life, lately

posted on: 5/16/2013

This is a post I've tried to write many times over the last two years. Well, more so in the last year I suppose. It's a block in my mind, a mountain I can't get over and so I don't write it -- or rather I write it, delete it and never post it. I talk myself out of it, out of fear of the unknown. But I've come to the point where I don't know if I can move forward with my blog if I don't climb this proverbial mountain. 

Over the last two years, I've become quite a different person than you first met. I did something incredible -- I opened up a boutique. I started an online shop. I continued to blog 3-4x a week, sometimes 5. (I should note that I did all of this with the help of my husband, the best man I've ever met.) I have been a machine of production. I've always been someone who has enjoyed work and feared ever being seen as lazy thanks to a sharp-tongued piano teacher in my early years who warned me that smartest kids are the laziest and I was brilliant. (Turns out, by the way, I can't read sheet music. Years later I would teach myself guitar by ear. Lazy that, music lady.) I slowly allowed my work to take over my identity. If I received positive feedback, I used it as fuel to keep going. If I received negative feedback, I used it as fuel to become better. And slowly but surely with every hour spent, I became less and less of myself and more and more of a machine. My life was statistics, sales, numbers, goals, budgets, deadlines, and taxes due. Which is a garden for feelings of worry, anxiety and stress to grow. And grow they did. I tended to my garden well, constantly finding something else wrong to fix, constantly on the lookout for negative feedback so that I could conquer it, finding something else that wasn't in my control so that I could take it over. And as any good gardener, I watered the plants daily with fear; I was never at rest in my garden of anxiety. 

About 6 months into opening bloom, I started to sleep less and less. I was getting around 4 hours a night. Not because I would go to sleep late, but because I would wake up in cold sweats filled with anxiety, staying up with my thoughts. I would wake my husband up and ask about the simplest of fears: "did we lock the door?" "are you sure?" "did I pay that bill?" "did you email her back?" Soon enough the small things in life, like locking a door, became shadows in my world. And when something as small as locking a door becomes a fear, the rest of life can become debilitating. Because as well as we know day turns to night, shadows turn light into dark. 

I had my first panic attack in 2008 when we moved to Kerrville. We had two weeks to move and we couldn't find anywhere to live in the small, retirement community. I had just put in my two weeks at my job back in Dallas and although happy to move forward, the future was not looking as hopeful as I'd thought. We had another unsuccessful trip to find somewhere to live and on the long 6 hour trip back home, I started to cry. Those tears turned into gasps for air as I felt as though I couldn't breathe and I felt as if I was having a heart attack. If you've had a panic attack before, then you know this feeling. It's almost comical now to think that at 23 years old I thought this was the end for me -- the house search had done me in. We pulled over at a gas station and I raced for a curb -- I didn't care who saw me, I was certain I was either going mad or dying. Turns out, it was a panic attack. A feeling I would come to know well in just a few years. 

Side note: this post is hard to write. 

Writing a blog is a weird thing. At first, it's a project -- it's something fun you do, you look forward to creating new content, creating new outfits, meeting new people. And you slowly share bits of your life with people over the course of the years; some people like your life, some people don't. But I stopped sharing my life a few years ago. At first I didn't share opening the store because I never wanted to come off as bragging or prideful and I didn't know if I could handle criticism. (Although now I wish I would have, as I know a lot of you do, too. It's funny the things I'm most proud of, I rarely share for fear of God knows what.) And then like a song I know all too well, depression started creeping into my light-filled life. And everything in my world was kept on lock from you. It was a slow entrance; polite almost. It knocked on a few of my doors and I ignored it. I kept smiling, kept working, kept moving. I just stopped sharing the other side. As I'm sure a lot of you are thinking -- how can someone look so normal and happy in a photo but be depressed? I'm actually scared and impressed of how much I can ignore my own small voice for the sake of saving face. I'd venture to say that employees, friends and family members didn't know for many months. That is until it slowly welcomed itself into every door of my life. 

Depression has looked different in many stages of my life. It first hit me when I was 16 years old. Then again at 20, and now at 28. When I was 16, there were a lot of emo poems written. (I am not kidding you and if I'm correct, I'm pretty sure they are in a closet at my parent's.) Now I can look back and laugh at the long, saga poems I wrote but at the time, it was a sad existence.  I remember sitting in a dark room, not wanting to talk to anyone, see anyone or do anything. For a 16 year old with a new car, that's not a good feeling. 

At 20, I remember ended up in the same dark room, but this time I turned to music and not writings of teen poetry. Thankfully Bright Eyes and other emo musicians were popular at the time so no one suspected anything of me. I'd call my mother crying, she threatened to drive the three hours from home and take me out of school. That's not what I wanted to hear so I didn't call for a while. 

A few weeks ago, I hit a wall. I couldn't think straight, I couldn't concentrate, I didn't want to do anything. I could no longer hear the voice in my head that sounded familiar, that reminded me of the good things, that helped me create. I figured I was just tired, that I had been working too much again. Usually I would get so stressed that I would end up sick and have to spend a few days in bed and then start over again refreshed, but I wasn't getting sick so I thought I was okay. (Correction: I thought I'd finally conquered that weak-ass immune system once and for all.) So we took some time off and tried to relax. The next day at work in the shop, I was sorting camisoles to be tagged. A simple task. I kept getting them confused and mixed up. I couldn't figure it out and ended up having a panic attack. Thankfully I was alone in the shop and no one saw the breakdown. My mom came, picked me up from work and took me home, just like she offered to in college. But this time I let her. I spent the next three days in bed. 

Aside from my genetic makeup that gives way to depression, our life has become quite chaotic. We work about 6 and a half days a week. And as it turns out I am a control freak. (Neat!) We have become accustomed to being stressed out. We've become accustomed to letting our stress wreck havoc on bad habits that include french fries and wine. We have also realized in all of this, that's not what life is about. If life is only about sales, then I'm out. 

You are probably wondering where all this is coming from, why I'm sharing it now. I've known for a while, hence the many times I've tried to write this post, that to move forward sometimes you have to have a clean slate. This is me cleaning my slate from the last two years. I regret not sharing more about bloom, but I never wanted it to be tainted by the hardships, my depression and anxiety. That's why I couldn't talk about it. And aside from the depression, entrepreneurship is a difficult road to venture down. And entrepreneurship with your husband or a partner is even more so. It's quite cruel to learn the lessons of life and entrepreneurship all in the same few years.To be honest, it's hard to put into words; clean, sparkling words that live on blogs. Especially, especially on a style blog. I've wanted to share so many times but fear stops me. "Shut up and wear clothes" it says. I've wanted to make changes but fear stopped me. But as I've taken a step back from things these last few weeks I've come to realize something. Maybe it's not about the clothes that bring you here (meh, or maybe it is) but maybe it's about life. Everyone has a story and maybe you just want to hear mine. 

If that is the case, then thank you for showing up and asking for more. I apologize for having not being able to share this side of my life. I also apologize for thinking that you only want to see the sunshine and not the rain. That is why I take a sillier tone in my posts most days, because it's comfortable and happy and different than my current train of thought. But it feels dishonest to who I am now and it speaks to perhaps who I was. Now don't get me wrong, I'm still funny. 

That was a joke. Kind of. 

All that to say, I need to heal. But as much as my life and identity is wrapped up in my blog, I needed that to heal as well. I need you to be on the same page as me, even if we both hate it. There is something else I've realized in my struggle: life is good. I've confused ambition with dissatisfaction. Ambition isn't something that sets out to destroy, it's something that sets out to create. I've confused these things as I'm constantly on the lookout to destroy the bad and preserve the good. But really, I just need to create the good may it be with bloom and the pretty clothes that hang in our windows, may it be with the blog and this post right here, may it be in life and being grateful for the here and the now, even if it involves tears or sad days. I've always been told that happiness is a choice. I've always hated that statement because it puts the control onto me and not my circumstances. But perhaps it is a choice -- a choice to be present and to be thankful. 

Thank you for being present and for listening.


