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Update

The second half of 2017 really threw me for a loop!! I was dealing with major anxiety and depression, which some people whom have never experienced or understand discount completely.  But believe me – that is a big deal and it’s REAL! You can’t just say “stop it” and get better, like I was counseled to do many times…. You can’t just join a gym and it will all get better. Or get a job. Or mind over matter.  You can’t just pop a pill.  It’s a process. And it’s real. And it’s scary as hell.

I lost 15 pounds in 2 weeks. I didn’t sleep. I didn’t eat. I didn’t function. I cried 24/7, I had panic attacks. Was literally loosing my mind.  Anxiety, Depression – these are real things. Please don’t brush them under the rug if you are experiencing them yourself or if you know someone who is. Reach out and get help. And ignore the people that discount this. They know no better.

Due to these issues, I took a step back from a few design teams and I stopped making videos. I am looking at 2018 as a fresh start. I am honored to be continuing my role with Ellen Hutson and Catherine Pooler and will also continue guesting for some of my favorite companies.  AND I’ll get back to making videos (if you want me to)……… My design esthetic is very different from others. I focus on simple techniques and designs, hence my hashtag #simplycardmaking! So if you want me back in the swing of things, I’m game and I’ll do my best.

So bring on 2018! You’ve got this. I’ve got this!

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55 Comments

  1. Of course we want you and all your videos and card making inspiration back! I am so sorry you have had such a tough year! I hope things are moving in the right direction. We love You! Take the time you need

  2. Tara Prince says:

    You are amazingly brave to share your story! I am hoping you have a much better 2018 and look forward to your creative works!

  3. I’m so sorry that you are suffering from depression and even though I have never had debilitating depression I understand the effects. I have a close friend who has clinical depression and I know how it affects you. I compare it to the fatigue I experienced when first diagnosed with MS. I’m glad you understand not to listen to those who say get over it etc. it’s not that easy. I love your videos and when you’re ready, would love to see them again. I will keep you in my prayers and may God bless you.

  4. I am so sorry that you had to go through this. Depression is as real as diabetes. I know many people who experience. it. You can’t pull your self up by your bootstraps. You can’t chose to straighten up. It’s a disease like any other but it is not always visible. Of course, we will stand with you when you are ready to design again. Tale care of yourself first. Blessings for a healthy 2018!

  5. You have been missed. Looking forward to better days in 2018 <3

  6. Thanks for your brave story, Laurel. You have given much to the paper crafting community and without you, it would be that much duller! So, of course, we want to see you back… know we are all here to help!

  7. Debbie Peysen says:

    Laurel, You are in my thoughts and prayers. The same nightmare happened to me over 10 years back. Slowly my life came back to me. Not the same life, but an awesome new life. If I can be of any help, please let me know.

  8. lisascreativeniche says:

    You go girl!!! You went through a big move and had lots of things going on at once, and you are so brave for sharing your story! I am so excited to see what 2018 brings for you and what you’ll be crafting up. Just keep on doing your thing and we’ve got your back!

  9. Crystal says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. Anxiety and depression are very real and so many people blow it off as PMS, a “woman’s issue”, etc. I can’t wait to see more videos from you and pray you continue to get better!

  10. Absolutely bring on the videos!!! So glad you are feeling better, I have been where you were but not to the degree you have had. Mine all stemmed from my husbands illness and death. Thankfully, I am off meds and due pretty well these day. I didn’t lose weight I gained and I still am fighting that.

  11. I adore your videos and I have had anxiety before and know where you’re coming from! Definitely #youvegotthislaurel Hugs & love and looking forward to your wonderfully CAS creations! (they’re my fave, by the way!) Mwah!

  12. I’m sorry to hear you had to go through this and had to deal with other people’s lack of understanding as well. Many people tend to be more understanding if you have a physical problem, such as a broken leg or arm. Mental conditions, be it depression, burnout (my husband), chronic fatigue (my sister), low energy/fatigue (me) or any other condition are much harder to grasp.
    I do hope your future is looking up and I would love to see more videos if you’re up to it. You need to do what feels right for you!
    Marianne x

  13. I’m so sorry to hear that you experienced such a difficult time in 2017. Hopefully 2018 will be great. Thank you for sharing your story. Many of us understand and can relate to how tough anxiety and depression is. I look forward to seeing your videos when you feel you are able to film again. I enjoy your unique style of cardmaking.

  14. Beth Stiver says:

    I was where you have been a year ago. I so get it. I want to encourage you to take care of yourself and slow your pace down, which I am glad to hear you have done. 2018 will be better, I promise. Sending hugs and prayers from MI.

