So. Where exactly have the blog posts been? Well…life hit me. Life hit me hard.
I got married January 1st 2016 and moved to a town with a grand total of 407 people, now 409.
Marrying the most incredible, understanding, hard working, kind, giving, compassionate, loving man is the best day of my life. It is also when my depression and anxiety started creeping back into my life.
Before getting married I had the best job, and lived in an amazing city. I had friends all around me, and opportunities at my finger tips. I was engaged to a man that no other man could ever measure up to. I was happy. I was comfortable. I was stable.
Upon moving I had to leave my job, and friends behind. I had to say goodbye to a life I so deeply loved and people I cared so much about. I had absolutely no idea what I was in for, or how much my world would change.
When I moved in the job search began, as well as a search for a church to call home and friends I could call mine.
Everyone expected such great things with me moving to such a small town. They envisioned me knowing everyone, and finding a place to worship every chance the doors are open. They saw me gaining a job in the matter of moments. I had the same thoughts too! I have always been good at making friends, and getting jobs. I have had INCREDIBLE church families, so why would this place be any different? Yet, here…here I haven’t been so fortunate.
It has been almost 9 months. 9 months of no job, no friends, no church, no purpose. Around month 3 of my job hunt I felt…it. I felt it slowly taking over my thoughts, actions, demeanor, hopes, and dreams. It wanted to take back its victim of previous years. It wanted to control me again. It wanted me to break.
The big “it” is depression.
I have suffered with depression for about 4 years now. I had it under my control and manageable. Then BAM. It shows itself again. It takes over. It brings along a friend that isn’t much help either.
Anxiety and depression together is a cocktail I would gladly pass up on, if I had the chance.
For the about 6 months or so I have struggled with finding a job, friends, and church family. I have felt more lonely than I have ever been before. I have felt unwanted, not needed, unable to be good enough, and low. Lower than I have ever been pushed. I would cower in the corners of my mind as I let the depression and anxiety take me over. I struggled with doing anything during the day, but wanting to do everything all at the same time. My anxiety is rooted in the need for cleanliness and organization. My depression roots itself in insecurity and the overwhelming feeling of not being able to move. Those 2 don’t mix very well. It would feel like I couldn’t slide out of bed and make a cup of coffee let alone function as a housewife. I could not rip the feelings out of my head. I could not stop the feelings from taking over. I would go weeks without verbal interaction with anyone but my mom and my husband. I would go weeks with only stepping outside to go to the grocery store. This just made me feel more and more unwanted. I felt like no one in this new town wanted me here. I felt like every time I tried to take a step forward I was knocked 3 steps back. Every interview I went on was a dead end, every church we tried was void of the home feeling I so much desired, every person I met didn’t like me.
I would be able to try so hard to grow here some days, then the next day I was reduced to a crying mess under the covers of our bed hiding from the tiny town I despised.
Then one day a friend asked me a question.
She, along with her husband and children are moving into a new home. She told me how much she admired my interior design eye, and asked if she could hire me to decorate their entire home. Me. Jenna Hampton Cook, was needed? I was desired? I had a skill someone thought was good enough to entrust me with their ENTIRE house?
I found my purpose. This little spark of hope sent my entire body into a full on overload. I couldn’t sleep for days after because instead of the depression encompassing my thoughts, I had visions of pretty things. I had visions of ways to create a home loved so deeply it would be cherished for years to come…and in return I would be cherished for doing it!
My husband saw an immediate change. I finally had something to call work. I finally had an answer when someone asked if I found a job yet. I finally had something to occupy my time while he was at work. I finally had something to give me a reason to get out of bed.
He encouraged me to start Honestly Charming Designs, where I specialize in affordable home designs. He now sits with me for hours as I show him plans I am working towards. He follows me around store after store as I try to create a beautiful items to tell lifelong stories for homes.He listens when I babble about different cabinet finishes, and throw pillows. He helps me take my dreams, and make them bigger.
When I finally told my mom about it without missing a beat she asked me to do her home. She started thinking up logo ideas. Then she told me how proud she was of me. Her words mean more to me than I think she will ever realize. I felt like I had nothing for someone to be proud of me for. To know that, despite how I felt about myself, my family, husband, and close friends could look at me and be proud was…now is something I still can’t get over.
I know there are people who think I am not qualified for this line of work, or think I can’t do it. I know there are people who don’t think I should dream bigger, but instead want me to take my head out of the clouds. To that I say…no. The clouds are a lovely place to live, and I plan on staying here as long as I can.
Don’t get me wrong. I still struggle daily with my depression and anxiety. I still have weak moments. But, now..I have a fighting chance. I have an opportunity, and I’m not going to waste it.
As for the blogs…its time. It is time I take the control back. I will be posting a blog every Tuesday and Thursday. I will give you delicious recipes, DIY decor ideas, organizational tools, and updates on my Honestly Charming Designs projects!
Lets do this. ❤