***
(I should note I've since gone to the doctor for my depression. I am feeling a little bit better every day and finding more light in the shadows. ) 





499 comments:

  1. Beautiful words, Kendi. Thank you for sharing. I pray that you will continue to find the light amongst the shadows! xoxo

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  2. Kendi, you're a serious rockstar for writing that. Thank you for sharing and know that regardless of what you put out, those of us that have been reading you for YEARS will always be coming back. xo

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  3. Thank you Kendi. You have no idea how much it means to me to read this post. Your honesty is why I have read you from the beginning to the end. Your realization that you control things and always will is something I am dealing with right now. Please Kendi, You are amazing and your honesty is so appreciated!


    www.theadoredlife.com

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  4. Wow. Just wow. I was teary eyed through the whole thing. Believe it or not, sometimes it makes me feel worse to read shiny, happy blogs where cute girls appear to have life by the balls and there is nary a worry in sight. You just became so much more real to me, and I applaud you a hundred times over for writing this. I already loved your style, your writing voice, and your adorable store. Now I have a new respect for the woman you are. BRAVO.

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  5. Thank you for sharing. I know it's not easy to write, but please know that more people go through this than you can realize. Depression feels very lonely, but its not.

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  6. i'm so glad you shared this side of your life and business. i'm sure it was very hard, but i think it must also feel great for you to get it off your chest. i'm glad you've been to the doctor since and that things are getting better all the time. i think it's super brave to be so open and vulnerable here. just wanted to say i've always been so so impressed by your blog/store/work ethic.

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  7. I've never commented on your blog before, but I've been reading it for about two years. I'm so glad you wrote about this. I think it's easy to assume that a bloggers life is perfect, because from all the pretty pictures you post it seems that way. I certainly don't wish these struggles upon you, but I'm glad that you are being honest about your life. It makes you seem more human, and that can't be a bad thing, right?


    Ive suffered from anxiety attacks for years, they sure aren't fun! I'm grateful for them, though, because they've forced me to reevaluate my life and make some changes so that I wouldn't feel so stressed all the time.


    I hope that things improve for you, I know they will. I think speaking your truth is an important step towards progress, and you've certainly done that here. Best of luck to you!!

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  8. Hi Kendi,
    I too have struggled with depression and anxiety in my life. My first bouts with depression were in high school, they flared up again right after graduating college, and the last, and worst, episodes was when I ended an engagement two years ago. After years of suffering in silence, I went and talked to a counselor. I didn't realize that there could be like without depression, or that the endless pit in my stomach was anxiety. After months of counseling, I am in such a better place. I don't remember feeling this happy or hopeful since I was in grade school. That is so brave of you to share your history, even if it is just to anonymous readers.
    I love your blog, and I'm astonished that there are people in the world that can put together and wear beautifully classic clothes like you every day. You are an inspiration, in your clothing choices and in real life. Keep up the hard work of mending, I am rooting for you!

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  9. You have now climbed the mountain...you are very brave. Often, when I climb a mountain (literally - I live in Colorado *wink) and I look down on the beautiful view below, I just feel...better, somehow. take care of yourself and continue to be brave.

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  10. This is, hands down, the best thing I've ever seen on your blog. Thank you so much for sharing this, for being real. Cheering for YOU and your way back to an authentic sunshiney place.

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  11. Thank you for being so brave and sharing this!! You are an inspiration to live a life of honesty. Thank you for this!

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  12. Kendi - your blog was the first I started following and since have many favorites, but yours is always what I enjoy reading first each day. While I don't know you personally, there's never any need to apologize for true feelings - when you're ready to share that's all that matters. I hope you find peace moving forward and can enjoy those moments in life that make you truly happy. All the best!

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  13. I've never been here for the clothes. I'm here for Kendi. I think I probably speak for a lot of people when I say, we would love to know more about her. Don't ever feel like you are unable to share in this space. (Hope this isn't creepy. I promise I am a well-adjusted adult who just really likes your blog.)

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  14. There are a million style blogs. I come back to this one because of your intelligence and humor and that undefine-able thing that makes your voice uniquely yours. Your clothes are really nice, too, don't get me wrong!!! But its the inner YOU shining through that sets this space apart.
    I'm so glad you are taking care of yourself and thank you so much for sharing such a deep and delicate thing. You wrote it out beautifully and eloquently and with that certain wink and sparkle that is so Kendi.
    Be good to yourself, girl. We'll be here for you.

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  15. Thank you for sharing, kendi. I do really enjoy your clothes, but like you said, this blog makes me want to know you as a friend. I live in the Dallas area and i joke (kind of) with my hubby that i should totally go meet you and become bffs with you...! Keep chugging along and you'll be fine... Thanks again for sharing

    Sip-n-wear.blogspot.com

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  16. Dear Kendi, this blog post makes me want to read your blog MORE, not less. Thank you for your inspiring post!


    "Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” - Maya Angelou

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  17. Kendi, I've always been so impressed with you, both from a style stand point and from a personal stand point. You are witty and hilarious, and REAL. This is even greater evidence of that. Thank you for sharing, I'm sure there are SO many people who can benefit from this!

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  18. kendi, thanks for sharing this. this is incredibly strong of you and i think very brave. i have been reading your blog for 2 years now ( i am from germany ) and i have been enjoying it a lot. i love your style and your writing and the "silly" stuff you write.
    i hope that you will be fine - i´ll stay a happy reader of your blog!

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  19. Though I am a longtime reader, I've never commented on your blog before. I just wanted to thank you for your courage -- it takes a brave heart and a strong soul to write so openly about such a difficult issue. Thank you for sharing. Good luck! So many people are rooting for you! :)

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  20. House Of HemingwayMay 16, 2013 at 9:26 AM

    I think many of us have traveled down that lane, I'm glad that you've come forth and shared. I'm going through something similar so I find it hard to find the right words. I know the lack of concentration rings many bells for me and it's often frustrating! Hang in there, we will all get through this. As that saying says "If you're going through a rough time, keep going" you'll do just fine.

    www.houseofhemingway.com

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  21. Sharing this part of your life is brave, and you probably have no idea how many of your reader's lives you are touching. Thank you for giving us a glimpse into your life, something beyond your clothes. I admire your honesty (and so much more!).



    We are all rooting for you!



    ~FringeGirl

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  22. Although I have probably followed your blog for years now, I don't think I have ever commented before. Thank you for sharing this with your readers. The stigma of depression is as bad as the depression itself. I find great comfort with my peers and I hope you will as well. Take Care!

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  23. Thank you for sharing, and good luck in finding the light.
    I will, without doubt, continue to read your blog and cheer you on! I am very impressed with all you do — being entrepreneur AND a public blogger takes a lot of courage and strength.

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  24. I love your clothes but love you more. You're awesome, Kendi. Hang in there.

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  25. Young Chang-MillerMay 16, 2013 at 9:28 AM

    Thanks for sharing and your honesty...it's hard to be vulnerable, but I know it will help you heal.

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  26. Kendi,


    Please keep writing and sharing whatever you want. The good and the bad. We'll take it all with open arms. Even though I don't really know you, I always want to check in with your life as if you were a friend, a very stylish one at that. Keep your chin up. We're proud of you and this brave move to really share your life.

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  27. Thanks for sharing this, Kendi. I really appreciate your honesty and acceptance of your true self. Rooting for you! Big hugs and big smiles.

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  28. You are so brave to write this. Best of luck!

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  29. Thank you for being brave enough to post this. For whatever reason there's a stigma around being honest about the negative things in life, and I really admire you for sharing this.

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  30. I know this probably took a lot, a LOT of guts. Thanks for sharing your story and I know you'll get the support you need following this. Onwards and upwards!

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  31. Thank you for sharing your struggles. My parents opened a store, which they thought would be their dream, and they quickly realized how hard it was. It ate at them, and two years after closing, I fear I lost my parents somewhere in that store. They could never deal with their depression in the way you are. Good job for acknowledging it, for working on it, and for sharing it. And thank you for always bringing a sunshine into my day with your great outfits that are accessible to the normal person. You're beautiful.

