I read a comment on Instagram in response to Kate Spade’s suicide that said, “How could someone who made so many people so happy be so sad?” The comment didn’t sit quite right with me, so I read it to a friend who was with me. She quickly said something like, it’s easy and not surprising. And that’s when it hit me, it really is not surprising that someone could be sad regardless of how happy she seemed.
I have personally stood in the dark places of life that feel hopeless. I have suffered with depression. There were times when I thought my pain would swallow me whole. I thought that if I really went there in dealing with my pain that I might never come out of it, so I would run from it, numb it, or get busy. Not surprisingly, I didn’t really talk to anyone else about it. I carried shame with not being able to just snap out of it because (you know what’s coming) “look at how blessed you are.” It’s true, I was and still am tremendously blessed, but that didn’t take away the pain. Frankly, it just made me feel more ashamed for not being happy all the time.
I tell you all of this for a reason- it is not surprising to me at all that someone who made so many people so happy was so sad. It’s not surprising that people are sad, because life is hard. It’s not surprising that a lot of people who look happy are not. Don’t believe that lie. That lie is what takes us down. The shame that says everyone else is happy… just look at their Instagram, what’s wrong with me? I’m so alone. Don’t believe it. I wrote and posted a countless number of pretty posts with pretty clothes in pretty scenes with happy, beautiful words, and I WAS SAD. If you find yourself in one of these places, please know that you are not alone. Don’t shame yourself for being sad. Don’t tell yourself you should be happy. For whatever reason, you are in a dark spot, but there is hope.
There are times when I still have dark days, but it’s not every day (Amen!). And on my sad days, I still have to tell myself that it’s ok to not be happy every day. I refuse to believe that lie. I refuse to be ashamed. Instead, I pray and cling to God’s promises of hope and joy. I sit in my chair and read about His love for me. I seek help from my counselor, or I call a friend. I believe if we all could talk about our hard times, we could bring healing to so many. Giving voice to my pain helped me step out of the dark and into the light.
I shared this on my Instastories this morning…
This is from one of my favorite books, The Rest of the Gospel.
Marcia Smart says
Beautiful writing and all so true…
Your transparency is courageous and makes us love you all the more. Hoping that the happy days far outweigh the sad and that God continues to bless you and your family. xoxo
GILLAN HAMPTON says
Carly- I love this post. You’re brave and inspiring. Thanks for sharing your life and what’s helped you to move forward even when you’re sad or just plain hurting. We all need some help sometimes.
Carolyn Anderson says
What a light you are Carly! So brave and inspiring. It makes me think of that quote “Be Kind, for everyone you meet is facing a great battle.” Your raw honesty is a gift to us all. ❤️
Brandie Holmes says
Very inspirational and what so many need to hear!!
I was talking to my husband about this the other day. I think sometimes that “having it all” adds another layer to the depression. Like I’m selfish for being depressed when there are people suffering out there.
I think of a parent that has a child that died, a person that has been diagnosed with cancer, or the many other atrocities out in the world.
I have “everything”. I “should” be happy. I don’t work 3 jobs to make ends meet or tend to a dying loved one. It’s like my depression is selfish and “for no good reason” and that only adds to the shame and guilt. Thanks for the great post!
So many hard days in my life right now. I have searched for God, I’ve begged Him to grant me faith so that I could know there was a reason for all of this, and yet, I have never found Him. I’ve never felt Him. I don’t know how to believe and have faith.
Thank you for your post today.
Carly Lee says
Mary, Thank you for sharing. I have so been in your spot. I have felt your exact same feelings. I have asked for increased faith, too. I still do. It’s one of my daily prayers. You’re not alone. Don’t give up. HE IS there! You may not feel it, but HE IS working. As was once told to me, “feelings are real but they are not reliable.” Someone also told me, “Cling to Him.” Don’t give up. Cling to the promises He has made to his children, “we are saints, we are chosen by God, holy and dearly loved, we are firmly rooted and built up in Christ, we are born of God, and the evil one cannot touch me (us), we are children of the light”…. Ask for prayers from your trusted, wise friends. Don’t be like me and go it alone. People want to pray for you. I’ll be praying for you.
Mary- I usually do not post on these things….but- I really feel like I understand – it’s seems hard to ‘feel’ Him – andcwhen so many talk about their wonderful feeling moments it makes me feel even more defective when I can’t … God is always here with us – even if we don’t have the warm and fuzzy experience. Look at a gorgeous sunset or new baby and just meditate (I know sounds hokey)- breathe and be quiet. We are all so busy and occupied. Maybe you will have a moment of truth-keep believing and asking for HIS spirit to come and be with you. I know it’s so hard so many days – life is full of ugly, unfair and hurtful moments. God is love and we all need to show and be real with each other. Help each other – and let others help us! Keep trying – come join me at 5:30 Harvest Svc at Woodlands Methodist church Sunday. Sometimes that’s the only place I can feel Him with me. Do not give up – God won’t give up on you for sure! Thank you Carly- for being brave and starting hard conversations:)
Mary ~ I’m so sorry for the sadness and hopelessness you are feeling. You are not alone. I’m praying for your right now ~ that you feel a flood of peace and that you feel completely surrounded by God’s presence, love and care. God still works for us, even in the absence of our faith.
Hannah Pang says
Carly, I love your blog in so many ways. Your fashion sense is easy, accessible and lovely. I also enjoy the variety of topics that you cover, for example, the delicious cookie recipe our family devoured. Your writing is fun, honest and full of life. This is definitely my “go to” place for inspiration. The most beautiful part is how Christ is working through you to be a testimony of hope. Thank you for doing this for us.
This is not only powerful but I think it is going to help someone. It makes us all feel less alone. I got chills and then tears when you said “I’ve posted pretty things AND BEEN SAD.” You said it ~ life IS hard. For everyone. But everyone believes they have to pretend it’s not. But I promise, if you spent 15 minutes talking to each reader, you would find a terrible burden. Same for everyone. I carry a few myself and have had those dark days. I am amazed at your transparency ~ but more encouraged by your heart.
Truly love that you tackle this topic and the best white jeans for summer, in the same blog. You are a good Carly. Thanks for sharing your struggles here. I think your honest words on mental health and body self-consciousness are making a difference in more ways than you’ll ever know.
Bravo, Carly. That was powerful.
I initially followed you for your fashion tips, but posts like these are why I love your blog. Thank you for being so transparent and honest—I pray your good days are much higher in number than the bad ones, just as I do for myself!
What a beautiful message Carly! Your style is fabulous, and you have such a strong, clear voice. Thank you for sharing your journey! It is also so inspiring and comforting to read the warm comments, and to see women lift each other up and shoulder some of the burden together. Hugs to you all and to this place.
Love your testimony – your inner beauty is shining as bright as your outer beauty! It is so obvious to see how God is working in your life and through you to be a blessing and source of hope to others.