Personal Post // Looking Back

07 October 2012

Throughout the three and a half years that I have had this blog, I have always held back pretty much everything that is personal in my life. Sure, I will show you all a photo of a boyfriend, let you have a peek into my bedroom, share my fun adventures as I moved New York City, but rarely (if ever) do I delve into things that have a story deeper than pictures show. From browsing the archives, it might even seem that my life is literally picture-perfect. I am a bit of a private person in general, so when it came to this blog I had never really planned on sharing anything personal. However, I am finally ready to share something with you all that has never been apparent at all on this blog. 

The reason why I want to share my story now in particular is because things actually have been pretty perfect lately. I think that is why I can finally share with you all a time in my life that was, let's say... not-so-perfect. So anyways, enough with all the build-up. Exactly one year ago at this time I was a new college graduate and a complete mess... such a mess that I emotionally became an entirely different person. Up until that point in my life, everything had always gone as planned. I finished High School and went straight to a great college, studied what I always wanted of, made amazing friends right away, studied abroad in London, met the love of my life, got the internship of my dreams, and basically never had anything to complain about. It was always smooth sailing for me. 

The first time in my life when I was actually really challenged was last year at this time when I graduated from college and had no idea where I wanted to take my life. Jobs were difficult to find and I did not take it well... at all. I am naturally a very happy person so I never let this make me sad, but instead I became a complete nervous wreck. I began having panic attacks nearly everyday. I developed awful acid reflux, constantly had a lump in my throat, could barely ever eat a thing and could not focus on anything without worrying. My mind drove my health to an awful place and that's when I finally saw a doctor about all of this. I was diagnosed with general anxiety disorder (GAD), something I brought upon myself during all the stress of the transition from college to 'real life'. I sought treatment and with the help of some amazing people, ,friends, and family I am back to where I am today -- a happy, healthy person! Over the course of the last year I have slowly but surely become completely the same again and the anxiety has diminished. I learned to not worry too much about the future and to focus on things that matter in the present, like my health. I wanted to share this with you all because I am beyond thankful that I was able to get over this hardship that burdened me so much only one year ago, and if any of you are having the same type of struggles I had I want you to know that it gets better. Just remember that hard times never last and that happiness is more important than all the little things to stress about in life. So I leave you with this quote from the Dalai Lama. When asked what suprises him the most about humanity, he said  

“Man.  Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.
Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.
And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present;
the result being that he does not live in the present or the future;
he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

I whole-heartily believe in this quote. We should always be reminded to live in the moment, and don't sweat the small stuff.  

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Monse Fuentes said...


El blog de Monse
El blog de Monse
El blog de Monse

Andre Álvarez said...

Desde el otro lado del mundo (Chile) te visito seguido, más que nada por las lindas imágenes... hoy te leí y justo encontré algo similar en mi misma... yo tampoco cuento cosas importantes, más que detalles que hacen parecer que muchas personas me conocieran, a mi me pasó que todo iba igual que tu, pero egresé y luego se dio la posibilidad genial de comenzar a trabajar de inmediato como diseñadora... se dio, porque no lo planee y eso iba tan bien, que nunca podía terminar mi titulo (de arquitectura) era una mochila gigante sobre mi espalda, una mochila que este año quite y porfin termine lo que había empezado y seguí mejor aun en lo mio, esto lo cuento para que veas que no eres la única y que además a veces cuando uno no planea la cosas salen mejor aún. Te deseo todo el éxito del mundo (y espero esto lo puedas traducir jaja) mis cariños y felicitaciones por ser una persona real!

Brittany Landers said...

Good for you posting this! I, too, have struggled with anxiety and clinical depression. It's not something I want to share on my blog, as my blog is all "happy, fun, fashiony" but maybe it should be done. This post you wrote brings awareness to these kinds of health problems that people dismiss or think you would never have, because of your outward happiness.

-Best, Brittany

Akilah -Smoothiefreak- said...

I had to go through something similar, but for me, it was before leaving college. I know how hard it can be to get through anxiety. It literally feels like your world is crashing in and there's nothing in your control to change it. I finally feel like my life is my own again, and so I'm really happy you've found the light, too.

xo - Akilah

Unknown said...

You look gorgeous, and I'm so glad you're back in a happy place!


