About

I’m a 20 year old sociology major/business and women and gender studies minor at the University of Missouri, by way of KCMO. I love the Royals, hummus, rap music, fashion, and bugging my roommates. I’d love to hear your story, so please find me on social media:

Twitter: @hptakesphotos

Instagram: @hptakesphotos

Tumblr: hptakesphotos.tumblr.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/heather.christine.39

Email: heatherparrie@gmail.com

21 thoughts on “About

  1. Dan Lynch says:

    You have inspired me like you cannot even know. Thank you. I will send an email in a few moments.

    Like

  2. Pat Madden says:

    I have thought about killing myself increasingly over time. Tonight I made some plans although it will take some time to complete. I will be sober in the morning but the feelings will still be there but the logic and shame and pain I will cause my family will make me hold on a little longer. But I am losing strength. Thank you for your story.

    Like

  3. KarenCannon says:

    Keep writing, girl. You’re good at it and you’ve inspired lots of people with this post. Remember that when the cold and dark threaten to take over.

    Like

  4. marjogo75 says:

    Heather, I admire your courage to admit that you have a mental illness. I, too, have suffered from chronic depression in my life. It started when I was 13, out of the blue. It felt like a dark cloud enveloped me one evening. From then on it came and went. As a teenager I used to hide in closet and cry. My parents didn’t understand, and they told me to be happy. It came and went over the years. I continued through college, tried graduate school but the depression hit me so hard that I had to quit and move home. I met a wonderful man, got married, had 3 kids and still the depression came and went. I managed to function through the years, but I didn’t feel like I was the real me, I was quiet and subdued. Thank God for my husband. He stayed up with me with me as I talked to him about my anxieties and fears. I finally was hospitalized for depression at 39. I had been a teacher. I got better but still depression, anxiety and obessive thoughts came and went. I decided to go back to school and become a nurse. For three years I studied hard, graduated and got my first nursing job working in a children’s psychiatric hospital. I worked the over-night shift on a residential unit. where it was dark and lonely. My depression started dancing in my head, with odd thoughts and old anxieties. I almost couldn’t function in the job. At home I slept all the time and ignored my family. My husband at the end of his patience, said, “Either shit or get off the toilet.” I understood exactly what he meant.
    The next day I checked myself into an adult unit recently built at the children’s hospital where I worked. I stayed there for nearly 2 weeks and went to outpatient for about 2 more weeks. It was different because it was Christian based called Rapha for God the healer. For me it worked. I learned to change my thinking while I focused on negative thoughts, I learned away to focus on positive thoughts about my self. The first one “I am deeply loved” beame so therapuetic and felt like a healing balm. I had counseling and took several medications. I was given a diagnosis of OCD-Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. It made sense that I continually dwelt on negative, harmful thoughts that caused depression.
    After the hospital I started seeing the same female counselor that I had seen in the hospital. The first thing she did was write a daily schedule for me. Simple activities that I focused on. I had a black Lab Shane and he and I walked every day for miles over a week’s time period. I spent more time with my children and family. I went back to work and got a daytime shift. It was hard to practice replacing negative or “crazy” thought with positive ones. Sometimes I’d think this is only a symptom of my illness, and they were hard to ignore. I continue in counseling for three years.
    I can say in the last 20 years I have been able to live a “normal life”. I’ve had problems, but depression doesn’t define my life. I still take an anti-depressant and when I have tried to do without it, I start crying. Mental Illness has been linked to brain chemicals. Better medications had helped many mentally ill people function and have fuller lives. There is a stigma to being mentally ill.

    I recommend to anyone who is a family member of someone who is mentally ill, a consumer (someone who has been diagnosed with mental illness), or a people who work with the mentally ill join NAMI-The Nation Alliance for the Mentally ILL, https://www.nami.org.

    Like

  5. Brian says:

    I wanted to write you about how I really enjoyed the post you wrote. You have an amazing talent communicating through the art of writing. I am always amazed with people who are able to write in such an enjoyable manner. It’s not easy. Even when you grasp the mechanics of grammar, you still have to master the challenge of writing and crafting sentences that hook readers into the meaning you intend. It’s a gift. A gift you have. You have a bright future ahead of you.

