A Little Update

18 years

By Gabrielle.

Oh. You. You wonderful people. Your good, kind words have been so soothing for me to read. I can’t tell you how much the support means to me. Thank you a dozen times over for taking the time to leave a comment or send an email or say a prayer on my behalf. I feel it.

A little update: I’ve taken it as easy as possible over the last few days. And I do feel like I’m seeing some improvement, but I’ve decided to see a doctor anyway — it just seems better to have a plan in place in case my mental state takes a turn for the worse. And since I can see that my mind is going to be fragile for many weeks (if not months), I’m hoping a doctor can help me stay stable through the worst of it.

I’ve been thinking about what it means for me to take it easy — while still parenting my kids, keeping appointments, getting ready for school, celebrating birthdays, etc. — and it’s less straightforward than I would have guessed. In my head, I was picturing “taking it easy” as sitting still for as much of the day as possible, but it hasn’t looked like that. I’m still running the essential errands, and though my amazing contributors have tons of great content lined up, I’ve actually craved writing blog posts (maybe it’s a small sort of therapy for me?), so you’ll be seeing me around here as well.

But I’m saying no thank you to most non-essential invitations/events, I’m consciously trying to set energy aside for dealing with life’s daily hiccups before they derail me, and I’m just generally trying to keep it simple. As an example, yesterday was our wedding anniversary and our celebration consisted of lingering in bed in the morning to reminisce about our wedding day, snapping the blurry photo above, and catching a late movie last night. Just the right speed for me at the moment!

Thank you again for being such a supportive, uplifting community. I’ve felt nothing but love and acceptance from you. It means the world.

101 thoughts on “A Little Update”

  1. I appreciate your candor as well and it proves that an online community can really be a good thing, supporting your with prayer (yes, I will!) and with experiences. I had a physical health fail several years ago that led me to sit down with my husband and tell hi that it had taken a complete toll on my mental health. And God being so amazing….led me to a mental health doctor that held the key to what was wrong with my physically! I am still in awe of how God works sometimes.
    All that being shared, if there is anything at all we or I can do for you while you rest and replenish, let us know. We will happily have your back!

  2. So glad you updated on how your doing. You give so much through these posts and I truly hope you know how much your appreciated. All the best to you…

  3. Gabby, you have had a lot on your plate! I commend you for doing what you do….even if you think it isn’t much. We can only do what we can do. My oldest grown daughter asked me why she stopped dancing lessons, and swim team and other various and sundry things when she was around 7 and 8….. After I gave birth to my last baby….who was in distress and eventually was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. I simply told her that I realized I couldn’t be a SuperMom and that I needed to pull back and make life simpler at home instead of running around like a chicken with its head cut off. There are stresses that each of us experience…and all different…..but we need to center ourselves in what is important….our families, our husbands, and our Sanity. You are so close to the temple. Go there for even a half hour and soak up the spirit there….inside or out of it. Know that you are special. Know that The Lord loves you and wants you to succeed. Success isn’t about doing more…..it’s about not running faster than you are capable.

  4. Kharolys Naranjo

    You are my HERO!..Today we need a tons of woman like you!..
    It is not easy to tell the true about ourself and you already did something that need courage! BRAVO, BRAVO, BRAVO!..That is life about “one step at the time”…

  5. Oh dear. I had to go back and read the tree house to catch your reference here. I just wanted to say, I’m thinking about you and sending happy thoughts your way. I just moved a mile and I’ve been off this summer. Moving is stressful and I can only imagine moving to a different country. The hardest part has been the change in friends, neighbors and socialness. We’re in different wards and I still don’t feel like I fit yet. Sounds like you’re doing all the right things. Take it easy, get help and support, and allow yourself to FEEL. The best part about living is FEELING and appreciating the happy days because we had sad ones. Anyway, I didn’t mean to go on and on. Just wanted to say that someone in Utah is sending well wishes your way.

  6. Take deep breaths, relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of your new home.
    Don’t worry about unpacking; don’t worry about things; just do what you can and relax. The health of your mind is so very important. We, all your readers, are pulling for you to have good days. Don’t worry about writing here; do things that feel good for YOU. I am so glad that you are seeing a doctor; I hope you are seeing a therapist; go for walks with someone; listen to music you like.

    Put out paper, maybe 8.5×11 size. Not too big. Use chalk, use crayon, use the kids’ stash of art stuff and just do things that feel good. Don’t overthink, just do and make. Use glue, use magazine pages, use the newspaper print, cut and paste,
    do whatever. Just make and relax.

