An Apartment of Firsts: A Personal Story

Health & Wellness

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This week, I’m packing up my apartment of firsts. First time living alone. First big furniture purchase. First time leaving a job. First time I admitted to being truly lost. And while my divorce was being finalized at the very end of 2011, in this apartment, I said for the first time, “I need help”.

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When I hit what people call “rock bottom”, I flopped around in that ugly emotional state for quite some time. A good part of year, to be vague. During this time, I was three parts overwhelmed, terrified, and devastated: Overwhelmed with a plethora of conflicting emotions (which I later learned were real feelings), terrified of the amount of work it would take to understand them, and devastated I had treated people closest to me so poorly. And then, I decided I needed to peel myself off the floor, and do something about it.

So I sent myself to therapy, and built a home to ward off the bad feelings. The darkness of depression. The deafening sound of anxiety. And the shame that followed my Adult ADD diagnosis in July of 2012. Ironically, once my home was comfy and safe and made perfect for a time of healing and self-discovery, the idea of actually living in it, alone with me, myself, and this now self-aware person, scared the shit out of me.

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My friend Collin Hughes shot these images in May of 2012, when I was hovering just above what felt like my lowest point. Wit & Delight had started to gain a broader readership, and everything looked shiny and perfect from the outside. But for those who knew me, or met me in person, even the friends I made via the interwebs, knew things were far from good. They were patient and kind as I spilled my guts (and many times got flat-out drunk) over beers and dinners across the country that summer, from NYC to Palm Springs, San Francisco and Napa, Pacific Grove and Minneapolis/St. Paul. I spent my weeknights alone in my kitchen, whipping up meals for one, crying to Neko Case. Basically, I went Bridget Jones on y’all and I was owning it. With this support system and some QT with myself, I started to gain confidence (the real kind) in the person I had learned I’d become. Being on my own was starting to have more pros than cons, and suddenly, it was THE BEST THING EVER.

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Rebuilding after a setback takes time, and to be truthful, I’ll always struggle with anxiety and compulsivity. It’s in my DNA, part of who I am, a defining and sometimes lovable antihero in My Story. Through accepting imperfection and “weaknesses”, inner peace has finally trumped my life-long companion, Anxiety.

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That’s my story of firsts. The important stuff I didn’t want to share with you last year because I was scared of sharing something REAL that I have FEELINGS about, because I hadn’t quite processed it all, and because I was scared of what The Internet would say in response to my said vulnerability. But you know what? Fuck that business. I hope that sharing an abbreviated story of firsts (derived from a much longer and messier one) touches at least one person who struggles with anxiety, ADHD/ADD, or depression. I spend less time alone these days, but I learned, through spectacular failure, that taking care of yourself is the best thing you can do for the people you love.

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So, in closing, here’s an abbreviated list of truths, lessons, and cliches I learned in this, my beautiful apartment of firsts:

– Being alone is good for you.
– Happiness is elusive, and peacefulness is underrated.
– A long run is an effective medication for many mental afflictions. And a good substitute for Adderall.
– Accepting you need help is healthier than denying it, but it hurts more. A lot more.
– Trust your gut and listen to your heart, especially if you don’t like what they’re saying.
– Be good to yourself and you’ll be good to others.
– Forgive. It’s good for your heart.
– Forgive yourself, too.
– Love manifests itself in many different ways.
– Know what you need, and know how (and when) to ask for it.
– If people tell you you’re crazy for trying, you’re most likely on to something.
– Your weakness can be your strength, but only if you know how to use it.
– It isn’t over until you’re dead.

BY Kate Arends - August 27, 2013

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add a comment

  1. Lily

    August 27th, 2013 at 12:44 am

    You are really really good. Thanks for this. More than you could know.

  2. Allison

    August 27th, 2013 at 12:50 am

    And the girl crush only grows. Thanks for such a raw, real post. Hope it felt as good putting this together as it does for those reading it.

  3. WSAKE

    August 27th, 2013 at 1:20 am

    you rock! thank you so much for this post – i´m living in an apartment of firsts, too and i never thought about it that way…

  4. Victoria Smith

    August 27th, 2013 at 1:24 am

    good for you kate! i loved your honesty. may it all just get better and better.

    p.s. fabulous home!

  5. Kate

    August 27th, 2013 at 1:56 am

    Thank you, Victoria!!!

  6. Chelsea

    August 27th, 2013 at 1:30 am

    I’m crying as I read this. Thanks for being vulnerable and real and flawed.

  7. Kate

    August 27th, 2013 at 1:57 am

    I’m so glad it resonated with you, Chelsea. I got a little choked up when I read your comment!

  8. Katherine

    August 27th, 2013 at 1:30 am

    thank you.

  9. Allison

    August 27th, 2013 at 1:53 am

    Kate, from a girl with anxiety, depression, and possibly ADD — thank you. Say more, anytime.

    And yes, as others have said, your home is so so beautiful. What a place you made.

  10. Kate

    August 27th, 2013 at 2:00 am

    Hear, hear! So glad you got something out of my story, Allison. And thank you for your kind words!

  11. not sad anymore

    August 27th, 2013 at 3:36 am

    now this, this is great. keep up in this direction. we need true, honest writing, much more than product placement.

