Elizabeth Sawatzky...this girl. Where do I start? **sigh** It's hard to believe that a creature so stunning on the outside could be matched within. Elizabeth's inner beauty astounds me. I had worked with her a couple times and briefly chatted in social settings but never enough for me to be aware of this fantastically emotional, sensitive soul beneath.
Recently she announced that Free People's blog asked her to do a contributing piece based on wellness. First of all, ummm NBD? Casual. Free frickin' People asked HER to write for them!!!! Coolest thing ever! I have to admit I didn't read it right away. I wanted to but because I'm scatter-brained and extremely particular about how and with whom I spend my time, I put it off until today. Buuuut only 10 minutes after finishing the blog post, I myself am posting about it on my website ( which I rarely update )... sooo YES. It's THAT good. *wink wink*
Elizabeth writes openly about a subject that I think should be shared more often, DEPRESSION. I've been through it, my boyfriend suffers from it, my family, my friends, my coaches, my neighbors. Honestly I bet 75% of my friends and family have or still are suffering from depression. When my depression started, I had never talked or heard of it from ANYONE my whole life, so naturally I thought I was going crazy. I used to wake up crying on beautiful sunny days when everything in my life was going perfectly; I was killing my job, my boyfriend was amazingly loving and supportive, my relationship with my parents was healing, I had never been more physically fit, I was healthy, I was happy, but I was still crying... and I blamed myself. I had unexplained depression. I felt alone, ungrateful for my beautiful life, and helpless. I didn't want to put this burden on my loved ones out of fear that they would somehow feel at fault for my unhappiness, so, instead of telling anyone, I suffered quietly. It was self-sabotage.
Months later I had a friend open up to me about her postpartum depression and BOOM the flood gates were open. I broke down in exhausted tears of joy. I wasn't crazy. I wasn't ungrateful. Most importantly, I wasn't alone.
Elizabeth writes this beautiful line, "Sickness thrives in darkness. And though i knew i no longer wanted to suffer alone, I was afraid to speak up because healing was unsure, at least my pain was familiar."
This struck a chord with me because it's exactly right. "Sickness thrives in darkness." When we keep these unhealthy thoughts to ourselves, the sickness gets worse. Bringing our deepest emotions into the light will start the healing process. We have to speak up. We can't keep these things a secret. And as a loved one on the other end, we have to show compassion and understanding that sometimes there is no answer, only steps to wellness. Thank you Elizabeth for such a lovely, honest, beautifully-written post! Your search for wellness is helping so many others to confront their fears, emotions, and sicknesses; share them with others; and start their journey to a healthy life.
This is just a reminder to me not to make judgements or assumptions about people, strangers or those close to you. for those who seem to have it all may be fighting an internal battle of their own.