    Also, I wish to commend your courage to share about your struggle with depression. As a long sufferer of depression, I know full well about the stigma associated with depression. The fear is why I never post nothing on social media. I’ve got nothing good to say. I live in great fear that if any employer were to find out about my struggles I would permanently black listed from the job market. So, I share nothing. People, like you, who have the courage to come forward are true heroes. It is people like you who will one day end the stigma. Thank you so much for coming forward.

    I wish you the best with your recovery. I pray that your depression will abate and it was just a single depressive episode. If it turns out not to be, you will have a life-long battle ahead of you. Personally, I like to turn to the stoic philosophies. Stoicism with its fixation on duty helps me get through the darkest moments. I also like to meditate on this quote from Blade Runner:

    I’ve… seen things you people wouldn’t believe… Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those… moments… will be lost in time, like [chokes up] tears… in… rain. Time… to die…

    Essentially, this quote gets at what we lose when we die. Our thoughts, memories, and imaginations are our most valuable assets. Even when things are at their darkest, I reflect on what would be lost. The world may suck at times, but I can always escape to a dream or fantasy.

    You appear to have a solid support system in place. That support system will help you get through this. I wish you the best. And if there is anything I can do to help support you, I would be delighted to help.

    Respectfully,

    Brian

    Like

  6. Bill Kuehn says:

    I love the idea. I am getting the same tattoo for similar reasons. Thanks for the inspiration. Keep your strength.

    Bill

    Like

  7. Abby says:

    I am grateful that you chose to give us the gift of your story. I aire your courage and honesty. I hope you continue to write more. Keep on shining!

    Like

  8. margaret says:

    thank you for telling your story…

    Like

  9. Eileen Tompkins says:

    You write with openness and honesty. I am a suicide and depression survivor. I am in awe of your ability to write with such compassion about your mental illness. It’s as if you know me personally and wrote my story! Depression robs us of our happiness. Thank you for being an advocate for all of us suffering from this disease. The stigma needs to go away.
    With gratitude,
    Eileen

    Like

  10. susiebell58 says:

    Thank you for sharing this. The more is shared about mental illness, the shame lessens and the more recovery is possible.

    I also have recently started a blog telling about my depression, anxiety, and self harm.

    It is not always easy to share, but I believe it is absolutely critical to my recovery.

    Like

  11. Mark says:

    Thanks for sharing….

    Like

  12. Rachel says:

    I love your story on the semi colon project. Wow, it really hit home for me. I’m going to get one this week. This is an excellent way for me to look it the positive of my mental illness & make others aware of it. THANK YOU for sharing this story.

    Like

  13. Ginny Fankhauser says:

    Darling Heather,
    As others have already more eloquently stated than me, thank you for sharing your story. As one who has survived depression since being a Teenager, and is now 60 years old, it is wonderful that Social media allows us to share things in a more anonymous way; but you have courage, and for that I thank you. 🙂

    Like

  14. hap7883 says:

    An important message, beautifully written. And you’ve helped others (like me) by reminding us that we are not alone.

    Like

  15. Isabelle says:

    Thank you for your story, Heather. I found it on Facebook and shared it to a community page on the Sunshine Coast in Australia (gloriously sunny place to live but still loads of depression, partly due to overburdened job market.) There are quite a few people here who are also going to get a semi colon tattoo, me included. It’s a great way to open the doors to talking about depression and also of course a reminder to ourselves to stay positive and “keep on keeping on”. Thanks again ❤

    Like

  16. suzihollihan says:

    I am thinking we should make this part of our next event we host with I Love my Life Magazine. A group tattoo! You are very inspiring! Thank you for sharing your honest thoughts. I am contacting a tattoo artist here in Cambridge, ON.. to get this going!

    Like

  17. jcolemarrow says:

    I love your first post and I can’t wait to see what else you have in store for us!

    Like

  18. Stephanie says:

    I am so proud of you! Having the same types of issues and being twice your age I have no where near your amount of courage so kudos to you! Though now I really want a semicolon tattoo! Is that bad?

    Like

  19. Nomzi Kumalo says:

    Pleased to meet you. You are welcome to visit my blog when you get the chance. 🙂

    Like

  20. […] heard about this project from this wonderful blog post by Heather Parrie. This line really got to […]

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  21. Gee Deezy says:

    Stay strong Heather; you are worthy of this life; you are worthy of good things to come. Be patient; be strong. You will rebound stronger than ever.

    Like

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