“It Sucks That You Understand Now” …How Depression Deepened Our Friendship

There were seasons where my best friend Leslie would literally stop responding to me.  She didn’t return phone calls, texts, never wanted to hang out.  At first I would keep calling her to talk, to hang out, as usual, trying to sooth the rejection I felt listening to her voicemail message one more time, telling myself she was just busy or not feeling well.  But it kept happening, and try as I might to let it go, it was eating at me. My friend was avoiding me.  Why? I had no idea what I did.  After a while, I was so, so hurt.  I even questioned if I could really consider her my friend, if she couldn’t take the time to just call me back or want to be around me.

Me today still understands how me at age 16 felt.  But I’ve changed since then.  Now I also understand how Leslie felt…and when I realized it all, all I had was tears.

Leslie and me

My best friend battles chronic depression.  It is a battle she has often fought alone, especially in high school.  She told me once or twice in high school that she struggled with it but I had no concept of what that meant functionally in her day to day. I remember when she told me that her relationship with one of our favorite history teachers was a safe place for her, and maybe saved her during one of her darkest times.  I was like, “wow, that’s amazing, thank you for telling me” but didn’t know how to recognize when that dark time occurred, although it was right in front of me the whole time.  I didn’t know how to specifically support her, although she tells me that my friendship did support her.  I wish I had gone deeper, I wish I had asked her how she was doing with her depression, how it was affecting her.  I wish I had the wisdom to go deeper and talk about the uncomfortable.

See, all that time, I didn’t realize there was a connection between her depression and the seasons where she didn’t call back.  It wasn’t personal that she wasn’t calling me.  She just didn’t have it in her.  Depression has a weird way of sucking out all your extra energy, so you are left with just enough to survive. As she so aptly tells me now, “Depression is one of those things that just fucking sucks because it’s absolutely unrelatable to anyone who has never experienced it.”

During those times when she ‘wasn’t there for me’ were actually the times that I needed to be there extra for her.  To pray for her.  To remind her she is loved, even if she doesn’t have the energy to talk.   To tell her that it’s ok, that there is never any pressure.  But I didn’t do that.  I was ultimately focused on how hurt I felt.  After a while, I labeled her unresponsiveness as rejection and took it personally, when it was never, ever about me.

Gosh, and now I get it more than ever. I suffer from PTSD.  Sometimes, it floors me. I am often exhausted after a day of work. Now I screen my phone calls based on how much energy I have. At times the best I can do is sit on my butt, snuggle my puppy and binge netflix.  I don’t have the energy to craft, to read, to cook, to clean, and especially not to talk. I don’t call my friends just to chat anymore, even though I really, really love them and wish I had the energy to.  I suck at texting back, and I’m constantly trying to get the energy to keep up… because I love my relationships, don’t want to lose them, but I feel trapped in myself sometimes.  I feel so guilty for ignoring my friends, but I don’t really know what to do about it.

Leslie gets it.  I’ve been really bad about getting back to her, or even listening to voicemails.  In fact, my voicemail inbox is usually full because I just don’t want to deal with it.

A few days ago she messaged me on facebook

Tuesday, 3/1, 5:30pm
Leslie: I seriously miss you. How are you doing?

note how it took two days for me to respond… I miss her terribly, but the question ‘how are you doing’ was just overload for me to figure out responding at the time…therefore, no response

Thursday, 3/3, 8:30am

Me: I seriously miss you too.  And I have not been doing well…  I over exerted myself last weekend and then work had some bumps.  And then my back hurt really bad so I found a chiropractor.  And I finally have the day off and am self caring.  Sorry I didn’t respond.  I was mia.

Leslie: I’m so glad you get the day off. And like I have never been mia… Please. I get it.

Me: I figured you would! I used to not understand and now I do.  Sometimes responding takes a kind of energy that I don’t have, and it doesn’t mean I don’t like people.  It’s just not having it.

Leslie: It sucks that you understand now.

Me: Ya.  It does. I used to take it so personally when you went mia and I’m sad about that because I get it now.  It’s a hard knock life.  Thanks for hanging in there with me, on both sides of the coin for all these years.

Leslie: You are the biggest blessing in my life. And I am so thankful for you- in whatever season you are in.

 Me: I feel the same way.  And Leslie, I love you forever and so much.

“It sucks that you understand now.”   Probably the most compassionate, knowing, and accepting words she could have spoken.  

And yes.  I do understand.  

