It’s All Around You


I was having a conversation with my neighbor the other day about Kate Spade….yes….you probably know by now what we were talking about.

We actually talked about it the other day. How did she manage to do that without anybody in the house noticing? Why did she feel like that was her only way out? She had access to every possible treatment, therapy, help she could imagine. WHY??

Alas, there were children around and so the conversation was brief.

Then I woke up to a CNN report this morning of another celebrity suicide.
I mentioned to my neighbor that I sort of understand how it happened….or why…

I told her that they are rich and they seemingly have everything they could ever want and are living their dreams. They don’t have to work hard anymore if they ddon’t want to and they can, quite literally, do whatever they please. So how can they possibly be depressed? How can they expose that deepest part of themselves that the world at large surely would not understand?

And so they don’t.

And so here we are.

I realized I needed to say something…to put something out in the world.

The taboo of mental illness is not gone.

These people, they hid and burrried and likely didn’t realize how far out on a limb they were.

I read a quote today posted by a friend about how suicide comes to pass.

Essentially….it is the lesser of two evils. If given the choice of being burned alive by a burning building while you’re stranded on a high floor or jumping, you choose to jump because at least then you have the hope of being caught. If you just stay there, there is no hope…no rescue…only imminent doom. Only the most miserable path forward. And So…you jump to prevent something worse than you’re already enduring.

So why did I need to join the conversation? Why do I feel like I need to say something. Certainly I am not rich. I do not have a world renowned career/product/show/resume.

But I do deal with Depression in my life. I hide behind a smile entirely too often because…well…I. Don’t always want to share or deal with it. I don’t want a disease to be me. I want to be me fighting a disease.

I have sought treatment. I have tried a variety. I have tried medication. I have tried natural remedies.

While I was detoxing from a medication last summmer, I found myself figuratively standing on that burning window ledge. Too many times. Instead of jumping, I tried to burn myself alive….figureatively of course.

I am entirely thankful didn’t succeed.

So last night, I took some photos in a skirt I made.

I have been extra stressed lately…not the most joyful.

But nobody wants to see that and it certainly doesn’t sell anything. So I do my job, do what I signed up for because I love the people I work with and for.

I smile. I pretend. I spent too much time waiting tables and working face to face customer service. I have nailed the “your life stays off the sales floor” mindset.

So I post the pictures everywhere because I love the fabric I was using and I was excited about a new pattern. I don’t hate what I do. I Love it. I just am not always happy.

I mean….nobody is….but some days are extra blah and hard to get through. My emotions can get erratic.

But I love what I do.

And so I smile. I pretend like I’m having the time of my life….because I should be…and because despite the chemical tornado my brain sometimes is….I truly am. I am living a dream I didn’t even know was my dream because I wasn’t allowed (by my culture not my parents) to think that far outside the box.

And then people comment and tell me how full of life and joy I am and as much as I appreciate those uplifting comments, the depression gnome in my head says “how can they possibly know that from the fraction of a second snap shot on your front yard?”

So, I present to you….

The face of depression


I am OK. I am not in the window of a burning building anymore.

But know I am not the only one.

Be aware. Care. Ask real questions. Want to know about the people you spend your time with (virtually or otherwise). Be involved.

I need to be better about this also.


If the last week as taught us anything, it’s that we all do.


About arosephoto

I am a budding portrait photographer who spent the last 7 years as a photographer and journalist in the Marine Corps. I have always wanted to be a successful photographer outside of the Marine Corps, so I am giving it a go!

5 responses »

  1. Oh my goodness. Woke to this in my inbox this morning. Many paragraphs could have been written by me! It’s easy to believe that you are the only person in the world living in with the demon, Depression. I know I am not possessed by a demon. But Depression is like a demon. It gets in my head and tells me lies. It tries to distort my reality. And sometimes it succeeds. But much of the time it doesn’t. It is almost a daily battle to see the truth. To see all the blessings in my life. To know that there are people in my life that love me and care about me. The demon tries to convince you otherwise. There are days I live in a dark shadow with my demon. But thank God there are many days that I don’t. The demon convinces you that no one cares, so why bother reaching out to anyone? You see, I like to think of my Depression as a creature – something apart from me. I don’t want it to be a permanent resident. Even though it has been with me for over 50 years. But I hope someday the demon moves on.

    Keep doing what you do, Kelli! My demon doesn’t like you! But I do! Because posts like this one remind me that he is there. And realizing he is there, is the way I can push him away some days.

  2. You are an inspiration.

    Depression in one of my daughters and her planned pregnancy while on meds has me a little worried. She is under the care of doctors as is the baby. My daughter’s depression started in 3rd grade. We know she has an imbalance in her system. She was an adult before she took meds.

    We all need support. I’m sad that both celebrities committed suicide. Both gifted all of us with their amazing talents as do you with your joy and smiles. My mother also hid things of the mind and heart behind smiles and graciousness.

    • My mother did the same. I think the best thing she did for my sister and I is tell us her story. She almost left when we were two and three because she felt so buried. She had a note written. She has shared more and more over the years and it has inspired me to continue to share and be as honest and I can ❤️

      I will be praying for your daughter and her baby and your peace of mind!

  3. Thanks so much Kelly for writing this! I am living with postpartum depression and anxiety and I am doing The Climb Out of the Darkness walk in a couple of weeks as a way to spread awareness, to destigmatize, and to let others see that there is help out there and it is worth it to seek the help! All too often everyone thinks every mom after the birth of a baby should be so happy and full of life and in reality it is not that way (up to 14 % of the time or more). I am still fighting most days but I am under the care of my family and many doctors and most importantly God! I am learning for look for the joy in the day and my gratitude rather than the darkness and sadness. Keep fighting Kelly! You are worth it – for YOU, for your kind soul, for your family, for this world! You are enough just as you are and you are needed here just as you are and you are wonderful! (I would bold this if I could!!!!!) I was saved from my attempt and am thankful beyond belief to just be here everyday to be a mom and wife. And while I still have to “climb out of the darkness” and still face it daily, I just go back to the thankfulness I have to be here and the fact that I am enough and needed just as I am! I am hesitant to post this, but then I would not be helping to destigmatize mental illness and postpartum mood and anxiety disorders and depression.

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