Lyndsie here! Today we have a very special treat for you! The beautiful Shannon is here to take over the blog today! I remember the first night I met Shannon, I thought she was the nicest person on the planet. She has a way of making you feel like the most special person in the room from the minute you walk in. She is INCREDIBLE in many things like being a great mom to two adorable little girls, a rock star of a wife, the most amazing dancer, and to top it off, she’s a makeup QUEEN! She is proof that you can overcome anything you are faced with and we are so grateful for her opening up about her experience with depression. Please help me in welcoming her to the blog!
Take it over Shan!
My name is Shannon Pearson. I am married to my best friend. I am the mother to two very bright, beautiful, busy and amazing girls. I am a SAHM. I am a Dance Teacher. I am a lover of all things makeup. I am a Younique Makeup Consultant. I love to sew and craft. I love to shop. I love good smutty TV. I love to travel. I love to laugh. I am obsessed with Fiiz and I am addicted to jewelry! I am so thrilled to be here to share a little bit about my journey through depression and finding the light again- learning to truly Live once more. One step at a time. I hope you enjoy!
Depression is something I had always viewed as taboo or something that wouldn’t come knocking at my ‘perfect life’ door. I believed every stereotype there was about depression and thought that if I did all I was ‘supposed’ to I would always be happy. Boy, was I wrong. Dead wrong. There is nothing more crippling and frustrating than feeling sad, angry, worthless, empty, alone, despair and exhausted. But worst of all, you can’t say why? Why do I feel this way? The only answer that comes to mind is “I do not know.” This is extremely painful-not only to those around you who love you but to your self-confidence and self-worth. As silly as that may seem. In those dark moments, there is nothing that can alter your thought process. They are negative and dangerous in every way. Coming to the realization that I did indeed HAVE depression and I did indeed NEED help was the first step out of darkness and the first step back into the light. I made the CHOICE to change, that alone wasn’t going to be enough. I would get the help I needed, be patient- it is not an overnight fix and rely on H.O.P.E Hold on. Pain Ends.
I had never struggled with self-esteem, confidence or happiness growing up. I can say that I was always ‘happy.’ I had never experienced depression in anyway. It is difficult to know how and when that all changed. I have my theories and explanations. None of which are proven or known for certain. However, I can tell you that when I turned 20, I know exactly when I felt a change in my chemical and hormonal balance- and everything was different from that moment on. I went through a period of three or four months where I knew I felt different. I could sense it in every aspect of my life. At the time, I attributed these feelings and emotions to the amount of change that was occurring in my own life and the lives of those closest to me. In the beginning, these feelings were not constant but came and went like the run of a roller coaster. It was an up and down experience- there were good days and bad days. I thought this was normal and that in time these feelings would pass.
My first real bout with depression followed a difficult decision I made shortly after I was married. I met my Husband Sheldon in May of 2009. We were married that November. We were living in his grandmother’s basement (it was the cutest basement apartment) to save money. We were newlyweds and poor as poor can be. Sheldon was attending BYU for his Undergrad and I was at UVU as a BFA major. I danced all day every day. Sheldon was nearly finished with his degree and only had 10 credits left before he graduated. Due to his day job- that was nearly impossible for him to finish those final 10 credits without spending way more time and money necessary to complete his degree. That is when we made the decision to have him quit his daytime job so he could go to school full time and complete his degree in one semester compared to three. This would save us a lot of time and money. Due to our circumstances, this meant that I needed to get a second job to support the needs of our family. Consequently, my schooling was put on hold. I had grown up dancing from the time I was three years old. It was a HUGE part of my life and I loved every aspect of it. I felt like it was WHO I was and that it was WHAT defined me as a person. When that was gone- I felt completely lost. I did not know who I was anymore or what purpose my life had. My thoughts were so clouded by this immense grief and pain of what once was my life- that no longer was. I could not see the bigger picture at the time. I spiraled into a deep depression. Even though I knew I was depressed, I was NOT depressed. I tried to save face for those around me and pretend that everything was okay when it clearly was not. This thought process affected every bit of my life- in the most negative way. It affected my marriage, my job, my relationships and my self-worth. It impeded my ability to communicate with other people in a healthy way. I was not being authentic and genuine with myself and that translated outside to my other relationships. It is a vicious cycle.
These realizations are easy for me to look back and SEE the flaws and imperfections now. When you are trying not to drown in the depths of a dark ocean you cannot make sense of your logic or behavior. My first bout with depression lasted for nine months. My sweet husband had hit his breaking point. As any person would. In that moment, I had to learn difficult and harsh truths about myself and I needed to get a GRIP on my life and figure out a way to change. Whatever that meant? When you are depressed there is so much self- doubt. You feel like you are a horrible person, you are not worthy of love, you are not good enough, you need to change so people will like you and the list of negative self-talk goes on and on. If only I knew then what I know now, I am worthy and I am enough! Things may have been different.