Invisible illnesses have a sneaky way of putting us into hiding. We fear judgement if we choose to be open about them.  So we hide.  We pretend we are ‘normal’ and invincible, having a public face and a painful face, that no one gets to see.  When really, what we need is to bring our struggles into the light, to be known and embraced, even our disorders.

I wish I had known how to do that for Leslie when we were younger.  She assures me though, “Jesse, I’m not exaggerating when I say you have saved my life.  You not leaving our friendship through the crappy stuff gave me strength and something to hold on to when the dark came knocking.”   

Even though I didn’t get it at the time, and even though I often made it about me when it really wasn’t, I am so, so grateful that my annoying persistence helped her. And now in my need, she is here for me over and over.

I love you Leslie.

Leslie and I want to take away the stigma around mental illness.  Will you help us by sharing this post, or even sharing your story?

My Fake Weight Loss Journey, and How It Was Deeper than Cardio and Calories

It seems that the more hectic and painful your season of life, the more difficult maintaining healthy habits.

Here’s me,  August 2014, a few weeks after moving across the country, recently ripped up from a community, job, and church I adored.  When I got to Missouri, I was exhausted, deeply depressed, lonely, and confused about who I was, and what was home.  I ate and drank my emotions.  I cried.  I was sedentary, if not making meager attempts at exercise.  I was in a raw, horrible spot.  I weighed 175ish lbs.

August 2014

August of 2014

Ok, fast forward.

Tada!! This is me in January of 2016.  I’ve now settled into my new home, found a job I love, a church where I feel at home, and I’ve also been working out 3-5 times a week for the past six months (I have no excuse, I work at a gym).

January of 2016

(Why yes, that is a cat in outer space, farting rainbows and shooting Earth with purple laser eyes.  My leggings match the lasers, FTW!)

I’ve also done a cleanse, eaten cleaner, relapsed many times into eating my late night popcorn /wine/whatever treats are set in front of me, and bounced back.  Its been a big potpourri of dietary habits, but all headed in the right direction.

Compare the pics.  How much weight do you think I’ve lost?

Trick question.  NONE.  The scale sat at 175lbs the whole time!  But to me, that isn’t relevant right now.  I’m measuring how I feel, move, and exist.  Muscle is now replacing fat.  I can lift more than ever.  I am strong and confident.  I don’t slouch when I sit so my shirt hides my tummy fat (even though I do still have some).

This has been a slow and steady transformation.

Me in 2011

Me in 2011

I want to show you another transformation.  This is me in 2011 (and note the amazing husband).  I didn’t get my August of 2014 body overnight. I did it slowly, consistently choosing food that wasn’t great for me. Allowing stress to lead me to a glass of wine before bed instead of a workout to blow off some steam.  Working too many jobs and too many hours.  Soon enough, I had changed my body from a size 6 to a size 12.  That ‘transformation’ was not possible overnight!

Neither is transforming my body to what it is becoming today, and a lot of it had nothing to do with going to the gym or eating.

I only saw progress after I got realistic about what self care looks like, and I started fixing the structural issues that were hurting me in my life.   Quitting a job that was not healthy for me, as much as I loved what I did, and finding a new job that leads to a balanced schedule.  Grieving a move that changed my life and took away everything that made me comfortable.  Staying in counseling to work on my personal things.  Making new friends.  Finding a church I can call home.  All of these changes support me making decisions that heal my body.  They make it easy!

January 2015-December 2015

January 2015-December 2015 (175lbs in both photos)

Ironically, the one thing that has stayed the same through all this change is the number on the scale, 175.  I think that number looks better on me than ever.  That’s why I call it a ‘fake weight loss’ journey.

So, if you’re like me, and have struggled for a while to stay consistent about healthy habits, maybe its time to think about self care.  Try digging deeper beyond the symptoms, the physical things, and ask yourself some questions.

  • Am I emotionally eating?  If so, why?  What drives me there?  Why am I hurting?  Is there a pattern?
  • Am I turning to alcohol to relieve stress?  Ok, how often, and what is stressing me out?
  • Am I getting anywhere close to enough sleep?  Why not?
  • How much free time do I have, and how do I spend it?  Why?
  • Am I lonely?  Depressed?   Burned out?
  • Is my job life-giving, and how much room do I have for myself when I am not working?  Do I even realistically have time to go to the gym?
  • Do I feel supported and alive with my relationships?
  • How do I feel in my living space?  Do I feel at home? Is it cluttered?  What feelings or sensations does it bring me?
  • Have I been through any major life-changes lately?  How do I feel now compared to before?
  • How do I feel spiritually?

