Darkness, Failure Feelings & Finding Joy Again

Darkness, Failure Feelings & Finding Joy Again

Sep 19, 2023Lacie Marsh-Carroll

I’m working from home today trying to write and all I can think about is how much I don’t want to remember. Laura took her life almost 7 years ago and it still really hurts. I miss my friend so much. September is Suicide Prevention month and whenever I hear ‘Suicide Prevention’ the guilt and grief come rushing back. I don’t know if I can ever forgive myself for not answering her call that morning because I was running late for work. I knew she was in a dark place, and I knew she needed me. When I called her back, it was too late. My therapist of course assures me this wasn’t my fault, I could not have prevented it, but my heart will always wonder what would have happened had I given her the time she needed.

As you all may (or may not) know, Malicious Women Candle Co (MWCC) began as a therapy project. I write about it in the ‘About Us’ section of my website.  The name Malicious comes from the years Laura and I stayed quiet in situations and what we should have said if only we were More Malicious. When I realized these candles spoke to other people as much as they were healing me, I wanted a portion of every candle sold to honor Laura and her battle with depression. To date, as a small business MWCC has donated over $42,000 to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in Laura’s name. 

We use an app called Pledge that auto donates for each candle sold

I honestly never intended to start a side hustle. I was pretty happy with my career at Boeing working in Quality Control. When I first started MWCC I had never used Instagram. I knew nothing about websites and didn’t have a clue about marketing. I just put everything out there. I took every free Masterclass I could find and spent my mornings watching YouTube videos while doing my makeup. There was so much conflicting information, tutorials, guides…you name it and I tried to follow them all until I just said ‘Fuck It, I’ll Do It My Own Way’. I started writing to you and posting all about my day-to-day life, posting the good, bad and ugly online and not trying to filter what it is like starting a small business. Once I started sharing everything with you all, MWCC started to flourish. I quit my Boeing job and decided to become a candle maker full-time.

With the explosive growth from 2019-2021 I started to hire out the marketing. First, I tried the firms that promised all sorts of success. These firms were expensive and the only thing they were really good at was taking my money. They could never get our brand voice and didn’t understand my mission. MWCC isn’t just about using the ‘F’ word, it’s about finally saying the things we normally keep hidden, lighting those feelings on fire and letting that shit go. That’s always been my mission. Along the way, there have always been people telling me whatever I am doing that day is wrong or risky. Everything from the topics I wanted to talk about to how I should manage my inventory and warehouse. Most of the advice I receive comes from a good place and for years I didn’t want to upset anyone by ignoring their advice - to a point. (Insert childhood people pleasing syndrome)

I mean, some advice I ignored. I still actively speak out for women's rights and I try very hard to leave religion out of my candles. (It's so tough because there is so much I want to say!!!)

By trying to please everyone, I had absolutely lost sight of my mission and my WHY. I stopped writing, posting, and I basically outsourced my company while I focused on the day-to-day candle making. It was easier for me to just let everyone else make the business decisions. This latest idea was probably the most painful decision I let happen.

The bounce rates were really high on my website with over 300 products for people to navigate through. I agreed it was too many and that we should discontinue the least selling candles. What ended up happening is we took the top 20 candles and the zodiac candles and discontinued the rest of the labels. It was actually physically painful for me as the stories behind these labels were personal to me. I'm actively working on bringing back some of my favorites now. The positive is I love that you all have the ability to select a scent and I want to continue that. It reminds me of my kitchen counter days. 

I tell you this not to blame anyone, but to highlight the very real impact to my mental health as I lost my way. I stopped doing what I wanted and sunk into a depression funk. I developed a different ‘Fuck It’ (See how versatile the F word is?) attitude and started drinking more by 2022 to escape. All I could do was focus on my failures. It became easier to take a sort of backseat approach and let the experts tell me what to do.

To wrap up this very long post to you all, I want to say this from someone who has first-hand experience with people pleasing and the depression and self-loathing that follows, listen to your gut. I’ve missed my voice and the passion as I became consumed by the darkness. I lost connections with friends because I was just too depressed to want to move after going through the motions at work. I lost my joy.

Luckily, I have an incredible support system at home and am surrounded by the most amazing team at MWCC that have helped pull me from my funk. I’m on new meds now and I am starting to feel the passion come back and get excited again. I planted my garden and have spent a lot of time with my plants. Harvesting food I’ve grown brings me serious joy. I took a much-needed dream vacation to Ireland and feel very refreshed. Check out Joe and I at The Cliffs of Moher in Ireland. It was so beautiful!

Cliffs of Moher Ireland vacation 2023


My plan is to write to you weekly and share this new phase of the journey. (If you're reading this on email, the unsubscribe button is below if this sounds like a terrible idea to you.)

For me, I want to keep telling Laura’s story and share my real victories and struggles involved with being a woman, a wife, a mother, a friend, and running a small business. The only way to shine a light on the darkness is to talk about it. If we are ever going to remove the shame and stigma from metal health we have to keep talking about it. My friends and family checked on me and I want to encourage you all to check on your quiet friends. I believe that is the most important way to prevent our loved ones from sinking into the darkness. Thank you so much if you made it this far and thank you for your continued support of me and MWCC. I truly couldn’t do this without you.

