Personal Stories After – Part 1

Depression and anxiety..

I know after watching 13 reasons why I get anxiety but I keep curious for what comes next. Hannah, what Hannah went through is bullying and I can say with a lot of trust that each and every one of us has been there at some point. Well I have.. Not necessarily suicidal thoughts but more what she’s been feeling or went through. We all have dealt with anxiety.. and depression and I find it hard to see that suicide is the “only way out” when it’s definitely not.

When you hear about suicide, a reason is always depression. For Hannah it were multiple things happening that got her to a point that life was better off without her. I’ve been there. I’ve been at that point in life. Thinking it would be all better if I wasn’t around anymore. In part two you will read another reason but here’s reason one.. First of, my parents divorced when I was 7. I didn’t have contact with my dad since I was 11. The parents I speak about are my mom and stepdad. My parents were dealing with big financial issues. I didn’t accept any birthday gift until last year. My parents gave me a new frying pan hahah so cute. I always told my parents they could use the money better and I didn’t need anything. So at home it was a bit difficult. I couldn’t ask for cool sneakers like others in my class. Eventually I got myself my first job. Walking the news paper in our neighbourhood. I would make like €150 per month and that was already one pair of shoes so I mostly spent it on clothes. My grandparents (from my dads side) took us to the city on the first Sunday of the month (that was back when Sunday wasn’t a regular shopping day, so that was special) and usually I was allowed to choose something. I always chose new kicks.. My brother went to jail maybe 3/4 times from when I was 14 till I was 19 – nothing with murder or something. My brother is really the sweetest guy on earth. He looks out for me but in his younger years he used to deal drugs and was highly addicted so he did everything he could to get money for his guilty pleasure. The divorce of my parents was hard for us, along with everything else that came with it. Years passed by. At that point I didn’t see my dad for six years. I tried to get my contact back with my dad, didn’t work out the way I thought it would.. I just graduated from high school and didn’t know what to do with my life since everything around me sucked. I was lucky enough I still got my diploma cause I was lacking with studying and doing my homework. Even for my exams, I couldn’t be bothered to learn. On my moms side of the family, a lot was going on as well. Especially when her dad passed away. She comes from a family of six and she is the youngest and yep, the young ones don’t have much to say. Anyway, fights here and there, bullying, hating. I didn’t see her side of the family for years either and until now I only have contact with one cousin. One. And my family is huge.. but since I didn’t know any better than this, I don’t know what it’s like to have close family like I see around me when I look at friends. Besides so many things happening at home and in our family – I got bullied and that didn’t help me either.. I also thought: “Well, I don’t even think I’m going to make it till 25”. So what’s the point? Don’t even ask me why I thought that but I did at that time. Thinking nothing could hurt me with my eyes shut. But anxiety got worse when I pasted the 25. I was like: “Oh my god, I’m 25 now. I have a crazy study loan I have to pay back” (cause yeh, I was so dumb enough to not finish school). I never learned how to use money the right way so yeh I had quite some bills to pay. Luckily I landed a good job and I wanted to change. But, life happened again and I lost my job a month ago.. Well hello! Anxiety came around the corner several times. How am I going to pay my bills? How am I going to support myself? I don’t have a home, where am I going to live? What job do I want? (Oh and writing this now, I already found me a new job – not important for this story). Why are my canvases not selling? It is hard to wake up dealing with so many things and thinking you’re alone in this. Anxiety ruled my days. In the past I didn’t know it was anxiety. I fell asleep with it. My dreams were so real, that I would wake up confused..

I dealt with a lot of situations, currently going through some as we speak. However I’m not always dealing with it during daytime, usually I get reminded when I go to sleep. While I watch 13 reasons why, I started to notice things. Like obvious things such as Hannah’s parent dealing with stuff (which affected her as well but she would put it in a box cause in her own little Hannah world, there was a lot more going on). But I started to notice things, things I didn’t know it happened in my life but it all came back in flashbacks. Sometimes I even think those things weren’t real. Like it was a dream or a bad movie I’ve seen. Since I dealt with realistic dreams, I couldn’t see what was real and what wasnt. Since I started to get these flashbacks, I thought I wasn’t myself. But then I thought again and I’ve always been myself. But these things that happened to me, affected me on long therm and this is what made me who I am today.. I believe that these issues made me a lot more vulnerable, since I always showed things got to me. I expressed my feelings in different ways, for example getting aggressive.

My friends know how to deal with my aggressive side, I think that’s why they are my best friends. They know what I’ve been through. They also know what to do to keep me calm again. My anxiety came from fears and things I hid from my past. Not knowing how to deal with situations that were out of my control.

It’s difficult sometimes but I truly believe I am happy. It’s so shit when you believe you’re not good enough. I’m just scared of life sometimes I guess and this, this comes in waves. One day I’m super excited and happy. The next day I can feel down and upset, close to feeling depressed. When things go wrong, man.. it will be stuck in my head for a day and I can’t concentrate. I never spoke my mind out loud and if I did tell my friends, they would say: “you’re the strongest person I know”. Yes, I’ve been positive through everything. I always tried to see the good or believe things happen for a reason – and when something happens for a reason, it comes with a lesson. But since the flashbacks I couldn’t seem to move. And have I been strong for myself or am I doing this for others? Am I keeping my head up for myself or is it my way of dealing with things, I shouldn’t just walk around with. Are these flashbacks even real? Are they. Are they the reason why I handled certain situations differently than other humans? What seemed logical to me wasn’t for them? What I see as abuse, others would say I’m crazy?

