When we talk about bloggers we love, often the tone is light-hearted and inspirational. We specifically focus on those blogs and bloggers who openly provide a burst of inspiration in their work. It is important that we offer those suffering from depression a ray of hope, a bit of understanding, and (hopefully) a dose of light-heartedness and humor. Daisies And Bruises is just a little bit different.
Daisies and Bruises takes on depression
Part of why we love this blog about Erin’s struggle is that it remains so raw and so real, even many years after her diagnosis. Of course she has moments of triumph and joy, but her honesty in the face of the sometimes life-and-death struggle with major depression is why Daisies And Bruises is a blogger we love.
Erin admits that she has been depressed for as long as she can remember, but at 16, after receiving a diagnosis of major depression, she fell hard and deep into the pit.
In her words:
“I self-injured on a daily basis, pushed all of my friends away, and was hospitalized again and again. Life was a living hell. I stayed behind a year at school and watched what acquaintances I had left go off into their dream schools and dream lives. I decided I was far too broken to ever succeed and upon graduating high school I went into my bedroom and shut the door. For the next five years or so I would only leave the house to go to therapy…
Between the ages of 16 and 25 I was hospitalized too many times to count. I tried to kill myself many times, received many stitches, I starved myself and tried to hate myself out of being depressed. I felt like I had no reason to be depressed, I just had a lack of willpower. I just couldn’t handle life.”
Daisies and Bruises covers depression treatment
Erin’s feelings of self-loathing and lack of desire to live finally shifted. Although she doesn’t have a clear understanding of exactly when or how, she credits her work with Mind Your Mind for much of her continued recovery.
Art therapy also played a big part of helping her get on the path of recovery, which she freely admits is still rocky and uncertain. Erin creates collages with text and pictures that have been featured in magazines and on book covers.
Daisies and Bruises has received numerous awards, including a top depression blog of 2014 for Healthline and third place in the 2013 Canadian Weblog Awards.
Daisies and Bruises touches on chronic pain and depression
In her most recent blog, Erin talks about her decision to stop taking antidepressants in the hope that her daily migraines will stop. Chronic pain and depression often go hand-in-hand, and Erin’s struggle with both, including the difficult decision to sacrifice treatment for one to help the other, may be a familiar story for some readers. Noting that she has had a migraine every day for a year, Erin still struggles with her decision, worried that thoughts of suicide may overtake her as she decreases her dosage:
“With lessened migraines I might be able to “function” better. As in, stand up and turn on my lights and listen to music. Call a friend. Walk my dog. Do something without an ice pack on my head.
On this lower dosage, the world is literally darker to me. I definitely feel my mood going downward. Yesterday I started crying on the bus but I didn’t care. I walked home just letting the tears flow out of me as if I were alone. That doesn’t feel like the real me. It feels like the super depressed me.”
Daisies and Bruises provides resources for other patients
Choosing Daisies and Bruises as a blogger we love may seem like an unusual choice, but hers is a voice that is shared by so many who suffer from major depression. For family and friends of depressed people, Erin’s blog is a raw, real look into what a depressed person experiences. Making the choice between physical pain and emotional pain is not something that most people can understand, but some with depression make these choices daily.
Making these choices public is part of the blog, but the other part is located under the “Help” tab. Erin has listed emergency numbers and hotlines across the globe, plus resources especially for kids, domestic abuse victims, and those struggling with alcohol and drug abuse. She has numbers for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, transsexual, questioning) people (who are at higher risk of self-harm than the general population) as well as resources for parents and self-injury support.
Even as she offers these invaluable resources, Erin freely admits that her work in recovery is far from over.
The mission of Daisies and Bruises is simple. Again, in Erin’s words:
“I want to help fill in the gaps in our broken mental health system. Maybe I can share with you what took me too long to learn. Maybe you will make the same mistakes as me or maybe you won’t.
Fighting depression is a constant battle but there IS hope. That fact that I am here today writing this proves that there is another side to the darkness. Even if you can’t see it now. I’m not out of the woods yet but I’m really getting there. Read along, learn from my experiences, share yours with me and together we can make it through.”
Erin of Daisies and Bruises is still coming out of the dark; does her struggle with depression resonate with you?