For as far back as I can remember, I’ve felt depressed but until I was sixteen I didn’t know it had a name. I thought it was just life.

Major depression fell hard and fast.

I self-injured on a daily basis, pushed all of my friends away, and was hospitalized again and again. At eighteen one of my closest friends committed suicide after spending the day with me. Life was a living hell. I stayed behind a year at school and watched what acquaintances I had left go off into their dream schools and dream lives. I decided I was far too broken to ever succeed and upon graduating high school I went into my bedroom and shut the door. For the next five years or so I would only leave the house to go to therapy or a quick coffee with my family.

Between the ages of 16 and 25 I was hospitalized too many times to count. I tried to kill myself many times, received many stitches, I starved myself and tried to hate myself out of being depressed. I felt like I had no reason to be depressed, I just had a lack of willpower. I just couldn’t handle life.

Eventually something in me shifted and in one last effort to save my life I started trying different therapies. I did art therapy, horticultural therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy. I began to realize that I wasn’t depressed because of lack of willpower. That I had a treatable illness.

A year later I did a post-traumatic stress disorder program. It helped me feel safe enough to stop self-destructing and once I learned how to sit and tolerate my feelings something major from my past floated up to the surface of my mind. Memories of being terribly abused as a child. Those memories are one of the last essential puzzle pieces of my recovery.

I’m still in therapy now and am medication, but finally my life is improving. I do a lot of art and a lot of writing and I find joy in my many pets. Working with mindyourmind.ca has given me direction and hope for a better mental health system, and a world of less stigma associated with mental illness.

I realize I’m one of the lucky ones. For every person that regains their life back from depression, there are ten in the background that never do.

After years of telling myself to shut up, I am learning to get my voice back. I want to tell you what it’s like to be too depressed to move and give you tips for when you feel that way.

I want to help fill in the gaps in our broken mental health system. Maybe I can share with you what took me too long to learn. Maybe you will make the same mistakes as me or maybe you won’t.

Fighting depression is a constant battle but there IS hope. That fact that I am here today writing this proves that there is another side to the darkness. Even if you can’t see it now. I’m not out of the woods yet but I’m really getting there. Read along, learn from my experiences, share yours with me and together we can make it through.

♥ Erin

ErinMy Story

116 Comments on “My Story”

  1. Anonymous

    This is a very brave endeavor, I applaud your strength Erin. I recognize myself in some of your posts and my heart swells. I don’t have the way with words as you do, describing my depression battles has always come out in my art instead. A few years ago I read a book called “The Highly Sensitive Person” and it opened my eyes a little. There are some of us who sense more, react harder, and empathize to the extreme. I’ve gotten a lot better at accepting these traits of mine instead of hiding or suppressing.
    Anyway, just wanted to say ‘Bravo!’ for this. Keep it going!

    Dana

    1. daisiesandbruises

      Thank you so much for this comment; I’ve been nervous about people’s reactions to this page in particular. That book you recommend sounds fantastic! I’m going to check it out. :)

      Your comment reminds me of one of my favourite quotes: “The opposite of DEpression is EXpression.” – SARK

      Thank you so much, again, and all the best on your recovery and artistic journeys.

      <3 Erin

    2. Anonymous

      I, too, have suffered from depression, have experienced severe trauma in childhood, and always thought I was too sensitive. I also read the book you mention and found it helpful, after a therapist told me I was an “intuitive empath.”

    3. Anonymous

      Hello

      I am interested to know more about the night sensitive person, both te book and the traits though I will go and read it soon. I feel everything like I often believe no one else feels, hurt, sadness, pure joy and happiness, empathy and every other emotion in me is heightened so much that I often feel so foolish for weaping or smiling uncontrollably. I was diagnosed wih bipolar 5 years ago, and as much as saying that is even difficult, my brain just doesn’t work the way I want! Is there anyone that would like to talk with me? Rebeccapenney@hotmail.com

  2. mel

    thank you erin.
    tell me more. i need to know how to support my two young girls….you would think as a professional that i knew the answers. something about having kids makes it too close to see.
    tell me more.

  3. purple pineapple

    Hi Erin,
    Thank you for writing this and being so open and honest. I’m pretty familiar with a lot of what you’re writing about here. Just recently I’ve started to seek help for what my family Dr. is so far diagnosing as depression. I’m waiting for my appointment with a psychiatrist, but it’s taking forever. I live in Canada as well (Ontario) and know very little about where I can even start to look for further informaton/seek additional help etc. It’s all pretty scary to be honest. Anyway, just wanted to say hi and thanks again for helping people that are facing similar problems.

    1. daisiesandbruises

      Thank you so much! Good for you for seeking help – it can be SO scary, especially at first. I hope you get your psychiatrist appointment soon. I know that this time of year can be tricky with doctors going on vacation (understandable but depression takes no vacations!) but I’ll cross my fingers that you hear from one soon. Take care <3

  4. Whitney

    I am amazed at how we’ve lived almost entirely parallel lives in terms of our depression paths, especially those first four paragraphs; they would be nearly identical to what I’d write if asked to describe my depression/anxiety. I’ve been in treatment since the age of six and have taken countless different medications. Thankfully, I’ve never been hospitalized for it outside of two separate psych evaluations when I was a teenager. I had my first series of nervous breakdowns three years ago at 23, and most recently (and most devastatingly) another series of breakdowns last October-December.