  15. God bless you, Laurel. My son suffers from depression/anxiety so I know firsthand how debilitating it can be. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Janet
    P.S. Can’t wait to see your videos!

  16. Of course we want you to make videos but first we want you to be your best you.

    I’ve been struggling with depression for the last few years myself and completely understand the devastation it can create in your life and the lives of those you love. Unfortunately too many people think it’s just mind over matter but it doesn’t work that way.

    Hugs and Prayers sweet Laurel. May 2018 be better for you.

  17. Laurel it takes courage to share something so personal so thank you for sharing your story. You are so talented and we all adore you. I’m looking forward to seeing more of your videos when you are ready and I wish you all the best. You’ve got this!!!!

  18. Lynne Ingram says:

    go girl. get well. come back with your amazing videos.

  19. Kimberly says:

    God bless you Laurel! Looking forward to your videos in 2018.

  20. Laurel, you are an amazing person. Your creativity, energy and postivity shows through your work. Please continue with the videos. Know that all those who admire you wish you the best. Hang in there and may you continue to get better. Let your light shine through! Wishing you the best in the coming year and many years to come.

  21. Leanne in Cali says:

    I love your videos and your card making style! I’m glad to hear you are doing alright and I look forward to your wonderful 2018. Thank you for sharing with us and ditto what the others before me have said–let your light shine through, hang in there and we are all thinking of you and sending hugs your way!!

  22. Mary Laffin says:

    So sorry you have had to deal with this. Not sure which is worse–the fear or the frustration from lack of understanding. Glad to hear that things are looking up for you and wish you the best New year. And yes–we do want you to continue videos when you are up to it!

  23. Linda Jamme says:

    Want you back? Of course we want you back! I love your cards and your professional videos. I like your style. I understand your panic feeling to a small degree and it stinks. My daughter-in-law and granddaughter also suffer from this and it can be so debilitating. Prayers for you as you work through this process or learn how to live with the effects. Enjoy the Christmas season and I hope to see you soon as you’re able. ❤️

  24. Paulyne VanderSloot says:

    Get better, and like you said “Keep going, you got this!!”. I will be pulling for you. Both my daughters and my granddaughter go through anxiety and depression. Hang in there, you are in my thoughts and prayers. I am looking forward to 2018 and your next video.

  25. Thanks for sharing your story, your experience can help others to cope with whatever they are dealing with. I love your videos and hope you will be able to continue. All the best to you along with my hopes and prayers. Enjoy the holidays!

  26. I understand you completely. My mother used to just tell me its all in my head. It’s not! I look forward to your new videos. I’m a fan. We’re here for you.

  27. I know it isn’t all in your head, Laurel and I am so glad you are feeling better. I look forward to your videos once again! Thanks so much for your generosity in sharing your talents with us.

  28. (((((((Laurel)))))) so happy to read that you are better.

  29. I have definitely missed you. Love your style! I am so glad that you will be back with us. It’s good that 2018 will be a new start for you.

  30. Laurel, thank you for being brave to share your story. It’s not in your head and it’s not easy to work through. I’m glad you took some time off to heal and take care of yourself. Looking forward to what 2018 has in store for you. God bless and Merry Christmas!

  31. I love your videos, your way of expressing yourself. Watching you was teaching me to let go of my perfectionistic tendencies. I will ask God to undergird you His strength, His endurance and His unconditional love. I am in a Bible study that covers Paul’s three missionary journeys. To realize that God wants us to depend on Him in joyous times and difficult times has given me new insight into living my life. Most of us are just slowly dying day by day. I want to live more clearly day by day…really experience the life God intended me to live. Never forget that you are His child and He created you to live an abundant life. He did not say to Paul or to us that life would be easy or lack pain. He said that no matter what He would be there to undergird-support you. Whether your pain is emotional or physical, He is there for you and will not ever abandon you. As you seek answers, just know that the crafting world is a better place with you in it and contributing to it. Looking forward to your future contributions.

  32. Amy Seech says:

    You need to take care of yourself first! You have two children who need you. Always love to see a good video when you’re ready.👍🏻

  33. Stacey Kowbel says:

    Thanks for sharing Laurel! It’s great to hear that you’re ready for a new start in 2018. All the best to you! I can’t wait to see what you will have to share with us!

