a drop of my heart.

Yes, this is mainly a fashion blog. I typically post things like travel stories, DIY projects, and outfits of the day. Those are aspects that make up part of me, but that is not all of me. Here is a little more about me, a little deeper and a lot more vulnerable than I normally go. What I ask is that you respect and value this aspect of my life that I am going to share with you. Thank you all for giving me this space to write over the past several years and for making this little space feel so much like home for me. ~Olivia

I started my sophomore year of college on August 24th, 2015. That also began the start of a new chapter of positivity and intentional growth. All of my life, for as long as I can remember, I have been the most cheerful, happy person ever. Anyone who knows me personally knows that I easily get along with everyone and I’m forever smiling or laughing about something.

Things started to change though, towards the beginning of this past May. I started feeling unexplainably sad…most of the time.

I would lay in bed for hours during the day, for no particular reason. I cried myself to sleep almost every night this summer. Never did I want to give what I was feeling a title or a name, because I didn’t want to be thought of as weird for having an issue. I didn’t want to feel powerless and like I didn’t have everything under control. I couldn’t explain this hole in my heart that seemed to be there for no reason at all. It just wouldn’t go away.

But I didn’t have anything under control.

I didn’t want to ever say it, much less allow myself to think it. I had depression. The thought alone was enough to send me into a downward spiral of sadness, as I questioned how in the world I had gotten to this place. It felt like the waves of life were constantly crashing against me, trying to push me farther and farther away from anything that would bring me joy.

I can honestly say that I have no idea what brought about this slump in my life. Several events occurred this summer that definitely perpetuated it, but I have yet to pinpoint the cause of its beginning. While I will confidently tell you that suicide has never been an option for me or a place that I have been in, I do realize that countless others struggling with depression have been in that very place before, and I want to do everything in my power to help anyone and everyone who feels powerless in their situation.

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So, several weeks ago, on Worldwide Suicide Prevention day, my newsfeeds across all forms of social media were flooded with stories.

Stories of my friends who, beneath their smiling face just like mine, were battling depression in some form. It was then, a flood of emotions hit me hard. The fact that I no longer felt so alone with my feelings was honestly such a game-changer. It had before felt like, since everyone knew me as the happy-go-lucky, always-smiling Olivia, no one would no how to respond or how to react if I ever felt brave enough to share where I truly was at.

As I was scrolling through Instagram a few weeks ago, I kept seeing the same picture from the Givenchy runway show. It was a lighted marquee that simply said “I believe in the power of love”. This meant so much to me. love. Yes, love. As cliche as it is, love is the answer. I have felt an overpowering amount of love from the few people who I have told my story to.

It is scary. It takes a heck of a lot of courage.

But…when you tell your story to a few important people in your life who you trust oh-so-much, it will be so overwhelmingly freeing. Those people are the ones who cherish and value you, and always will want the best for you, no matter what. When you go to them with your heart and give that to them, it will absolutely change everything and make you feel so free. My girl Brené Brown had some pretty good stuff to say about this too. She said,

“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.”

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I have been writing this story for days, even weeks now. Scared and intimidated to even read my own words in front of me as I typed them out.

I wanted to share this, my doubts and fears and weaknesses, because I normally share all the good, fun things with you. Those things are part of me, yes, but it doesn’t make up all of me. I want to share with you my real self and be as open and vulnerable as possible.

However, lately I have felt God giving me a push into a new season with the reassurance that no matter how I feel, He is coming right alongside me. I am choosing to walk in acceptance of myself and despite there still being a whole lot of confusion as to what’s going on with me, I know that it’s also not my job to have to understand everything. He’s got it all figured out.