Who Says You Can't Go Home?

A reflective photo for this reflective post :)

My darling readers --

Hi, it's me, Allie.

Do you remember me? It's been so long -- embarrassingly long -- and I'm sure that maybe you've forgotten about me. I have so many things to say and collecting my thoughts has been a long, arduous task.

I want to start by saying I'm sorry. I mean -- I'm sure most of you have lives and worries and tons of other blogs to follow. You weren't sitting there waiting for me with baited breath. But I'm still sorry. It was a long time of no blogging with no explanation. I shouldn't have bounced like that without a word.

But the truth is, I went through a lot in the last year and a half and most of it involved reaching the depths of an emotional valley that I started heading down a few years ago. I will be opening up about all of that in upcoming posts and videos. It was not one large, life-changing event, thankfully. But the sum of a million little things pushed me to a very tough place. Inside this little brain of mine, I feel like I went to war.

To make a very long story short, I thought I let everyone down. I gained weight -- and not a little bit of weight --a dangerous, make your doctor ask "do you want to die?" amount of weight. I didn't feel like being "body positive" every day. I was tired of the lies, fakeness and bullshit from brands, models and bloggers. Tired of watching people buy into it. I went back to work full time. I wanted to just enjoy being married. I left modeling behind. I was tired of trying to lose weight and having it never, ever be enough.  I didn't want to deal with what I call "brand politics," or what some would refer to as "inauthentic ass-kissing posts for small sums of money" (that's the technical term).

And in that mindset, while I sat paralyzed by that nagging "am I good enough" question, all while trying figure out what I wanted this blog to be, my worst "fear" about blogging came true. People forgot about me. Or at least, that's what I told myself.

How could I think myself important if people didn't care anymore? People who followed me surpassed my numbers. Bloggers who came to me for advice were now blowing me out of the water.

The industry passed me by, because of course, that is the way of the world -- things move on. And why shouldn't they? I was the one who was getting lost in thought and insecurity. All of this may sound shallow, perhaps even cocky of me, but I am content existing in a space where I always tell the truth, no matter how ridiculous it may sound.

And the ridiculous, inconvenient truth is, all of that kind of broke me apart inside.

And as for that weight gain? Man, what a mind fuck. Because in that process, Allie with the small waist, pretty face and flat stomach disappeared. When I gained this time, it went to my face. And my double chin. And my waist and belly. Suddenly the OG bodycon queen couldn't wear bodycon anymore. I had an entire closet full of crop tops and form-fitting dresses that could no longer fit me.

As I type this, I am painfully aware of how shallow it is of me to say that it sent me into an identity crisis. But depression is adept at tricking you into believing ridiculous things you would otherwise KNOW are ridiculous. The deeper I got into my brain, the more I asked myself "who was I" without the body, looks and followers I had before.

Who was I if I wasn't a model anymore? If I didn't have a following? If I wasn't considered beautiful?

It didn't matter that I was a smart, driven person with a masters degree, friends who stuck around even as I pushed them further away, a family that loved me, a beautiful new husband and a great job in the field I went to school for. All I could think about was how I didn't have ME anymore. How I didn't have a modeling contract or posters in the windows of stores.  How I didn't have companies inviting me to events or magazines asking to use my photo. How I couldn't even wear the clothes I loved. And, perhaps the worst part, in my sad and emotionally torn mind, was that when people who met me in the "non-model" capacity saw older photos of me they would ask that inevitable, stinging "is that YOU" question. It broke me every time.

It was then that I had one of the biggest realizations of my life.

Allie, the woman who thought she didn't need validation from anyone, that person who had survived deep insecurities, an eating disorder and darkness as a teen, who swore she had it all figured out, realized that in fact, I had been living off of other people's approval on the most absolutely superficial bullshit of all -- the way that I looked.

But perhaps most puzzling of all is that I realized it was actually never about how I looked, my popularity or all of the things I mentioned above. It was the fact that I had not dealt with the depression that had been with me forever, hiding behind self-medicating habits and bad decisions, waiting ever so patiently for me to break. I had never tried to look at the root causes of why, in the dark corners of my mind, I felt so worthless while simultaneously selling a story to the world that I was completely in love with myself. That I was perfect. And it was exactly that contradiction I was living with -- me having a platform like this blog to talk about loving yourself no matter what -- that essentially put the biggest, fattest mirror of my life right smack dab in my face.

And just like that, I knew I had to let go of all of the "perfection" I was holding onto or drown in the process.

