Taking Joy in the Breaks from the Pain

ErinUncategorized56 Comments

pineconeThese past few weeks have been hell. I cheated on my therapist by seeing another, ran smack into my childhood traumas and just about broke. I turned into this ball of incredible shame and guilt and anger. My migraines took over and I cried to my neurologist about wanting to die the pain is so bad.

I also found the world’s cutest pine cone on the sidewalk by my house. I brought it inside and it flowered open in the warmth of my apartment. I saved it to show you. It’s so beautiful it makes the pain not overwhelm me as much.

I think about you so often but I feel so many negative and difficult feelings I feel like I should protect you from them. My pessimism overwhelms me. I feel like I’m nothing but sharp edges and hurt and suffering.

Therapy is so hard. Working through your emotions is SO HARD. Surviving traumatic memories is so hard. The physical pain that accompanies therapeutic work is staggeringly hard.

Maybe you can relate to my stress of wanting the difficulties to be over so I can get on with my life. I’m at an age where a lot of the people I grew up with are now married and having children. I look at photos of their lives, their accomplishments, their happiness, and I get so bitter. I withdraw from people who have a life that looks like I want mine to look like, instead of celebrating with them in their joys.

I would love to just be happy with where I’m at. I have small joys like the pine cone, and I have big joys like the people and animals in my life. I have a dog who I’ve always thought is quite silly and then I caught him reading the same book I took out from the library on finding purpose in your life. He looked so ashamed! I am so proud of him.

My parents and I visited my sister. We went to an art gallery in Waterloo and got bubble tea and it was the loveliest day I’ve had in so long.

The emotional and physical pain that I feel overwhelm me until I don’t want to live anymore, but I do live. I do. Spring is on its way. Look how far we have come. Our lives may not look like we think they “should” but fuck should. Seriously, FUCK SHOULD.

This pain won’t last forever. We get breaks from it. The breaks are so important. Let’s give them the joy they deserve, and remember them when we struggle.

I’m so thankful to have you on this journey with me. This messy, painful, beautiful journey.

We may be miles and miles apart, with separate lives and separate struggles, and I don’t have much energy beyond what it takes to survive and take care of myself, but my heart holds your hands when you’re in your darkest moments. Just as your heart holds my hands.

I love you. Never forget how much we matter.


P.S. WordPress formatting is kicking my butt. I’m in too much pain to figure it out. Rawr!

ErinTaking Joy in the Breaks from the Pain

56 Comments on “Taking Joy in the Breaks from the Pain”

  1. Lilith

    I just found your website and I have truly appreciated reading your posts. Thank you so much for your honesty! I just turned 31 yesterday. Turning 30 was rough, but turning 31 was awful. I feel like my life has come to a complete standstill, mired in the swamp of depression. It is hard not to make comparisons at this age and the contrasts can be quite stark!

    I really liked this hopeful little quote and thought it might resonate with you as well:

    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/56/1e/fa/561efa04fe91f24d96b5baa02e8de664.jpg :)

  2. Morvinia

    I just found your blog. Your what do you call it. I’ll call it your ” web address” called to me. I’ve just googles depressed blogs. I’m only 17 but I really like your blog. I skimmed over it and I’ve been lifted in spirit but a format before. But… That’s what happened. So thank you for that feeling.
    In this moment I don’t feel so alone anymore

  3. Anna

    I am a stranger to you but I feel your pain. I will keep you in my prayers because I want you to feel better. May you have many more better days an keep being blessed by the small things in life, like you lucky pine cone. Your friend always.

  4. Juli

    Erin it is so good to hear from you again. I’m sorry that guilt and shame have been causing emotional and physical pain. I find it difficult to see classmates graduating, marrying, and having children on social media. I feel so far behind, but I try not to compare my life to others as much anymore. I’m not sure if you are spiritual or believe in a higher power… but I believe those things will happen if they are meant to. Our journeys are beautiful and happen for a reason. Although those reasons are not known to us, I believe it is so that we can touch the lives of others in community. And Erin your blog has touched so many lives. Your struggle makes me feel less alone and I can relate to how you are feeling. Praying that you will be freed from the guilt/shame and being those things into the light. Harboring them inside only gives them more power.

