This is the Face

I have to be honest: this is the face of depression. 

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Funny how you really wouldn’t be able to tell, yet here I am. It’s one of the most confusing, frustrating, and debilitating things at times. Especially when circumstances feel so out of proportion to reality that you see so clearly and know to be true. At first as an onlooker years ago, I thought it was an issue of not praying enough, being too sensitive, or not being thankful enough. I thought it was: “Well you just gotta get over it and trust God”. But now I see the ignorance of that when this is something you really don’t have control over. 

I have a thriving wedding photography business I’ve worked so hard over the years to build here in Atlanta, the most loving support and people around me. There is so much I am grateful for. But depression leaves your heart feeling so weak and like you’re at war with your thoughts constantly. 

Days look like a lot of self-doubt, loneliness, emotional & mental exhaustion, and a really fragile heart that makes you want to give up & be in heaven.

Enduring isn’t easy, smiling and being bubbly for work isn’t easy for now. But I’m thankful for the genuinely happy and hope filled days that are graciously sprinkled in, like today.

But in the moments that feel so hopeless and lost, it’s a comfort to know that the war has already been won— that it might just take a little longer for me to feel it and see it (John 16). 

I’ve been working hard to give myself the space and time necessary to heal. Being patient in knowing that the body and God heals in their own time, not my own, and learning to say “not my will but yours”. What if God never heals my spirit or my mind? I’m learning to take comfort in that possibility too, because he only allows what’s best to happen FOR me; not TO me. 

I’m learning how to be gentle with myself and taking steps one foot at a time, even if they drag. 

I’ve been going to therapy, learning that sadness is not sin, how I need to honor the work I’ve done, and how resting does not equate to laziness. (God called it good, didn’t he?) I’ve had an incredible team and family who’ve helped keep my business going which I’m so thankful for. 

Thank you for showing me grace as I put on a brave face and learn how to keep showing up in a way that’s different than before. I still have so much love for the people I have the honor of serving and feel privileged I get to be an entrepreneur. Thank you for being on this journey with me and cheering me on when I don’t feel so cheerful. I’ve been shown so much empathy and love that‘s overflowing and humbling and wonderful. Thank you thank you. 😭

Sincerely,

Hannah

If you resonate with this: I want to hug you and beg you to remember how much you matter. How much people love you. That you’re not a burden or a liability. To be kind and gentle to yourself. Rest. Breathe. You’re going to get through this. Please keep fighting. 

Think of seeds in the soil. They push and fight and grow slowly to see the sunlight. They feel pressed in at every side, scrapes, an enormous weight on top and there’s no light. They break through the surface but then the rain comes and beats at every side. But, friends. The sun does come out and it blossoms. 

You will too. 

Hannah Forsberg