I have a friend who I fight with

I have a friend, well he isn't really a friend per say. But he is always with me, he never leaves, he can finish or even start my sentences. He sometimes thinks he knows me better than I know myself.The thing is my friend is me. I have fought with depression since 2011. In fact, many don't know this but 6 years ago today when I first had a run in with my friend. I was shooting a time-lapse video of London Ontario, called London at Night. At the time most people thought I had it all together at this time in my life. I had a great photography business, was starting several businesses and generally life was great. From the outside, everything looked just as it should. Until that day in November. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I went from feeling on top of the world to feeling like the worst person in the world in an instant. I remember taking photos on the tops of one London place and other buildings and thinking I should just jump. Or shooting video of the cars passing on Richmond street and thinking to myself I should just step out into the traffic. And in those moments at night, I felt as if I was the only one in the world that felt this way. I felt I couldn't tell anyone and didn't know where to turn. And for days and weeks and what seemed like forever I tried to fight it. Fight the feelings that told me I was worthless, that I was the worst person in the world and that I was no good to anyone. And it's hard not to believe when the person telling you those things, is you. I was so ashamed to tell anyone how I felt and thought people would think I was crazy and no one could relate. Those were the darkest days in my life up until that point. I finally sought some help with the encouragement of Family but still, it took me to get to such a low point that I pretty much had no choice. That was the first step in a long journey to learning to live with my new friend. And live with him I do. I know he will always be with me and he shows up now and then. I have had several times since that time in 2011 that depression once again hits me in major ways. But even when it's not overpowering it is there every day. When I wake up I wonder if today my friend will walk with me. And most days he is there in the distance but always close behind. I have grown stronger but many days I have moments of weakness and my friend will be right there again. An interesting thing has happened though, over time I have come to see depression as a blessing. Because before November 16, 2011, I thought depression was fake. I would have told you to shake it off or snap out of it. I thought it was something made up that was totally in your control. But now because of my friend and the daily struggle of depression in my own life. I can much easier understand and relate when others tell me their stories and can empathize with their struggles as well. And so I am thankful for this gift in my life as I truly see it as that. A way I can now help others who are walking the same road as I do. I am open to sharing my struggles with anyone, as I feel we are stronger the more we share. I want to personally say that if you need someone to talk to or just listen to you. I am here. We walk the same roads together, our friends and all.

UncategorizedLee Mann