Browsing Category | depression

What I Can Do with My Anxiety

I’ve been having a no-good, horrible, very-bad day. It started with going to work. A huge panic attack arose. I couldn’t fight it, I kept it in as long as I could. Then I broke down. Cried really hard. Confessed honest feelings about myself to my husband. And here I am, watching Netflix already feeling panic about going to work tomorrow. 

After talking to my husband & my mom about the things I can’t do in regards to my life and mental health, I started to feel tired. I usually do. Crying brings a migraine and that brings exhaustion. But I felt strongly about making a list a things I CAN do when I’m experiencing anxiety.

It’s so hard to coninually feel like all you do is negative. All you talk is negative. Your thinking–negative. Because that’s anxiety. But I want people to know that I can function when I’m experiencing anxiety. Even if I can’t hold a job, I can still be productive and take care of myself too.

  • Read a book
  • Go to the temple and serve
  • Craft/create
  • Therapy
  • Clean
  • Small business from home
  • Meet with Karli–meal planning
  • Exercise ☝︎
  • Learn a new skill
  • Spend time with family/nephews
  • Go to the library
  • Blog
  • Maybe start growing a garden?
  • Go to church
  • Take notes on something
  • Hiking

These are just a few things I know that I can handle when I’m feeling anxious. I’m not some lazy human who sits at home and sulks in sadness. Of course, there isn’t anything wrong with staying home. But I also enjoy having many interests, it’s part of being an ESFJ.

I’m going to try to make a self-care kit and probably include some of these!

That Entrepreneur Life – Multipotentialite

Ashley Ziegler headshot by Abbey Kyhl

According to Wikipedia (the most untrusted website) a Multipotentialite is:

An educational and psychological term referring to a pattern found among intellectually gifted individuals. [Multipotentialites] generally have diverse interests across numerous domains and may be capable of success in many endeavors or professions, they are confronted with unique decisions as a result of these choices.

AKA we never know what she is doing because she always changes her mind.

The first thing that came to my mind was, is this really a thing? I laughed about it for a bit the other day, seriously and laughing at the idea of it. Someone must have made this word up. It totally sounds like a made up word. And maybe it is, I’ll never know. But after doing more research, and watching this awesome TED talk, I’m starting to finally feel understood.

I can’t even begin to tell you/express how embarrassing it is to constantly be jumping from the next adventure to the next and hearing from others how it all just looks crazy and they just never know what I’m up to. Clients won’t want to book me because they’re afraid I’ll just cancel or change my mind on them. Nobody will want to buy my cute stickers that I make, in my Etsy shop, because there are soooo many people who already do. And my newest adventure, nail school? Yeah, I won’t be able to make enough to pay back what I spent on schooling… it’s depressing and extremely frustrating.

It’s a daily, consistent battle with myself. Do I really need to do anything at all? Do I really need to just find one thing? Can I really just enjoy having a job and nothing else? Can I handle just coming home and not having anything to do and be content with that? Do I really have the courage to give up my photography business, throw the nail school idea out the window, and believe that my designs for Etsy aren’t going to interest anyone?

Nobody is at fault here, and nobody has made these decisions or caused these questions. It’s how I’m wired. It’s just who I am. Entrepreneur? Probably, I can definitely be that. Creative? It’s my favorite outlet for ALL of my emotions. Each time I was in the hospital, my favorite therapy session was art therapy. I always felt most calm, most “in my element,” and most content. It’s the real deal for me.

I’m just ready to accept that I’m always going to be changing interests. I don’t have a “calling.” If I do, there’s definitely more than one. I’m happiest knowing that I can do and be whatever I want to be. I don’t have to be a doctor just because I’m really smart. I don’t have to be a wedding photographer just because I know how to use a camera. I can make all the flippin’ stickers I want because if no one else uses them, I know I will. I guess the price I pay for following many of my interests is the frustration that comes with road blocks. I’m sure it’ll always be that way. But I know, hope, believe and have faith in myself, and that I can do anything I put my mind and heart into.


Are you a multipotentialite? Let’s be friends!





It should be my middle name or something.

I have this conversation with a lot of people, all the time. In fact, the reason I’m writing this post is because I had this very conversation with my mom (and sister I think) like two days ago. I also talk about it a lot on my blog, so if you’re reading this and you’re sick of reading it, just stop now.