  12. tess

    August 27th, 2013 at 5:20 am

    wow. This post is beautiful, it is brave and it has given me hope. thank you, a million times over. It is so rare to find people talking about overcoming anxiety, it seems easy to forget the hard times when the darkness lifts. Thank you for sharing, your writing is so very raw and honest.

  13. Joo

    August 27th, 2013 at 5:33 am

    posts like this keep me inspired. you are one brave, self-aware, honest, and beautiful person (inside and out).

  14. Jessica

    August 27th, 2013 at 6:24 am

    Thanks so much for this post. I jumped out of bed to read it. I hoped you would share some wisdom that I can relate to as I start down this same journey (and am currently coping by building a home) and you definitely did.

    My favorite mantra of late: “Everything will be fine in the end. If it’s not fine, it’s not the end.”

    Thanks again for sharing (and for continually being amazing). Your honesty helped me this morning as I inch toward a time when I’m ready to share my own story.


  15. Claire

    August 27th, 2013 at 6:40 am

    Thank you for being so brave to put all of this out into the world! Glad to hear everything is heading in a more positive direction these days and I really like your apartment! 🙂

  16. Georgie

    August 27th, 2013 at 6:43 am

    I found your post really encouraging and heart warming, especially as someone who suffers with anxiety.
    I think the section about what you learned was also particularly good. My only question/criticism is about trusting your gut especially if you don’t like what it is saying, my gut, particularly my anxious gut tends to tell me to run away a lot, usually from the people who love and care for me best, it tells me I don’t want them and to run and usually hide. this is something I really find upsetting because I don’t want to leave my loved ones. I have had to spend the past few months actively trying to ignore the feeling in my gut of dread and fear,of wanting to leave my partner because I don’t feel I can cope anymore, and pushing away my friends. Basically, alienating everyone, making rash decisions based on emotional thinking as opposed to rational thought. Maybe I am taking your advice to literally? I guess what I am saying is, with anxiety sometimes your gut isn’t always telling you whats best for you, but more like what is best for it.

  17. Kate

    August 27th, 2013 at 7:58 am

    Thanks for sharing your story, Georgie. I think the “gut” plays a different roles depending on how anxiety manifests itself. For me, my gut told me something was off years before I could rationalize it. It’s easy to say “trust your gut” in hindsight, given this particular case.

    Sending you positive thoughts as you work through this time. You’re more resilient that you realize, I promise!



  18. Aisha

    August 27th, 2013 at 6:45 am

    Kate, thank you for sharing with such honesty and grace. I have long admired you and your work, and this post reinforced that. I feel I can learn so much from your experience, and I truly appreciated this.

  19. Eunice

    August 27th, 2013 at 7:09 am

    Kate, thank you for sharing your story. It’s refreshing to read, especially when I’m beginning to feel lost myself.

  20. Brigid

    August 27th, 2013 at 7:13 am

    In all the time I’ve been reading (going on two years now?), I’ve always thought your apartment looked like an amazing refuge. I had no idea it was so much more. So meaningful to know more of the story.

    My own times living alone taught me more about myself than I could have ever imagined.

  21. Tara D.

    August 27th, 2013 at 7:40 am

    Thank you for sharing. Such an intimate post. Our spaces are so much more than what we see. What you went through has taken courage and persistence…know you have and continue to do well. Keep listening to your gut!

  22. Meghan

    August 27th, 2013 at 7:51 am

    I needed this more than anything. Thank you for sharing this incredibly relatable and honest piece. Really and truly, you’re a huge inspiration for so many people, myself especially.

    Thank you.

  23. Katy

    August 27th, 2013 at 7:58 am

    Thank you for sharing your experience. It’s a gift to all who read.

  24. Gina

    August 27th, 2013 at 8:05 am

    This? Is fucking awesome. You go get it, lady. Brava.

  25. Britt @ My. Daily. Randomness.

    August 27th, 2013 at 8:10 am

    A truly amazing and inspiring read. I think we have all been there at one point or another. It takes an unbelievable amount of strength, and you are always much stronger than you think.

  26. Lauren

    August 27th, 2013 at 8:11 am

    I’m so glad that you have gotten through what sounds like an awful year. I, too, struggle with anxiety and always have… and am currently going through a tough breakup, so seeing that you triumped gives me hope! Thanks for sharing. XO

  27. Alecia

    August 27th, 2013 at 8:19 am

    Oh dear Kate…..what a beautiful story of resiliency and how the heart can grow and overcome some of the most difficult things this life can bring us. I am sure you have encouraged and helped so many people with opening up about your story ( I am one of them). It is nice to know these feelings of anxiety/depression that make you feel so isolated from this BIG world out there, that in all reality you are NOT alone. I have also been lost for over a year and the pain can be unbearable at times. Hopefully my journey will look something like yours : discovery- discovery of who I am, what I am good at, and then feeling completely at peace and confident in myself.
    xo Kate! Big cyber hug for you!
    -ALECIA Z.

  28. EJ

    August 27th, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Your words were moving and beautifully written. Thank you for such an open post.