    I think the biggest difference between the me of the past and the me now is that I no longer argue or disagree with my diagnosis of mental illness, I mean, I have to accept it as the reality it is before I can hope to begin to heal and get myself together and start living my life as I’d like again. I’m learning it’s not my fault, or anything I can help, and I have nothing to be ashamed of. Which is refreshing after years of low self-esteem and hating myself for not being “normal”.

    Apologies for the rambling, it’s just so nice to see someone who knows *exactly* what it’s like dealing with this stuff. We can talk to therapists and psychiatrists and they can sympathize but it’s truly rare to find someone who LIVES it and KNOWS it. Thanks for making me feel less alone in this. Take care and absolute best wishes to you. ♥

  5. daisiesandbruises

    Hi Whitney!

    Thank you so much for your wonderful compliments!! I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had similar experiences to mine but I’m glad you find some comfort in relating to my story.

    It’s so awesome that you’ve accepted your mental illness. It’s obviously nothing anyone wants to have to accept in terms of their life but as you said, you can heal and start to live again once you’ve accepted your illness.

    Thanks again for the awesome comments and support. All the best to you on your journey to wellness!

    ♥ Erin

  6. Anonymous

    Hello Erin
    I just came across your site whilst googling how to cope when therapist away. I recognise myself in many of your posts and have begun my journey with the help of a trauma therapist. It gives me hope to read your story and that I can recover to a place of expression rather depression as you so eloquently put this. I have now bookmarked your site to re-visit
    Thanks for sharing your story, keep it up

    1. daisiesandbruises

      Wow, that’s awesome that you found my article on coping while a therapist is away right when you needed it. Thank you so much for your wonderful compliments and I wish you all the best in working with your trauma therapist. :)

  7. Catherine

    Hi Erin, I heard you speak at the LDDC AGM last night. You did a wonderful job. I am impressed by both your public speaking and writing abilities. You clearly have much to offer with respect to reducing the stigma surrounding mental illness. Thank you for sharing your story.

    1. daisiesandbruises

      Hi Catherine!

      Thank you so much for the wonderful compliments. It was an honour to be chosen to speak at the meeting and I hope that everyone there got as much out of it as I did.

      Thanks for visiting my blog as well, and reading my story. It means a lot to me. <3

      Erin

  8. Jan

    Erin,your site is great! good job Thanks for sharing it.I Shared it with my therapist that it may help her (therapists are people too) or another one of her clients Thank so much! Jan

    1. daisiesandbruises

      Hey Jan! It’s so great to hear that this blog not only resonated with you but enough so for you to pass it on to others. It’s especially an honour that you shared it with your therapist. I’ve done a bit of writing for therapists through mindyourmindpro.ca (a great site for professionals!) but it’s extra encouraging to hear such feedback from you.

  9. jesserose

    i’m inspired by your bravery. i struggle with depression too, being bipolar and can relate to much of what you have gone through – the self-injury, the hopelessness, the lack of understanding, and the finding relief through art. love your blog.

    1. daisiesandbruises

      Hey Jesserose,

      I’m sorry that you have struggled with depression too but I’m glad to hear that my blog and writing have spoken to you and helped you feel less alone. I’d love to hear any feedback or ideas you have as you (possibly) read along in the future. :) Happy Holidays, too! <3

  10. lauraricker

    Thank you for the instagram follow, but more so thanks for being so raw, open and honest about who you are and where you come from. You are a great writer and you take some damned sexy photographs. We have a hell of a lot in common and it was nice to read your story and know I’m not alone in the world/

    I look forward to keeping up with your blog.
    Where abouts are you located?

    Laura Ricker
    Instagram and etsy

    1. daisiesandbruises

      Hey Laura, thanks for checking out my blog! And thank you for the lovely compliments.

      Guess how I found you? My dad is the guy selling you the phonograph! When he saw your blog he was like, “Erin, this girl is just like you!” I said, “Except exchange a phonograph with a typewriter?” And he was like, “CHECK OUT HER BLOG, SHE HAS TYPEWRITERS TOO!” LOL

      So like my dad, I’m from London. He asked me if I’d be interested to come for the ride when he drops it off to you or whatever you’ve arranged. I said yes, so if you’re comfortable with it, we could meet in the near future! :)

  11. Anonymous

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. I can’t believe the courage you have not only to share your story but to keep living. I find myself within your story. Only now am I getting serious help but it does’t seem like enough. Thank you for doing what you are doing because it is making it easier to be in the here and now.

    1. daisiesandbruises

      Hi there,

      I’m so sorry I missed your comment when you first posted but upon reading it today I am greatly moved and feel quite honoured to be helping you in the way you describe. One of the hardest pieces of depression recovery is figuring out what helps and how to get more of it. I’m glad my writing can help you in a way because little by little it all adds up.

      Thanks for reading along and for your kind words.

      Be well,

      <3 Erin

  12. Anonymous

    Thank you for sharing your story. People need to realize depression, and its various forms hurt….I was diagnosed with dysthymia, chronic depression and it just makes me so mad that people think it’s not just as bad as severe, clinical or major depression! depression hurts…period. Hope this gives everyone courage to keep kicking depression’s butt!