I announced very publicly on February 22, 2017, that I would be stepping down as a wedding photographer. There were so many aspects of my life at that time that needed my time and attention. I was so heartbroken. I knew this was probably a good choice but I didn’t expect it to be as hard as it was is. I wasn’t going to be photographing weddings anymore, booking new clients. I was done. That was it. No more photos. But I just couldn’t live with that, and almost a month later I wanted it back. But this is what’s best… or so I thought. There’s no way anyone will book you with how unstable you are as a business owner. <<<<< Literally my thoughts every day.

I missed meeting with brides in person to go over their big day. I missed showing up for engagements and getting the giggles out with great photos to show. I missed the bridals, the first look… that moment of “this is what wedding day will probably feel like.” But I most miss the actual wedding day. The cheers of congratulations from the guests. The cute stories I get to hear from the grandpas. I miss my gear. I miss learning and being confident in my work and my ability to produce the photos I wanted and did. I miss second-shooting for crying out loud. I miss having this as an outlet that I never knew how much I loved until I was in “photographer-mode.”

My heart aches for this photography life that I’ve been living the past 3 years. It aches for the excitement of learning, growing and being successful with something. College didn’t work out for me. Holding a job hasn’t worked out for me. But photography has. Photography was not only my creative outlet, but it was a way of serving someone and putting them first. It was a way that I felt made my dad proud of me. It’s one way I still feel connected to my dad. Photography is life. Whenever someone says, “we should let Ashley take the picture, she’s the photographer,” my love for this part of my life grows and I pray in gratitude every night that I have found photography. This is a self-taught skill. I have worked hard and I have worked my tail off to get where I am.

But I’m stuck. I’m stuck and I can’t get out.

I sold my gear. Yep, you read that right. I sold my gear. All of it: my camera body, two lens’, four batteries, and a few other things. All in one weekend. My baby. My life and my love. I sold it. Gone. Now, I have a Sony mirror-less camera. The new and cool. I don’t know how to use it at all. The lens’ are $$$$$$$$$$$$$ and the ones I have aren’t all that amazing. I don’t know what all the buttons mean or how to adjust with a snap of my finger like I did my Nikon. It’s frustrating. It’s discouraging but a good kind of different at the same time. What kind of client is going to book me with a small, point-and-shoot-looking camera? No one will take me seriously. If it’s not big, black and chunky, I’m not professional… right? That’s hard!

Why I switched, I’m not really looking to get in to that right now. Things are changing. Am I coming back? Probably… when? I don’t know. Someone once said, “we never know if you are or aren’t doing photography. You change your mind a lot.” I do. I apologize. I am so sorry for causing so much confusion and being so indecisive. I’m all over the place all of the time. My life is. I never know what I’m doing each and every day. I feel so unstable. A lot like my depression and anxiety. I never finish anything, yet I want to try everything. Maybe I don’t let things workout. Maybe I’m scared that something, specifically photography, will workout and I’ll be successful. Can I handle that? Is it what I really want? Will everyone support me?

 I want to make this work. I want to make photography be my thing. I want to be successful and love what I do in life. I’m hurt that a lot of other things aren’t working/happening right now and maybe this is it. Maybe this is what’s working/happening. Whether it always will or not, I really want to make it work. I want to book clients, be happy and photograph memories. I feel like specializing in weddings will ALWAYS be my thing, but maybe it’s time I become a hybrid photographer. Maybe I need to start photographing families (small families), seniors, missionaries, couples, anniversaries, portraits, head-shots, studio photography, lifestyle, in-home sessions… maybe I’m feeling this way because I’m sticking strictly to weddings? I’m not sure. Either way, I think it’s time I open my doors to some more work that I haven’t been doing for a long time.

There’s so much change happening in my life right now. The biggest hurtle I’ve had to overcome since February 22, was my dads 1 year passing anniversary. I miss him so much, right now especially. I’m just having a sad day (it’s 12:03 AM right now) and I just miss him. I’m tired, exhausted and I need to find balance in my life. Something, I need to calm down, eliminate/simplify and do what makes me most happy… and that’s probably photography, reading, blogging, being with family and … napping. HAHA but seriously. If you made it this far, I’m really proud of you because this was A LOT of word vomit. My heart just needed to say what was on my mind.

So the future of Ashley Ziegler Photography holds……. not really sure but I’m hoping something.

I Don’t Post About Depression for You

Quote made with the Wordswag App

There’s a lot of controversy over my blog. A lot of people love it while a lot of people hate it.

“It’s so nice to hear someone else going through the same thing!”