  29. Jéssica Nogueira

    August 27th, 2013 at 8:38 am

    Beautiful post! Life is beautiful even with those complicated moments. Love this part: “taking care of yourself is the best thing you can do for the people you love.” Be happy, be proud of your history, we all have one and yes, it isn’t over until you’re dead! Beijo, Jé

  30. Lizzy

    August 27th, 2013 at 8:45 am

    It was really wonderful to see you the other evening at the book launch! Even though we’ve only met a couple of times, I am so happy for the love that you’ve found and I think your story is incredible. Thanks for sharing, lady!

  31. Piia

    August 27th, 2013 at 8:48 am

    Thank you for sharing, I’m moved by your honesty! All the best to you!!!

  32. Claire

    August 27th, 2013 at 8:50 am

    What a wonderful post, with advice that is often very difficult to hear (and put into effect). Thank you for sharing this part of your story. May you have many more firsts in your next place (hopefully all good firsts, or at least firsts you can learn from).

  33. Laura

    August 27th, 2013 at 8:54 am

    I’m not sure how to say this, or if I should, and I hope it doesn’t come out wrong, but I actually feel kind of relieved to read this. As much as I love your blog (I do! so much!) to be honest it sometimes got me down that it seemed you had this perfect life going for you and it sometimes had me feeling bewildered about my own place in life (and not just your blog, but many others contributed to this feeling). anyway, showing that you are human gives me some hope that i can overcome my struggles too and eventually create some change in my life. thank you so much for sharing this.

  34. Laura

    August 27th, 2013 at 9:00 am

    You are inspiring. Reading something so real was absolutely refreshing. Wishing you all the happy thoughts!

  35. Merisa

    August 27th, 2013 at 9:04 am

    This brought tears to my eyes. I struggle daily with all of the above. I have depression and ADD. It’s a hard balance, but I work at it, horribly, because I have 2 little girls that need me too. Despite my feelings I have to somehow pick myself up daily and carry on. I’m so glad things are on the brighter side of a very dark time. It gives me hope. =)

  36. Brooke

    August 27th, 2013 at 9:07 am

    It’s been said that those who live the most emotionally healthy lives come from an open place of constant vulnerability. Bravo for being brave. You’ll never know the full impact of the lives you have touched. I hope you continue to get stronger and more comfortable in your own skin, it’s a gift to the world.

  37. Desi

    August 27th, 2013 at 9:08 am

    Very brave Kate. I have been there and it’s rough. I’m so glad that you had the courage to ask for help and are on the other end. Those crashing waves can be hard to take. I find that losing my shit to a certain degree is the best medicine. Letting it all hang out makes it a little easier to reassess and figure out what you want to manage, leave behind, and/or pick back up.

  38. LP

    August 27th, 2013 at 9:17 am

    If there’s one thing I learned in my twenties (now that I’m newly 30 I’m so wise) it’s that life is super flippin’ hard and no one tells you that. Pushing your story of strength and struggle out into the world is a risk. I sure know that. But the good that comes from that is great. The kind of great that feeds you, makes you even stronger, and builds a fan base of those sending well wishes. Keep taking first steps. We’re out here cheering you on.

  39. mariquitina

    August 27th, 2013 at 9:27 am

    I should write down all your “truths and lessons” and read them once a day. They’re really helpful, thank you so much for being absolutlely sincere and pleasant.


  40. Allie

    August 27th, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Related to this a lot. Thanks for being open and vulnerable.

    If you’re not familiar, check out Brene Brown’s TED Talk on vulnerability. Her books are wonderful, too.

  41. Emily

    August 27th, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Lovely post. My favorite I’ve seen here yet. The beautiful photos are elevated to something else entirely with the sentiments expressed here. I hope this isn’t the last time we’ll see such personal writing on Wit & Delight. It’s a little much for me to say, maybe, but it truly took the content to another level for me. More than just beautiful, aspirational photos and content, this was something I could relate to. Best of luck out there.

  42. Stephanie

    August 27th, 2013 at 10:03 am

    In love with this post! I also went through very similar experiences in my apartment of firsts, two years ago! I also live in Chicago and this is where my alone time began. Best and hardest time of my life!

  43. Jamy

    August 27th, 2013 at 10:13 am

    You Rock, Kate. It’s amazing how you feel you can relate to someone you don’t even know but having experienced the same situation, I could feel every word, every emotion in this post. I’ve always admired Wit & Delight, for many reasons, but this takes the cake. That and I still think you should write a mini-book about your transit stories. Have a great week.

  44. Christine

    August 27th, 2013 at 10:46 am

    well done, love. so inspired by your honestly. hugs

  45. dervla

    August 27th, 2013 at 10:58 am

    wow Kate, thank you for sharing this with us. Your home looks amazing and I hope you’ll find everything on an upswing now. You are inspiring.

  46. Jennifer

    August 27th, 2013 at 11:03 am

    <3 you are awesome! thanks for honestly.

  47. Chez

    August 27th, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Thank you so much for this, i’m going to save it to my Evernote in my ‘Wise Words’ notebook. I’ve given up my job to move home and concentrate on starting to get well after suffering from depression and anxiety pretty badly, so hearing your story gives me a little bit of hope. Interestingly, after looking up the symptoms of Adult ADD, most of them seem to fit in line with the unexplainable things I suffer with and have always felt were just little ‘quirks’, but instead of being scared or feeling knocked down, I feel comfortable and ready to face things. Thank you.

