Life Behind the Mask

Everyone knows Pin Up Persuasion is centered around fabulous vintage inspired fashion and the “pinup” lifestyle but occasionally we switch gears to talk about the hard stuff as well. It is no secret that 2016 was one of the toughest years of my life battling severe health issues, making major life changes and I struggled…I struggled HARD! This is not easy to admit as I am a very proud person but we must acknowledge when we need help and support of those around us. A few months ago, I honestly had no idea if Pin Up Persuasion would see its 5th Anniversary. I was in a dark place, not able to find the spirit in me to continue on with the one thing that has brought me so much joy over the years. It pained me terribly but I just could not bring myself to write, let alone genuinely smile in front of the camera. The blog was quieter than it has ever been but I made it a personal mission to not abandon my readers as this was not something I was prepared to do.

My husband asked me one day “have you lost interest in your passions?” referring to loving vintage clothing and blogging. I knew the answer was wholeheartedly HELL NO! But his outside observation made me realize I had lost a part of myself along the way. The last few months I have felt like a shell of myself just going through the motions of life, not knowing where I would end up. It felt like a black hole of a funk that was never ending; putting on a little makeup and nice clothes for work was a struggle most days. At no time would I ever be seen in public wearing jogging pants or looking like a slob but I had become that person. Maybe that sounds overly dramatic but my pride and self-confidence had clearly gone astray.

Retail therapy was not exactly helping with the true nature of my depression but it gave me a little pick-me-up to buy something nice at that moment. All my pretties sat dormant in the closet along with the new ones just got tossed in a pile, not even tried on. Still, I hadn’t loss my love of vintage clothing but I retreated from regular social media interactions on most days. I was emotionally, mentally and physically exhausted…the thought of having to get caught up on what happened that day online brought on an overwhelming feeling of anxiety. Seriously I was dumbfounded, what the hell is wrong with me…this was so trivial! This only caused me to retreat further and distance myself from even my close online friends as I didn’t want to burden them with my life problems. It took me a long while to confide in one of my closest friends as I felt this surely sounded so petty to someone else. Thankfully she listened and made me understand that after all that I had been through this past year…anyone would have reached their breaking point. I guess I had never looked at it that way, life finally caught up with me and I crashed landed hard.

Day after day, I went through the motions and kept on the best I could. In early November, I was lucky to go on a trip of a lifetime to Disneyland thanks to my friend Mae and I made sure to enjoy every moment together. We visited with a few old friends and made some new ones as well. You all know how much I love Disney, being in one of the most magical places on earth with one of my closest friends was a dream come true. This vacation came at time that I needed it the most. Being around friends helped change my frame of mind and feel “normal” again…lifting my morale tremendously. Saying goodbye was one of the hardest things though, it would be at least 6 months or more before I would see them again. Distance sucks! Once I returned home, I went back to my old routine with the mindset of pushing through and organizing the blog’s next anniversary giveaway. There was a long while that I doubted that I could muster the energy and time to do so, but I finally realized I wasn’t done with blogging.

Although I was still battling with the funk, I saw a pile of beautiful new clothes that I really wanted to feature on the blog. Ok, this was a good sign right? One Saturday evening I put in some foam rollers before bedtime and planned to do my first blog photoshoot in months the following day. While I prepped outfits, did my makeup and setup the studio downstairs, I was cautiously excited. The first ensemble I had been really looking forward to from my recent purchases and is by far the furthest thing out of my comfort zone…a jumpsuit! The cynic in me was out in full force but I didn’t let that stop me from going in front of the camera, I CAN DO THIS! My husband remarked on how much he liked this outfit and he thought it really looked nice on me (for those of you who don’t know my hubby, he doesn’t shy away in telling me when he dislikes something I wear). After that session, I felt something inside me really light up…I was feeling energized with a massive boost in self-confidence. This overwhelming feeling truly caught me by surprise and for the first time, I shared a bit about my day and struggles with all of you on social media. This was the pivotal moment where I realized I had found my “spirit” again. How cheesy it may sound, it is how I can define the black hole that I had been lost in for so long. You become a shell of yourself battling depression, not knowing when or if you’ll come out on the other side.

Some people may say that I don’t owe anyone an explanation for the last few months but I feel people need to see how life is not perfect behind mask we often wear. So many of us struggle with depression and no one should have to suffer alone. I have poured my heart in soul into Pin Up Persuasion and my readers are some of the most incredible people I tell ya! Whenever you take the time to comment on a blog post or social media, it warms my heart tremendously. It may sound silly but those are the things that helped me push through along with my hubby, friends and family. Thank you all so much for sticking by me these past 5 years and hopefully there will be many more to come! xo



14 thoughts on “Life Behind the Mask

  1. Jessica, I am so glad you are feeling better (physically and mentally), well enough to be able to do the things you love again 🙂 I am looking for more of your posts and reviews in 2017 ❤

  2. Jessica, you are right: you had no need to share this with us, but I salute you for doing so. I can only guess how painful it must be to remember all this while writing your post and I think you’re brave and I think stories like yours are empowering. It let’s people now they’re not alone.

    Thank you and all the love from Germany,


  3. I am very glad you wrote this post, and moreso that you’re getting through the depression. I know how it is to have health problems, and the depression that so closely follows it, and the struggle you have had to not only put the energy into keeping up this blog, but the struggle to have the energy to do things even if you *want* to do them. In my case, it takes a lot of energy to even “dress up,” let alone then going out and doing the few errands I have; most ppl would say I’m not being very smart by “wasting” energy on looking the way I want, but like you, I despise it even more if I go out looking like a slob (most days are spent in my house, in pajamas, as it is). I may not feel well at all, but damnit, I can at least look like I do! It’s difficult, but you aren’t giving up, and that’s important ❤

  4. I’m so glad you are climbing out of that nasty dark black hole. Finding the energy to be yourself is incredibly difficult, my own 6 months (and counting) of health problems have taught me that but it’s okay to slob some days. It makes putting on a new pretty frock and your favourite lippy all the more satisfying on your good days.

  5. Thank you so much for sharing your life with us. I am so glad you have come through the storm. Wishing you all the best life has to offer. You are one classy lady.

  6. Many of us suffer what you describe. I’m glad you found socializing with friends to raise your mood. It does that for me, too. When life loses its joy, we need to look for and find ways to cure that. I hope your enthusiasm for fashion and blogging return.

  7. I can relate. Last year I suffered some health issues that took me away from a lot of things that I enjoy. I’m hoping this year will be better. I hope the same for you.

  8. I relate to where you are at, after my blog tour which darn nearly killed me physically, but emotionally it was a high; then a visit from my online bestie that went better than I thought, giving me a gal pal that liked the same things was so uplifting, but once she left so did my my good spirits….I realized how lonely, tho I like being alone I have been for over 10 years since moving back to California. Since then, my pain levels have been off the charts and I am in a dark hole, hanging on by finger nails. Throw in cutting off all my hair in a buzz cut due to inability to care for hair and a fibro scalp flair, my signature hair gone….I haven’t gotten dressed much, rarely put makeup on…and find no joy only sadness at seeing others that manage to do it daily. I barely get through blogs and YouTube , rarely post photos of myself on Instagram…..anyway long story not so short….I applaud you for sharing and for making baby steps back.

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