Warr;or On My Friends and Stay Malicious,

Till next week,


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Comments (58)

  • Thank you for sharing so openly about your story and the impetus for your company. I have had a horrible year- my dad died by suicide, I got cancer, my mother-in-law got cancer, my aunt and uncle got cancer, and even the dog is struggling with cancer. I have had moments where I felt I couldn’t go on. Hearing how you turned your struggles into this badass company is so inspiring. A friend sent me a congratulations for making a human candle when my son was born and I loved it. I finished the candle and still have the glass as a holder for my makeup brushes because it cracks me up. I hope you keep rocking it and I plan to continue to support this company, especially knowing its story and how you treat your employees.

  • Wow! Just, wow! I admit to not usually reading letters from company owners, but I do try to do so with female owners, so that I can support them. Something about your email told me that I needed to read yours. It was like a hand slap to my forehead! Your message hit me directly on. Your openness, honesty, vulnerability, and truths were amazing to read and take in. While I didn’t know the how or why of your company, I just knew I loved the joy derived from your candles, which a friend introduced me to. After reading your post, I’m even more supportive of what you are doing. It’s so good to read that you’re finding your way out of the darkness. The love you have for your friend is such a guiding light. Keep that inspirational light shinning!
    Suicide runs in my family, which is an odd thing to say, but it’s true. One sister finally died from it after several attempts. Another sister attempted it but survived, although she still doesn’t want to be here but found religion, which she feels won’t allow anymore attempts. My mother attempted suicide not long after the last of her 5 daughters moved out. And a nephew, a veteran with PTSD, committed suicide a few years ago, one of the 22 veterans who do so per day. That’s not counting the friends and co-workers who have attempted it. It’s an ugly option but one we can’t always prevent. So, I’ve learned not to beat myself up over it. I hope you find your way to that point.
    Your post really hit its mark because, I, too, have been struggling with mental health issues. When the pandemic shutdown occurred, I was furloughed, then laid off. At 67, I wasn’t going to find a job in an industry that was decimated by the pandemic. So, I was forced into retirement, something I hadn’t planned to do for 3 years. Given the shutdown, and health issues that made me more vulnerable to covid-19,
    “retirement” wasn’t joyful. As a Type A Businesswoman, Warrior, and Bitch, losing everything I had been working on and enjoying doing, in such a shattering way simply devastated me. I thought I was simply going through a short mourning period afterwards, which obviously made sense. But it’s now been 3 years, a little too long to call it a mourning period. I don’t think I can hide from it any longer. Your post has inspired me to get my ass off the toilet and arrange to see a therapist. That means a lot to me because I’ve been able to keep up a facade that prevented others from seeing any issues. I was never inclined toward suicide because, as I said, I was a Warrior and Bitch, one who had survived stage 3 breast cancer 8 years ago. Survival didn’t happen to then turn around and kill myself. But aiming for a better quality of life, rather than hiding, will now be my priority.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you! You’re an incredible woman, with a beautiful story, and your openness is obviously reaching others.

  • Lacie,
    Thank you for sharing your story! I’ve loved your candles since I first discovered them and I’ve shared them with family and friends who are now customers, too. Your honesty, your attitude, your heart speak to us all. I’m happy to hear you’re in a better place, and I hope it continues. Bless you!

  • Lacie,
    Thank you for writing this. I wish more people would be open and honest with their mental health. It’s not an easy road and most people do not understand what someone else is fighting for demons. I fell in love with your candles the first time I saw an ad for them on FB or Instagram (can’t remember which one more). I tell everyone about your company and the why behind it. Thank you for being you! Keep on keeping on! Much love, BethanyW.

  • So glad you are on your way out of your funk. Suicide socks! Survivors guilt is a hard road to travel. Stay true to yourself and don’t shut out your circle. I love your mission and your products.
    You go girl!

  • A) I love your company and your candles. You’re in my pantheon of Strong Women I Admire. I’m grateful you are here.
    2) The timing of this post is powerful. I’m trying to get a book published, and have recently come to the place of saying “fuck this” to all myriad, and conflicting, “this is what you should do” shit in the publishing industry. Whether I find a publisher or go indie, I’m doing it my own bloody way. (I’ve decided ‘should’ is one of my least favorite words in the English language.) And I also realized, just this week, that I need therapy to better manage a lifelong struggle with anxiety. This blog post landed like confirmation of all this.
    Thank you for your honesty, your spirit, and for all you do to lift others up. 💋 (Lip print courtesy of Bitches Against Bullshit)

  • Lacie, please continue to do YOU! Your voice is so real and the honesty, refreshing! I love your candles; the recipients I have gifted love them and I plan to continue to purchase. Keep up the good and so original work. Your mission is your heart and I am thankful you are sharing with all of us.
    - Judi G.

    Judi Gaines
  • Lacie,
    This is why I will purchase whatever I can from MWCC. Because your heart, soul, honesty and bravery are integral to it.
    Thank you for sharing your journey aloud. out of the darkness, indeed.
    Keep on being you.

  • Love that you were brave enough (insert Warrior) to bare your soul❤️ Love Love your candles ❤️& that a portion of sales goes to support suicide prevention ❤️ keep doing what feels good to you

    Jan Hagar
  • Thank you for sharing your heart and your journey. I am on my local chapter AFSP board and I am grateful for the light you shine on suicide prevention. Every year I participate in the overnight walk for AFSP and I am amazed to see all the humans who have been connected in different ways to our mission to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide. Thank you for being so vulnerable!

    Mary Davis

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