These questions are just a starting point.   But I believe that by addressing  the structural and emotional foundations of our day to day life, and having the guts to change things that are cluttering and holding us up, we can create space to develop the habits we need without straining.

I wouldn’t look and feel how I do now had I not gone deeper and taken bold steps to change my life.  Now I have energy and space to maintain the habits my body needs.

Has anyone else had a similar experience, or even found that their life structure or emotional burdens are what shoots their weight-loss efforts in the foot?

I want to hear your story.

Black Friday REMIX: Why You REALLY Don’t Want to Miss Jamberry’s Black Friday of 2015!

Jamberry is the modern woman’s baseball trading card.  It’s a collector’s item. (I know, because I am hoarding a heavy photo album of anxiously traded wraps from years ago). It’s safe to say the elusive search for the Jamberry unicorn is raging stronger than ever.

So that’s why its super special that Jamberry is bringing back the last 12 months of the Sister Style Exclusives!

The ones that I think you would be crazy to miss?  First Frost and Floral Oasis.  But go ahead and take a look at all of them (below) and let me know which ones you would be crazy to miss!

A few other details you should NOT miss…

  1.  If you order $50 or more, YOU GET AN EXCLUSIVE BLACK FRIDAY WRAP!!  See the pic below.


2.  If you order $75 or more, SHIPPING IS FREE!

3.  If you haven’t taken the (well worth it) plunge and treated yourself to a TRUSHINE gel kit, now is the time...because you can choose to have this gorgeous Black Friday exclusive color come with it!


4.   You don’t have to wait for Giving Tuesday to feel good about your purchase.  Jamberry is donating a portion of proceeds for each Black Friday product to Toys for Tots to provide holiday gifts for kiddos.  So lets make something beautiful together and enjoy expressing our own unique style in the process!


Ok.  Now its time to look at these gorgeous wraps that are coming back.


FIrst Frost. A consultant favorite. One of my favorites!


Floral Oasis. My personal favorite. I don’t even need to stock up because I bought way too many of these when they retired last year!


On the Fringe. So much fun having different accent nails in one mani!


SO PRETTY. Also. I need that purse.


Feeling nautical? There’s something charming and relaxing about this one!


I love the watercolor-ish look to this one! If you are feeling feminine but relaxed, this is your wrap. Also, think of all the colors you can pair with it. Very versatile!


I know this was released in summer but don’t you think it’d be fun for halloween? OR over a pretty lacquer!?


Le sigh. So pretty. May Flower.


Oh this one is tempting. Bellagio. Its just so pretty. I love the pattern. I want to pair it with white accent nails.


SPRING BREAK! I love how this wrap has a clear stripe to show your natural skin through, or to put a color under it! Have fun with it!!


Serendipity. Its a matte, and it goes on like butter and is SO much more subtle than I expected. I LOVE IT.


Who wouldn’t want to look cozy in the color of the year? This is Marsala Mittens. Its so pretty and wintery and on-trend!

Already have a consultant?  Then what the heck are you waiting for? Go chat with her (or him…)and craft your perfect Black Friday mani together!

BUT IF YOU DON’T…. I’d LOVE to be your Jamberry lady. I promise to be a lot of fun, to help you master your application (for both wraps and gel!) and would love to get to know you.  Click here to request to join my VIP club.

And, if nothing else, I have a terrifyingly cute dog you can follow on instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fluffmonstermagee/


Yes. He has his own insta. Deal with it.

Can I Use Lacquer Under Jamberry TruShine? (and other awesome questions)

Ever since Jamberry announced the impending release of their epic Jamberry TruShine Gel Enamel System, we consultants have had TONS of questions.  So here are some of them, and the answers I’ve been able to dig up!

Q.  How does it work over nail wraps?
A.  Really well… I’m wearing it over “Ripped from the Runway” right now!   Its so smooth and glossy and strong!  The tips are super happy, too.

Ripped from the Runway Matte + TruShine Base and Top Coat over it

Ripped from the Runway Matte + TruShine Base and Top Coat over it


My Elite Exec Emily Petty let us try on her Elite Exec Ring for our vision boards… this is the wrap I was wearing =)

Here’s how you apply TruShine over nail wraps…

  1.  Apply wraps as normal
  2.  Apply TruShine base coat and cure
  3.  Apply TruShine top coat and cure
  4.  Wipe off the residue!

