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View More: http://shaunaeteskephotography.pass.us/chelsea

Warning to y’all: This post is not my usual chipper, positive, happy-go-lucky post. It’s a bit dark, moody, and raw. But that’s okay, because life isn’t always sunshine, roses, and butterflies. In addition, it’s a long post.

Stay with me?

If you were to ask me how I’ve been doing lately, the answer is not so great. In theory, everything is going well in my life. But sometimes depression can sneak in and cling onto the good times in life as well. I blame it mostly on seasonal affective disorder; February & March tend to be a struggle for me as winter seems ongoing. Especially as of lately, the amount of stress from the things that I have been trying to balance have been weighing me down.

In particular, I had a really, really bad day last week.

View More: http://shaunaeteskephotography.pass.us/chelsea

You know those days that start out bad from the moment you wake up? It was one of those days. I had an interview at 8:45am, and of course, woke up late, and was scurrying around the house attempting to get ready while taking care of Shadow at the same time. One of the reasons why I normally like getting up early is because I HATE rushed mornings; they set the tone for the rest of the day, and I like feeling balanced and in control of things when I walk out the door.

As I was was running out the door, my hair still a little damp, clinging onto a resume that I didn’t have the chance to finalize, I notice that it is snowing like crazy. I was completely blind to this fact because I hadn’t checked the weather the night before, and my curtains were all closed this morning. 

You always do this, I mutter to myself under my breath. When are you going to get your crap together, Chels? Be prepared. Swearing under my breath, I start up my car, realizing that I am probably going to be late for my interview because of the snowy conditions.

That’s when my gas light comes on. Crap.

I fuel up quickly and hit the road. Whew. I arrive at my interview at exactly 8:45 and scurry into the building, only to find that I went through the wrong entrance way, and the doors are locked. I sprint back to my car and circle the area to find an entrance way that is unlocked.

By now, I’m five minutes late, but hey, I made it, and I’ll take it. It’s only 8:50. Could be worse.

Overall, the interview went well, but not on my terms. I felt rushed, unprepared, and unsettled. I left feeling slightly inadequate and sad, thinking that I didn’t represent myself in the way I had envisioned I would. I also left feeling very stressed out about the position and hoping that I was the right person for the job.

By now, it’s snowing like a mother and I have an hour commute to class. I debate in my head if the drive is worth it. I think about how missing class gives me anxiety, and how my attendance was important for an after-school program that I am a part of. I think about how much I still need to accomplish today.

I decide to make the trek.

As I start my commute, I struggle getting out of the city because the roads are barely plowed, and it takes me nearly 20 minutes to get back on the highway. I love my Ford Fusion but she is terrible in snowy conditions. Her exterior sits extermely low to the ground, so she is very successible to getting caught up in slush, and she easily scrapes objects that are only a few inches off the ground. My back end fishtails a few times and I almost run a red light in the process because my car struggles stopping. At one point, when the traffic light turns green, I press my foot on the gas, my wheels keep spinning, but I move no where.

Finally, I get on the highway. By this point, tears are streaming down my face, and I’m feeling pretty sorry for myself. I keep repeating negative thoughts in my head. I hate snow. I hate Wisconsin. I hate college. The negativity makes me feel even worse, and by now I’m sobbing. I turn up Nirvana really loud as a coping mechanism and it makes me feel a little bit better. I reach into my tote and grab my lunch. I realize at that moment that I forgot my lunch on the counter during the bustle of the busy morning. I realize I don’t have time to stop to pick up food.

Sigh.

I drive on.

Bitterness.

I feel so bitter. So drained. So ANGRY.

Time passes.

As I drive along, I am painfully aware of how dangerous and risky this drive is. I count 10 cars in the ditch, including a semi that is leaning up against its side. Fear consumes me. I’m 40 minutes into this drive, I tell myself. There’s no stopping now. I’m only going 40 MPH in a 70 MPH zone, and yet I feel like it’s too fast.

Then it happens.