  48. kayla @ exquisite banana

    August 27th, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Your honesty is moving in its vulnerability. Thank you for sharing so candidly with your readers. I always liked you, but now I feel like I also know you.

    Carry on!

  49. Laura Belle

    August 27th, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Solid post lady. Tough stuff for sure but I’m glad to hear there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Good luck on the move – and welcome to the neighborhood!

  50. Leilani

    August 27th, 2013 at 11:52 am

    Oh my god Kate, I really needed to read this today. Just got laid off from my first ‘grown up’ job, just figuring out where and how and what I want to do, plus moving this weekend. This was so, so so good. I see a lot of nesting in my next few weeks.

  51. Maddy

    August 27th, 2013 at 11:53 am

    I’ve just started following your blog but I always love reading posts like this – it feels like the internet is this place where everything has to be perfect, just because we “can” sensor what we put out there, but that’s not real life. And I identify most with, and aspire to be more like, the bloggers who can reveal some of their real lives and aren’t afraid to do that and who know that doing so might help someone else on their whole journey, on-or-offline! So thank you for sharing, really. I’m sure it wasn’t easy but know it is much appreciated.

  52. Marisa

    August 27th, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Thank you for sharing – I admire the bravery and honesty that takes. Difficult times can be very isolating so it’s helpful and comforting to hear about your journey thus far. Thank you!

  53. Julia

    August 27th, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    This is beautiful. I have a fear of being alone as well and it comforts me knowing that I am not alone in the struggle and that there is nothing wrong with my fear. There is so much pressure especially with social media to constantly be with people, but I believe being alone even for a bit is necessary to understand who you truly are. Thank you!

  54. Quyen

    August 27th, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Thank you for being so honest and sharing your struggles. Your list of lessons was very inspiring to me.

  55. Anni

    August 27th, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    Thank you for this post. It’s beautiful. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that we’re all in this together, even when we feel incredibly alone.

  56. Linette

    August 27th, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    LOVED reading this personal experience, so glad you shared it. Your story is inspiring and beautiful. And as you must know by now, you are so not alone in these battles. It only makes you stronger as you discover how to make what you once thought were shortcomings and defects, into things that work for you. I really hope you will continue to share more of your personal journey (sounds like a lot of your readers do as well!).

  57. Katie

    August 27th, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Kate, this is such a brave, strong and beautiful post! Bravo for sharing! It’s so hard and scary. You have a lot of love and support!!!

  58. David W Bullanday

    August 27th, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    Thank You Kate! Thank You So Much!

  59. Rachel

    August 27th, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Beautiful apartment, beautiful post. Can’t wait to see what the next step looks like!

  60. Eva

    August 27th, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    This post moved me to tears. You are wonderful. Also, I’m very excited about your new !

  61. Danielle

    August 27th, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    I’m a fan of your work and now I’m a fan of you! I’m currently going through something similar (ok, REALLY similar) and living alone for the first time is crazy scary. I printed out your list of truths, lessons, and cliches and put it on my bulletin board. Many thanks.

  62. esb

    August 27th, 2013 at 3:34 pm

  63. Annie-Ruth

    August 27th, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Kate, I have always gotten daily inspiration from you blog, tumblr and Instagram but this post is just breathtaking. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I too struggle with anxiety and it is such a battle, but it can be beaten! I have gone back to this three times throughout my day to re-read it, I couldn’t stop thinking about. A thousand wishes to you for what lies ahead lady, thank you! X

  64. Esther

    August 27th, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    I have been following your blog and tumblr for a long time. There were little hints along the way that things were not as okay as they seemed, but this honest post was absolutely moving and incredibly encouraging. You are inspiring! Wishing you all the best!

  65. Rach

    August 27th, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    Kate – I have been through the divorce and the aftermath of feeling alone and lost and anxious and I learnt all of those lessons you’ve said above – thank you for sharing – it’s so important to know that the real normal is actually pretty similar for all of us and we aren’t alone. Excited for your new changes!

  66. Leanne

    August 27th, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Thank you for sharing this in such an articulate, moving, very real way. I hope you are an inspiration to others in similar situations!

  67. Briel K.

    August 27th, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    Thanks for sharing something that must have been hard to share. I always appreciate seeing real entries like this and not just perfect images and words. Best wishes for all that lies ahead! 🙂

  68. Kateri

    August 27th, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    I just want to say thanks for sharing this with us. Really inspiring post.

  69. Megan McCarty

    August 27th, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    That a girl! Sending lots of love your way. There’s no greater feeling than truthiness.

  70. katie

    August 27th, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    Kate, what a beautiful post. I’ve struggled with anxiety, and I think the worst part is believing that you’re alone. That everyone else has it all together. So thank you for such an honest, relatable post. Here’s to your lovely NEW place!!

