On January 27, 2014, I decided to open up about my battle with depression. I was dealing with it a lot better than I had in the past, but I was still dealing with it.
Since I seemed to have somewhat of a handle on my situation at that point, and since it was Bell’s annual Let’s Talk day, I thought I would share my story with the hope that it could have an impact on others and show at least one other person that there is light to be had on the way out of the tunnel.
Here is my story…
The feedback was wonderful and I like to believe that I helped someone by sharing my story. I know for a fact that I helped myself.
Being able to speak not proudly but confidently about depression didn’t come easy, but by raising my voice I also lifted a weight off my shoulder.
Until the point when I shared my story through this video, I felt ashamed. I felt the fact that I dealt with depression would be looked at negatively and that somehow I would be seen as less of a man, less of a human. But once I gathered the courage to speak out, what happened was exactly the opposite.
What I began to feel was empowerment, strength, positivity, love, and support; many things that had slowly been less prominent in my life since depression became a cloud that always hovered. But simply by sharing, by talking, by not being afraid, I counteracted that darkness and once against brought a little light into my life.
That is what I hope to do with this blog, Down Not Out. I hope that by continuing to share my story, I can continue to empower myself and fill my life with these positive emotions. But I also hope that by sharing my experiences, what I go through, what I’ve learned, and how I’m coping, others will be able to do the same: learn, cope, and deal with their mental illness – or that of those close to them – better.
Mental illness – and depression specifically – while something to take seriously, shouldn’t control us and it shouldn’t define us. By speaking up, speaking out, and supporting each other, we can write our own stories.