More than anything, I believe that God told me to put it all down. To let the story of Perfect Allie go. To lock up the "social media" life and step away to find the person I really was. Without 1000+ likes on photos or appearances on "top bloggers to follow" lists. Without a thriving clothing line or modeling career or articles written about me. To just know Allison McGevna for who Allison McGevna really was.

And I did. My life circumstances forced me to.

If you're expecting this to be the part of the story where I tell you that I finally looked in the mirror one morning and the "I'm HAPPY" switch turned on, or that, like some bad movie plot, I lost all that weight I gained, got signed again, and came back better than ever -- you are wrong. Because I didn't. I'm the same Allie as I was, only evolved. That's not to say that all of those things won't happen. But somewhere along the way, I remembered something better than any click or compliment could make me feel. I remembered, once again, that I'm worthy of love from God, loved ones,  and myself simply because of who I am as a person, rather than how I look.

And so, this return to blogging will be different. Because I am different and my goals are different. This time, I want it to be what it was originally meant to be -- before I got seduced into the mind-fuckery of "social media fame." Before I allowed myself to care about shit that doesn't matter.

This time, I will fight my hardest to exist in the space where I really don't care what people think. To believe in the journey and know that it never ends. To know that I will make mistakes and that I will fall down. That I don't have to be the most beautiful or the most fashionable or the most accomplished woman in the space. It's ok to just be who I am, just as I am, at any given moment of the day.

I started blogging for fun and I am returning to that. To share my love of fashion and my truths. To talk about things that matter. To inspire. To interact with however many people take a moment to read a post of mine -- whether that be 5 or 50,000.

And on this journey, there will be other things I'd like to talk about. I went through a very dark depression. Even with a wonderful job and a wonderful man in my life and lots of "on paper" things that are amazing, I still fell victim to it. Because depression doesn't care what you look like or how much money you have or if you're in a relationship or even, ah yes, how many likes you get. It doesn't warn you it's coming and it doesn't care if you deny that it's there. It is real and it is difficult and it is plaguing us, mostly because we are denial that it is happening. No matter what brought it on for you, how long you've struggled or how deep it goes, it is nothing to be ashamed about.

So, perhaps in this iteration of my blog, you will say you don't want to hear all of this or that you don't like my fashions or a million other deserved critiques. But, beloveds, that is totally fine with me. I understand and I still love you and wish you the best. But I have grown up and moved forward after some of the toughest times in my life.

And ultimately, I have decided to come back home after that journey so that yet another one can begin. I'm excited to take it.

With all of my love,

Allie

Please stay tuned in the coming days for a video talking about women and depression. You do not need to suffer in silence. Please visit http://nostigmas.org/ for information and resources. *Note, I am in no way affiliated with that organization, it is just a site I have found useful. 

CONVERSATION

16 comments:

Sheila said...

Allie,
My mantra is "Everything happens for a reason." It has come true so many times. When something heart breaking happens, I wonder "Why me? What did I do to deserve this?" But as time passes, I can ALWAYS look back at each bad situation, and see that it had to happen for me to get to where I'm at now. I finally figured out that I had to go through it to get to a better place. It took me many years to figure it out, because sometimes it takes years for the results to manifest. But now it makes the hard times a little easier, knowing that I have something to look forward to.

Things may have gotten out of control, but now you sound healthy as hell! Welcome back! With eyes open, you have so much to look forward to!

Terry Caldwell, Jr. said...

WOW!!! That's DEEP!! I didn't realize all those things going on with you. For you to come out and say that you're battling depression was no small thing. And there's no shame in that. Like the first person said, everything happens for a reason. You just gotta keep on pushing until you find your better place. Just know that God has got this. You just gotta let go and let God. And with that, Welcome back, Allie!!!

Kristen said...

What an inspired post. You know what always drew me to your blog? It's the fact that you are honest about where you are in your life and career and real about what you're facing. It has been so awesome to see all of your success because we got to see the work behind it, too. It's so refreshing (and rarely done), and that's what truly inspires people. That's why I'm so excited to continue being a reader/supporter. I'm so thrilled that you're blogging again and am looking forward to seeing what is in store for this journey!

Adriana Jones said...

Allie,

This is the first time I have EVER responded to a blogger I follow. I just want to scream "THANK YOU!" for proving how real and human you are. There are times in our lives where GOD has to stop us in our tracks and redirect our paths. Either we choose to follow his direction and guidance or we choose to perpetuate the blissful ignorance that has led us astray. I also believe as low as he had to take you is how much higher you will emerge from this defining moment in your life. This is your moment. Live in your truth. There is nothing that will make you more beautiful than doing this everyday. I am so excited to see what your future holds and truly respect you that much more for sharing your journey with your devoted readers.

