow rise of PPD, and I find myself today feeling the ache more than ever. I’ve noticed recently that certain people I know make it better or worse; certain situations, or sequences of events, lead to my feeling a plethora of things connected to PPD, things that I wish didn’t exist. Intense wishes to have as many friends as that person has, quiet assumptions that a frivolous sentence was meant much more deeply and sarcastically, a general feeling of loss of control. Though it’s not a spiraling, panicked feeling; rather, it’s the loss of my ability to control emotions. To control whether or not I feel like being a person that day. Whether I want to put on clothes or stay in pajamas. Whether I want to feel visible, to put my feelings into words, or to burrow deep under a blanket and stay silent on the couch while my kids cuddle and watch cartoons.
It’s that loss that affects me most deeply. I am generally known as a fairly calm, patient, and even-tempered person – minus childhood years where I must have used up every emotion known to my young self and exercised them all actively. I feel things intensely, but I also try very hard to apply logic and ensure that what I am feeling is not expressed wildly and unfairly to others.
With postpartum depression, I can’t be that person. I don’t know how to articulate what I feel about a certain opinion or a Facebook status without being sorely hurt and making it known. So I keep silence, and hope that one day I’ll be able to voice my heart on those subjects when I am in a better state of heart and mind.
I made myself get dressed today because taking photos and putting together an outfit based on this new skirt – which Hilary convinced me to buy and I am so glad she did – was really the only thing I actually wanted to do. As much as I also wanted to stay in pajamas and lose myself in the abyss of YouTube videos, I also imagined this outfit and I wanted to see it through. It’s not as if I’ve lost the will to live; far from it. But I want to live without giving up on the things I like to do. I want to enjoy the life I have without a tinge of sadness hovering like a cloud over my head.
I know some people think fashion blogging is frivolous, silly, empty, or vain, and I have seen it implied or made fun of recently amongst distant friends and pretty aggressively on a few website forums, but there’s something I wish they knew. This hobby isn’t just something done for vanity, to put on clothes and have people tell me how pretty I look, or have sponsors offer me free things, or have companies pursue a partnership with me. Those things are nice, but that’s not the point.
And I’ve seen it so much that people flippantly comment how they should become a fashion blogger and quit their day job; that they could do it so easily; that it must be so awesome to be given things just because you wear clothes… and they don’t realize how discouraging those assumptions are.
I don’t blog for money, or free things, but I have tried and it is hard. It’s a lot of work to photograph yourself, to edit photos, to write engaging content, to man several social media accounts, to pursue sponsorships – yes, pursue them, as they don’t just fall at your feet – to maintain professionalism when dealing with inappropriate emails, to keep within a reasonable time frame when posting sponsored items. Had I decided to go with blogging as an actual job, it would have been a full time job. Cultivating the persona needed to have content that sponsors want, above all, is exhausting. It’s a job that requires skills in photography, photo editing, writing, editing, marketing, art, social media, personal relations, and more.
And to see comments – not related to me, but still – belittling the people who take the time to create something worthwhile, who put all of that time and effort into doing what they do well… it’s disheartening.
Perhaps that was the beginning of what I am feeling today, seeing those flippant remarks. Because I have read so many other derisive things directed at fashion bloggers, I wanted so badly to hop in on this particular conversation and defend bloggers, to ask if they really meant that sarcasm or if they were genuine, to correct the assumption that it would be an easy job. But I knew – and know – that I was a little too emotionally responsive to it all, so I stepped back and let it be. Likely they did not mean any of the things their comments implied, and they were simply having fun.
I don’t blog for money and it’s still a lot of work. It’s not just posing nicely and posting clothes; it’s an expression of creativity. It’s a hobby that combines many of my loves – writing, photography, thrifting, vintage, styling, makeup, hair, costumery, sometimes poetry – and puts them all in one place. And then, to top it off, it makes me friends that are like-minded, who I can discuss blogging with and not feel a bit out of place.
I don’t exactly know how this post went from feeling postpartum depression to a defense of blogging, but such is the way of my mind lately.
But, speaking of friendships through blogging, yesterday Hilary and I went thrifting and this outfit is in part thanks to her convincing me that I needed a pastel pink tulle skirt. I am not a pastel person, and she so very much is, and I’m so glad she was with me. I would have passed it by had I been on my own, but I think it fills a good hole in my wardrobe of skirts.
Cape (old) c/o Oasap | shirt, belt, vintage bag, vintage brooch, and skirt, thrifted | tights and heels (both old), Target
I am so thankful for Hilary’s friendship, I have to gush and end this blog on a more positive note. Instagram brought us together; I had been aware of her blog for a while and thought she was adorable, but somehow it wasn’t until a few months ago that I noticed she lived near me. So, I commented, she responded back, and we (obviously) met up. If you don’t read Hilary’s blog, you really should; she is adorable, thoughtful, stylish, creative, friendly, pretty, and has some pretty gorgeous hair. 😉 And, a girl after my own heart, she likes nerdy things. If pastel/unicorns/Harry Potter/Peter Pan collars are your thing, you need to follow her.
But you need to follow her anyway, because she is just wonderful. She bought me the One Ring. How could I not like her?
I hope you all have a good Monday, and thank you for reading and supporting me. I appreciate every single comment, and I don’t say that often enough. You guys are amazing.