  5. Isabelle

    Hi Erin,

    Thank you for putting into words something that I have been feeling so alone in experiencing. Please feel free to ignore the rest of this message, it’s my selfish need to write it down and leave it somewhere to be found. My main message is to thank you, and to hope that your moments of peace become more frequent and more beautiful with time.

    I have bipolar, and I’m really struggling to cope with a university work load. I too experienced childhood trauma. I recently started seeing a psychologist, and I am now having to deal with these confusing memories of someone who is supposed to love and protect me, someone still in my life, finding satisfaction and amusement in causing me intense fear and pain. It is exactly as you described, Erin, because you describe things so eloquently; it is painful. It is painful because I have had a four year dream in the form of a four year degree for as long as I can remember, and I can see it slipping away from me as others gather speed toward their goals, because it takes me until noon to get out of bed and clean myself up, and then as I face what remains of the day I start to feel the familiar confusion and panic and I can’t think clearly anymore. I’m so afraid. I long for my friend, the only person apart from my therapist to know about this, to ask me to stay the night, so that I can fall asleep on her couch and just exist in her space to feel safe; not taking up much room, speaking or intruding. Is anyone out there reading this who can relate? I am desperate to break this wall of silence.

    1. Yan

      Hello Isabelle,
      I just read your comment and wanted to let you know that you are not alone. I am so thankful for what you wrote. I just started to study again, after I failed at the Uni I felt into depression which got stronger with time. I did fight hard to start something new, something which brings me joy in my life. But now again I am having these feelings of guilt. I dont want to spend time too much with my studies but prefer rather to sleep. Every day becomes a battle with me trying to appreciate what I got but feeling nothing actually. I get you when you say you feel like you are falling behind. I have the same feeling. And I can actually watch myself making decisions which are destroying my studies and my work. I can see myself doing it all by myself. Guilt is my best friend.
      Hugs, Yan.

  6. Declan

    Thanks Erin. So nice to hear your dog is reflecting on the meaning of life and you noticing the small but beautiful things around us. Stay strong as best you can. You matter to so many.

  7. fay

    Girrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrllllllllllllllllllllllllll you are a fucking writer !!!!!

    that is your life purpose. Man your insight and ability to describe what its like to feel sad is incredible.

    Just wanted to say people married with kids don’t have it all. You know why because I am one of em. Its more pressure more disappointment and more sadness when you cant make those around you happy because you cant get over your grief and trauma and be a good mum wife friend all of that shit… You never know what is behind a person who is posting constantly happy shiny fake pics. for me its obvious

    Facebook is bunch of fake fukers trying to paint a picture that just don’t exist. Best thing I ever did was get off it.

    I am sorry it hurts so much.

    I have been there. May your load be lifted….

    May God,the Universe or whatever you believe make it a bit easier for you….

    best wishes and keep writing

  8. fay

    Gosh Isabelle you are a beautiful writer too. Don’t give up. You are not alone. I will read you anytime. Get help its an illness my dear. There is light at the end of the tunnel. took me triple the time to finish my studies but I did and so what ? Perfection is the enemy of good. You only need to do the best you can. Who gives a shit about anyone else? Have they walked in your shoes for you to factually compare them with you.

    Best wishes

  9. Lizanne Corbit

    Thank you for sharing this!! You are absolutely right. Therapy and working through past issues, and memories of traumas is incredibly difficult. Give yourself a huge pat on the back just for showing up to face those things head on, because that is no easy task. Many people don’t realize the incredible strength and courage it takes to actual work through these things rather than just letting them take over. Your journey is an inspiration to so many. Take strength and comfort in that, but always remember, to be gentle with yourself. It’s a process.

  10. Bob Waterhouse

    Hi Erin and friends on line….I am a 57 year old male getting through my third episode of major depression. First one was at age 42….was hospitalized in Hamilton at St. Joes. …thankfully I have a great psychiatrist…..and therapist. ..and most importantly wife and 2 sons to pick me up. Your insight and courage is readily apparent Erin….if taking life one hour at a time is what works then keep at it. I’m on the day by day program myself.