My father came back into my life when I was 23. He had a car accident and the police could only find me and my brother in the system as family. A lot has changed since then. I understood that having my father back in my life, kept me from moving forward. It held me back. My dad is one of the biggest reasons of my anxiety. One thing, to not get flashbacks of my past, was to not visit my dad as much as I used to. And if visiting my dad less, gives me less anxiety then I’ll definitely choose for my own happiness. After the divorce of my parents, my mum decided life was better without him, I also moved with her choice and my mind settled for what was good for me. She chose this because of several reasons. What ever happened, I didn’t know or at least my mind placed it all in a box so I would never think of it again. But as time pasted and I accused my mom for several things, she spoke up. She told me things I didn’t know. Things I didn’t know but told her when I was young. How could I not know this anymore? When did this happen? I kept thinking and thinking but then I noticed that any occasion I didn’t like or was bad to me, I would stuff it somewhere so I wouldn’t think about it anymore. And all these things slowly came back to me.

What happened, I will never tell but I do know that it rules a lot of things in my life. The way I react to things, the way how I think, the way I want to raise my kids, the way I speak to people. Even how to trust people. All what happened in the past, these flashbacks, the bullying, all affected me till today. I deal with anxiety daily. I don’t trust anyone. I never built on anyone. I kept distance. I became introvert. I have a hard time making friends or going out to public. And you might think: “How is that even possible”. I have to scoop myself together and tell myself it’s okay, so I go and do what I need to do. When I react certain ways it’s because of the signals my mind give me cause I never gave things a proper place. I didn’t gave myself time to heal! I kept my head up and tried to move on. So far, I only told a few people around me what happened and they were understanding. They didn’t judge me. It wasn’t my fault. Some even finally understood my way of thinking sometimes, how I deal with things.

Everything sucked till the age of 24. Why did life suck so much, I was at war with it. I couldn’t see anything good in it and I realised this was the environment I lived in. I saved money from my first job, booked a flight to Sydney and from there I finally was able to work on my happiness. Cause here I am. 28. Two successful collections with PUMA. First women footwear designer of Filling Pieces and I got my own brand CAREAUX. Not to mention, this was a difficult road I had to walk but so far (as always) I managed to keep up. It’s okay to cry when you feel stuck. Or complain when you don’t know where to start. When I see what I’ve accomplished, I think to myself: “Girl! You have all the right to be happy, you deserve it. You worked hard for yourself! For you! So don’t let life or people get to you”. I learned a lot from my mistakes, other people’s mistakes. Don’t let the past influence in what you’re trying to achieve or who you are now. It made me the person I am today and for my future, I keep watering my own grass. I’m not saying my life is amazing right now. I still have these issues that come to mind so now and then. But what keeps me going is that I made it past 25, when I didn’t think I would. I did a lot of cool things in life besides all the shitty moments. Anxiety shows up sometimes but I know I’m not alone. I have a group of loyal and good friends, they’ve never let me down. I have several goals in life that I still want to achieve. I have new dreams. This planet is beautiful.

Anxiety, depression. Sometimes I lose my shit but the next day I’m happy again. It all comes in many forms. And since I understand how and why, my anxiety isnt as bad anymore. If you’re dealing with any kind of fear or anxiety or you’re not happy with the way things are going but have no idea how to start to make a change, talk. Especially us millennials! We were thrown in the deep, some of us. But dealing with it starts with yourself. Get your shit together. Things you can’t control, let that be. Hold on to the things you can change, do what you need to do. And if that means you have to change things in life, do it. Your happiness comes first!

Caroll van den Brom

Online Creative and Artist of CAREAUX. My name is Caroll Lynn and my artist name is CAREAUX. I'm a sneaker illustrator turned footwear designer. After a study of four years, I landed at Filling Pieces as their first Womens Footwear Designer. In 2016 and 2017 CAREAUX released her first collaboration with PUMA. Besides working for Filling Pieces and working with PUMA, I also worked on illustrations for Nike, Adidas, Lacoste, FILA, DIESEL. More of my previous work can be found via portfolio I illustrate everything I like myself and sell my favourites. Most of my work is made on canvas but I'm always open for discussions and requests. For collaborations, contact me via the contactform. My instagram is known for her sneakers and feminine style. The content created is focussed on fashion and art combined with traveling - #SHECOZY

5 thoughts on “Personal Stories After – Part 1

  1. I love seeing where you’re at in life and what you’re doing – you’re an inspiration to me
    Reading this I can relate sooo much – similar problems similar feelings
    But yes be proud of yourself always!! Look what you’ve done, look what you’ve made!! Its definitely okay to cry, its okay to feel hurt or sad or go through those emotions but remember the balance! Gotta have some happy in there too, and you do you
    Love you girl, from @taylxrbee


  2. Wow! This story is truely amazing! Keep up your good work! This only shows me that everybody has a past and not everything is amazing BUT you can work hard for it and achieve things you never thought you would! I personnally think that THIS makes you soooo symphatic! Had a picture in my mind that everyone who‘s from the netherlands and is like a sneakerhead is rich or so… thank you for opening up! And good luck for the future!

    Sorry for the bad englisch..

    Greetings from berlin✌🏽

    Liked by 1 person

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