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  32. Thanks for being so brave and sharing this with us, Kendi! As someone who has struggled with anxiety and depression most of her life, I know how hard it is to share the truth of those struggles with others- especially in a setting like this! I've always been impressed with your honesty and wit as much as your fashion sense, and now even more so. Stay strong, and write what you need to write. We'll all be here to read and embrace it all!

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  33. I loved this post and am proud of your bravery! Because you mentioned happiness is a choice, may I recommend The 4:8 Principle by Tommy Newberry as it explores this concept and offers tools like mental focus and gratitude to use to be more joyful.

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  34. I like the quote a lot! Thanks for sharing your aches..healing process. we're all the same...you're not alone.
    http://underthestarsandsun.blogspot.com/

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  35. It is such a strange feeling, being ambitious, optimistic, and also depressive. People get fooled and think you're just being dramatic. Then you think you probably have no right to feel sad, because look at how amazing life is and all you have accomplished. Then you forget that there are other feelings and just accept anxiety of a matter of course. Anyway, getting help is tough because it means thinking about it and giving it shape and admitting that you've been doing life wrong somehow and also like you have let your happy, optimistic, ambitious self down. Good for you for being able to write this post.

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  36. Thank you for sharing this.

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  37. Yeah that's one thing I wish I didn't have control over. I wish happiness just happened to me. :) I'm glad we're in the same boat, it's nice to know someone else is dealing with a crazy life, too. Thanks for your kind words.

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  38. Thank you for sharing your story. It can't be easy. I know how you feel. I have never experienced a panic attack but I do feel like i'm in a deep dark hole lately. Being a wife, mother, nurse, blogger, baker has taken it's toll. It's a struggle to find balance. Thank you for your story and for being so candid.

    Agi:)

    vodkainfusedlemonade.com

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  39. I'm not much of a commenter on blogs because I (confession) read a LOT of them. One of the comments below said that this was one of the first ones they'd read - and that stands true for me as well. I've even read yours probably 3 different times. As much as I love your style and what you do - it's the person behind it I adore so much. I look forward to your posts every day because they make me laugh. Your dry humor was (and often still is) the draw. I don't struggle with the same things but at a point in my life where things looked the bleakest - your blog helped keep me through it, honestly. I probably spent more time reading it than doing anything else.

    All this to say is although I (often) envy your stuff and adore your store, the personality behind it is what makes it easy to come back to over and over again. I live in Texas myself and often I want to come up to your neck of the woods just to MEET you. Because I often think you're even more awesome and cooler in real life than you already are on the internet.

    So do what you need to do - I'll keep coming back. Because honestly I'm not a big fan of blogs who only post pictures of their clothes and nothing more than that - I want to know more about them and what makes them so much more infinitely cooler than me (heh).

    Whatever happens for you I'll keep reading - because this blogsphere is just amazing and the people on it are truly unique as well. Like you.

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  40. thank you for being so open. love your honesty.

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  41. So proud and so brave! You are so brave Kendi. Not only for sharing this but for knowing when it is time to heal. You are inspiring and helping many by this blog, your story and Bloom :)

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  42. Angela --


    I totally agree on the anxiety attack benefit of forcing you to re-adjust. B and I have had to sit down and say "ok yes we can do that, okay no we can't do that any longer." It sucks getting here but I think that it will make for a better life in the end. That's such a good way to look at it, thanks for saying that.


    Kendi

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  43. Now I like you even more than I already did. Thank you :)

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  44. I never comment on the blogs I read - of which yours was one of the first - but I just wanted to say, well done. Hang in there.

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  45. I can imagine how difficult this was to write, but this was so movin, Kendi. In the years I've followed your blog, who knew that this photoless post would be my favorite you've ever written? Thanks for getting real with us. I've admired your style, and now I can honestly say I admire your soul. Depression is not an easy thing to deal with, I will keep you in my thoughts. Best to you. xo.

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  46. Kendi. Thank you so much for this post. I can relate. I've experienced anxiety and panic attacks my whole life and it's so easy to let it happen, it continue with your busy and stressful lifestyle and just push these things aside.

    I am SO proud of you for writing this post. It's not easy. Anxiety and depression are little black boxes that we get locked in and it's hard to find the way out. I'm so happy you have recognized some of your triggers and are working towards healing.


    You're so brave and I know that's why everyone admires you. It's your time to heal and find peace.


    Thank you.

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  47. I love your courage to post this Kendi. I can't imagine the stress of the shop, the blog and still trying to have a life with your husband and friends and family. Sometimes life can be suffocating. Sometimes I just takes making a change and realizing your triggers to make a big impact in your life. Best of luck to you.


    Lindsay
    LindsayJEveryday.blogspot.com

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  48. Thank you for sharing your comment! I've wondered about counseling a few times, but I've just never been brave enough to make the call. When I was talking to the doctor, she said something to the tune of you know this isn't normal right? And it struck me as funny because I just learned to accept that I was always on edge. It is nice to see the silver lining again, isn't it?


    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, it's nice to know I'm not alone. :)

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  49. Thank you so much! I appreciate you sharing your struggle so much.


    Looking forward to the good and the bad days... we're all only human.

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  50. Just wanted to simply say, thank you for being so b r a v e!

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  51. Thank you so much for your honesty, this post was so genuine and I know that it couldn't have been easy to write. While I love your outfit posts (seriously, come dress me, ha!) I really think that you opening up was really brave and I'm so glad you did. Praying for you lady! xo

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  52. Thanks for having the courage to share your story--it's something I know I needed to hear. It's so easy for me caught up feeling like I'm never enough-- so I overcompensate by doing too much and exhausting myself in the process. Have you read any of the books by Brene Brown? Her book "The Gifts of Imperfection" seriously is life-changing!

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  53. Madeleine DouglassMay 16, 2013 at 9:42 AM

    This is such a beautiful post. Please know everything you said is correct - we are here to hear your whole story, the ups and downs, not just the sunshine but the rainy days too. :)

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  54. I am truly grateful for you sharing this and admire you more for it. So true and honest, as bloggers, sometimes we get caught up in this other world and we need to pull ourselves back down to earth just like everyone. Truly fantastic words written and I hope each day it gets a little easier.

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  55. Thank you so much for your post about your struggles. I've read your blog for over a year and I love it for many reasons. You are funny, gorgeous, have great style, and there is something about you and the way you handle your self that draws people in. And this post is a perfect example of that. I too struggle with depression in ways that is easy to ignore sometimes, and in other ways its embarrassing and makes me feel defeated. The lay in bed all day and do nothing but cry at randoms things, defeated. I am a happy person with an amazing husband, and the job that I've always dreamed of, but It has always baffled me how someone so happy can be not so happy at the same time. Luckily for God's grace, he rights our wrongs and takes away our pain and struggle... if we let him. Whatever your beliefs may be, I pray peace for you. And I pray strength & rejuvenation for you and your husband. Its not an easy journey, and it never will be... but God doesn't give someone something they can't handle. He also working in wonderful ways... one of those being allowing you to open your heart to the world and drawing me in to read it. Your courage and strength inspires me to do the same. So, THANK YOU for being you and opening up. I can only imagine how many people are moved by your journey. I know I am! God bless you, girl! You deserve happiness, and you're are gonna get it, I just know it.

    Jillian

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  56. This took courage. Thanks for sharing. I will always love to hear the honest side of things. Blessings to you on your journey.

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  57. Thank you so much for writing this Kendi. I struggle with Depression too, and it is just so hard sometimes. The last 2 days in fact have been pretty bad, but this post just helped me a lot. I never would have guessed that you struggle with it as well, and I don't think you know how many people your touching by telling your story. Getting back into the Word and hearing Jesus' words have been invaluable to me.
    When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul. Psalm 94:19 (NIV)
    Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)

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  58. Brave, indeed. Kudos to you for sharing this with us.



