Friday, February 14, 2014
A few months ago, Aubrianah and I spent some time on a photo shoot with a Beautiful Girl and her family. Dana is a friend-of-a-friend (or she WAS, now we count her as a friend-first-class!), we didn't know her well but we had both remarked about how much we liked her and how beautiful she is! So we were surprised on the shoot when Dana told us that she doesn't think she is beautiful.
Even though we had kind of let Just the Girls: Real Beauty die out a bit...after all, it was just supposed to be a summer project...Dana's comment inspired us. How could someone so vivacious, so bright, feel that she was not beautiful? We decided that we want to make a new commitment, until we don't hear the "I'm not beautiful!" comments from women! So we made an appointment with Dana to be our very first Beautiful Girl of 2014. We hope she will be the 1st of a 150-Beautiful Girls goal!
During her shoot and interview, we learned some very interesting things about Dana, more of which you'll hear about in a future post! The best part of every Real Beauty shoot is uncovering all that gorgeousness! Dana is a mom, wife, and nurse. She has a beautiful home and a loving husband and loyal friends. She's a Believer and has a close relationship with the Lord. She LOVES to refinish furniture, and she's great at it! We saw some of her pieces and they are lovely. Dana has a lot of beauty in her life.
Dana also suffers from depression.
Personally, I (Ruth) have struggled with depression and substance abuse since I was a teenager. I've been in two treatment facilities, once after a very nearly successful suicide attempt.
When I became a Christian, the lure of substance abuse was taken away from me. I'm thankful for that, but I am still very careful to keep away from that kind of temptation.
The depression, however, still sometimes haunts me.
Christian women like me and like Dana, in my opinion, have a slightly more difficult time asking for help. We are told we just need to "Trust in God", "Pray through the depression", "Buck up!", or my favorite, "Just be happy!"
I know several Christian women who are, or were at some time, on anti-depressant medications...but they keep it a secret from their Christian friends and family. The guilt of needing the help keeps many other women from seeing their doctor to get medication.
Dana wanted her Real Beauty post to be an encouragement to those women, the women who aren't asking for help because they think it's lame that they need it. There is no shame in getting help.
Dana tried praying through the depression. She tried 'bucking up', and she tried being happy. But we are flesh and bone and mind and sometimes our bodies just need a push, something to help get us over the hump, a little help for MORE beauty.
Since Dana started on her medication, she is able to reach her full beautiful potential! Her mind can be clearer, her priorities less chaotic, her thoughts less jumbled.
Depression is real, it's physical. Yes, please have encouraging friends around you, please find someone to talk to and find someone to keep you accountable. Get outside your own head by helping others and serving the community. But when those things aren't enough, it's OK to get yourself to a doctor and get a little help! It can make you MORE beautiful!
Posted by Ruth Ronk at 12:59 PM