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,


More articles

Comments (58)

  • Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I love your message, your courage, your failures, and your candles. I recently lost my husband 4 days before our 35th anniversary. Talk about fucked up! Your message has helped me so much! Don’t ever stop!

    Peggy Shupp
  • As a people pleaser I know how you feel. It is so easy to lose ourselves when trying to make everyone else happy. “Fuck it” is one of my new slogans. Thank you for your beautiful products!

  • Lacie,
    You are one strong woman. I love your honesty, authenticity, and, of course, your candles! Keep doing what you’re doing. Your candles have been just what my friends and I have needed during life’s highs and lows. Thank you for what you do. You are amazing!

  • Thank you for doing YOU! I’m trying to stay true to myself, running a small holistic health and wellness business. I totally understand your words; they resonate with me deeply. Keep moving, fellow Warr;or, be well!

  • I found your candles at a local boutique while pregnant. My husband and I have kept them burning in our home because we fell in love with not only the scents, but the labels, sayings, and meaning behind the company. Now as a new mom dealing with postpartum and delivery complications, I cannot even begin to share how these candles have helped, and I thank you for sharing your story. I will continue to support, and share, because you sharing your journey through your candles is helping me navigate, and in turn, share mine ❤️

    Katie Van Sickle
  • The reason I buy MWCC products (more often than I probably should) is because I always knew there was a real person behind the company who really “gets it.”
    Thank you for this.
    Someone who bought your cosmetics during the pandemic :-)

  • Thank you for sharing this. You are amazing and I will continue to support MWCC all that I can!

  • Oooh my sweet friend (even though we don’t know each other from adam’s house cat). I feel similar pain, not to take away or make yours less heard. My father succumbed to this vicious disease 20 years ago. I remember the last words i spoke to him and i am ashamed and broken. It wasn’t i love you or happy birthday, i wanted to know why the hell he was at the liquor store. While it has taken me many years, different combinations of medication, made and broken relationships, i am still here. I pray that you forever remember the sweet memories of your friend and quickly allow yourself the forgiveness you deserve (it is hard i know). While i have not purchased yet, i come by often to see what is new and going on, knowing i am not alone. Thank you for being real, being vulnerable, for being there even when you don’t realize it.

  • Lacey – glad you found your way back! Very sorry you had to go through such a dark time. I had a bf who killed himself around 33 years ago – seems like just the other day. I broke off a dinner date the night before because I was not feeling well. I found out the next evening when I was at work he had left work, gone home and killed himself. I always wondered what would have happened if I had not cancelled dinner. Was that the “last straw” for him? Over all these years I still question that, but at the same time I know it would have just likely happened another day/time, that not going to dinner was not the complete fault. I didn’t know he had “demons”, he was always happy. Keep staying positive. keep healing. Know that what you do and who you are matters to people!

    Denise Lynn Kato
  • I have loved your work for years and this makes me love you even more. I’m also a small business owner trying to hold onto her voice in the world. I appreciate your honesty about mental health more than you know. My daughter has severe mental health issues. I wonder if you’re familiar with the book Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson? If not, get the audio book. She’s a brave and very funny truth teller like you and her reading it is even better! Thank you for all that you do!


Leave a comment