    Erin
    www.BrainsOfTheOutfit.com

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  59. Not creepy, actually it's comforting. Thanks for saying that. Sharing is hard for me, as weird as that is because here I am a girl with a blog and she doesn't want to share here life. The irony. So thank you for the encouragement, it means a lot.

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  60. You my favorite style blogger are a breath of fresh air. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It makes you real. Sending positive thoughts and vibes your way. I know that all will be well.

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  61. Great quote, friend. Thank you.

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  62. I hope you understand the permission you just gave to your readers to exhale, pursue their truth, and live it out loud. Thank you Kendi. I wish nothing but for you to be your best self.

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  63. Take care of you! I had panic attacks for years and finally went to a therapist, it did wonders. Hang in there.

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  64. Blogs are best when they are real - even heartbreaking. Thank you for having the courage. Also, I've heard this woman speak on her panic attacks and anxiety, and she is wonderful. You might check it out. http://www.amazon.com/Freefall-Fly-Breathtaking-Journey-Meaning/dp/1414379366/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=2TF30R0E7N7HT&coliid=I1542K5JNTF6SC

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  65. And now all of us come out of the woodwork. The hard thing about depression is that it feels like you're in a dark place all alone, and more than that, it feels OK. But many of us (myself included) have been there, too. Thank you for sharing your story and for allowing all of us to be helping hands as you move forward. Together, we'll open the door out.

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  66. Dear Kendi,
    Thank you for being so brave. Take care of yourself.
    XXXXXX
    Megan

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  67. Thanks for writing this post. I have struggled with depression too and know how difficult it can be to talk about it. I'm glad you are taking care of yourself.

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  68. beachlivingcitylovingMay 16, 2013 at 9:46 AM

    Thank you for sharing. I come from a family which depression runs in, and although I've never suffered from it, I've dealt with it with many people very close to me. It helps to talk, to admit it, to be open, and so I'm grateful that you've been able to do that with us, your readers.

    You should be proud of your accomplishments, because I look up to you as a new blogger. You have done so much, so don't forget that.

    Keep looking for the light, keep looking back at your accomplishments. Ambition is nothing if you can't reflect on the achievements with a smile.

    Thanks and best wishes your way,

    Lesley

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  69. Thank you so much for sharing this with all of your readers Kendi. I have read your blog for a couple of years now and this post has by fat had the biggest impact and made me respect you so much. As someone who has had her own struggles with depression I understand where you are coming from and I appreciate you finally being open about what you have been going through. Thank you!

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  70. Thank you for sharing Kendi. This was a tear-filled read. I so much appreciate you taking down the cyber blogging wall and letting us in. Life isn't filled with lollipops and rainbows everyday but life does go on so long as you push ahead. All of your readers are rooting for you!

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  71. Thanks for sharing. As someone who has dealt with depression, too, I find that it is incredibly brave of you to share this. Hang in there, and know that things will slowly get better. And they'll stay that way. They have for me.

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  72. I haven't read her books, but thank you for the suggestion! I'm always on the look out for new ones to read.

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  73. I really hope you are feeling better. While I love and adore your clothes and get so many great wardrobe ideas from you, it's you and your humor and your writing that keeps me coming back.

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  74. thank you for sharing this kendi~!! thank you soo much!! i think a lot of people go through the same thing as you, but fear sharing in on their blogs, but it makes you more real and makes me love you even more than i already do! :)

    xo,
    Sandy
    Sandy a la Mode

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  75. Kendi, I've been a reader of your blog for years, although I think this is my first time to comment.

    Thank you for your honesty and your bravery. I face similar demons in my own life (control freak, anxiety ridden, perfectionist, overachiever). I just finished law school (literally I'm graduating on Saturday) and my first year was almost the end of me. I was in the darkest place I've ever been and for the longest time I didn't even realize how lost I was. The journey back to myself was long and painful and arduous. But I can honestly say that 3 years later I am happy and whole and have far greater respect for just letting myself live and be happy.

    Sending you the warmest wishes on your journey. Keep sharing the good with the bad. I, for one, will keep reading.

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  76. Thank you for writing this! Take if from someone who has slipped into depression several times, had panic attacks and even some crazy anxiety attacks, I know where you are coming from. I really needed to read that line "Happiness is a CHOICE."



    Word to the wise - be careful with depression meds...


    Praying for you! =)

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  77. your honesty is wonderful. i hope cleaning your slate and talking about the not so pretty things in your life are steps to brighter days ahead :)


    XOXO

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  78. Thank you for sharing such a hard part of your life with us. I much prefer the blogs I read to be real rather than smiley and perfect al the time because that is not real life. I hope that you will be able to find some sort of healthy balance in your life and continue to ask for help from your loved ones and professionals when you need it. Do what you need to do to be healthy and happy!

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  79. Thank you for sharing Kendi. Hope you can continue to move forward. ( ( ( hugs ) ) )

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  80. You are a profoundly great person for posting this.

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  81. I can relate all too well. I am fighting this battle myself. This was very brave of you, and I am so proud of you. You are helping others by sharing. I know it has helped me to hear the feelings put into words so well. Thanks and best wishes.

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  82. This is one of the most true, honest and beautiful posts I've ever read. I know sharing emotions is hard, but you just did it in so mature and inspiring (!) way. Thank you.And I wish you all the best!

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  83. Thank you for your bravery in sharing this. The details of our stories might be different, but you should know that you're not alone in these feelings and struggles. Here's to you and me, and to both of us finding the light in the shadows :)

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  84. Kendi, thank you so much for sharing this. I wish I could hug you right now because last year, I was going through a situation very similar to yours.

    "There is something else I've realized in my struggle: life is good. I've confused ambition with dissatisfaction. Ambition isn't something that sets out to destroy, it's something that sets out to create." That sent chills down my spine because I was in a job for two years that, while it gave me a level of professional status, provided me with wonderful experience, and brought me to meet some of my best friends, it drained me of everything I loved about myself to the point that I did have to do the same thing as you and seek help. It was the best decision I ever made and I'm thrilled you are getting what you need too.

    You're not alone in this at all and if you ever need anything, just let me know =D

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  85. You are a brave and beautiful person! (I know you probably can't see that now, but some day you will.) The sunshine is headed your way.

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  86. Dear Kendi,
    I empathize with you as I have suffered from severe panic attacks since I was 20 years old. A difficult relationship in my early 20s triggered panic attacks so severe, I would be rushed to the ER out of fear that I was having a seizure or a stroke. Like you, I was always (and have always been) obsessed with 'what's next.' Marriage, professional career, keeping up financially and obsessing over how much I'm saving vs. spending; the inability for me to just be content with the here and now and what I've got and not worry so much about the 'small stuff'...now I am obsessed with the fear of having a baby. (these are personal experiences...not that you have the same worries, but I empathize with the anxiety bit.) The unknown is something that is extremely difficult for me, too. Know that you are not alone. My genetic makeup points to the fact that my parents (mostly dad) and grandparents suffered from the same form of panic and anxiety for most of their lives. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers during this time. Know that what you are going through is very common and you are not alone.
    With blessings,
    Natalie

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  87. Yes, exactly. You took the words right out of my head.


    Depression is such a weird thing. It's almost like watching myself in a movie. I can see my life -- I see the good parts, I see the bad parts, I see the people in it but I don't feel any of it. It's like watching your life but being separated from it and not being able to get back to it.


    Thanks for relating those words.

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  88. Hi, sweetie! I'm an old reader but I've never left a message before. I admire not only your incredible sense of fashion but your sense of humor also. So sorry to hear that you're going through a difficult time in you life. However, as a 29-year-old woman who's suffered from anxiety, depression and OCD my whole life, I can tell you (for sure) that this is going to get better, I promise you. You are seeing a doctor and seeking help from your loved ones, that's the beginning of the cure process :) I hope you get better soon! Cheers from Brazil!

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  89. Kendi, you are an inspiration. Too many people (women especially) try to project these perfect images of a non-stressful, fun-filled life and although it's good to see these happy images, it also makes the viewer depressed that their life isn't as glamourous. Thank you so much for sharing your real life; it's refreshing to see a real person on the internet, not just someone in cute clothes. Keep doing what you're doing and the right people will support you no matter what.