Unknown said...

This post and the one before "lately" are by far my favs, i know that sharing some personal things like this could be hard, specially is you are a very private persone, but that's what make more warm and real beautiful blogs like this

Unknown said...

Great post girl!! I think it's something we can all relate to. It's so important to learn to be content in the present moment.

Christina Marie said...

Thanks for sharing your story! We all have struggles sometimes and it's nice to see you make it through so well. (:


Adi said...

I usually don't read the post that are wrote in english, because i don't speak a lot of and its hard to understand, however i love personal post, and i love you( your blog :) ) so read this, i'm happy thay you are health and you discover important things and ways for your life, great quote! be happy. ♥

You are amazing!
Que las cosas sigan mejorando!

Closet Fashionista said...

That quote is so true! I've had periods of my life like that as well, but not to the extent of having panic attacks. But I do get very worried about my future and the present. I'm glad you're doing better now!

Tonya said...

i'm seriously in tears as I write this comment. I can't explain enough how much this post really means to me. I'm going through the same thing right now, I haven't felt like me lately. I'm moving away in just a couple weeks to try and chase my dreams and I am so scared honestly. I'm leaving behind my family, friends, both jobs, and my boyfriend of two years.
I am constantly worrying and when I really sit and think about it, I ask myself...why are you honestly worried about anything? It's something I'm slowly trying to get over. And as you experienced too, it's making my health go wacky.
I'm so happy you posted this, It's another reminder that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Frannie Pantz said...

Thank you so much for posting this Bonnie. I have followed your blog for a very long time. I really appreciate when bloggers can share more of themselves, especially the vulnerable moments. It takes a lot of guts and I really always appreciate it.

It is a horrible cliche to say that everything happens for a reason, but I truly believe that. You need to have nothing to appreciate something and it is all of the bumps along the way that make you who you are.

I do hope you continue to blog in this way. It is very inspiring.

Anonymous said...

I love that you posted this! A lot of times we are embarrassed about things like anxiety and depression, when honestly we all will go through something like this at some point of our lives. I've been taking a break from blogging over the past few months due to anxiety/panic attacks and a few health issues that have come from it. I'm excited to jump back in! Thank you for sharing this part of your life with us!

xx Ashleigh

Carlee, Little Sloth said...

I am loving this post. And sometimes it is really hard to share more personal stuff on a blog. I know I have a hard time with it sometimes.
Almost Endearing

Yasmeen said...

Bonnie thank you so much for sharing this story! I do remember thinking at one point or another that your life must be pretty perfect but I can totally understand being hesitant about sharing things online. I'm the same way. Sometimes a tiny glimpse (like this one) can really help others. I was the same way about a month or two ago (I just graduated in May) and thankfully I have a job and I'm slowly, but surely, getting my life together as I'm sure other recent graduates are. This is a very reassuring post and kind of made my day :) Thank you <3

Lia said...

thank you for sharing this. It really means a lot that you are sharing this.

Glass of Fashion

Unknown said...

Oh dear, so sorry to know you had to been thru that hardship, and I'm so glad you're who you are today, because you're not only happy yourself, but your pictures bring happiness :) You're my fav fashion blogger!

Wish that everyday in the future you'll get happier and happier and spread the loves!


Cassie said...

I love a girl who will open up to her readers! I'm trying to do more, myself. Love your style and that you are finding an over-abundance in the little, beautiful things each day. It's a lovely life. xx

Anonymous said...

i felt the same like you when i graduated from collage and life in the real life.. It's hard to do. But like you said, no need worry. Just be happy with the present.. It's a good deal i think.. :) Nice share.. :)

Be Happy All The Time.. :)

Irene Wibowo

Colleen Katherine said...

Bonnie, thank you for the post! I too have a hard time living in the moment. I’m always focused on the past or what’s going to happen in the future. It’s hard to stay in the moment which stinks because then I am missing out on what’s important in this moment. We all have our own struggles. I'm glad to see how far you have come. You are my biggest fashion inspiration and i want you to know that. I may be moving to New York City next year for college and I am really looking forward to it. It is my favorite city and it seems that you love living there! Keep posting, I love it!

Sara Neville said...