    1. daisiesandbruises

      Wow that last line really made me smile! haha thank you so much. I hope you find this blog helpful as you read along and feel free to contact me with any topic ideas or input!! Thanks again & be well,

      <3 Erin

  13. anxiouselephant

    Thank you for writing this, although it is very sad, and I am very sorry for everything you went through, I am glad to see that things are improving for you. I hope everything continues to get better, and you give me hope for the future.

  14. daisiesandbruises

    So im not the only one?
    My breakdowns are ruining my life and relationships. I dont know how to tame it, and no matter how many consultations i set up with therapists… I can never seem to make it there. My family doesnt know how deep it is even though i tell them i need help. ANyway, I needed to put my feelings somewhere. thanks.

    1. daisiesandbruises

      Hi there,

      I guess you aren’t the only Daisies and Bruises…though your name links to my Etsy shop. I’m quite confused!

      Don’t give up hope. Keep sharing your feelings. Secrets keep us sick!

      Thanks for visiting my blog. :)

      Erin

  15. Alison Brennen

    Dearest Erin,
    I sit here reading and shedding a few tears. We have come so far. I am so proud of you. The fact that you are reaching out and helping people with your blog and sharing your story, is amazing. When I think back to Homewood; Oh, God, I was so frightened to be there. Without that experience, however, I would never have met the incredible women I did. Women such as yourself. Kind, loving and so courageous. It was an honour to spend that time with you!
    So let’s battle on…I miss you sweet girl…and I am proud of your progress!

    1. daisiesandbruises

      Thanks for your lovely comments, Alison! We have both come far. It’s been an honour to spend time with you as well and I’m glad we’re staying in touch. Be well and take care of you! ♥ Erin

  16. Greg

    Hi,
    I just wanted to say thank you. I’m battling depression right now waiting to get into Homewood in Guelph for their IMAP program. Your words have calmed me down. Knowing that I’m not a freak, I just have a problem I need help with.
    Greg

  17. Erin

    Hi Erin! My name is Erin too, haha. Your story was really inspiring to me and I was hoping you could give me some advice.. I’ve been struggling with self-harm for the past month now after having beaten it almost 2 years ago. This month has been stressful and all of the anxiety made me lose all of my progress. Sometimes I feel perfectly fine but then out of nowhere I have terrible anxiety attacks. I want to scream and cut myself and I don’t know why. I think I know the person who I am, and I think she’s awesome and I love her, but that doesn’t stop me from taking all of my violent and hateful feelings out on myself. What should I do?

    1. daisiesandbruises

      Hi Erin! I like your name. :)

      I plan on writing more about how and why to avoid self-injury in the next blog post of mine. I try not to give personal advice, just because I’m not a therapist/licensed, but for me, acknowledging my feelings as being valid helps me to avoid self-injury. I journal a lot, and whenever I journal I try to mention how I’m feeling, using feeling words, and sometimes I surprise myself, and I always feel better after. If I don’t check in with my feelings every so often, they tend to get all bottled up and then they blow and I get completely overwhelmed. And I try to be okay with how I’m feeling, even if I don’t have a “good enough reason” to feel the way I do. Feelings are facts and they all come from somewhere, and are all valid and important!

      I hope that helps a little. Thanks for your comment and I hope my upcoming posts help you too!

      *hugs*

      <3 Erin

  18. Alli

    Hey Erin,

    I was just looking through your website and its beautiful! You’re a wonderful writter! I to find joy and peace in animals. Anyways, as a grade eight teacher I reflect on Jack Chambers often, and am glad we got to know each other a little bit towards the end! I’ll be sure to share your app with my students!

    Your friend,
    Alli Symonds

  19. Sian

    I just found your blog through you guest post on hopeinhealingblog, it really struck a chord with me about how my scars will now impact my life. I self harmed for the best (not literally the best but I’m sure you get what I mean) part of 4 years due to severe chronic pain, it was the only thing that took away my chronic pain for a brief few minutes, and that was better than no relief at all. Been struggling with severe depression for over 4 years now as well, again all due to being in chronic pain/illness. I’ve just actually been starting to get better and I’ve been clean from self harm since October and my depression has recently got a lot better too, due to intense ACT therapy, which has literally saved my life.
    But your post really struck a chord with me, about having to deal with scars my whole life, I don’t cover them anymore, it’s common knowledge to everyone that knows me that I’ve suffered from self harm, but I do get odd looks and questions off of strangers, I hide my scars from kids I know because I don’t want them to even know that self harming exists, or think it’s a bright idea to try it themselves. But if I ever have kids, I honestly don’t know what I would do.
    I look forward to reading more of your blog!

    1. daisiesandbruises

      Hi Sian!

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve struggled with self-harm, too, but I’m also glad to hear that you’ve been clean from self-harm since October. I never really realized how much self-harm kept me depressed until I stopped doing it.

      I hope to write a blog post for this summer, issuing myself a challenge to tell people about my blog if/when they notice or ask about my self-harm scars. I’d really like to educate people instead of feeling ashamed of myself in those circumstances. We’ll see how it goes!

      Take care! You’re worth it! <3 Erin

  20. Sophia Hudson

    Found you via hope in healing and I just want to say that your writing is fantastic. And of course I’m sorry that you’ve ever had to go through any of this but I’m so glad that you are beginning to feel better, and I hope you continue to create beautiful art.