  71. els

    August 27th, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    geez girl, i could not have read this at a more perfect time. i’ve been reading your blog for a while, and had no idea you were going through an experience that i myself was struggling with. i’m 27 and just divorced, living on my own for the first time, and was also terrified. while reading your blog and seeing pictures, i thought you were someone so independent and so cool, so far away from where i was, scared of being alone. and to think – you were in the same position all along 🙂

    i both love and hate the internet for things like this. i incorrectly compared myself to blogs like yours where the writer seemed so happy and independent and creative, but at the same time, it’s really cool now to read what you went through and realize we are not so different!

    thank you for your story!

  72. Liz

    August 27th, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    Beautiful post. Happy I read it. Thank you for writing. But also (less important)– this apartment was gorgeous! Great job decorating! 😉


    August 28th, 2013 at 1:10 am

    In a world where our lives are dictated by perfecting our online identity, I thank for being so courageous and earnest with your story. Please continue to keep sharing.

  74. lisanne

    August 28th, 2013 at 1:22 am

    thank you so much for writing this, so vulnerable and honest. i am also having anxiety problems, which made me lose all passion for illustration and designing in the past two years. i’ve been telling myself ‘this too will pass’ and ‘i will get better soon’, but i have recently realised this is not going to happen on my own. online everyone always seems so happy and doing great bussiness wise.. i wish people would be more open and honest online. (so i won’t feel like a faillure haha)

  75. Sandy

    August 28th, 2013 at 1:57 am

    Beautiful post, beautiful apartment, beautiful girl… good luck with your new beginnings!

  76. Kate

    August 28th, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    Thank you for sharing, Kate. You’re a huge inspiration to me then & now.

  77. M

    August 28th, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Go Kate Go!

  78. melissa

    August 28th, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Kate, Thank you for being brave and for sharing your story. I wish you great happiness on your route to re-discovering yourself. You have inspired me and that no matter the challenge or what life throws at us. Over time we can overcome. I wish you luck and cheers! to new beginnings.

  79. Bianca

    August 28th, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Thank you Kate for sharing such an inspirational and personal story. Good luck with your new beginnings!

  80. leah

    August 28th, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    beautiful writing. my first apartment after my divorce had a kitchen sink the size of those found in a dentist office, nice hardwood floors, high ceilings and white walls, and an odd layout. it was the perfect place for me and still holds a special place in my heart.

    i hope wherever you are headed to next brings great new things for you. thank you for sharing your beautiful words and amazing apartment.

  81. Rose

    August 28th, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    This is so incredibly inspiring. While I myself have not been through a divorce, I did hit something of a personal rock bottom earlier this year when my grandfather (who I was much, much closer to than I ever will be to my real father) passed away and I fell ill with some sort of nasty infection a month later. For about two months, I barely left my apartment other than to go to work, saw hardly any friends and lost a lot of weight (which became so apparent nearly every single one of my colleagues mentioned it to me) from a combination of the medicine I was on and depression. It takes a while to climb out of it, but eventually you realize you have more to smile about and you still have SO much of your life to live!! You go, girl. You’re doing great things.

  82. rachael

    August 28th, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    congrats on sharing! that must’ve been pretty hard. i know more about you from this post than from any other post. 🙂

  83. nga

    August 28th, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    thanks for being brave and real. courage is a true virtue.

  84. Dominique

    August 29th, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Thank you for sharing your amazing story and your incredible home. I just love your personal space!

  85. Kathryne

    August 29th, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Hey Kate, thank you for sharing your story with us all. I connect with it on a deep level. I struggle with being an anxious, attention-deficit mess myself, and I fell into a black hole after a breakup earlier this year. So glad you’re in a better place now, and armed with more self-awareness to carry you over the next hurdle. xo.

  86. Alison

    August 30th, 2013 at 8:23 am

    Kate, you are so strong and wise. Thank you for sharing!!

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  88. Allison

    August 30th, 2013 at 10:58 am

    This was lovely. Thank you.

  89. Wesley

    August 30th, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Admire your courage. And the honesty of this blog. Please keep it up!

  90. Jess

    August 30th, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I went through a rough patch with anxiety last year, and honestly, looking at blogs, yours being one of them, was something that kept me going. I really appreciate your story, and hope to get to meet you one day. xo Jess

  91. Katie

    August 31st, 2013 at 2:43 am

    Living with depression and anxiety myself, I admire you so much for sharing this with the world. You are very brave and it gives me strength to see that others are living with some of the same things too. xx

  92. Pam Kennedy

    September 1st, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    Thank you. <3

  93. victor

    September 2nd, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    Thanks for ur time on all these amazing blogs, I fight hard to own a house like this, life is bitter, but some times can still be sweet, thank all the wonderful people who love life,and you can check here:, this is my stie, I hope u can give me some suggestions for this store, and I want to run a home goods perfect store and make people’s home better.

  94. AMS

    September 3rd, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    Wow! This post is the best thing that happened to me lately. It’s reassuring. It tells me that whatever comes, I can’t get through it. I will read this again and again when I forget and when I lose my way… Thank you SO much for sharing.

  95. ashley

    September 3rd, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    excellent post, kate. i commend you!

  96. Lucy

    September 3rd, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    Thank you for sharing. I really appreciate the honesty and courage captured in this post. I’ve been a long time reader and lover of this blog, and it was really impactful to read a more personal version of your story.