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  90. Thank you for the recommendation! I'll check it out.

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  91. Quite simply, thank you for sharing this. It's so refreshing to hear honesty and true feelings! Thank you again and hang in there, it definitely gets better. :)

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  92. Thank you so much Kendi for opening up your heart and sharing this story with us. I'm glad you were able to overcome your fear and finally posted this. I believe most of us go through different levels of depression and of course it's so hard to get out of it and keep going when all you want to do is cry and not be bothered by anyone. What has helped me tremendously is reading specifically Buddhism books two books that I recommend are The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama and Howard Cutler and Fear by Thich Nhat Hahn. I wish you the best :)

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  93. Thank you, Kendi for posting this- beautifully written. Thank you for being brave. I have read your posts daily for years and will continue to do so! xo- Kristine

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  94. Know there are others out there that feel that feel the very same way you do. It says a lot for you to be able to share it with us, and know going forward, talking about it will get easier It's a learning process. xoxoxo Ashley

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  95. I don't often comment on my favorite blogs, even if I read them every day. But I need to comment on this, to say thank you Kendi. For being honest and real. Reading fashion blogs and lifestyle blogs and seeing pretty things every day...it has often made me feel like I need to stop, because my life counldn't/can't compare. But reading this reminded me that you are human. That you are all human and that we share many similarities, anxieties, and more.
    So thank's again for being honest and human Kendi. You Rock.

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  96. Bravo for opening up. I've always wanted to hear more, not less, about your life. I have huge compassion for what you are dealing with and am glad you have a great support system (your family) and have gone to the doctors for help. Best wishes to you... my very favorite blogger :)

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  97. Destrehan's Daughter/SarahMay 16, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    Vulnerability is always hard to put forth, especially when you judge yourself harshly. And, I'm sure this comment thread will blow up with support for you. Let me just add that I undertand exactly where you're coming from. I've embarked on a new business recently and felt like I've lost myself. It's hard and you always feel like you're fighting an uphill battle to just get back the smallest of comforts with depression. I sincerely wish you the best figuring out what will bring you into a brighter place.

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  98. I started visiting every day to see the clothes and for inspiration in my own wardrobe. I kept coming because I liked YOU, the person and your voice. Now, you're even more of an inspiration. Hang in there Kendi. hugs and love coming your way.

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  99. Thank you for sharing. Depression is a beast I've struggled to conquer as well. It's an uphill battle, but made easier with the help of loved ones - of which I know you have an abundance. Including those who loves your blog. Hang in there, Kendi. Prayers headed your way.

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  100. Thank you for sharking this post, Kendi. I can only imagine how difficult it was to hit "publish" but I'm so glad you did. Life isn't all puppies dogs and rainbows, but sometimes its hard to admit that to yourself (especially if you're a perfectionist!). And with all of the illusions that bloggers, celebrities, the media, etc, put out there about life being happy and cheerful all the time, it's nice to see some realness. You're so brave for opening up, and I hope you continue to do so (although, I love your outfit posts too!!). I also hope we hear more about Bloom and your accomplishments! Glad you're feeling better :)

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  101. Kendi, I read this with tears in my eyes. You are so brave so share your life with us. I know how you feel. I have been there.

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  102. Ayesha:

    I completely hear what you mean about your parents. It can eat you alive, if you let it. It's a lot for one person (or two) In a way, I'm glad that I had a mini-breakdown because it was a stopping point for us. I didn't have a choice but to stop and say I can't do this, we have to make changes. But I get it, it's a hard road to go down for sure.


    Thank you for your kind words, friend.

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  103. Hi!
    I follow a lot of fashion blogs. I don't know if I'm fashionable or not, but I sure try. What I do know is that sometimes I think to myself "it can't all be perfect, these beautiful lives I see on the internet" I look in my own closet and some of my clothes are faded, torn..really cheap. But then I look in my proverbial closet (aka, myself..HA, I'm funny toooo;)) and I think I'm.a.hot.freakin'.mess. And then the dark clouds come for a while, but they always clear. For someone who always wants to be better, who really does thrive when she's smiling from the inside, the cloud will always lift, I truly believe this. Thanks for sharing your messy closet. I still think it's nice to know that no matter the mess on the inside, you can do something for yourself, care about yourself and get dressed. I'm happy to hear you've visited a Dr. This life we live in is too hard to handle on our own. Embrace sadness and look forward to the clearing!

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  104. Kudos to you for sharing. I was visiting my parents last weekend in TX and we finally made it over to Bloom. I was bummed that you weren't there but your husband and employee were super friendly and helpful! :)

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  105. May your clean slate start today. Thank you for being such a fine example of a BRAVE woman. We all have different battles we are fighting. I love how you said. "It's a choice to be present and thankful". Sometimes that is the only choice we have! God Bless!

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  106. I think we have all wondered: how does she do it all and still look that good? I always assume that a blog never reveals everything about a person, and that there are some things you deserve to keep to yourself.

    That said, thank you for your courageous sharing. I feel like we're long-time friends because of your presence here and I want to give you a virtual hug of encouragement for doing so much, following your dreams, and working through some difficult struggles in the process.

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  107. So brave of you to write this post! I hope you found it reassuring and therapeutic. I have suffered at different times in my life, too, with panic attacks and anxiety. The important thing to know is that those bumps in the road come and go and that there is always way more beautiful times ahead. I hope you feel better each day until this rough road turns into a distant memory.

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  108. *Standing ovation*
    I was recently told that my longtime readers sometimes feel like they don't KNOW me, and so today I wrote a post opening up about some of the more serious parts of my life. It was terrifying so I can't imagine how it must've felt for you to write this. But I CAN imagine how many people you're going to be helping. I tend to fall victim too to letting the blog be a shiny and happy place when we all know that isn't life all the time. I'm wishing you lots of love and luck in your healing process.

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  109. I won't lie that I started visiting this blog for the outfits/fashion. But what's kept me coming back is your voice/humor. Noone is perfect and its fine to hit speed bumps. I really hope you get the help you need and feel better. You're beautiful both inside and out!

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  110. Oh Kendi, if I'm being honest I've been a little sad over the last few years watching the real you drift away from the blog. And while I LOVE LOVE your humor and think you're the funniest person ever, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the real you even more. And I think all your readers can attest to that. The real you, good and bad, happy and sad, is what brought your readers here, and what has kept them around for so long. Not the clothes, although they are so very cute.


    Welcome back, Kendi, we're here and ready for whatever you need to say, this is your space, after all.


    Thank you for sharing, you da best.

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  111. It is sad that you felt you couldnt share your successes for fear of bieng judged. People need to be happy for each other in good times and realize we never know what the bad times may have been. I think you are truly inspiring and thank you for sharing this!

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  112. Dearest Kendi, isn't blogging weird but amazing because you have these "friends" that you've never met who want nothing but good things for you and your life. Everyone struggles to balance everything in life and find happiness. Your honesty and sense of humor are always so refreshing and my advice to you (since I've been alive 10 years longer- I feel qualified to give you advice:)) is to eliminate (either temporarily or permanently) whatever isn't contributing to your long-term goals and happiness. Sometimes we feel "trapped" because we started doing something that we once loved and people expect us to keep going, but if we're honest with ourselves, it's no longer a source of joy- but one of stress or anxiety. Cut that out. Trim the fat. Don't worry about disappointing anyone. Those who love you will still love you and be proud of you and be there for you. Take care of your health- physical, mental, emotional, & spiritual- and work outward from a healthy self. Best of luck in everything and I kinda hope I don't see a post from you in a while so you can relax a little and decompress :)
    ~Karen

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  113. As one of my style inspirations, you and your blog brighten my day. But, as I know all too well, there is always two sides to each story. I am right there with you girl - I've juggled full time working mother, divorcee, a 2nd marriage, a new home, a small business - and while I can maintain a good "face" 95% of the time, 95% of that time is spent wondering if I will fail. I've juggled all that AND depression. And with depression came the panic attacks/anxiety. You should be proud of what you do/have done - and those of us who follow you should be proud you trusted us to know your story's "other side". Be well, be strong, be you!