  34. Andrea D. La Vigne says:

    Oh, Laurel, I am SO sorry you have been going through this! I honestly kind of had a feeling your “silence” was because of something like that. I have struggled with major depression & schizophrenia for much of my adult life, so I know how horrible it can be. I’m sorry you had to deal with people who are of the “just snap out of it” mentality. They are so wrong! You are right in saying that getting through it (because you DON’T just get over it) is a process. I just hope you are getting the right kind of help with it. Please know that you are in my thoughts, and I send as much positivity as possible your way! Please, be kind and patient with yourself. I wish I could assure you that everything will be just hunky dory, and you won’t have to struggle anymore, and I still do hope you can reach that point. But if not (as I haven’t yet), that’s really OK, too–just don’t beat yourself up for being this way. It took me a long time to find the right combination of therapy & medicine to get stable, but I’m as OK right now as I ever have been on this journey. Stable, which is good. Anyway, I hope 2018 goes better for you, and if you feel up to making videos, feel free to bring ’em on! Take care!

  35. Colleen says:

    Thank you so much for sharing about your depression and anxiety. My daughter struggles with the same, and I worry so much for her. We’ve broken family ties because of the ignorance about my daughter’s mental health diagnosis. Yet here she is, much like you, back in the game fighting. You are two of the strongest women I know. I love my daughter and will never walk away from her like so many people have done. Ive set boundaries, but they’re healthy ones that are done after talking with professionals who know what they are doing (And not all of them do!). Because of my daughter, I have become vocal about mental health and the beautiful organizations such as NAMI and Bring Change to Mind that work tirelessly to change the negative stigma. I’m so grateful when people like you speak up on behalf of yourself and everyone else struggling with a mental health diagnosis, because you break the silence and end the stigma. My blessings and big hugs to you.

  36. I am sorry to hear what you have been going through.i can definitely relate though. My problems with anxiety started when I was 4 years old. I have had good years and bad. The one thing that has helped me the most is my art. I hope you will continue to make your videos. If you ever need someone to talk to that can really understand what your are going through feel free to contact me.

  37. ANDREA HASTILOW says:

    Hello Laurel, I’m sorry to hear you’ve been through all that over this last year or so, mental health is still such a hush hush topic. I was there years ago & it took me a good deal of time to Bob back up, but October 2016 I’d reached a point again where I could not manage anymore, I had lost so much with this new disability, not just mobility & independence that I decided I was a burden & tried to end it all. Luckily ,now, I failed & am here, I’m still quite near the start again, I’d tell you more but this is public, but I am accepting help, having counselling, therapy, medication & I have an amazing partner & children. Its card making that I have just taken up, I’ve spent months following designers & now I feel confident that I can join in. To anyone struggling out there get help, just tell someone who can help & take the support offered, to anyone still struggling I know its so hard but keep with it & ignore the unbelievers or negatives, just try. Laurel I look forward to seeing more of your work take care & although you don’t know mW, I am here ,I have ears if you need to just talk x

  38. Christine says:

    I only discovered your blog this year. I hope you do continue as I love your style and find your posts really inspiring. I hope your crafting is therapeutic and you keep going. l’m sorry this year was tough and hope next year is much better. xox

  39. denisemouton says:

    I admire your decision to speak about your condition. I had panic attacks in my late twenties to early thirties. My 34 year old daughter has them too. I think my mother, who died at 26 also had them. It’s such a horrible feeling. I could easily have been agoraphobic, but that is SO not me. I did exposure therapy after researching and it helped. I pray the you & others overcome this too. I’m so thankful they didn’t last more than a few years. I hope 2018 will be an easier and creative year for you!

  40. Lisa Shireman says:

    Laurel, I think you should design some encouragement stamps. Some real words from someone who understands! Something that you wish someone would have sent to you on your worst days. I’ve lived with depression and anxiety for several years, but had a really bad episode in 2017. I am thankful to still be alive and kicking today! I’m so glad that you are alive and kicking, too! Let’s kick depression together!

  41. janellegr says:

    Laurel, I’m encouraged that you’ve spoken out about the journey you’ve been enduring this year. It’s so hard to say “I don’t want to be part of the world today. Let me bury my head under the bedclothes and just let me be. It’s too hard, my heart and head hurt too much and I wouldn’t have the energy to scratch myself if I needed to.” Yes, I’ve been there with my Chronic Fatigue. And it is a process to work through. And you do need to ask for and get help to find your way through it. And it sounds like you’re kickin’ its butt!
    Please continue to share your creativity with us, but when you’re ready. Don’t struggle to do it all, only what you can, if and when you’re ready. Don’t set unrealistic deadlines – while they may inspire you – they can also be a weapon to beat yourself up with if you don’t achieve it . You’re one hell of a gal, and it’s an honour to share a common interest. Lovely caring wishes for an excellent Christmas with your family and hopes for a wonderful 2018. Be strong, and keep your chin up. (Good posture is a dying art these days. ) 😄

  42. Bless your heart! I’m so glad that you are starting to feel better. This struggle is real, and many many people struggle with this. I would love to watch any videos that you feel led to give us, but I don’t want you to feel pressured to do this. I would encourage you to do what you love and take good care of yourself. we love you and support you! Have a wonderful Christmas! Hugs, treen

  43. good for you for being brave and putting it out there. Those of us who know this disease well know how hard it can be. Hugs to you and we’ll take whatever you feel able to give!