One of the things that I have learned about dealing with depression is that life carries on- time continues. Regardless of how you feel. That is exactly what happened, time passed and life continued on. Through every life experience we learn, grow, change, adapt, expand, develop, mature and progress. That is what makes life so rich and rewarding. With every new milestone, life event, birthday, anniversary and year that passes we find ourselves different, changed for the good, more accepting, loving, brave, courageous, more willing to improve your imperfections and flaws. It comes with maturity and life experiences.
A turning point for me in my depression was the year I became a mother. Nearly four years ago, I remember being filled with an immense love the moment I held my baby girl in my arms. In that moment, I was happy. I knew I wanted to be happy- I had every reason to be happy. Then why wasn’t I happy? I muddled through my daughter’s first year believing that my depression now turned post-partum depression would take some ‘time’ to go away and that there would be a light at the end of the tunnel. The pain would end, right?
Then, it happened.
My Grandmother passed away.
I remember that day so vividly. As I drove down the street to my parents’ home I remember feeling the sun on my face- feeling the sun pierce through my tear swollen eyes. Hearing the birds chirping. Seeing some children playing in the front yard of a house. I though in that moment- how unfair life was! My sweet grandmother was gone
Life continued on.
The passing of the next year would be my most difficult times with depression yet. It is also, the year I decided to seek for some much-needed help and try to begin to piece myself back together. I was ready. I was terrified. I was humbled. I was blessed. I was desperate. I was hopeful. For the first time in a very long time, I had hope.
I went to my husband to have a heart to heart with him. He has always been so loving and supportive. He has been my rock and my constant in our almost eight years together. He has been my brightest light in the darkest of rooms. I am where I am today because he was patient, loving, and kind. He was a friend, a mentor, a teacher and most of all my constant companion. Speaking frankly for the first time about my depression was a freeing and liberating experience. It was addressing the ‘big elephant’ in the room, finally. Sheldon assured me that there was no shame in seeking and receiving help. It was brave and courageous. The exact words I needed to hear.
I found a doctor and scheduled an appointment. As I went into the doctor’s office that day I was nervous and anxious to know what the doctor would say. Would he tell me to get over it? Buck up! And get over myself? My mind was spinning to know how to act or what to say to him. Dr. Beazer could not have been a more perfect fit for me. He immediately put my mind at ease. He let me know that there is no amount of church service, praying, self-meditating, scripture reading, exercise, diet, journal writing or positive self-talk that would make depression go away. Although, those things are important and can help overcome feelings of sadness and depression- they cannot solve the problem completely! If someone has cancer, they receive treatment for it. If someone has diabetes, they receive treatment for it. If someone has depression, they receive treatment for it. Simple as that! Now one thing that I want to make clear and stress the importance of- Over the course of the 7 years where I have struggled with depression, I have had periods where I felt great, where I was happy. I did try and help myself get better. I tried. I tried. I tried. I did not give up. But I also realized that I could not do it alone anymore- I did not want to do it alone either.
I have been taking my anti-depressant for two years now. I take a small dose of 50 mg a day. I cannot even begin to tell you the difference it has made in my life. I feel happy when I am happy, sad when I am sad, I cry, laugh, live and love. I felt the light slowly start to illuminate my life again. I felt human, ALIVE! It has been amazing! As I began to feel like myself again and begin to reclaim my life once more- I began to search for something that would bring me personal joy and happiness. Outside of being a wife and a mother to two beautiful girls, I wanted to discover WHO I was and WHAT defined me as a person?
This is when Younique came into my life. I have always had a passion and interest for all things makeup and beauty. This opportunity seemed to go hand in hand with my desire to build on and share some of my talents and abilities. Allow me to invest time and energy in building my self-confidence and self-worth all while doing the same for other women.
Younique’s platform is to Uplift, Empower and Validate woman all over the world. This spoke volumes to me. I knew this is something I could stand behind and hopefully in sharing my story and my passion for what I do- help others who may be struggling like me.
We never know why things happen when they happen or why they do. I believe everything happens for a reason. The opportunity to join Younique fell into my lap one year ago- I was not ready to take the leap at that time. I juggled with the idea for an entire year. I finally was at a place where I could throw caution to the wind- take the leap and begin something I was completely terrified of, but knew I was passionate about it. I stopped caring what others would say or think. I knew it would bring me joy and that is all that mattered to me. I am so happy I did- it has been nothing short of amazing and wonderful!
I am grateful with where I am at today. I am happy! I am choosing to live and to love each and every day! It is no walk in the park. There are still hard times and difficult barriers to overcome. That is okay. The burden has been made lighter because I made the decision to receive help and support. But most importantly, remain honest and true to myself. I am here today because I began to believe that I am ENOUGH! I am WORTH IT!
If you’re sad, apply more lipstick and attack!
Thanks for reading!
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Alanna, Natalie, & Lyndsie