How this one Accessory saved me from Depression

Not to get too preachy, but if you’ve been around here for even 10 seconds you know my stance that jewelry makes the outfit. I have said it before. I will continue to say it, my stubborn Aquarius ways will not allow me to think otherwise. I have come to understand that jewelry junkies like you and me can live with fashion changes. We can (and have) donated our closet without a second thought. Our clothing motto is “I can always replace it.” That thought was what spiraled me in a downward 3 month life altering spiral.

This post is quite humbling. A quiet realization came to me when I went through a tough (really damn tough) time in my life. I’m not great with money. It took me 30 years to finally understand how valuable it is and how difficult it can be to come by. My fault is that when my money turns into disposable income, I spend it. Isn’t it just the worst when you have enough money to spend, a great sale comes to your inbox. Also, when you don’t have enough money to get you through the week, that same damn great sale comes to your inbox. Money plays a part in this post, but I wanted you to know how I was before I was knocked so mercilessly on my butt.

I was released from my 1 year contract job 4 months early. The gig that was paying me some nice dollars was dissolved not long after I was freshly married. I realized that I had no nest egg to last me and my husband longer than a month. I was always a good employee. I had a great track record, I worked at some noteworthy companies, I was good at what I did. I had no worries of finding something as amazing, if not better, than where I was. It was just a matter of time

This wasn’t confidence, it was arrogance.

1 full month of unemployment:

I slowly and shamefully crawled down from my high horse of thinking I would find something awesome in a couple weeks. 20+ resumes sent, no real leads, signed with 3 recruiting agencies. Tears of worry were starting to form, but my chin is still high. Do you want to hear what denial, delusion and stubbornness sound like when they are in a room together? “I refuse to let this take my life’s plans away from me. I will die with the plans for my life strangled in my grip before I make any changes. I refuse to alter my life because of this and nothing will stand in my way. I am in control!”

2 full months of unemployment:

After a month of procrastinating, my ego cracked and I filed for unemployment. This was even harder than telling people that after 2 months I had not found anything. Filing for unemployment was never something I wanted to say I needed until I desperately needed it. To me, it was my lowest. You’ve seen a dog so ashamed that it holds its tail between its legs?

My marriage is getting a bit rocky (on my end), arguments are starting to bubble with my husband (on my end), desperation is rearing its ugly head (on my end). Do you want to hear what paranoia, false hope and desperation sound like when they are in the same room? “Things aren’t so bad that I have to file for bankruptcy and sell my house. How am I going to explain to my family that I’m homeless? If I keep praying, things will magically get better because I am a good person and I don’t deserve this. I will just pay my mortgage late and cry to the person on the bank so I wont get a late fee.”

3 full months of unemployment:

I was unemployed for 3 full months. I was borrowing money from my mom, borrowing money from my husband, and borrowing money from the government. I banished myself to sleep on the couch because I felt like a failure, and who would want to sleep next to a failure? My husband and I cancelled our 1 year anniversary Caribbean cruise because money was all but gone from both our pockets – that one hurt. Want to know what a busted ego and self pity say when they are in the same room? They don’t say anything, you just hear crying. At this point I had gotten pretty good at counting pennies while my life took a turn it wasn’t supposed to.

The Breakthrough

Unemployment sucks, I would never recommend it. I’m not too proud to say it flat lined my ego. Money was tight, my closet wasn’t filled to the brim with my pretty clothes, and I was a far cry from indulging in retail therapy. So, what does a woman do when she’s stuck between a really big rock and a hard place? She thinks.

Although my clothing options were minimal, my accessories sure as hell weren’t. The one thing I don’t give away are the “extras” of a wardrobe. It’s amazing what a small trinket can do to help your outlook and make you feel like your old self. These trinkets can be anything from a family pendant passed down to you, a necklace you stole from your mom’s jewelry box way back when, or even a scarf that seems to work with everything no matter the occasion. For me, it was the scarf!

Below, was the day that changed it all and the single accessory that catapulted me out of my funk. I took some pictures of myself after leaving an interview that I knew was not going to be the right fit. I was feeling restless, unaccomplished, frustrated, angry, etc. While I was leaving that fancy office building, I caught a glimpse of myself outside and I stopped. I didn’t stop because I felt I looked stunning. I stopped because I wanted to see what I chose to wear in full regalia. There I was in a simple black skirt and a simple white blouse. I chose my vintage inspired Anthropologie earrings (pretty, huh?) because they matched the blouse. I chose neutral heels because they were a safe fit. But beyond that, there wasn’t anything special I thought stood out – that was deflating.

But then, I saw something that gave me a flash of something I remembered. That flash made that once eye-twitching day turn into a positive. It was a day that I had subconsciously decided to accessorize with something other than jewelry. What I saw was my scarf. I remembered the day I bought that scarf. I remembered how I just happened to find it tucked away behind a slew of unorganized belts. I remembered how I wore it with jeans, and skirts, and work trousers, and with blazers, and with sweaters, and wrapped around my hair, and wrapped around my wrist. It was one of those scarves that acted as a statement necklace – strong enough to stand completely on its own. A simple silk scarf.

Let me stop here and say that I am not really an accessories blogger, to sit and write about accessories all day isn’t my calling. That is what made this day so special, when I saw how something I rarely put much thought in, a simple silk scarf, put my look together all by itself. It was incredible. On any other day I would give these accolades to my jewelry, but not on this day. On this day, my accessories outshined my jewelry and made me remember something about myself I thought I had lost for good. It made me remember my happiness. I had to capture that moment.

Have you ever been memorized by something as simple as a scarf? How about an accessory you own? What were you going through and how did something so simple bring you back to life?

Ashli Cargill
Ashli Cargill

FUN FACT: I am a donut lover with a slight shopping addiction.

I have been writing Sleeping with Jewelry blog since 2017 in hopes to connect with you all and share my love for accessories and shopping! I hope you enjoy the big smiles and gold jewelry seen across every page. Please feel free to leave a comment below, I love hearing from you all!

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