The back end of my car starts fishtailing.  My Fusion loses control and spins into the left lane, where a semi is currently passing me. I collide with the semi, and his front bumper sends me spinning back across the right lane.

In that moment, I don’t have time to put words to the thoughts in my brain, but I remember feeling.

I am crossing traffic. I am going to get hit by another car. Please don’t let me get crushed. Please don’t let me get trapped in this vehicle.

Thankfully, there are no other cars behind us, and he sends me sailing far across the right lane, into the ditch. The car jerks as it lands abruptly into a fit of snow. I open my eyes and hear the silence.

I made it.

With my fiancé being an EMT, I know the realities of car wrecks, and the consequences are fresh in my mind. I could have been thrown into on-coming traffic. I could have died. 

It all happens in a matter of 30 seconds, yet it was the longest 30 seconds of my life.

View More: http://shaunaeteskephotography.pass.us/chelsea

After a few hours, I finally make it back home. I change out of my soaking went dress pants into sweatpants, lay down, and turn on a movie. My neck hurts, but I can’t tell if it’s from the jolt or my stress headache. I fall asleep and take a 5 hour nap, waking at 11pm.

So many thoughts enter my head at this point. I think back to how depressed I felt leading up the accident. I physically was so crabby, so angry at the world, and so resistant. I think about how there is so much BS I put up with in my life when really, the little stuff shouldn’t matter, because life could be taken from us at any moment. I make a vow to myself to only invest in the truly important things in life.

To do my best, and be done with the rest.

I will admit that I am not the happiest ray of sunshine at times, but I’ve also learned to give myself permission to not be okay at times. I know that I will get through it.

I believe that happiness is a journey, not a destination, and that I have to work hard to be happy at times. That might sound crazy, but I need to work harder to appreciate my blessings, let go of what does not make me happy, and find my bliss. Sometimes happiness will come easily, but other times, I may have to work at it.

I think about how life is all about choices.

Sometimes, I’m not happy about the choices I make, but then I think back to WHY I made that choice. With every choice in life, whether it is a good or bad choice, there are consequences.

I feel as if my negative energy that morning contributed to my accident. Even though I was at no fault and did not get ticketed for anything, I still feel as if I somehow sent bad vibes to the universe, and the universe was giving it right back to me.

So my lovelies. What is the point of this blog post? What message am I hoping to communicate with you?

You have a choice.

Be around those who encourage you to shine. Do things that light you up. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Choose to work hard to find your inner happiness.

Find light amidst the darkness.

There is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

View More: http://shaunaeteskephotography.pass.us/chelsea

Wearing //
Dress// Albion Fit
Necklace // Tilly’s
Headband // Tilly’s
Boots // Charlotte Russe
Bag // H&M

Sunnies // Target

How adorable is this t-shirt dress by Albion Fit?! Earn 15% of your purchase with the code INDULGENCE .

Photos by Shaunae Teske Photography

How do you cope when you are going through a rough time?

Xoxo,

  • I am glad you are ok! I can definitely relate to a lot of what you wrote. I have been struggling for a while now with figuring out my purpose and what makes me happy. Hoping spring and better weather soon helps us both!

    • Sending lots of good vibes your way, Jill! You can get through this tough time <3 Yes, some Vitamin D would do us good!

  • Oh my goodness! What a horrible, scary day. I’m so sorry your depression is trying to drag you under right now. I know exactly what that feels like. I’m just glad you’re okay after the wreck.

    • Hi Em! Thanks so much for stopping by. It’s okay..I know it will pass! :) Thanks for always being there. xo

  • Neguine

    As I already told you on Insta, I love your blog content so much babe. No matter if you are on a good or a bad day, you always inspire me. I agree so much when you say that happiness is a journey. Even though I have all the tools to be happy, sometimes it just isn’t that easy and it requires so much work on myself and my thoughts to reach to the point of love. But babe, you are light. Always. No matter the darkness, you are a star!! Lots of love xxxx

    http://www.persianbrunette.com

    • Girl, thank you so much for stopping by! It means the world to me. Thank you for your sweet comments. I want to “ditto” everything you said! XOXO

  • CHELS!
    Holy crap I am so glad you are ok, that is terrifying.