    Sending you many hugs and good wishes. Take care and let people take care of you.

  7. I love your openess and honesty and the lack of shame you (totally rightfully) feel about your mental health. I admire this so much and wish others were as courageous as you. Hang in there – we are all thinking of you! Maybe go for a bike-ride…nothing lifts the spirit like a bike ride :)

  8. I so appreciate your honesty. It can be so easy to look at somebody else’s life ( on a blog) and imagine that it is perfect and wonder why your own life seems so far from being together, organized and ‘on track’. My thoughts are with you and hope that taking some time out for yourself will be helpful.

  9. Hooray that you are putting yourself first! We, your loyal readers, are glad about that. Things always change….. things never stay the same! Be good to yourself!

  10. Oh, I’m so glad you’re feeling a bit better and yet still planning on talking to a doctor as well. I was praying for you all weekend. It struck me how much I care about your well-being (and you in general!), after reading your blog every weekday for so many years…even though my realistic side kept reminding me that you don’t know me. Personally, I’m fine with a one-sided friendship! :) My prayers for you will continue!

  11. I read every day! I cherish this site and also, as stated by others, feel like I know you and am inspired by you, Gabrielle!!! It is another lesson you demonstrate that we must all listen to our bodies and spirits as they guide us…good for you for following through! I have been away and “unplugged” so to see this post scared me for you not understanding what the discussion was about. I am not worried now as I know you will be alright…but that does not diminish your feelings about the path you are on today. I understand these are difficult days and nights for you and I pray for your comfort and peace. I wish for you to have laughter and love which I know you are surrounded by. One second, then minute, then day at a time…Breathe…♥

  12. Happy anniversary and best wishes on feeling more like yourself… take it easy on yourself and please know your readers will be here as we always have been! We just want you happy and will understand if it takes time to come back — just do it at your own pace, please! I’ve had a tough summer and can empathize. Just imagine us lifting you up or sending you love and support!! xoxo

  13. Rest easy, Gabby. Your concerned readers want you to be well. So glad to see your smiling face in that picture (with your sweet husband). Every day is a winding road. . .

  14. It means so much to have support of friends far and wide, which this internet has enabled. I know the pains of mental illness in my family and it is difficult to manage. But recognizing when you need to step back and/or get help is a great first step. I can’t imagine your work load + moving across country. I live a fairly provincial life, and that is stressful enough with four teens! My mom had six kids and took a nap every day. Her job was raising us – so managing so much more will certainly take a toll. Mom always said she was “tired.” Take care of yourself. Cry if you need to. Due to my own family battles with mental illness this past year, I have cried on many shoulder – mostly family – but also unknown friends that I have developed on Twitter! They were so kind and helpful. We have all grown. Good luck – I’ll add you to my prayer list!

  15. Thank you for being so candid about yourself, how you’re feeling and what life is really like. It takes great courage to share (especially in the global on-line world) so I admire your openness and also your strength to seek support. You certainly have mine!

  16. Be kind to yourself, Gabby. We’ll be here for you as you’ve been here for us so many times. Congrats for the anniversary.

  17. So I went through this before. I found out I needed way more sunlight thn I was getting . We lived in an apartment that I felt was really dark. When we moved out, I was a different person. I was deppressed and uninspired creatively. I learned a lot about myself because of that. My new standard for enough light when I house/apartment shop now, is if I i feel like I have to have a light on (in the middle of the day) then there’s not enough light.

  18. I so admire your openness regarding your current mental state. Considering what you have been through in the past couple of months-the move, the Summit, the purge I’m not surprised you’re feeling the effects! I was sad regarding your move from your gorgeous home in France-and I’ve only been reading about your life over there-not living it! Such a lot going on in a short period of time. Take care of yourself.

  19. Gabby, thank-you for sharing this vulnerability. I really appreciate seeing that you, stylish, put together Design Mom, struggle with some of the same things that I do. It helps me feel better about some of the struggles that I have.

  20. Happy Anniversary! Thank you for the update and also for reminding us how important it is to be cognizant of our health. Glad you have your support team in place. Be well.

  21. and thank you for being honest and always candid about everything!
    easy does it
    we’ll always be here
    …your friends
    wishing you Happy Wedding Anniversary!

  22. Dear Gabby, been thinking about you. My last move was so traumatic, I feel for you! I’m so glad you have the wonderful Ben Blair. Happy Anniversary! Xoxo

  23. Sweet friend. Your sincerity and candor are so refreshing. It allows so many others to relate to you, and empathize with you. I hope you are able to pull your people around you and feel their love and support. Take all the time you need for yourself, and for your sweet family. Hugs to all the Blairs!!