    Thank you so much. You and your blog are fantastic <3

  21. Ameera

    Hi Erin,

    I just stumbled across your blog and wanted to tell you how fantastic I think it is. I love reading your posts, because they’re so honest and thought-provoking, which I really appreciate. As a person suffering from severe depression while going through university and other stages of my life, its so nice to see people who have struggled, and are still struggling but still have the power to overcome and remain intact along the way, so congratulations for making it so far. I really think you’re an amazing person, just based on what I’ve read so far, and I really love how you say you’re finding a way to live, since death is not an option. My blog expresses similar sentiments, and I hope you get a chance to check it out! I’d love to hear any feedback from you, and am so happy I found your website because you’re really inspiring.

    All the best,

    Ameera
    ameeraladak.wordpress.com

  22. Victoria

    I just came across this an hour ago and I love all that you write. It’s all so very inspiring and I hope to be like you one day. I’m only 18 years old and have been dealing with a lot of confusing and disturbing thoughts. It’s relieving to know that it can and will get better. Thank you so much for all that you do.

    1. Erin

      Thank you so much for your comment, Victoria! You are most definitely not alone. Things can get better if you keep fighting. You’re worth it! *hugs*

      Erin

  23. Rain Gill

    Hi Erin! Just wanted to leave a quick note and say I love everything about your blog. I see so much of my own “story” in your “story”. You inspire me to continue to share my “story” in the hopes that I can also inspire others, as you do.

  24. Lauren

    Hi,

    You have a great blog! I’m definitely going to keep coming back and checking out your new posts; you’re incredibly inspiring!

    i’m starting a new clothing label which focuses on removing mental health stigmas and raising awareness. I have BPD and also cyclothymia so this is something I feel very passionate about.

    If you could please take 2 minutes to complete this quick survey, it would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks a lot!

    https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/3LNCDMQ

  25. Rhonda

    Hi Erin,

    I’ve struggled with depression for the past seven years, but I’m currently in the middle of my worst depressive episode yet. I lost my mother in January, and I think that has a LOT to do with my current state. I was her caregiver for almost three years of her fight against cancer as well as her best friend, so I’m sure it’s no coincedence that my almost immediate feeling of having no purpose was probably one of the biggest triggers.

    I have been off work for almost six weeks now in the attempt to get help, and you were completely on target when you called our mental health system “broken”! I have inquired with several psychologists about a sliding scale rate, and am sickened to find not only is the discounted rate still upwards of $100/hr, but that I would be seeing a student. Most of the part time outpatient programs have a long waiting lost to even be seen for an assessment, and, the therapy thereafter might only be once every two weeks.

    I have asked the following question of several mental health professionals over the last few weeks: “If I’m not ‘sick enough’ to be hospitalized, and not wealthy enough to pay the expensive hourly rates of a private practice, how do I NOT fall through the cracks?” The answer, at least twice, has been: “I don’t know,any people do…” That is what someone in a major depressive episode longs to hear!!!!

    Thank you for writing this blog. After a day spent sleeping and eating almost nothing, I am filled with a little bit of hope tonight. I’ve been thinking about starting my own blog about my journey of depression recently. Actually, feeling COMPELLED is a more accurate description. I’m hoping it gives me something small to accomplish, it at least to strive toward, even when it’s too much effort to even shower.

    I am grateful for you, even though we’ve never met. I will wake up tomorrow to “fight another day” within this broken healthcare system.

    1. Erin

      Hi Rhonda,

      I am so glad to hear that my blog has given you some hope! I really recommend starting a blog to help you process your feelings. Writing here is hugely therapeutic for me and I get to meet such awesome people this way (like you!). Even if you keep your blog a secret, or if you share it far and wide, expressing your pain is the best way to get through it. You are so brave!

      Thanks again for the lovely comment.

      <3 Erin

    1. Erin

      I’m sorry to hear that, Lori! I hope my site can be a good resource for you during this difficult time. <3

  26. Rhonda

    Hi again Erin,

    I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to reply to my comment. I’m sure you know that when you’re in a bad place, every bit of support means the WORLD.

    I also wanted to tell you that he stars aligned for me this past Friday, and I’ve been referred to a 12 week intensive psychodynamic group in the same hospital where my mom was so well cared for in her final days. I felt absolutely ecstatic for the first time in months. I actually have some tangible hope to hang on to now.

    I am still thinking a lot about my blog, and when I’ve got it up and running, I’ll let you know.

    Rhonda <3

    1. Erin

      Hi Rhonda!

      That’s so fabulous that you’ve been referred to a psychodynamic support group! I’m so happy for you and will be sending lots of courage your way. Take care and please do post if/when you get blogging!

      *hugs*

      Erin

  27. Meagan

    Hi Erin,

    I came across your blog tonight after a particularly difficult day, and I’m truly relieved to know I’m not alone! Reading your story was all spook-ly similar to my own – I’m also from (and live) in London, and went to the same high school as you . Your writing is very relatable, and I’m so appreciative to have found it – I can’t wait to read more. All the best to you!

    Hugs,
    Meagan

  28. Dave

    Thank you for having a post where the inner demons I struggle with are understood by someone other than a psychiatrist. Suicidal thoughts always seem to be just lingering in the background but I think it was more than just fate that led me to your site.