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  114. Hugs hugs hugs! Thank you for sharing. Here's hoping you get in a better state soon. Anyone can look cute in clothes, but it is the personality that keeps us coming back. Lots of love to you!

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  115. Thanks for sharing Kendi. I have also suffered from similar bouts of depression, managing to look happy on the outside, but sad on the inside. I think its powerful to let it out, let people support you and realize that there is always going to bad (I am working on accepting this + trying not to make everything perfect), so let's just try to focus on the good (most of the time). You are lovely and wonderful and here's to a clean slate! <3<3<3

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  116. Hi Bri!


    B told me about you :) I'm sorry I wasn't there either, but thank you for stoping in. I hope you got some pretty new things.

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  117. Take some time. Get well. Wishing you the best.

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  118. Thank you for sharing your story. We are all here for YOU, not just your clothes (although those are always fab). Your honesty took a lot of courage, so thank you.


    Not to sound super cheesy, but have you heard the song "Who You Are" by Jessie J? In it she says "it's ok not to be ok". I think just a few simple words in that sentence speaks volumes. :)


    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

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  119. You are SO BRAVE! Thank you, thank you. I've been reading since you started- tracked your move back to North Texas- watched you open a shop- and I had no idea, but as I was navigating depression and anxiety and meds and marriage and panic attacks and blah blah blah- so WAS I! So weird! I must have seen it in your eyes :) I'm so proud of you, Girl. Way to kick ass and carry on. " Ambition isn't something that sets out to destroy, it's something that sets out to create." -- uh hello? Yoda? I've been reading all of these years and I didn't know how well you could write or how wise you are! I'm thanking God for you, your hard-working spirit, your amazing husband, and your COURAGE! So proud of you, Kendi!

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  120. Kendi! We love you and your blog!! Hang in there it will get better...we are all here for you to vent to! I am so inspired by what you do daily...opening a shop...maintaining a blog..and a marriage. You are doing so much better than you give yourself credit for. If you are ever in the DC area...stop on over...we'll have some wine...and vent about life's ridiculousness



    xo
    A

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  121. I love everything about this post.


    I remember being very confused when you didn't share and celebrate bloom when you opened it and now I can see that I was picking up on little pieces of this slipping in.


    I really respect you writing this post and explaining everything to all of us but, really, I respect you most for being honest with yourself.


    Good luck.

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  122. Thank you, thank you. I have never commented before, but I am a longtime reader. I have generalized anxiety disorder and so many of the feelings you've shared resonate with me. I hate that you are dealing with depression and anxiety, but I cannot thank you enough for telling your story. You're very brave, and you're not alone.

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  123. Kendi, though I only "know" you through this small window in blog land, I'm proud of you! I think your story reflects that of many women and the struggle to balance ambition, pride, perfection and reality. As someone prone to anxiety myself, a huge web-hug and thank you for your honesty and vulnerability. And humor. Most of all the humor :)

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  124. Other people have said it better already, so I'll just say you are awesome for writing this.

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  125. You are so, so brave for sharing this with us. I pray that you continue healing and seeing the light in the shadows.

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  126. Thank you for being so brave such a difficult thing to share. We're listening, we care... and we support you!

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  127. Serious kudos to you for sharing your story. I think people often forget that, behind the pretty clothes and well put together outfits, bloggers are people too. It takes so much strength to realize that something is wrong and you are not where you want to be emotionally...and then do something to fix it. Remember that you have so many people who care about you, and don't be afraid to lean on them. Getting better is your top priority, and we'll all still be here when you're ready.


    xo
    Sam

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  128. Sweet Kendi, you're already on the mend. This community adores you, all parts of you, and that includes cheering you on when you feel like you're up to your eyeballs in ick. Fall apart a little, do your best to try again, but don't lose sight of YOU.

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  129. you're doing the right thing.

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  130. I am feeling better, not 100%. Maybe like 65%? But thank you for your encouragement, it means a lot. :)

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  131. Thank you so much for sharing! yours is the first blog I've ever followed and (this sounds weird) but you felt distant for a while. Happy to see/hear the real you! I too started seeing a doctor recently and it made me realize that I need to let go and live. And let others live as well, because I found myself so often trying to help everyone else and putting my needs last. Keep true to you and your husband of course. He loves you a whole lot - I bet that's why he took you on a getaway vacation!

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  132. Just wanted to say thank you for sharing. This post couldn't have come at a better time for me. Without getting into too many details, I too struggle with anxiety and over the past few weeks it has come to a head. It has begun to affect my marriage and other aspects of my life and I am now in the process of getting help. Your words have helped to encourage me that there is a light at the end of the tunnel or that there are two sides to every story - because we think we're the only one struggling with these sorts of things. But it happens to the best of us. I too have realized that happiness is a choice and in the past I have chosen not to live this way. My husband has helped to make me realize that I need to choose the happiness road since I have so much in life to be thankful for. So I just wanted to say thank you for writing this post. Just reading it has helped me even more than you know and in some weird way I feel comforted to know that I am not alone in the things that I feel...so thank you, your words mean a lot to me. :)


    Megan
    budgetfashion101.blogspot.ca

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  133. That took so much courage and I hope it aids in your road of healing! Thank you for that as it really spoke to me as well in a place of discontentment and feeling futile.

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  134. i know this is from a faceless blogstalker but! kendi, you are loved. you do so much good. keep going. thankful for YOU.

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  135. That doesn't sound weird at all. I always felt a little guilty when I would post a simple post, wondering if people could tell. If I felt or sounded distant, so yeah I gotcha.


    I agree on the live and let go. It's hard to do, but probably one of the best lessons I could ever learn. I'm not there yet, but hopefully will be!


    Thank you for the comment, Kara :)

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  136. Kendi,
    Your blog was the first I ever followed...thanks for being so brave and sharing. We love you, take the time to do what is right for you in your life. Depression is a difficult road to navigate; I hope for only the best for you.

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  137. Thank you for sharing this. We all have our own story and way, and I appreciate anything you ever want to share. I can't believe I've been reading this blog for years now! I have always loved getting inspiration from your style, but I have also liked learning about your life when you choose to share. I'm glad you have been getting help and that you're feeling better. You never have anything for which to be ashamed! I hope you continue to be able to enjoy life! I'll be here reading and gaining inspiration as long as you choose to give it.

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  138. Never be afraid to be honest or to not sugar coat everything! I think we can all safely say that we have had down points or have even been in the same position! In fact when you moved from dallas i completely understand that feeling cause I did it myself and spent months unemployed in a town I didn't know freaking out! and i have had panic attacks, they are so incredibly horrible!

    But I really want you to know how incredibly proud you should be of those good things that you have achieved you have certainly been a huge inspiration to me - you encouraged me to take the leap of getting my partners i.t business of the ground and just going for things. also knowing that there is more to life than a job your not fond of!

    You are an incredible person and panic attacks and needing to take a break doesn't detract from the wonderful person you are and we as your readers have come to know and love. We miss the real and honest kendi! I certainly come here more for your stories, your personality more than anything else. You make kendi everyday/Bloom the success that it is and deserves to be!

    You've certainly inspired me big time and if that's just one person and remember your doing great! If there wasn't hiccups along the way i think I would be more worried!

    keep going far more amazing things to come!



    Jennx

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  139. I also wanted to offer up a book I haven't yet read, but heard good things about: "Fear and Other Uninvited Guests: Tackling the Anxiety, Fear, and Shame That Keep Us from Optimal Living and Loving" by Harriet Lerner

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  140. Kendi,
    Thanks so much for sharing and being transparent about what has been going on in your life. I think so many of your readers, myself included, can relate to feelings of depression and anxiety. I read this blog because you have amazing style, wit, but mostly your natural ability to relate others. Very thankful for hearing your story and hoping that you continue to get stronger everyday. Stay real it works for you!