  97. Chantal

    September 4th, 2013 at 5:24 am

    Thanks for posting this.

  98. Haley

    September 4th, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Thank you for your honesty and putting some truth out here into the interweb. It’s greatly appreciated. As someone who is in a transitional stage, and is a bit of a mess it’s comforting to hear.

    Also I designed those smell the roses shams that you have :).
    I look forward to seeing more of your journey unfold!

  99. kat

    September 4th, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    thank you for this

  100. Laura Rahel

    September 4th, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    Such a beautiful and honest post. Divorce is so incredibly hard, in the blogging world it’s hard to find others who have gone through the same thing, most appear to be happily married haha.

  101. Megan Eckers

    September 5th, 2013 at 10:26 am

    This is fantastic. Thank you for being real. The life lessons you shared are all so true and hard-earned. Congratulations on slogging through the shit and loving yourself on the other side.

  102. Chuck

    September 6th, 2013 at 7:10 am

    I think this is my favourite post of yours ever? Glad you’re in a better place. Much wise advice and such a beautiful home! I hope the move goes well.

  103. peggy

    September 7th, 2013 at 9:05 am

    Thanks for sharing your, yes, beautiful, inspiring story. A friend once told me, “the harder you drop, the higher you’ll bounce back”. It’s true, so hold on for even more wonderful, amazing things to come your way. Loads of love, Peggy

  104. Kate

    September 7th, 2013 at 10:11 am

    thanks for sharing

  105. Morgan Borine

    September 7th, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    This post is so raw, so real, and unmistakably genuine in nature. Thank you for allowing yourself to be vulnerable and for taking the time to share your journey with others. I think you’d be surprised at how many of us share with you some, if not all of the ‘weaknesses’ that you described. I believe that your post illustrates a very important message.. the idea that although one may appear as though they have it all figured out, it does not mean that they do not experience setbacks and bumps in the road. I am actively involved in the field of mental health and your message is one that instills hope in those of us working to eradicate the stigma associated with mental health. Your perceived imperfection is candidly beautiful. Thank you Kate!

  106. Batina

    September 8th, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    Thank you Kate, your honesty is incredible and I hope that everything is on the up and up. I’m a midwest (Wisconsinite) transplant living in the PNW, I find your space here to be both beautiful and inspirational and now even more so. Thank you so much for sharing your story of firsts.

  107. Naomi

    September 8th, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    Kate – I’ve been reading for years but I rarely comment, but I have to say that this post (and more importantly, the work you did for yourself on yourself before writing this) was so raw and refreshing. I’m often guilty of doing anything but facing myself and my thoughts. Thank you for being brave and honest.

  108. Ingrid mc Quillan

    September 9th, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    It isn’t over till your dead , u said it girl ! One thing people don’t tell ya after , break ups etc !! Ur ego hurts and u start to eat some humble pie and your open to other peoples pain and u stop becoming so selfish . Hold on to those hardest to get out off bed days and you will be real , present and living . Always

  109. Starlit Nights

    September 9th, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    Thank you for this post, Kate. I’m facing something very similar, and your perspective and insight was so helpful.

  110. Anna

    September 10th, 2013 at 12:19 am

    Whether we marry early and get divorced or marry late and stay married, we’ve all been there.

  111. spokenlovesong

    September 10th, 2013 at 8:50 am

    A big step of you to write this personal post. Just want to say that your apartment looks beyond amazing!

  112. kellyhicks

    September 10th, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Thanks for your honesty. Your apartment was beautiful too.

  113. Erin

    September 10th, 2013 at 9:19 am

    What a lovely post. High five from a fellow anxiety sufferer. xx

  114. SK

    September 10th, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Even though it’s cheesy, in low points of my life, I’ve always been reassured by the phrase, “when you hit the bottom, there’s nowhere to go but up.” It sounds like you’re already on the upswing, but life ebbs and flows, so now that the bad stuff is behind you, you can look forward to many good experiences!

  115. Danielle

    September 12th, 2013 at 8:54 am

    This is fiercely beautiful. Thank you. I’m so glad that you’re at the point now where you can reflect and share such a tumultuous time. You’re certainly not alone in the struggle!

  116. Latrina

    September 12th, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    You are a remarkable woman. I have been hearing all over the place how beautiful this post of yours was and how I NEEDED to read it. I bookmarked it and waited until the perfect moment, and that was tonight.

    I can not thank you enough for opening up yourself and sharing this with us. I know it wasn’t easy. My goal for this year is to open up through my blog as well. And so far, I have gotten the most amazing support. It’s good to finally get those off your chest, you know? I am totally supporting you and just SO SO proud of you, woman!! I know it hasn’t been easy. 2011 was extremely rough for me and my 6 month separation b/w my husband was the wake up call I needed. I had so much time to work on MYSELF in which I have neglected my entire adulthood. Growing up with a sick mother, siblings I needed to help take care of, there was never time for me. Okay, maybe there was… but I never allowed it to be. Until two years ago when, I too, started therapy. And truly working on myself. What an amazing life change. I am still baffled just how much I am STILL discovering about myself.

    Again, thank you so very much for sharing your story with us! You’re remarkable, you’re beautiful and one fucking hell of a woman. Soo much love for you!!

