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A Friend with a Powerful Message

March 6, 2013

I’ve suffered from depression for more than two decades. When I was first diagnosed, after struggling for five years without therapy and medication, I experienced a sense of failure that rivaled the symptoms of the depression itself.

At first, I told one person: my mother. Period.

Slowly, I began sharing. And by sharing I mean that I told one other person: my best friend.  As the years progressed and my experience with the disease deepened, so did my relationship to it. I began talking about my depression whenever I felt it was relevant or helpful. However, that freedom of voice did not make it into my writing.  I never, ever wrote about the darkness of my mental illness.

That changed years ago when I decided to write about my experience — a decision I made because I hoped that by sharing about my decades of depression, I might help someone, anyone–even just one. I wanted to add my voice to the chorus of people brave enough to be open about depression; I wanted people to know that an ordinary mom, wife, daughter, sister, writer and friend like me struggled. I hoped that by being open and honest, my words would help to smudge the stereotypical beliefs and discomfort surrounding depression.

Recently, I heard from an old colleague and friend.  She’d started writing a blog where she was brave enough to share her story. A story about a depression so gripping and severe that she’d planned to end her life.

As tears threaten to drip as I type, I am so grateful to write the following words:

she did not end her life.

She chose to Love. To Laugh. To Live.

And, amazingly, she told me that my words, my humble words on this humble blog, helped her gain the courage to go public with her own struggle.

(More tears.)

Terrie and some of her talented friends created a short, powerful video detailing her story.  Please watch it. Please share it. Please listen to her message.

(If you’re watching on your mobile device, follow this Vimeo link: https://vimeo.com/user16802566/videos )

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 6, 2013 11:06 am

    Love.

  2. March 6, 2013 12:26 pm

    You know, there’s so much shame surrounding depression–would that we all could be so courageous as you women.

  3. March 7, 2013 6:00 pm

    So powerful. We continue to stigmatize those who would be themselves, those who don’t think they fit in, and those who suffer from the depression that may arise from any number of scenarios.

    Brava for your words and your courage, and Terrie’s.

  4. March 7, 2013 9:06 pm

    What a gift you are Denise, to both share your story and Terri’s. This is a very powerful video. And I second Kitch – way, WAY too much shame surrounding depression.

  5. March 11, 2013 10:21 am

    How do I find her? I am going to share this, Denise. Thanks for making me aware! Sharing everywhere right now! xoxoxoxo

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