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  141. Dear Kendi, I'm proud of you for making a choice to look for the light instead of shadows. Keep making that choice every day!

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  142. Good job, girl. So many people struggle with depression and it makes me mad that it is not talked about more. More light needs to be shed on this issue. Your bravery sharing here is a blessing to others going through your same struggle, and those who have people in their lives who are struggling. <3

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  143. That was an incredibly inspiring post. As someone who has also struggled with accepting that I deal with the same types of things, your bravery for sharing something that Ive always kept so private is something I stand up and applaud.

    I do come to see your pretty outfits, but I would LOVE to hear more about your life. You're an incredible writer and and I love your words as much as your pictures. Good luck and keep on going!

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  144. Polina ShabarchinaMay 16, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    Hello, Kendi!
    Thank you for writing this post.
    Everyone needs to cry sometimes, not always laugh. We shouldn't block our negative emotions. Hope you'll be o'k :)

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  145. Thank you for being so brave. Honesty is the most frightening thing one can accomplish. I have not struggled with depression, but I do struggle with anxiety and panic attacks. I am so grateful to have a wonderful therapist and a supportive family, but I'm also grateful for the brave honesty you've demonstrated. I'm proud of the work I've done to manage and treat my anxiety, but I'm also very proud of your determination and effort to really, truly live and exist as yourself. Thank you. (I'm a very huggy person, so *hug*!)

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  146. i don't ever comment but laugh out loud at every one of your posts! there have been other style blogs i've tried to follow but even with perfect clothes, they seem boring or too surface. I've always appreciated your personality that comes out in your writing. true, honest, hilarious. Thanks for sharing the hard stuff and being real. praying for you! depression is such a hard thing and only god can truly heal you of it!

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  147. I second the Brene Brown comment - read her books, watch her TED talk online. What she has to say is so inspired (plus, she's a good Texas gal). Don't ever apologize for allowing yourself to be honest and vulnerable for it is also the key to your strength and authenticity, Kendi. Know that you have silent (well, until now) kindred spirits wishing you well on your journey!

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  148. I've been a long time reader but never commented, until now. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing, it's so very brave of you!

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  149. Thank you for this. Thank you for being so transparent, thank you for including us "readers" in your life. Thank you for the inspiration. Thank you for making life okay. Blogs can feel like lies sometimes, and you just made your the truth. I like truth. Thank you for truthiness.

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  150. Thank you so much for writing this post. I have loved your blog for a while and have always wondered why you didn't share more, why it was so much surface stuff. This may sound corny, but I am excited to see more of your personality on here. And I am really glad you are getting some help - as a panic attack sufferer, those things are no joke!

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  151. I’ve always loved your blog and have wished for more ‘you’ posts. Yes, I love the pretty pictures, I just love when people are real. I’m glad you’re feeling better and better and I hope to learn more about the ‘personal side of you.’

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  152. I have never met you in real-life, but we have similar souls. I'm actually sitting here in tears because I have been there, I lived there. All I can tell you is it will get better and it takes time. *hugs*

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  153. Oh Kendi!! You are amazing. We love you no matter what. Thank you for sharing this. I am sure it was difficult, but it was beautiful. We want to share in your joys and sorrows. I feel like I know you even though we've never met, and likely never will. Hang in there, girl. It's all going to be ok.

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  154. Yeah, you know honestly I think it was more of me being in my way than others. I think it's just something I had to learn for myself, you know? If I had to do it all over again, I'd shout it from the rooftops but I can't go back. But hopefully I can move forward without fear of sharing the good and hiding the bad.


    Thank you for your sweet comment.

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  155. My mom, who is in the healthcare profession, has been struggling with depression for years. Some days I can tell she's wrestling with issues, some days she hides it so well that I think she's completely better. The one thing she did to help herself was go to a therapist. She refused the pills and she refused going to the doctor, since she's basically one herself.



    She doesn't like to brag about her accomplishments as a professor, or all the volunteer work she does in the free clinic and a local homeless shelter. But she completely lights up when she talks about it. And she has a reason to! Just like you have a reason to. You're doing something you completely love; something you can be proud of.



    I love, love looking at the pictures of your outfits, but I love reading what you've written at the bottom of each post even more. Your personality comes out through your writing- almost like I can hear someone directly saying your sentences to me. I admire so much that you've opened up your own store; it's a far off dream for me, but you've actually done it. You're truly an inspiration. Very truly. Be proud of yourself and know you've done things of which others can only dream.

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  156. I've never commented before, but I've read your blog for years, and as a fellow 28-year old who is constantly creatively road-blocked by my own fear, anxiety and depression (I took violin, not piano, haha), I commend you on being so forward and honest. May you find the healthy balance you very clearly deserve. Thank you :)

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  157. oh gosh, i know you're probably getting absolutely flooded with comments now (and for good reason!), but i just figured i'd add my two cents as well.

    this is my first time ever commenting (i'm sorry! not for lack of interest in your posts; i'm just a passive blog reader). this post really moved me. i find myself often questioning why i religiously pay attention to so many fashion/style-oriented blogs since most are usually so vapid and devoid of real substance (i won't name names...). this post re-confirmed for me that there actually are some genuinely great bloggers out there who truly respect their followers and want to keep things real. you are without a doubt one of my most favorite bloggers ever.

    i applaud you for taking a huge risk by sharing such dark, personal thoughts with complete strangers who look up to you so much (i know i do, anyway). not that i didn't respect you before this, but i definitely respect you as a blogger and as a person even more now.

    as i read this, i found myself relating to a lot of what you said. no, i don't own a store or run a successful blog, but lately i find myself trying to deny any dark thoughts that come my way for fear of exposing my unhappiness to others. it's so refreshing that you ignored all the blogger "taboos" and just put it all out there. i sincerely hope you feel comfortable enough to share more about your personal life/bloom/etc. in the future, as i'm sure most (if not all) readers here feel the same way.

    thank you again, kendi. be well!

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  158. Hugs from your kid who just had a kid. Take many breaks and don't feel obligated to Anyone but yourself:) I hope you can feel my hugs all the way from Houston:)

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  159. Kendi,
    I don't know what else to say except I love your blog, your style, and your sense of humor. I will be praying for you! And I have been working on the things I am fearful of doing/sharing as well so thank you for being brave and inspiring me to do the same!

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  160. Kendi-

    Thank you for sharing your story! I deal with the anxiety side of the shadows. And goodness, is it not a lonely place to be! I have an amazing husband who, like yours, is so gracious and helpful. He has become the best help, along with prayer! It's strange how when you read a blog for years, you feel as though you are friends with the writer, which, I think is to your credit. Thanks again for sharing your story! I hope that sharing it helps you to heal and move more toward the light. I do pray that you get there quickly and are able to stay there.

    emily

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  161. Dear Kendi,


    I am 27 and have been struggling with depression since I was 12. Thank you for being so brave and sharing this with us. I hope this dark time passes quickly.


    Alex

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  162. A blog is tricky and something I obviously struggle with as I haven't posted on mine in months because of my own fear but I'm a huge supporter of bloggers. Yours, my dear, is one of the few I never miss a post. Anxiety & depression are hard struggles; panic attacks are awful. Take some time to find some peace in your mind and your heart. We're here Kendi! Not just to see your cute face and fearless fashion but to hear your story.

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  163. I feel them Reiko!! Give that sweet baby a kiss for me :)

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  164. Needed this. Thanks for sharing.

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  165. Kendi, this is a beyond amazing post! Giving you a huge virtual hug right now, and mind you I am NOT a hugger.
    I love that you can open up and show a raw side of you that makes you human just like the rest of us. We all worry and fret..I know I do at least, I am an over-analyzer at heart. I look forward to more posts from you, whether they are silly or raw.
    Best wishes on your journey! I'll be here right along with you reading every post. :)

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  166. Thank you for sharing your story.