“Isn’t it exhausting? Talking about it all the time?”

More often than not, I get negative comments, messages, phone calls… anything from something I posted. I get it. I posted it which means that I’m “asking for it.” And while that may be true to you, I’m not posting for you.

I’m not going to say that I was that I loooooove this trial/blessing of depression and anxiety and that it is my calling to have it and to live it and to share it with others and that I swim in happiness. I’ve been told that all I do is sleep, eat, breathe and live depression. I can think of so many people who are probably thinking they never saw it comin’–me and depression.

I keep trying to think of how to say what I want to without coming undone and making a fool of myself online. I’ve been VERY open about my life and my struggles for about 7ish years now. That’s a long time and A LOT of sadness. 

Yes, I do wake up and sometimes, I cannot get out of bed. Yes, I do have a hard time starting the car and driving to work. Yes, I do have anxiety about whether or not I can make it through the next 5 minutes. Yes, I do literally count down the seconds until I can go home from work. Yes, I do get sad when I’m alone, or when Brady is at work/school. I do get sad, even with Lucy. Yes, my mind does wander and my anxiety predicts my future.

Yes to all of these things. I’m being pulled in two different directions. Half of people I know say to “buck up” and “be happy”. Stop being sad. The other half of people I know say to “grieve how you want” and “it’s okay to feel what you’re feeling.” I’ve got people who want me to live life one way and people who say it’s okay to live life another way. Isn’t that ironic though? People tell you to grieve and that it’s different for everyone? Yet, when you grieve they suddenly become experts on how to grieve and how YOU should grieve too? It’s amazing.

When I first started to experience depression, I didn’t know where to look. I didn’t know WHAT to look up. I wasn’t old enough to just drive myself right on over to the doctors and start “talking.” The Church didn’t have any publication on depression or mental health for matter and that was really hard to deal with. I’ve tried every medication under the sun. I’ve tried every breathing exercise you can suggest, and I’ve also tried exercise like a million times. What works for YOU or someone else is not and I repeat not always going to work for ME or someone else. If you don’t want to see this or read this stuff anymore, don’t. It’s as easy as that. If this drives you bonkers then unfollow. You’re not always going to like what you see and THAT. IS. LIFE.

I don’t know if people will ever understand that. Yes, I do get exhausted being sad all the time. Yes, I do get tired of living with depression. You bet your bottom dollar that I’m sick of taking medication and going to therapy. Yes, I’m tired of talking about it too. No, I don’t think I’m meant to be sad forever. No, I don’t think God punished me. No, I don’t think that I can just be happy right when you tell me to choose to be. Sure, I can definitely make an effort but when it’s something in your brain that affects your choice to be happy, no matter how much medication you’re on, it isn’t always going to solve it. Yes, I wish I didn’t deal with this anymore. I’m so tired of being sad. Do you know how ashamed I feel on those days when everyone tells me to be strong, and then I’m not? Depression just knocking on my door for that one.

But here’s what I’m doing with it while it’s here. I’m going to make the best of it. I’ve driven too many friends out of my life because of it. I’ve ruined so many relationships because of it. I feel so alone because of it. I’m going to be sharing my ideas of how I manage to get through the day or through the next 5 minutes. Yes, I’m going to talk about how much I miss my dad. Yes, I do plan on sharing my experiences of anxiety and depression while also sharing on the gospel and it’s affect on my mental health. I’m going to share how I write my feelings out in a notebook. I’ve been that one person to leave a comment on a blog that came up in a Google search for “how to deal with anxiety and depression.” I know what it’s like to “have nowhere to turn to.” So yes, I am going to talk about these things. 

I don’t post about these things so that people can complain to me about it. I don’t post to make you feel overwhelmed with how sad I am. I don’t post to make you feel like you need to take care of me. I post for that one person who might stumble across my blog. For that one person who can relate to at least a single sentence in a post from 2014. I blog for that one person who just needs someone to express how THEY’RE feeling but in a way that they can’t. I’m not posting for publicity or popularity. I’m posting for that someone who, like me, feels alone, unconnected and sad. 

Quote made with the Wordswag App

This is life and while it isn’t the fanciest, I’m taking it with what I have and doing my best and that’s ALL you can ask of me. Because for every 1 complaint email I receive, I have 5 thank-you emails waiting for me. THINK before you criticize someone for how they live their life, choose to live their life and how they take care of themselves. Do you really know what’s going on?

Ashley awake @ 12 AM.