Poetikmind said...

Allie,
I received a notification of this post and by chance decided to read it while rushing in and out of my emails.I say all this to say that I can relate on alot of this. No I didn't have tons of followers like you or modeling contracts but I had what I felt was my identity and it was tied into so many things. I hesitated before sharing this with you on here because I didn't want to seem like I was spamming but real truth is I would like for you to hear my message on my youtube channel titled "Thankful Thursday" - Real Confidence... it's my real talk on what that means to me and some just some of what I feel you may can relate to more coming. youtube.com/inspirationallitv7

TooCurvyToCare said...

I honestly check frequently to see if you are still on. THANK YOU for sharing your struggle and not putting up a front. Trust me, we (your fans/following) respect that

C.Brocka. said...

You are amazing for this, Allie.

Unknown said...

Ive always thought you rock! And I love your spirit even more for being so brave. Im excited about your journey.

Mz Neti said...

I wondered where you were and really thought you moved on to your Happily after in a foreign land. The last photo I remember, is how much Love flowed on your wedding day in that absolutely Beautiful wedding dress. Blogging is not for the faint of heart and sometimes folks get engulfed in the business end of it. Not to worry, if you write it we will come. . .

Welcome back and continue loving YOU right now!

Laxmi said...

Hey there Allie,

I have been following your blog for a few months, since June 2016 (I think) to be exact. I did see that you posted last year, but I thought that there must have been an important reason for it. And nosy me decided to stick around.
I applaud you for thinking about yourself, your identity and your self image. People often repress their negative feelings and force those feelings on the back of their mind. But it is essential to 'feel and deal' with those kind of feelings. However hard that might be.

I rambled a lot. I hope I didn't say anything offending, if I did, that was not my intention.

You should be proud of yourself. It took a lot of courage to make a blogpost about the struggles you went through. I can not wait to hear more from you.

Laxmi

Cmon Evans said...

Allie if you are a elephant of the new africa you good with me. You where my favorite blogger because as I inspire young women. I would always use you as a example. Of full size beauty. I've suffered with depression for 20 years and I fight my way to the top every time. God made every human different. There will never be anothe Allie and yes ma'am I missed you GIRL...so, buckle that juicy up. And let's roll.

Cmon Evans said...

Allie if you are a elephant of the new africa you good with me. You where my favorite blogger because as I inspire young women. I would always use you as a example. Of full size beauty. I've suffered with depression for 20 years and I fight my way to the top every time. God made every human different. There will never be anothe Allie and yes ma'am I missed you GIRL...so, buckle that juicy up. And let's roll.

Maged Nabieh said...

Hi yes for sure you are more than welcome in your home,words will\can never express how much we (your fans) love\admire and inspired by you.even all this period you didn't blogged.i have been so keen on reading your amazing posts... Who said we can forget about you?all i thought is that you are pretty busy doing some new thing and soon you will be back to tell us about it,,,about this depression thing:every person can face such ups and downs,,,,but remember that if you compared this depression with any hard situation you faced before you will realise that you faced even harder situation's but simply you carved your own icon in our hearts ,you are blessed with tons of things that you can't see now because of this temporary wave of sadness....come on girl you still and will ever be our queen of hearts,,,best of luck,,we all love you

Jillian Kristina said...

Hey there, I meant to post here sooner!! Wanted to let you know I never forgot about you or your blog. You were always in the back of my mind like where is she!! I am a huge supporter of you and as people have said you are not alone! I too deal with depression with a mix of anxiety, its a process but really you are growing in to who you are supposed to be. So embrace this time right now, listen to your body, do what really gives you peace and peace of mind. Enjoy your holidays and us fans hope to see you again soon!!

CaNesha Gordon said...

Hey!!

Just seeing this but all of this I so understand and it is so hard to live up to these preconceived notions. And it's not shallow or cocky it's life and I totally get it. I'm new to blogging and find myself stalking my pages, seeing how many likes I get, getting excited when I get new followers instead of just focusing on the reason I started the blog and my purpose. Thanks for sharing you are definitely not alone. Can't wait to see more post.

Allison McGevna said...

Thank you all so very much for your amazing and supportive comments. They brought tears to my eyes. I appreciate every single one of you more than you know. Happy holidays!

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