  24. Gabrielle, I hope you have some friends near you to help out. Virtual friends are fine, but they can’t bring you lasagne, listen to you bitch, do errands, wipe tears or run kids back and forth!

    Take care…sending you a virtual lasagne right now.

  25. Hang in there Gabby – moving back and all that goes with it can be tricky on the mind and bod for lots of reasons, most of them unexpected and many of them not bad, but it is a transition, especially to come “home”, or a new concept of “home”. It’s okay to take space to work it out – give yourself the time and care you need in the beginning, it’s worth it in the long run.

    Congrats on the beautiful house and happy anniversary!

  26. Gabrielle, I wish you all the best! We just moved from the London back to the US and it has been difficult with so many things to accomplish! When I read your post I could totally relate! It is overwhelming sometimes and I think you are headed in the right direction! Taking care of you is very important. Thanks for your posts as it helps me to know I am not the only one who sometimes feels overloaded, especially when life is just not “normal.”

  27. Courage Gabrielle. As someone who suffers from depression and going through a rough patch right now, I sympathize greatly. It is more than just Okay to say that we can’t and need some time for ourselves. I also just discovered that being jet lagged is now a trigger for me, it never was in the past (even with kids in tow).

  28. You have so much going on, I don’t know how any one could stay totally sane with all you’ve got on your plate! Relax and rest. I keep thinking of Jesus’ words “come to me all who are burdened and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” Prayers being sent. xo

  29. Gabrielle, I think you’re awesome. I admire how you raise your six kids, that you even have six kids, and your work–all of it. Best wishes and prayers.

  30. I’m all for putting yourself back at the top of the list. Whenever I neglect myself – our family sleighride gets twisty. Knowing what I need and actually working my “self care” list is hard, time-consuming, but so needful. Be well and peace be with you. Welcome back to the USA.

  31. Gabby, I thank you. I am a mother of 5 and we have moved a lot. Recently my husband mentioning another possible move affected me so deeply I could hardly recognize myself. I love where we are and so do our kids. I fear another big change and have wondered if I am being “weak”. My tolerance now that I am 45 for major changes is going down and it affects my sleep. I literally stay awake and watch the sunrise agonizing every life’s possible problem. It is difficult for my husband to understand. After reading your truthful post I feel less alone and realize we are all human. Too often we can look at another’s life and think it perfect and see another’s story and feel less than, but in reality everyone struggles through something. I know it is the kindnesses that make life worth living. The beautiful kindnesses are so important to me now.I cherish my good relationships and the great little moments. Bless you. You are helping more than you probably know. Xo Debbie

  32. I’ve been thinking about this and am sending you lots of good thoughts. But mostly I want to say thank you. For being so frank and matter-of-fact and unapologetic. Because too many people suffer and are ashamed and hide their depression. So thank you, thank you, thank you for writing about your difficult time.

  33. Dear Gabrielle,
    Hang in there, kid!
    I am new to your blog-very cool, Olive Us series- amazing, moving to France-we’re doing it, etc. and loving it. You have been a great source of inspiration and sometimes anxiety imagining all that you consistently accomplish.
    Personally, I have gone through…a bit…and most recently have received a neuro-adrenal test from my naturopath (one of many docs on the case). The supplements are amino acids and have been life changing. I am so much calmer and feel a sense of wellbeing most of the time. Basically, removing all of the “anxiety for no reason” symptoms and a lot more calm dealing with the “anxiety for good reasons”. This is only because of a lot of stress and the bodies adrenals getting weakened. I’m thinking a lot of ladies need some boosting here. Let me know if you need any further info. take care, Rebecca

  34. Gabrielle, Hang in there! Take time for yourself — I know you have heard this before and probably will only slow down for one nano-second! You have an entire family out here routing for you to rest. Family always come first! We can wait until you are ready to start blogging again– Don’t worry, we will still be here : ) Because even though we don’t know you personally, we all have grown to love you and your family from afar : )

  35. Happy Anniversary! What a beautiful life you have built together – sounds like your celebration was just right – remembering that special moment when you joined together forever is so affirming. Lots of prayers for peace and healing are floating up to you from here on the island!