  29. maggie

    Life is so many things at once. While I feel sad that so many of us are struggling inside our own heads, I also feel hopeful when I realize there are good-hearted people out there trying to shine some light in that darkness. Thanks for holding up your candle. http://www.stopselfinjuring.com

  30. Ashley

    I just came across your site today…was led here thru an article/link from Facebook…wish I could recall which FB page led me here, but my mind just drew a blank…
    I’m glad you found your voice and are sharing your thoughts, feelings & experiences about depression. Thank you!!
    I have been struggling for years myself, with depression & anxiety. I also feel like I’ve lost the so-called “best years of my life” due to major depression; I’m 36 years old and have been dealing with these struggles for at least 10 years!
    I look forward to reading more about you and your insight on depression, from your own experience. Thanks for being brave enough to share your story…I appreciate it already.

  31. Ashley

    Here’s the website that led me here:

    healthyplace.com

    Your article/blog titled depression-related stress burns energy we need

    I can completely relate to everything you wrote!!! Procrastinating…feeling horrible for not getting things done…went through those thoughts & feelings yesterday. Glad to know I’m not alone and others also have similar issues when it comes to getting things done, even small tasks.
    Thanks again for sharing!!

  32. sachin

    Hi, I just came across your blog , you express your thoughts into words wonderfully i wish I could do that . It feels good to see you are so open and raw about your live. Coming through a hard day again , your blog made me think there are so many people out there just like me and some of them like you are doing such a bold job (y)

  33. susan

    hi, i too think i suffer from a mental illness which i believe is to be depression but i’m too scared to admit i have a problem and scared to seek help. I let my happiness depend on other people and when that person is gone i feel like i’m unable to ever be happy again. I had alot of issues within my family whilst growing up and watched my mum and brother get beaten by my alcoholic father which i had no control upon. My brother then grew up to think this was normal and abused me and my mother. I always tried to over come this and better myself. Until recently on the 1st of september 2013 my best friend was killed and taken away from me, and ever since alcohol has been the only way to relieve myself from everything, george is on my mind everyday and i feel like i could of done something to save him and i blame myself. i dont know what to do, i’ve lost count of how many times ive over dosed and i have scars round my kneck where i tried to take my life. my family think i its a drinking problem, but the drinking for me is the way of getting rid of my problems and feeling normal again. Your blog has encouraged me to admit i need help but i dont know where to start. please help

  34. Barliman

    Hi Erin,
    Thanks for this blog. It has encouraged me to start one as well to help me with my recovery; my first post went up today. I am slowly reading your blog amongst others I have found. Keep up with the great posts. Hope all goes well with you.

  35. Pingback: Faces of Depression Friday: Daisies and Bruises | Sunshine Spoils Milk

  36. Doug

    Hi Erin,

    Thank you for all of the hope and encouragement that you bring to the world! I myself once suffered from the pain that depression can bring to one’s life. Through a lot of hard work I was able to get to greener pastures so it can be done! It compelled me to do something about mood disorders and to try and help as many people as I can too. Right now I work with an international team of experts, some of which suffered from the effects of depression as well, who have put together a mood disorder application that collects data on how you feel (confidential and on your phone) that, over time, begins to show you when you are most likely to feel upset, anxiety or other problems which can often times have or become triggers. Knowing is half the battle and so far, I am proud to say that our app has helped thousands of people. If you would like to check it out the website, it is gethowareyou.com . Beyond that, I’d love to provide you with a copy to see how you feel about it Erin.
    Keep fighting the good fight and thank you again for everything that you do! To everyone else, there is help out there and there are people who really care and want to help. It’s ok to reach out to them and don’t be afraid to!

  37. Mahalia

    Hi Erin,

    The content you’ve put on your blog really helps. It is simultaneously inspiring, uplifting and relatable, regardless of the tone and subject matter of each individual blog post.

    Seeing that what I feel is something that another can understand is powerful and validating, most importantly for one’s own negative self talk.

    Furthermore, offering practical insight into the mental health systems of any locale provides an invaluable resource to those attempting to navigate them.

    Thank you for sharing and making yourself vulnerable. Your work has been important and so very positive.

    I wish you strength, hope, and all the best, always.

  38. Natalie

    Hi Erin,

    I’m 15 years old, it’s three in the morning where I live, and I should be getting up at 6 for school. Instead of sleeping, I’m alternating between reading and writing. Restful sleep is a distant memory for me and more often than not I spend the nighttime hours lost in my head.

    Lately everything has been really difficult, and I haven’t really known what to do. My depression has been all- consuming and unfortunately panic attacks are no longer a thing of the past. It seemed like the only way I could feel okay was through music and writing.

    And then I found your blog. About an hour ago I was looking for articles that would help me feel okay again, and I found you. Since I started reading I haven’t clicked away and I wanted to tell you, with the utmost sincerity, thank you. You are making a difference.

    Your words resonate with me and they give me hope. You somehow manage to convince me that it’s okay to feel how I do, but at the same time I’m not “broken” for needing medication and therapy.

    I’m truly sorry that I can resonate with your writing, because I know how terrible this disease is and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Nevertheless, I’m so glad I can. Thank you for writing, thank you for blogging, and no matter how worthless life can feel please remember that your life is worth living and you are making a difference.