  117. Corina Nika

    September 13th, 2013 at 3:37 am

    Such a wonderful and inspiring post. This was so personal, but i’m sure very helpful to all. I think that only when you hit rock bottom you can really stand on your fit. Not all experiences should be bad in our lives but definitely the bad ones make us stronger. Glad to hear that you are on your way to the best now.

    And the apartment looks simply gorgeous!

  118. em

    September 13th, 2013 at 6:21 am

    This is incredibly inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

  119. Clare

    September 13th, 2013 at 11:18 am

    An honest account of what life can throw at you. What a strong woman you are! Take care and have a fantastic weekend xx

  120. Victoria | Oh So Pretty

    September 13th, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    A couple weeks ago I posted a weekend reminder about being kind, for everyone meet is fighting a hard battle. This week I posted about being strong when everything seems to be going wrong because we are all fighting some sort of battle in our lives. And you are victorious, Kate! You’re such a beautfiul, amazing woman and your honesty is so inspiring!! Thank you for sharing with us!

  121. kylie

    September 13th, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    touched by your inspiring story. way to fight through the challenges of life, girl. you’re an inspiration! and your place is just gorgeous.

  122. Sarolta

    September 15th, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    This is so beautiful and full of life. Thank you for your courage in sharing your story!

  123. Audrey

    September 15th, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    I feel like I’ve been waiting years for this side of you to finally come out. It’s comforting when humanity and realness leaks into the virtual world of perfection. Thank you so much, Kate, for always being such an inspiration, and also for sharing yourself. I feel like this is the spark and soul behind everything you do, and I feel lucky to have seen it here.

  124. Alecia

    September 16th, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    Needed to come back and re read this post tonight. Xx a

  125. Felicia

    September 17th, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Thank you for sharing this Kate! This is an honest and beautiful post. We’ve all been there, life is far from perfect. Good to hear you’re in a better place now!

  126. Sarah

    September 18th, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Thank you soo much for writing this! It truly made my morning; as someone who deals with depression, mild anxiety and OCD on a daily basis, this reminds me to keep moving forward, learning to smile more often for the things I am grateful for through hardships and know there’s a community out there whose in your same shoes! Thanks for sharing your apartment of firsts, and maybe it would be a good series to incorporate into the blog!

  127. Hilary

    September 23rd, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    My sincerest congratulations for sharing such an intimate story in such an open, honest, eloquent way. I think it’s important to give yourself time to process difficulty, but at the end of it, if you’ve processed sufficiently, I think it’s equally important to share your lessons learned. We can all learn something from the challenges of others! Blessings, dear. (And your “first” apartment is so lovely! Best of luck with the next!)

  128. Ashley

    September 25th, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    So interesting…

    I found pictures of your apartment and tacked them as inspiration. I’m just separated from my beloved boyfriend of many years, and your apartment is what I idealized as a place of ‘oh she’s got it all’.

    Your vulnerability is the biggest form of courage, and reminds me that we are all human each having our own experience. On this side of the computer looking into your world, I would have never guessed it was such a moment for you.

    Thank you for not only being transparent, but for the deep reminder that with every light there’s a shadow, and that a broken heart is really the doorway to god.

    With love,

  129. kimberlykauer

    September 28th, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    This is a fantastic post. Thanks for being honest and sharing it.

  130. Annie

    October 2nd, 2013 at 12:09 am

    Such a great (and honest) post. Hats off to you for seeking help, for working through everything in your own time, and for the courage to share your experiences. So many people struggle through life and are afraid to let it show (yep I’ve done it too), but perhaps if everyone was a little bit more honest with themselves and others the world might become a more understanding place. Best, Annie x

  131. Camila

    October 4th, 2013 at 1:34 am

    You’re beautiful for having the courage to share this. Congrats.

  132. Helena - A Diary of Lovely

    October 9th, 2013 at 9:21 am

    I had no idea Kate. You are an inspiration and a beautiful woman, just wanted to say that. I’m going through a difficult time myself too and reading posts like yours help me a bit. Thank you

  133. Ashlee

    October 21st, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    Found this from Citypages (your blog) found this piece as a beautiful reminder to myself, where I once was also. A year ago, in the same city. Maybe one day we will run into each other and celebrate our successes. Cheers!

  134. Kate

    October 22nd, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    Thank you for your sweet comment, Ashlee!

  135. Ninie Pouce

    October 30th, 2013 at 3:14 am

    I really love this post, I move to another city 4 montsh ago. It’s a mess since this day, in my head, in my life, in my flat. Thank you.

  136. tiffany

    November 25th, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    i feel like i may have already commented on this post, but i have it bookmarked and come back to it every so often. today it is exactly what i needed to read as a reminder. life is fucking hard sometimes and i so very much appreciate your honesty.