I admire your ability to speak the truth. I am a fresh college graduate myself, learning to cope with the day-to-day uncertainties of life. I miss the days when I used to blog, fearing that I'm missing out on what it could have been... but I'm learning to live more in the present. It's difficult with each and every moment, but you're right -- it's so important.

Ariel | couturing said...

I like that this post shows a more personal side of you. I don't know that I have anxiety as I haven't been diagnosed, but I do have depression and I deal with it everyday. The stress gets to be so much, especially as I'm trying to juggle my senior year of high school and college applications and SATs and my blog and work...all while trying to stay up to date and consistent with all of them. Anyway, just commenting to say I understand! I'm pretty nervous about where I'll go after college as well but I wish you the best. xo

Unknown said...

For you to share something so personal to us your readers, only shows how strong you are, and I admired you for that, you have all my respect, you seem to be such a sweet and bright person, I enjoy all your post and I truly hope you're happy and in peace now :) Buddha said "We are what we think" fill yourself with positive thoughts and enjoy the present :) <3 I wish you the very best darling.

Tian said...

I think it's great that you've decided to share this!

I've just disovered your blog and I think it's really great. I love these photos. :)

Nop said...

Thank you so much for being a blogger!!! Your blog is so inspiring. I always like your style.
I didn't know that you ever had anxiety disorder, but you have passed that time and that must feel good now. ^^

Pamela Hernandez said...

Hi! I follow your blog for over a year and I really impressed by your story but also admire your strength to survive. I graduates from psychology degree last year and this time of transition has been very difficult for me, so I can relate to the situation that you passed. I think it's a matter of changing our attitude to life and be more positive each day and as you say enjoy the present, and then not regret it. Congratulations on the changes you have made in your life, keep it up. xoxo

Norbyah said...

as a long time reader of your blog, i have to tell you how much i respect you for sharing something so personal. i am also quite aware of the image i project to my readers, so i try to share moments when i'm struggling, too. i love when bloggers feel that they can sometimes share personal things on such public space. from reading these comments, it's evident that giving voice to such private struggle has made an impact on your readers and has helped others not feel alone in their suffering, also.
thank you, bonnie.

Dylana Suarez said...

Bonnie this is beautiful! Love you and miss you!


Jacquelyn said...

Awesome quote. This is a beautiful post <3


Giveaway on my blog!

ahoymichelle said...

Oh my goodness, this is very relevant to me. I've been dealing with worries of the future and forgetting that there are things that I need to concentrate on in the present. Thank you so much for opening my eyes even more and reminding me of the importance in living in the now.


Unknown said...

I'm exactly where you were a year ago. Everyone keeps telling me it won't always be this way, but it's hard to remember that from where I'm standing. Thanks for being for more proof that it gets better!

Meg said...

Loving this look! Loving your blog :-) Xo

Marie said...

Casual is cute!
I love your hat!

Tara said...

So sorry to hear about that time in your life and the anxiety. My sister is in her final year of high school, and has the same problem about achieving high grades. It's good to know that there's hope for her still, so thank you very much for sharing as it will help many people out there.

Tara :) x

Maggie said...

Thank you for sharing this, Bonnie. Great quote.

As always, I love your look. Very cute bag.


Pearl said...

I'm going through a similar experience right now. Unable to find a job I like while everyone around me are already doing something productive. Thanks for sharing this, Bonnie. The timing of your words of encouragement couldn't be any better. <3

Run With Fashion said...

Loved that you shared a personal story Bonnie! :)
I bet it's pretty amazing looking back just one yr ago and having a flash back of all the stress/struggles and what not, and here you are now, happy and healthy!
I'm glad you're back to being happy you. I wonder if you saw this coming, like you living life in NY, and being happy again. :)
And I loooove the qoute, VERY TRUE!! It reminds me of a story I read back few yrs in my English class, about living life. :)
As they always say, Stop and smellll the roses! ;D LOL :) Or the coffee lol.


Xenia said...

Great story! And beautiful photos!


Raspberry & Rouge said...

Thanks for sharing that, so true! Lovely week! Xx Rebecca

Em said...

Wow, that was brave! I could've never tell from your pictures that you were going through all that. So good that you overcame it and are feeling happy now!

Unknown said...