    Thank you, wishing you all the best :)

    1. Erin

      Aw, thank you so much Natalie! Your comment has made my night so much better. Thanks for reading along and holding on. You make a difference too! *HUGS*
      Erin

  39. adrianne

    hi i love your blogs and i have just started one too, i would love to get the chance to work with you, thanks x

  40. Devanne

    Hello My name is Devanne, I am a student at Southern Utah University studying psychology. I have been very inspired with your blog and was wondering if I could have your permission to talk about your blog in one of my classes as a presentation assignment. I am loving your posts and I am glad that you have found a reason to live and I love that you help and have helped so many others with depression. Anyway let me know what you think. Thanks
    -Devanne

    1. Erin

      Hi Devanne,
      You most definitely have my permission to talk about my blog in class, or anywhere else you please! I’m so glad to hear that my writing resonates with you and that you want to share it. Be well! *hugs*
      Love Erin

  41. Heather

    Incredibly insightful and from the heart…this blog is amazing. I admire your open heart and all of the healing energy you throw out on this page. Never forget you are an amazing soul.

    1. Erin

      Thank you so much, Heather! This comment made my night. Thanks for reading along and taking the time to comment. :)
      *hugs*
      Erin

  42. Carol

    Tears and empathy for you, and might I add, migraines are the worst. The physical body and the mind are myths, illusionary distractions to prevent us from understanding who we really are. I am 61 years old and have been a searcher of truth (and happiness) since I was twelve years old. I was lost along the way (many times). I found out that being lost is one of the many roadblocks I purposely put up ( perfectly) in my Human Experience. Finding all the puzzle pieces (especially your very early age blockbuster of abuse) I know will be a tremendous help in your journey. I am just starting to blog. I feel it is time, you know why? I’ve felt smothered in illusions, placating people, and generally (as with you) not one for confrontation. Do you feel that way? Blogging about who I really am will be a relief. I have love in my heart and hope to help others, just as you are doing. Thank you for “letting it all hang out”, and allowing me and others to read your insights. Carol

  43. Kate

    Hi Erin,
    I’ve been struggling with what I call “mild depression” for a long time with no treatment. It has often impacted my self image and my relationships. I’ve also had the feeling that I have nothing to be depressed over because I’ve never been abused, but I do tend to abuse myself with negative thoughts and actions.
    I’ve harbored a lot of anger and insecurity, and just this past week I lost a relationship with someone I love because of it. Now, I feel like I’m dwelling and just can’t seem to pick myself up and picture a life without him.
    When I read your blog, it makes me feel stupid that I’m so depressed over a guy. But it’s more about mourning my relationship, and regretting that my anger and bitterness led to my losing something great. I once heard a woman on NPR’s TED Radio hour say that to compare suffering is kind of a waste. She basically said to try to split hairs about the degree of suffering doesn’t weaken it. What do you think of this?
    Sorry for the rambling. It’s been a tough week and, for the first time in my life, I’m going to get professional help from a therapist. I hope this is my rock bottom. I plan to start writing more (I’ve wanted to start a sociology blog for a long time), and I’ve written a couple private wordpress blogs about my grief in the past few days. Your blog is really helpful, and I appreciate you being so open and caring. You make the Internet a warmer, safer, and overall better place. Thank you.
    -Kate

  44. Melanie

    Hi Erin

    I love your blog your such an inspiration for others, I think your extremely brave for sharing! I was hoping to use your story as a discussion at University as I’m looking into depression, would that be okay?

    Mel xxx

    1. Erin

      Hi Melanie!
      It would be an honour to be talked about in your university discussion! Please share my URL with my story. Thank you so much! That makes me so happy to hear. :)
      Erin

  45. Mike

    This has to be the best blog out there, great job :) Definitely subscribing. Just wanted to say hi. I’ve got my blog up about my depression too, in case you would like to check it out. Wish you all the best! Mike

  46. Josie mcburney

    Hi. I have been diagnosed with bipolar and am currently depressed. Worse than I was 10 years ago. I really feel that our system is broken too. Want to help me find a better way of being there for people who are suffering from depression? I just can’t help but feel strongly that there has to be a better way. My name is Josie. Please email me to discuss.

  47. murda marie

    hello i’m murda, i um really don’t know what i wanted to say but i knew i wanted to comment. I’ve been sitting here for almost an hour realizing that i’m not alone, i mean i’m sure i knew that but it really hit me now, i’m 16 and I’ve been struggling for 10 years, i know that its kind of weird that i was six and depressed but i don’t really know whats wrong with me i mean i know that i’m not completely okay, i mean i’m not okay at all but i always have a feeling that i will one day. i just finished reading the piece you wrote about hope and how the heart is a barrier and it made me realize that maybe my heart is the reason i’m alive and that the hope i have is because i have and believe in my heart, i don’t know i probably sound dumb but i guess all i’m saying is thank you

    1. Erin

      Hi Murda,
      I think you’re one hundred percent right when you say that your heart is the reason you’re alive! I’m sorry to hear you’ve been so depressed for so long. I first started feeling like something was really wrong with me when I was really young too. And when we’re so little we don’t understand the world enough to really share what we’re feeling. You are most definitely not alone. You are very very brave. Thank you so much for your comment!
      Love Erin

  48. Elizabeth

    I just happened upon your blog and read a bit of your story. I so relate. I, too, am sensitive to a fault. Wondering if you have been dx’ed with Borderline Personality? There is so much stigma around that. I have PTSD, too, which occurred when I was supposedly getting help. I totally agree about the broken system. Lives have been lost because of it, sadly.
    I hope today is a good one for you. Thank you for sharing.