  11. Lexie

    Hey Erin… many months ago, I found your blog and a sense of purpose. I just wanted to reach out to you to thank you for being so brave and sharing your story. You’ve inspired me to do the same and even start a line of workbooks/products as a part of my own therapy routine. Without you and Daisies&Bruises, I may never have even tried. So thank you, thank you, thank you! <3

  12. In Your Corner Kc

    It’s always treat to visit your website. I love your every single article that you post into your website. This one is really motivating post and it will definitely help one to fight against stress, un-comfort, pain, and depression.

  13. Jeff

    I understand your pain. I don’t understand exactly how you feel because each of our journeys are different. In some way I hope my comment helps us both. Some parts of some days are ok, then the cloud returns and I have to put on my happy face. I think I should be happy. I have good work. I just bought myself a new car. I have many friends, but the pain always returns. Maybe one day I will find the help I need, but for now I’ll keep going through this struggle. I pray for all people who suffer. I pray that I will find lasting relief from this hell. Thank you for your courage to share your life with us.

  14. Mary

    I love your magnificent pine cone. The tinyest treasures can sometimes hold off (at least for a bit,) the darkest pain. And to Isabelle– your words have been found, and Morvinia– you are not alone.

    As for missing the life others seem to have– Anne LaMott (a Great Writer) says “Don’t judge your insides by other people’s outsides.” Social media lets us convince ourselves we alone are behind, without, and/or the only ones hurting as we swallow the false realities created by a culture founded on narcissism and display.

    Whenever an NFL sports broadcaster says “Now that’s courage!” about an athlete paid millions of dollars to play a game he loves I want to throw my shoe at the TV! REAL COURAGE is saying I will face and fight depression every day of my life. I will live with the sadness, pain, isolation, and self doubt. And I will not give up. Knowing that darkness awaits me in days to come, I will treasure my tiny piece of light, be it a pine cone, a friend’s kindness, or a sunset, and that will sustain me when depression’s ugly beast asserts it’s omnipresence once again. That is REAL COURAGE, and what you Erin, and all the people who come to this blog do every day of your lives. So feel proud and strong and know that you are not alone. ❤❤❤

  15. Blerina

    I’m glad you’ve come so far with everything you’ve been through. You’re so tough. Thanks for being alive and not giving up on your family or anyone else especially yourself

  16. Natalie

    I just found you, and I am so thankful. So incredibly thankful. More than you could ever know; or possibly you know exactly, if you’ve ever been so helped by some random discovery like I just was. Thank you. Keep going. All my love. xxx


    It’s always treat to visit your website. I love your every single article that you post into your website. This one is really motivating post and it will definitely help one to fight against stress, un-comfort, pain, and depression.

  18. Diana

    Dear Erin,

    I’ve lived with Depression/Anxiety for 18 years. I’m 30. Last month I was in a psych ward for 2 weeks. I’m recovering now, and I started writing a blog. It’s kind of just for me right now, I’ve only shared the link with two people so far, but I’m posting it below. Writing is pretty amazing and I hope to get better at it. But what I really want is to meet more people like me and share ideas. Today I started looking for blogs on Depression. I found yours listed on Healthline.com. I’ve devoured your posts. I’m sure I’m going to read all of your past and future ones. I don’t know why I never thought of seeking other people with the same struggles, why I thought I had to bear this alone and hide it. Thanks for writing. Much love.

    1. Mary

      Dina- I am so glad you found Erin’s blog and are writing your own. Understanding you are not alone is so empowering. Sadly millions struggle each day in silent pain. Finding your voice in your writing can be what helps you make it through. Stay strong & always believe in yourself 😊💚


      1. Diana

        Hey, Mary, I never saw this reply! I’m definitely new to the blogging sphere : ) learning the works. Thanks for your words of encouragement! I stopped by again today for inspiration, for life and writing. Are you a fellow sufferer of depression if you don’t mind me asking? Love, Diana