  44. Oh, I’m so sorry to hear what you’ve been going through Laurel! I know the depression side. I had a caring doctor, who worked with me for months to try to get right combination of drugs to help me deal with it. Things do get better, you just need to give it time. You’ll still have days here and there but they get easier to deal with. Stay strong, you have lots of people who are behind you and care for you!

  45. Of course we want you. I love your design style. I know about the depression and anxiety. I take care of my elderly mother and she doesn’t understand it. She says I’m lazy. She doesn’t understand how much it takes for me just to get out of bed so I feel your pain. Good luck with stepping back in and just do what you’re comfortable with. Big hugs!

  46. Mary Holshouser says:

    So sorry to hear of your anxiety issues. My granddaughter suffers from
    panic attacks and it keeps her from doing a lot of things she would love
    to do. Best wishes in keeping the demons at bay. Keep on doing
    what you love and enjoy – don’t pay attention to the nay-sayers.
    Hugs

  47. Laurel, I completely and utterly understand what you said in your post, I’ve been there and still living with severe anxiety and depression. It’s not easy and it does takes its toll on you.. it something which is completely out of you control and a dark cloud that hangs over you. I’m totally with you and you have my support and hope 2018 is much better for you. Hang in there and take care of yourself. Hugs x

  48. You’ve totally got this chickie! So honored to be one of your team mates and more so, your friend. Here’s to 2018 – Just like a fresh blanket of snow, the new year is a fresh start for everything (gotta love that, right?) and I can’t wait to see what you create. Love you! 🙂

  49. Mary-Anne V. says:

    Of course we want you back! Praying that the days ahead are filled with steady recovery, peace and happiness! 2018 will be awesome!

  50. erica1ab says:

    People who have never experience depression or anxiety always have such “helpful” tips on how to deal with it. You just do what works for you and take care of you, we will all be here waiting to be enabled… erm, inspired by you when you get back to it.
    Hugs from a fellow depression-dealing-gal

  51. Laurel,
    My heart goes out to you! I can honestly say that I have been out on that same ledge. People can’t see that you are ill and say you are faking the anxiety. Why don’t you just buck up and deal with it, or you have just gotten fat and lazy which is your own fault, are things I have heard from family and “friends “. I went from being very active to not being able to get out of bed because of the depression, pain from my injury and other factors. In one year I had back surgery, hand/wrist surgery after a window broke as I was trying to open it, that got infected and they had to do surgery again. Then, while I was in the hospital recovering from that, the cardiologist came in and told me I needed emergency open heart surgery. During this time we were finishing a 3 year house build so we could have a nice place to live.
    My marriage was close to breaking up and our youngest son (23 at that time) was giving us a hard time. I wasn’t sure that I was going to make it through and still have issues now from everything.
    I have lost all of my friends except one and I am starting to put me first. The best thing that happened during that time was our granddaughter moved in full time and I had no choice but to fake it till I made it. She was my lifeline to happiness and a sort of peace with it all. If you ever need a knowing and friendly ear to vent to or just talk to let me know and I will get you my phone number! Doesn’t matter if it is 3 am or 3 pm! The line is always open! (((((HUGS)))

  52. I’m sorry to hear about this! I can totally relate, and I feel the same frustration when people give unsolicited advice. I took a long much-needed break, too. Big hugs. I hope you’ve found some peace and are continuing to do what’s best for you! Sorry we drifted apart and hope that 2018 brings stronger connections. Happy holidays!

  53. Beth Karschnick says:

    Hey Laurel. I totally understand, Laurel! I just spent 10 days in the hospital for severe depression and anxiety. I have to take it minute by minute. I will pray for you Laurel, every day! If you ever need any help please contact me by my email and I will give you my phone number. I love you, Laurel. Most of all, God loves you! ((((HUGS))))

  54. Thank you for being open about what you have been dealing with. I’m so happy for you that things are improving with your mental health. If you’re up to making videos, I am happy to watch them. 🙂 I’ve missed your videos and fun giggle!

  55. I love your videos and am looking forward to more! I pray that you find the help that WILL HELP. I’m Praying for God’s help for you. HUGS!

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