  49. liz

    I was relieved to read a post from someone who understands. Still i feel lost. I have had a great therapist for years…10 to be exact. She’s kind but I sometimes doubt her caring. She has cried with me and been there but I have also seen frustration and anger and a desire for her to leave.
    She is on holidays now for a month. She always calls to check in but not this time. I feel entirely abandoned :(

    It makes me realize not that she is human as I knew that, but that I am not. I am a career, a way to make money and yes she may care but at the end of the day, I am nothing.

  50. Anonymous

    Hi, I am struggling with depression and anxiety especially at home. I have a bad relationship with my dad and always have. I don’t want to go see someone because I don’t want to have too. I saw someone and it didn’t work, I didn’t like the person either. Im all over the place. I have huge fits where I get so upset at myself that i start scratching my arm off. My mom always gets angry at me when that happens and never gets sad or anything. I just don’t know what to do. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks for sharing,. Your posts make me feel better.

  51. jen

    Anonymous. I think you should speak with someone but this blog is not for advice. The writer, herself suffers like the rest of us and does not have energy to nor can she counsel people. I am happy you are reaching out though. Perhaps you can find a forum to join. I have done so. It can be helpful. Mostly it is people like us that can understand. We can offer some insight from experience, can complain about therapists and friend/family…

  52. Love Rosario

    I am new to blogging and I found your site very interesting. It actually inspired to me start my own. I love your perspective and your written voice. I can relate to many of your entries. I hope that we can become blogger pals.

  53. Becky

    This is truly inspiring Erin, I am a sufferer of depression and anxiety and not afraid to admit it although at times it has been extremely hard. I have had to go through some tough things like health and placement for studies which has not worked out on two occasions which I think is always my fault when it was unexplained and unpredicted to the circumstances that happened, but reading this gives me hope that even though there is not a definite cure there is help is treating this disease which is stigmatized and not fully understood. You wrote this words so beautifully that I understand every aspect so clearly and happy I stumbled upon this page.
    Hope you are well and keep smiling
    Becky

  54. Alice

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! I have gone through some similar things and am so grateful you are working so hard for people like me. I thought I was just different and wrong somehow, but learning about depression has helped me see that I am different, but also blessed by my experiences as well as ‘cursed’ with depression.

    1. Erin

      Hi Alice,
      Depression really feels like a curse, doesn’t it? You are most definitely not “wrong” and in writing that I feel less wrong myself. Thanks for keeping me going, too.
      Erin

  55. bobbie

    I came across your blog Erin, after a week of hell: Im 24 years old and have adjustment disorder with depression and anxiety.
    And this is my story :
    Abused as a child, no one believed me. I wanted to kill myself I was only 10. Bullied throughout high school, and self harming. 18 years old I was abused by another guy. I never told anyone.
    Now skip to 2014- my mum fell Ill and that’s when I became overwhelmed. I found a great support place , I went but couldn’t go any longer I didn’t want to open up. I bottled everything up
    Then march 2015- I crashed I went back to that place I went to and saw their psych.

    It wasn’t until 2 weeks ago something happened. And I have never felt so alone in my life,
    The feeling of numbness, being dirty, and wanting to self harm. The being exhausted. The constant crying, the constant being put down at work.

    But your words have given me hope thank you :)

  56. Pingback: CAMH Blog | The official blog for the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

  57. Marissa Mayer

    Erin,
    Let me start off by saying that this is beautiful. You are beautiful! I am 16 years old, recently diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and a possible mood disorder. I’m adopted and am currently watching my parents go through a divorce. I’ve only had two attempts, but was saved by the divine timing of God. I’ve been searching for a blog similar to mine, and yours is absolutely wonderful. I was wondering if you’d take a look at mine (I just started it back in July) and let me know what you think. Some of the best posts for you to check out on my blog are The Toughest Battle, Hard Hits, Calling It Quits, and Close Your Eyes. I appreciate your support. You’re in my prayers lovely. XO
    Marissa Mayer
    depressedbutblessed.blogspot.com

  58. Morgan

    My mother committed suicide September 5th, 2014. The day after my oldest brother had died years before. Later on in January, I was raped, and got pregnant with twins. I was 16-years-old. I turned to cutting, 2-5 times a day. It was my safe haven, my best friend, the only thing I could rely on. It helped me, and I will never deny that. The fact that it never let me down, I never wanted to give it up. So many people looked down on me, mad at me because self harming was thought as stupid, foolish, selfish, and crazy. There are very few out there who will understand me. I’m only 17 now, and I’ve suffered pain even 60-year-olds haven’t come close to. I’m proud of who I am. Because I gave up self harming, for the future children I would have, I was able to get better. I relied on myself, and started writing a novel. I rely on that, because I don’t have a single friend. I can check my phone and not get one text all day. I sit alone at lunch, and simply read. I don’t mind fictional characters are my best friends. The fact I’m better, content, and very happy, is proof everything gets better. I know that in 5 months I’ll graduate, go to college, and finish my novel. Life gets better. Not because you grow immune to it, but because you start to see the beauty through all the negativity.