        1. Maryellen Donnellan

          Hi Diana,
          I am lucky as I’m not someone who has had to battle depression my whole life. I have some chronic health issues, and experienced “secondary depression” (depression triggered by and/or relating to a specific life event– illness, death of loved one etc) about 25 years ago. It was ABSOLUTELY the hardest year of my life: the crippling despair, the pain, simple life tasks becoming impossible. My mind was always what got me through chronic illness, and then my mind deserted me. I found an awesome doctor (after trying two that weren’t), and with medication and therapy found my way back. But my walk with depression all those years ago made me understand it, and I am humbled by the courage people who battle this most intense and all encompassing pain go through each day to survive. I found this blog by accident, but am so glad this community of caring can give love and support to those in pain. Depression wins when you feel alone, and that no one cares. I will always care Diana, stay strong❤️😊

  19. Margarita

    I know it’s been a while since you posted, so I’m sorry for the late comment. I hope you’ve had more breaks since. You’re a lovely person and deserve so much better than the pain you’ve been through.

  20. Alex

    Hi Erin,

    I don’t know you but I’ve been going thru emotional and psychological distress that I’ve never experienced. I recently got preganant and sadly I lost the baby at 5 weeks and that created an emotional imbalance that I felt guilty immediately about my past. I am married and I felt so bad with my husband for all my past faults. Faults that he says I should no longer dwell on but for some reason i wanted to keep feeling guilty. There were times that I was driving and just wanted to close my eyes and never open them again. I started doubting my whole life and the love for my husband. My mind kept finding evidence to make me feel miserable. I started questioning everything about my life since my childhood to my marriage and I’ve been on this loop of twisted thinking. My husband is so amazing and sometimes I feel so undeserved. I started fearing change, what if I don’t love him, why am I going thru all this. I had a panic attack because my mind was telling me all these negative things that I completely broke down and I thought I was dead. It was the most horrible experience. I wished very bad stuff upon me. I am getting better but anxiety roams back in sometimes and the twisted thinking. I want to be happy again and I want my life back but not the bad stuff. I am slowly getting there with the help of my husband, my family and God. He has helped me so much. I came across your blog and thought I could share some of what I am going thru. Thank you for sharing. God is with us at all times. Sometimes we feel he is not but he loves us. I read psalms and it helps ease the pain and guilt. God bless you. :)

  21. Jitin

    I live with, what people say, pessimism. It is a point around which my life revolves and not just a state. I don’t know if your life is same as mine, since I feel that people somehow feel compelled to say positive things in order to feel accepted by General population and by oneself. Ofcourse I then know what self hatred is like and what kind of hate it is which reminds me Fernando Vera dialogue in Mr. Robot. My eyes dropping, my body paining and my mouth sighing. All follow the life anchored at misery, not just in the external sense which won’t be able to explain the sadness in situations where people would expect you to feel happy. I know one thing as well. It also gives you a connection to the depth which, if possible, you can pursue in professional line. The only one obstruction in life is then the inability to come out of cage, since the world is mired in hate and anger and which threatens everyday with imposing on one’s own bodily state. I dream of the possiblity where I could just site inside room and write, if possible or just read. But then the finance is the point where everything fails and destruction has its mouth agape, inviting you to enter into blissfulness of stillness. Take care.

  22. BPM

    You were right. Your past posts have helped someone in the meantime. I found my soul in your words & that’s a gift I cannot repay. Sending you love & hope.

  23. Kathy

    Just stumbled upon here, lured in by your fantastic blog name… Daises and Bruises… Love it and I love your writing! I’ve been trying to process my own past pain and shame but can’t even find a decent therapist to get that far. But you are right though. Life is rough. Grab unto those little things when you can…I always said, take time to appreciate the little things because sometimes the little things are all you’ve got. Stay safe. {{{Hugs}}}

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  27. Revive Live Thrive

    First of all, I hope you continue to post. I only say that because it’s been a few months since your last article. I searched for depression blogs and found yours, and I really enjoyed it.

    I’m so sorry you’re going through so much pain, but I love how you also focus on the joy in your life. The beauty you found in that pine cone is really touching. I’m also curious how your dog managed to read that book. Did he open it up?

    I’m close to you in age, and I’m starting a different type of blog on depression. I’m focusing on steps we can take to overcome it. I admit that maybe not all of us can, at least fully. I hope you or your readers will take a look to see what it’s about, and tell me how they feel about it: ReviveLiveThrive.com/About

    Thank you so much for writing, and please don’t stop.

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