Interesting Blog.... Nice collection... thanks for sharing

Live-Style20 said...

magic ; DD

new new post

Anonymous said...

yes dear Bonnie, you're definetly right!
I also planning all of my messy times before I graduate on my collage now,
so scared for looking some of good job after that! seems I wanna scream and cried! a lot! hehe
I really wanna following my dream and become the one of happiest girl, isn't always perfect as like we want isn't it??

hope you'll always stay safely, keep spirit dear ;)


Maria said...

How lovely of you to be so honest and upfront with your readers about such a personal problem. I too am hesitant about sharing too much info with my readers but feel it important to delve from time to time. You are a successful, inspiring young woman with a wonderful life ahead of you. I have been an avid reader of Flashes of Style since 2010 and I must say that your blog has always been one of my favourites. It is wonderful watching your style evolve too.
xx Mara

Anonymous said...

Creo que este será el comentario más extenso que hice hasta el momento, a pesar de que sigo el blog desde hace muchísimo. Me gustó mucho ver tu historia, y desde aquí todo mi apoyo para todo y que sepas que me alegro mucho de que vuelvas a recuperarte a ti misma, que es lo más importante.
Me encanta el blog, la manera tan curiosa en la que nos muestras tu día a día, es delicioso. Todo de una manera dulce y original, porque es diferente a los demás blogs y eso se valora muchísimo.
Creo que nunca me cansaré de visitarlo.
Muchos besos!

Christine Northan said...

Thank you for sharing such a personal post! And I love that Dalai Lama quote too - I'm in the natural healthcare field so that quote really speaks to me xo keep shinin'!

lola said...

Great post!...and your outfit is my favourite one today! X

satu said...

You're truly a beautiful person, inside out. It was so nice to read this, see some similarities and feel the hope. Great quote too. Take care Bonnie!

Indie by heart

Style Search said...

you are lovely!

Michelle and Lauren said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michelle said...

The struggles you went through a year ago is EXACTLY what I'm going through right now. Almost word for word. I graduated from college close to a year ago, majoring in something that I love. Everything was going according to my plan, and I too was lucky enough to have not one but two amazing internships.
Since the ten months that I've graduated, it's been incredibly difficult to find work. This transition time for me is one of the scariest, awkward and most anxiety ridden times in my life. I don't feel like myself and feel as though I'm closing myself off to the world.
To see that you've gone through exactly what I'm going through right now and that you've made it out fine helps me know that I too will get past this.
Thank you so much for posting this, it really gives me a newfound hope.

Jennifer said...

I am really glad that you share this part of your life. A lot of bloggers, especially successful ones are put on a pedestal, for the exact reason you said - you only see what happens through the photos chosen to be posted, which can look pretty perfect.
I'm glad you sought treatment and are back in a healthy state of mind, body, and soul and I wish you the best going forward. I have definitely been in your place, and feel as though I am almost back there myself. I will use your words of encouragement and support to remember to take care of myself, even in a state of extreme anxiety/stress!

xo Jennifer

Phara said...

You have no idea what this has meant for me! I'm going to something quite similar at the moment, and currently I am still struggling with it. It's crazy what the mind can do with your body, but to read that you got through it, I can see that's there's hope. So thank so much for sharing this and copy paste for the quote too ^^
much love! and wish you all the best! enjoy it!

ambika anand said...

thank you for sharing that bonnie, it was quite touching.. its funny bc the internet has a way of allowing us to portray parts of our lives that may show a different story than what all is really going on... your struggles about where to go after college are very similar to my own, and it appears many of your readers. its crazy how our generation is going through this.. it brings to mind that book (i still need to read) called the paradox of choice. there are simply way too many options for us, that nothing ever seems to be quite perfect so we constantly search for something else... i know i've been there!

loved the dalai lama quote... he is so inspirational, and has such clarity in viewing the world!
cheers from a fellow NYC living kid :)

Ria said...

It was awfully brave of you to share that with us when you had no obligation to. But it's nice to know there are people out there who have struggled in the past but are really making the most of their lives nows. I'm glad you're back on track, and even happier that you're in a good place now too :)
I adore that quote, definitely gotta use it as a mantra more often! xoxo

little lamb said...