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  167. Hey, girl - thank you for your "clean slate" sharing. I have always been a HIGHLY emotional person, but it wasn't till two years ago due to incredible family stress that I really broke down and had (it felt like) a two week-long panic attack. I couldn't sleep and couldn't eat and couldn't function, but it wasn't until a dear friend told me that she herself struggled with anxiety that I was able to go and get help. I still have bad days (today's actually been a doozy) but I am so much better due to the grace of God, some good therapy, and a prescription from my doctor.
    Anytime someone brave like you shares her struggles, you encourage someone else to be brave and get help.
    Hang in there.

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  168. Bravo, Kendi. I feel like you took the mix of barbed wire out of my head the past 8 months and spit in into this post. :) Thank you for sharing your story. Continue to be strong, but honest and real. Honesty and humility and reality--those are the true pillars of strength (as I am slowly but surely finding out myself). I love your blog, and I would continue to read with or without the style. ;)

    Take care.

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  169. I know it's been said several times already, but I have to agree this post was one of my favorites. I can relate and it can be a very dark hole to be in. Thank you for sharing this and letting us all know that we are here to help each other and the only way to do this is to speak out loud what we need. Again thank you so much for all of this.

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  170. Thank you. This is why you're my favorite blogger. xo

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  171. Thank you for being so fearless and sharing your story! You are inspiring us all to live our truest selves. Thank you for reminding us that there is beauty in the darkness, and that is it ok to accept both sides of yourself. I hope that this blog will be a safe place for you to share more of who you really are. Love,
    Vio

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  172. Kendi, you are such an amazing person. Thank you for sharing your story. I believe that a bunch of people feel the same way you do. I know that I do at some points in my life. Remember you only have one life - live it to the happiest! Thinking of you and send warm and fuzzy thoughts your way! Thanks for always being an inspiration!


    xoxo,
    Laura

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  173. In addition to being incredibly creative and passionate, you are also very brave. Thank you for sharing your story and know that all your reader's thoughts are with you during this process!

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  174. Thank you for sharing that with us! So powerful.

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  175. What an incredibly brave thing you've done by sharing your story. I don't know you personally, I live hundreds of miles away, yet through your blog I feel like your one of my best friends. I pray you'll find comfort and can move forward in your incredible journey.

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  176. Hi Alex:


    That's a long time to deal with depression, friend. I hope you read through the comments as though they are speaking to you, too. It's nice to see so many others suffer but also conquer depression.


    Thanks for the encouragement.
    Kendi

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  177. Thank you so much for writing this and sharing your struggles. As someone that also deals with depression and anxiety on a daily basis, I know how crippling and life altering it can be. Thank you for opening up to us and being so honest.

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  178. I'm impressed by your courage to write this post. Thank you for your honesty! It feels good to read something about the human behind the blog so you can realize, that the life shown here is realy only a snapshot of the whole person and her life and experiences.

    (I had my first panic attack and what I believe is a depression last winter and can only now slowly start to talk about it to my close family and friends, so thank you for making me feel less weird and giving me a tiny bit more courage.)

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  179. I can relate! Thank you for sharing, Kendi. I hope that you will be able to find a balance and hopefully prioritize all of your responsibilities. Your health comes first.

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  180. {{hugs}} to you. thanks for sharing an often "swept under the carpet" topic. It was beautifully written.

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  181. Hi Kendi!

    As someone who deals with depression everyday, I completely understand how you feel! But I think you should know, that you are inspiration to not only me, but probably most of your readers. Not because of what you wear, but because of your ability to be humble, funny, and hardworking. And for what you wear, because, well, your style is fantastic!

    -Meghan
    meghanbanke.com

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  182. This is why I've been coming to your blog for years. You are the most refreshing blogger out there. Thank you.

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  183. You are amongst friends, and I hope you feel our support through the world wide web. Your blog brings a lot of joy to a lot of people, but the most important person you need to be concerned about bringing joy to is yourself. You rule.

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  184. I was that kid that wrote emo poems and in my college years had extreme anxiety, and as an adult still struggle with depression and anxiety. Thank you for sharing this part of you with us. There are so many people out there who know how you feel and are supporting you.

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  185. Thank you so much for this. I've been a lurker for a little while, but I wanted to express how much I appreciate your honesty, and I'm glad you have made steps to get help. Your bravery really helps others, including myself, feel like they aren't alone with their own anxieties or struggles.

    http://startingwithaspark.com

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  186. I was 5 months pregnant with my first and only child when my mom died of breast cancer. My husband and friends used to think I was ok with an occasional 'bad' day. In reality, I was depressed EVERY day and occasionally had a 'good' day. Not until you have gone through depression can you truly understand what it feels like. How you CAN'T just 'snap out of it'.

    I have been a long time reader of your blog and I have never commented on a blog before, but I wanted to commend you for your post. It's a very difficult thing to talk/write about for sure! I wish you all the best and thank you for sharing.
    (Therapy and Zoloft helped me through that rough period)

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  187. Thank you for sharing that. I don't find inspiration in just the clothes you wear, or your hard work and dedication to your store - it's in everything you write (especially the "bad" puns that I love so much). I hope more light streams into the shadows for you.
    Lots of love and hugs to you.

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  188. Thank you for sharing, Kendi! Your bravery means so much to us. Also I can totally relate, and this post came at a really good time for me. Good luck with finding more balance in your life. You have so many supporters!

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  189. Honesty is a beautiful accessory. We don't just come for the clothes, we come for you & I for one am honored that you opened up and let us in. Makes us all feel more normal & that being real & vulnerable is just as beautiful as the clothes we wear

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  190. I'm glad we have those poems in common. Thank you for the support, friend.

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  191. Last week, for the first time I was able to tell people that despite everything being good in my life (yes, there is stress, but everything is good), the physical pain that depression causes was just too much to bear. All I wanted to do was cry, but I instead reached out and am getting the help I need.


    Thank you so very much for your words. I'm so happy you're getting the help you need.


    Here's to sunshine AND rain.

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  192. Behind you all the way, Kendi! I know the feeling of depression and have dealt with it for a long time, but just know you're supported here on the interwebs! I love the funny stuff but this stuff is important too!

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  193. I don't know you, but I have a strong suspicion that you are absolutely amazing. I completely relate to your mental health history (sad poems in a closet at my parents' house, check, emo music for my 20s, check) and to your ambition. I recently decided to step away from my PhD program because it was all too much and I decided I'd rather focus on the rest of my life. You have to put yourself first; no one else will.


    I love your blog and everything you have to write. I look and dress nothing like you and wouldn't even be able to fit into anything you sell at Bloom, but I still love looking and admiring the outfits you put together, the combinations you create that I would never think to.


    Thank you for sharing more with us. I hope it helps you and I hope you feel freer to share more going forward.

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  194. I look up to you so much. You are honest, strong, hardworking, beautiful, funny, and have great style. You inspired me to start my own blog and reach for my dreams. Thank you for sharing.

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  195. Depression is a witch to deal with. Take care of yourself. *Hugs*

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  196. And on a funnier note...my hubby and I were traveling 6 hours with our 1 year old to see family. I get extremely anxious when things are out of the norm, aka, my whiney son in a car ride. I went to get a drink in a gas station because it was my turn to drive and the attendant told me my total which was $2.05...I sat staring at the change in my wallet and couldn't think if a nickel was 5 cents! The attendant looked at me, and asked if I was okay. I looked back at him, clicked that a nickel is 5 cents and said, yes, but I am just traveling with a 1 year old. sigh! you are not alone!

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  197. I LOVE your honesty and your ability to use your blog as a platform to elevate our 'conversation' to things that are a bit deeper than pleated skirts. you are truly an inspiration. bravo.

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  198. Thank you for sharing your struggles. I also am dealing with depression and anxiety and know how hard it is to talk about. I've followed your blog for years and felt like it had changed in the last while - a little more distant. I'm glad to hear that you are getting the help you deserve.

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  199. You are truly inspirational! The things that you have struggled with is something that hits very close to home. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings. Being only 16, you have become someone who I look up to! You are such a strong and courageous person. Again, thank you so much for opening up to us!

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