Base coat and top coat stay together (unless you are applying gel…then you do base, color, top).  They need each other.  Never do gel base + lacquer + gel top.  Won’t work!

Q.  Is the light UV or LED, or both?
A.  I talked with a nail tech at JamCon about this.  She said that it is a LED light, but it does have a small amount of UV in it.  Its nothing compared to the UV lights at salons that hurt your skin.  She also said that Jamberry TruShine would cure just fine under a UV light, but the gels that UV salons use would not cure under a Jamberry LED light…to give you an idea of how gentle it is.

Q.  Can I wear lacquer under Jamberry TruShine?
A.  YES.  You actually can!!   So if you are on a budget, don’t worry about buying all the colors when they come out September 1st.

To pull it off,  you need to make sure your lacquer is dried completely before applying Jamberry TruShine, and then you apply TruShine base coat, cure, and then apply TruShine top coat, and then cure again.  Wipe with the nail cleanser and you are good to go!

Here’s a perfect example…

Gel over lacquer

Gel over lacquer

Q.  How long do I cure it?  How does that work?
A.  It actually self-times, for 45 seconds, and then shuts off!  You just press the button.

Q.  Do I need to cure more than once?
A.  If you did a really thick coat, maybe.  Until you wipe with the nail cleanser, your gels will have a residue, which is fine.  What you don’t want is gooey, easily dented gel.

Q.  What is in the remover pockets?
A.  Acetone + fragrance.  Sorry girls, no oil and floss removal this time around.

Any other questions?  Comment below and I’ll do my best to dig up the answers!

Need a consultant or looking to join Jamberry?  Fill out the form below and I’ll be in touch with you!

Jamberry TRŪSHINE Gel Enamel Unboxing and Application Video!

Finally got my hands on the Jamberry TruShine Gel Enamel Kit!

Get professional, salon-quality gel polish nails at home with TrūShine Gel Enamel! Our soak-off formula goes on easy and gives you a high-shine finish without fading or chipping. The TrūShine Gel Enamel System has everything you need to get a flawless gel manicure that lasts up to two weeks.

Get professional, salon-quality gel polish nails at home with TrūShine Gel Enamel! Our soak-off formula goes on easy and gives you a high-shine finish without fading or chipping. The TrūShine Gel Enamel System has everything you need to get a flawless gel manicure that lasts up to two weeks.

Watch this video to see unboxing and first application!

Get on the VIP list for when this comes available!

Introducing Jamberry’s TRŪSHINE Enamel Line! (for those of us who love gel nails, you can now do it yourself!)

There has never been a time where I have been this in love with Jamberry as a company.  Here at Jamberry International Conference in Dallas, TX, we consultants are FLIPPING OUT about all the announcements.

My personal favorite? Jamberry’s brand new product, TRŪSHINE NAIL ENAMEL!

Get professional, salon-quality gel polish nails at home with TrūShine Gel Enamel! Our soak-off formula goes on easy and gives you a high-shine finish without fading or chipping. The TrūShine Gel Enamel System has everything you need to get a flawless gel manicure that lasts up to two weeks.

Get professional, salon-quality gel polish nails at home with TrūShine Gel Enamel! Our soak-off formula goes on easy and gives you a high-shine finish without fading or chipping. The TrūShine Gel Enamel System has everything you need to get a flawless gel manicure that lasts up to two weeks.

Can you believe it?  Click HERE to see the unboxing!

Jamberry’s own gel-nail inspired line.  It is 5-Free, like our lacquers,  uses a LED light instead of UV, and has a gentle removal process.

You can layer wraps under the enamel, or you do a full gel mani yourself!  …. or consider how incredible an enamel pedicure will be!


This incredible new line will launch September 1st with our new catalogue!   Sorry for all the exclamation points.  I’m just so thrilled.

Here are some pictures of the product live from Jamberry International Conference!

trushine2The kit itself, which will retail for $120.  Base coat, color, top coat, cuticle oil, removal wipes, orange stick, cuticle pusher, LED light…the works!



trushine3Look at all the color options!

trushine1There will be a complete application video (and a sweet promo video that we got to watch today).

If you are a Jamberry lover or consultant, you should be so very excited.

trushine4Here is more on the pricing!

I’m especially excited, because those of us at conference will get to take a set of this home before the product launch!  I can’t wait to update you on my TRŪSHINE adventures!

Contact me at enjoyingjams@gmail.com if you are interested in purchasing this when it comes out September 1st!