I struggled with depression for 16 years. It’s not something I usually talk about publicly, but if we’re ever going to end the ridiculous stigma surrounding mental illness, we have to be honest and open and unafraid. Besides, there’s something so powerful and so loving about owning up to everything you are, even when it’s not pretty and perfect.
I want others who suffer to know they’re not alone. I’m sharing my experience so (hopefully) others can gain comfort and guidance and hope. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel – but we have to help ourselves. Here’s how I did it. This piece is the first of many to come about my journey. ♥
If you suffer from depression, it’s likely you feel utterly, desperately — sometimes unbearably — alone. It is, after all, an illness of alienation. It drags you down, steals your joy, robs you of your energy and enthusiasm, and distances you from others.
But the truth is, you’re far from alone. More than 20 million people in the U.S. suffer from mood disorders. That jaw-dropping number is proof positive that there are millions of other people who share your pain, and I’m one of them.
I suffered from depression for 16 years. Though there were times I came close to giving up, I didn’t. And for those of you who feel you’re suffering alone, I want you to know that you’re not. There is help. There is hope. And there is a light at the end of the tunnel, I promise. Here’s how I found mine.