  36. What a lovely way to celebrate and Happy Anniversary. I’m so happy to hear that you’re taking it easy and being proactive about your health. Isn’t it funny how “taking it easy” looks so different after kids? I remember having totally lazy, self centered care days before children and now, something that just takes one plate out of my hands for the day, seems like a vacation. Hope you rest up and feel yourself again soon. Lots and lots of easy transitions to you, as kids start school and life settles in the new home.

  37. That pic is super duper sweet. Just take it one day at a time, one simple act of self care, one “no thank you, I’m not quite feeling myself right now”… And soon you’ll realize that you might feel a little better. I’m so glad you are taking care of yourself. We all have limits. Xoxoxo

  38. Happy Anniversary and best wishes for peace and healing. Agree with previous posters – this is such a wonderful and genuine blog! So glad you are taking care of yourself.

  39. Thank you for your honesty in sharing what you are going through. So often we share our feelings and illnesses online but there remains a stigma about mental health.

    And sometimes when trying to talk to others there can be a lack of acceptance or a shrugging it off…like you’ll get past it..and then on with our lives we go.

    But sometimes, sometimes, these things are deeper. I finally gave into the idea of therapy a few years ago. After about a year of therapy and medication I realized there were a lot of things I had needed to work out and getting that help was the best thing I did. Now when things are overwhelming or I am “having a bad people day” I think back to things I learned and it helps. It also helped that she taught me things about myself that were okay about me. Accepting myself for who I am and what I have lived through has enabled me to have a better future. I’m a better parent, wife and person because of this.

    Whatever path you take, whatever your future holds for you I wish you the best and happy anniversary.

  40. Hi Gabrielle,
    I wrote in a few days ago, and for whatever reason I just felt compelled to write in again. I’ve dealt with anxiety and depression for the majority of my life, and I really feel for you (and fellow sufferers) – I know how bleak everything can seem, and it’s just awful!

    My little nugget of advice has to do with the state of your gut. There is more and more scientific evidence stating that our guts are our second brain, and control how we feel. Read here if you’d like: http://www.theverge.com/2013/8/21/4595712/gut-feelings-the-future-of-psychiatry-may-be-inside-your-stomach

    Further more, you and your kiddos could make water kefir, or yogurt or any variety of yummy fermented foods. It might make all the difference in the world. Or at the very least, it will be a yummy addition to your meal!

    Please feel free to contact me if you’d like to further discuss – I LOVE getting into the nitty gritty with healing foods! Until then, I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers!


  41. I just wanted to add my words of support to what you’ve already gotten. I am pulling for you, I have teens and toddlers too and it is a lot of responsibility and dealing with buying a house overseas, what a nightmare! It took us over a year to move to our current home 1 hour away from our other one, and I thought that was a nightmare! Anyway, thanks for sharing yourself here, I loved seeing how it is possible to live in France with six kids, we plan to do something similar in the next couple years. Hugs, and prayers!

  42. Oh, darling Gabrielle. You mean the world to me, and I hate to see you so down. You’re wonderfully brave to link to the post that has your admission of being not-so-peppy, even if it is at the end of a much-anticipated post of the inside of your new home. I’m glad you did link to it, because I had anticipated it, and would have missed it otherwise.

    I’m rooting for you. Not the stuff you have, not your kids or your new location. I’m rooting for you. Because you’re such a genuine writer. I skip most of the work your contributors post, and your writing is still what I anticipate.

    Rah, rah, rah! Go, Gabrielle! We love you!

  43. Hi there, Gabrielle. I hope you see this even though I’m commenting some time after this post. I have followed your blog for a while now, but I’ve lapsed my readership as I had my own huge transition this year. In December, my husband and I added our first child (about a year after marriage, so transitions abound). Then, in April, he accepted a position in a different country. His job search coincided directly with my time of birthing our daughter. In fact, he flew out 7 days after she was born for one interview (bad idea).
    We just landed in our new country a couple of weeks ago, and I thought to look up your blog and whether your family had made its move. Lo and behold, you have! And you ended up in NorCal, which is where I lived for over three years. And (why I am writing) it was hard for you as well.
    I identify with so much you have written, especially with the packing, sorting, getting rid of posts. We had to very quickly sort and decide on our household of accumulated goods, and it was gut-wrenching. We’d only lived in that one place since we were married, and it’s where our first child was born. So many beautiful things–what do you do with them?
    Also, everything is really great for us, and it seems like things are pretty great for you as well (great new house! great kids! great husband!), and that makes it even harder to deal with negative emotions because on top of whatever else you feel you feel guilty for feeling bad. That’s me, anyhow.
    So, thank you for your posts. They are helping me. I identify. I appreciate you.

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