    Thank you for taking such a horrific experience and finding the positive in it. Know that no one REALLY has it together and all we can do is the best we can day by day and, as you say, choose to see the positives.

    You’re a special lady for finding the positive. Also that dress is gorgeous, you’re shining like the sun.

    xxox
    Laura @ http://www.cookwineandthinker.com

    • GIRL. Thank you so much for your sweet comment. Waking up to it really made me smile. Thanks for always unconditionally supporting me in the process. Sending love your way, babe!

  • Danielle Mariah

    So scary! I’m glad you are okay. Also, I know what those dark days can be like and I’m glad you are acknowledging it and finding your way through!

    • I appreciate your comment so much. I am sorry you know what dark days are like…just know I am always here to unconditionally love and support you!

  • Jodi-Kay Edwards

    Omg I’m so glad you’re okay, that is so terrifying, something similar happened to me in December hence now I have a new car. *sigh these WI roads do get pretty bad. We are so similar sometimes, I just wrote a post about this, to be released in a few weeks but yes could not agree more, finding positivity in a dark place can be hard and even though we try to stay positive sometimes it’s hard and that depression likes to just creep up and slap you in the face. Lovely dress too girl, almost like a little ray of sunshine.
    http://lifestylefinesse.com/growth/

    • aw thank you love. Yes. It’s been a tough week. I’m literally counting down the days until I’m done with this semester…and then things will get easier. Sending you hugs and love!

  • Hopefully, you have a spiritual outlet to deal with SADD (in addition to everything else you do). For me I look UP and prayer, I read, I run, I give myself grace. Glad you’re ok and lived to tell the tale.

    For some encouragement stop over at http://www.lifenotesencouragement.com and search out posts on depression.

    • Thank you so much for your encouragement!

  • District Gal

    It’s very difficult to find your way through these difficult situations, one can’t help but feel doomed! For me, I think about the light that could exist at the end of the tunnel.

  • I truly believe that happiness is a state of mind, it’s difficult sometimes to force yourself to be happy but gratitude and a calm mind always centres me to be thankful for everything in my life. There’s always someone who wants your life, as bad as our day affects our mind. Your story really connected with me, I hope you find what you are looking for and have a great rest of the semester, have a lovely day.

    xo,

    I AM YASMIN

    • Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. It is very appreciated. I completely agree with you; it is SO important to find the gratitude in the every day!

  • Hi Chels,

    Your day sounds horrible. I am so sorry that you got into a car accident. I am glad you are alright.;-) it really was a bad day. I keep my fingers crossed that you will feel better and this day will be forgotten.
    Happy women’s day, Sweetie!
    X
    Miri

    http://currentlywearing.com

    • Thank you so much for your sweet comment. I really appreciate it! I cannot believe how kind people are to me. <3 Hope you are doing well! XOXO

  • This was a beautiful post. :) I’ve been feeling low lately too for some reason. I’m so sorry that you got into an accident, I have anxiety about driving in snow! But I’m so happy you’re okay and I hope that you feel better! <3

    • Aw girl, thank you! Your thoughtfulness and comment is SO appreciated! Hopefully you are just going through a rut. You can do this! Sending you love and inspiration!

  • This was such an inspirational post! I am so sorry that you had a horrible day and that you got into a car accident. That is incredibly scary, but I am so happy that are alright! Sometimes choosing happiness and focusing on being positive can be tough, especially in tough times. You are a woman warrior for sharing this story and your light with all of us. Thank you!

    xoxo
    Kristen

    • aw Kristen! I appreciate your thoughtfulness so much. Thank you for stopping by! xo

  • I really, really needed this post today and I’m so glad I happened to stumble upon it. Thank you for being so honest.

    • <3 I'm so happy you enjoyed. Thank you for reading!