Thanks for sharing! Something similar happened to me.. I was eating and from one moment to the mext my heart rate was super high and i did not know it at the time but i thought i was dying so i rushed to the E.R. , they didnt evaluate me right so it just made things worse... anyways i felt lie i had a golf ball in my throat and i felt like i had to have water with me ALL the time to insure that the golf ball was not really there... I didnt want to ever ever take medication so I had tones of people pray for me ... but ya Thank God im totally better with out taking meds ! i do take teas and magnesium drinks to help & of course I pray to never ever feel like that again! but thanks for sharing ! It must have been so hard and now your fine! I love reading your blogs xoxoxo wish the best for you!

Laura said...

I love that you shared this with us because for the past 4 to 5 years I've been going through a similar strugle. I've had panic attacks and depression on and off when ever I'm in a stressfull and new chapter of my life. For me it's been encouraging to hear how other people have coped with their troubles and moved on. Happy to hear you're doing better now!!

c. said...

Congratulations for overcoming that hurdle. I completely understand it, as I have the same problems, I worry too much and sometimes everything becomes too much. This was very bold of you sharing your experience with us.

attempted ambition

M. (Faded M Style) said...

So glad you overcame this and are feeling better! What a great quote you posted. I'm going to remember it always! xo
Best, M.

Taryn said...

Thank you so much for sharing. I deal with anxiety as well. And, as bad as everything seems sometimes, it's so important for us to remember that things will always look up.

@la_papio said...

The good thing here is that you are ok now. We usually forget the important things in life, like us or enjoing every single moment. I hope you keep in mind all you have learnt and go on living with all these tools.

XX From Chile! :)

Anonymous said...

so true.thank you for your honesty.

Anonymous said...

I can understand why you held this all back from the blog, and sharing it must have taken a lot of will power. I have a hard time looking at blogs where people aren't real in sharing their lives, and you usually don't write that much at all so sometimes I just wondered what you were really like behind the prettiness, you know? So reading this was really cool. Thanks for being honest and I hope that you will continue to do well!!!

Unknown said...

Love this post. And I completely understand the anxiety you went through. I think I've experienced it at every major life change thus far, but each time, it gets less severe and easier to overcome. I always feel comforted to hear that we're all human and share in the same experiences!

Ashley Eli said...

I'm unsure what led me to read this post of yours. I tell myself it was because of boredom but I am now believing it was meant to be. The last couple of weeks in my life have been anything but easy. As I strive to gain control in my life, I seem to lose the grip even more. Just last week I went to a minute clinic because of a sore on my lip. The woman took my temperature and said I had a fever of 99.5 and the lump was a combo ulcer and fever blister. Though I was not sick, she explained that it was due to stress and poor diet. I hadn't been eating well and my fiance has been concerned.
To make a long story short, reading this post came at the most perfect time. I've been feeling like I'm losing myself to the stress of college, little money, unable to find a job, wedding planning and a very limited social life. I feel like my life is slipping out of my hands and I cannot hold on. But upon reading this, your encouragement and quote has given me hope. Though I can't see what lies ahead, I shouldn't worry. As it says in the bible in the book of Matthew "do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it's own." It is by your words and the power of encouragement that I am feeling more confident that life will not overtake me but will be a challenge I can say I conquered.
Again, I apologize for the long explanation. I just thought you should be aware of your impact.
Thank you for your words and honesty.


Anonymous said...

Sorry if this comes up twice..

I wanted to thank you so much for writing that. I graduated this past spring and moved to NYC this past July. It's been hard to make friends and adjust. Your note was not only uplifting but it made me feel less crazy for feeling like this and going through experiences similar to yours. Thank you times a billion

btw I do love your blog!

Unknown said...

thank you so much for sharing this. I'm a recent college myself and the transition is truly awful sometimes especially when the job doesnt come right away. thank you for sharing this struggle, I feel reassured that Im not the only one going through this and that I can be where you are at some point. Happy and healthy! Thank you for sharing this :)

Ruby said...

I remember seeing photos of you on flashesofstyle and thinking you looked a lot thinner, I did wonder about how you were doing. Thank you so much for sharing this. I have anxiety issues as well, and I have always thought it so important that people like us who have these problems should speak up. You're an inspiration as always Bonnie x


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