  137. Stephanie

    December 9th, 2013 at 3:09 pm


    I recently discovered you blog and all its wonders and I love it!! this post in particular cause i went through something very similar in the last couple of years; moved on my own for the first time while going through a breakup and a depression … starting from scratch somewhere new and discovering and acknoledgning myself. Today things are so much better than they used to be, I mean I never would have thought it could get this much better. Thank you for sharing your story and know that your are far from alone :).

    stef xx

  138. Love, Marriage, and Second Chances | Wit & DelightWit & Delight

    December 18th, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    […] of flings, a few month-long fumbles, and one important (albeit very complicated) relationship. I truly loved being on my own because it finally felt […]

  139. christine

    December 26th, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Thank you so much for writing this post and for sharing your heart. I feel like I’ve been in a similar season this past year-and-a-half or so, and your post was a much needed reminder and comfort for me. Thanks so much! Keep being you and doing what you love–it’s such a blessing to the world!

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  141. kate

    March 2nd, 2014 at 8:24 am

    thank you for this. i cant tell you how much i needed to read your story and know that i’m not alone. you are an awesome example. keep doing what youre doing, its working well!

  142. Kate

    March 3rd, 2014 at 8:14 am

    Thank you, Kate!!

  143. Fashion Bride

    May 10th, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    Beautiful home for a newlywed!

  144. Bellissima

    May 15th, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    Love this.I may have commented on this post but visit it often.

  145. Erika

    July 7th, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    Hi Kate,

    I don’t know how many times I’ve come back to your site even just to re-read this post. Thank you for sharing this raw side of your journey. I am in a too-close-for-comfort situation myself right now. While my last break-up wasn’t a legal one, it certainly still pains and haunts me on the daily. Being alone right now is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.

    During our relationship, my ex got diagnosed with bipolar disorder with intermittent explosive disorder (instead of mania, he experiences rage). After 3 excruciating years of being his advocate and caretaker, watching him become a prescription drug addict before my eyes, and needless to say, feeling hopeless and alone in every way possible, I had leave him to somehow save myself instead. I moved into my own place 50 miles away and closer to work, but stayed in touch with him for a few months in hopes that being supportive would help him heal. It eventually became too much for me, and I cut off all ties. Then my greatest fear took form: he tried taking his life three times as a response.

    A month ago, I lost that job I moved here for and now feel more alone in this space than ever. I have family somewhat nearby, but my friends are scattered across the country as many of us do. Being alone has been both my saving grace but also extremely crippling.

    I, too, am a creative (marketing, writing, design), who has battled depression and anxiety my whole life. I was hopeful in the beginning that after surviving my break-up, and even my job loss, I could pick myself up and pour myself into creative endeavors if only to distract myself. But, alas, those voices in my head you’ve also referenced are louder than ever. I’m frightened and feel paralyzed by the weight of everything that I’ve experienced over the last 6 months. These walls have seen more tears and pain than I’d like to know. I also have my moments where I dance around to music, cook for myself, read in the tub by candlelight with no disruptions and experience wonderful, albeit fleeting, feelings of freedom and self-love. So, I know it’s possible to cross to the other side, but most days I cannot fathom my life ever being anything other than miserable with a rare splash of sunshine.

    I finally felt compelled to share my story in case even one other visitor to your blog comes across my comment and knows there are others out there in their shoes. Empathy from other women has helped the healing process, but I’m still in the trenches.

    What did you do, Kate, to help you get out of the muck? I, too, am in therapy. It’s a lifeline, but I feel as if I could use a therapist daily vs. weekly lately. I’m wondering what else worked for you – especially how you were able to work on this blog and such. My creative mojo has floundered. I’m overwhelmed, exasperated, and get mad at myself when I’m not productive as that is one day lost and one day closer to my meager unemployment benefits expiring.
    Do you remember a turning point where you felt more love than fear on the daily?

    I am holding by a thread of hope it will happen for me, too…

    Thank you again for always sharing your genuine and authentic spirit!

    All the best,

  146. Maria

    November 21st, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    I am reading this post now, but I have been a reader for a long time. I had not seen it before, and it resonates with me strongly now, about two failed relationships, the last one so recent it’s matter of days. I am 27 and feeling scared of the void in front of me, scared of my flat by myself and by life alone, again, after another “failure”. Thank you for writing about this, with calm, peaceful and sensitive words. I am so glad you have found your happiness both in your solitude and now in your beautiful marriage. I don’t usually do for things like this on the web, but something makes me wish I could meet you for coffee. I wish you all the best Kate! Thank you

  147. Finding Your Happy Place At Home (+ A Giveaway) - Wit & Delight

    March 31st, 2016 at 10:00 am

    […] Living on my own after a divorce, I found one of the most productive ways I coped with my own shortcomings was putting time and effort into making home feel just like that: home. Four years later and a hell of a lot wiser, life has gotten a bit less dramatic (thank god) but it hasn’t gotten any less complicated (does it ever? Asking for me). I’ve become much more aware of my need for privacy– at least a little bit, every day. We do our best about keeping the outside world from seeping into our bedroom. No TV, no computers, minimal cell phone usage. The bedroom is a stress-free zone, and I am intent on keeping it that way. […]

  148. Aisha

    March 31st, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    Coming back to this post as I separate from my boyfriend of four years, and find an apartment and home of my own. I struggle with anxiety and depression, and the thought of being on my own feels paralyzing. This post helps me refocus and remember that it can be good and that being on my own will inevitably lead to growth if I put the work in. Thank you, Kate.

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