  59. Mariah

    I’ve been depressed for a very long time and the sad thing is that my family doesn’t understand since they are too busy living there own life. I kind of just faded into the background. I literally have to pretend that I’m happy because if I don’t and show any emotions besides happiness they disapprove. This is how society is. I was taught that it’s not okay to show any negative emotions. People are always trying to constantly change me and tell me what to do that I finally just shut everyone out. The truth is that I’m still trying to find myself and I don’t need other people to do it for me. Anyways, I’ve tried everything from therapy, church, Recovery such as AA and Celebrate Recovery but those things only worked for a while. The truth is that the one thing that made the most since to me is a book called All the Bright Places by: Jennifer Niven which is based off a true story. I really wish the author would have written this when I was in high school. Anyways, it’s a great book.

    Glad I found this website.

  60. Nyle Moore

    Hi Erin,
    reading your blog makes me have hope. i am battling through depression, and everyday feels like hell. but reading your story makes me realize i am not alone. and that i have hope. you are very brave to share this story with us. i hope i can get better like you do.

  61. Cameron Bowen

    reading your story gave me all the reasons to keep fighting. I am sadly battling depression. And sadly that will forever be with me. Thank you for giving the opportunity to read your story. It made me realize a lot. And now i know I’m not alone

  62. Patrice

    Wow Erin! This is absolutely awesome!!! I came across your website while searching for depression blogs and was so touched by your story! I’ve battled with depression as well since I was a teenager that stemmed from child abuse by a relative. I commend you for sharing your story with the hopes of helping others; I inspire to do the same thing. I am in the process of creating a blog as well for overcoming child abuse and how to make the most out of life living with this depression, anxiety, and reliving the images of child abuse. I will definitely keep you in my prayers and just appreciate what you have done here! Don’t stop, keep going, and never lose faith!

  63. Pingback: The Opposite of Depression Is… | The Wishing Well

  64. Lottie

    Hi Erin,
    Your blog is very intresting and I admire your bravery at talking about it so openly. I study textiles and my project is about how light effects a persons mood, so I’m looking at SAD and depression. I chose this topic because I had to take 18 months out of uni because I was depressed, it took a long time to accept it and an even longer time to recover. Part of my project includes market research, so, who am I designing for? How old are they? Why am I designing this? My collection will be for fashion. My thoughts are trying to make a garment which embodies light as a way of coping with SAD and depression. What I wondered was, what do you like to wear? What makes you feel better? How do you think future fashion could improve? Thanks.

  65. Timmy Allen

    Wow, let me just say i love that you’re doing this. Sometimes i feel so alone and just search for something to help me out. I can relate to a lot of what you said, I to have been abused in many ways. I have also been suffering with depression for a long time, actually since i was a baby. I was diagnosed with failure to thrive, being neglected. Even in my adulthood i feel as if a lot of times its still the same. Every day is a new battle and some days you win some days you don’t. I know im winning the war at the moment but there are some days where it seems as if i cant hold on to much longer. Like honestly i dont know how much more i can really take. How much before i break?

    I really liked what you said though: “I keep forgetting how far I’ve come, how many rooms I’ve been in. I don’t know if I’m at the back of the line or at the front. I don’t know if I’m being scammed or if I’m almost at the ride that I’ve heard can be really good.” It really speaks light in a dark world. Thank you

  66. Lexie

    Erin, thank you so much for taking the time to write about your life -the good and the bad. I just recently stumbled upon this blog and it has already helped me so much. You have given me the inspiration to try facing my own depression. I’ve even started my own blog to help me journal my experiences and work through things. I’m rooting for you ;) please cross your fingers for me! <3 lexie

  67. Becky Armley

    I’ve been struggling with Depression and Anxiety since I was 15 years old and been on a number of different anti-depressants. I’ve also tried a number of different therapies, medical and holistic. I’m 21 now, I’m doing ok at the moment. What I’m proud of though is that I’ve started writing a blog about my personal experiences with Depression and Anxiety. It’s not much at the moment but I’m finding it a really therapeutic way of getting my thoughts out of my head and I think i’m gunna keep going at it. Feel free to have a read if you’re interested.

  68. Madelyn Bennett

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. It’s always so encouraging to hear other people have similar demons as your own. I struggle with depression, anxiety, and suicidal tendencies. I started a blog with my best friend who deals with the same things. Feel free to give it a read if you’re ever looking for other experiences at twoblondesnablog.com

  69. Scrapebox Footprints And Other Backlink Tools

    There’s no secret sauce to a successful digital marketing
    campaign, just hard core data analysis and you will be able to track the competence of your online
    marketing immediately and without breaking the bank.
    – A team of expert will be assigned to handle the task.

    This part might be slower at building backlinks, BUT your links will last
    much better. End users also have the option to only search for Google+ Local businesses.
    Choose your design, pick your color palette, and add your text and you’re done.

    For getting customers on board, you would need the assistance of professional consultancy services.

  70. Anonymous

    I think I have depression and anxiety. I’ve tried to kill myself but I couldn’t because of my anxiety. I’m afraid of death. I’ve told some people but htey truly don’t understand. I wish I could stop pretending to be happy all the time, but I don’t want people to think of me differently or think I’m weak or weird. I guess I am weird I am always sad and hating myself and hating life but to be honest my life is pretty good. The only reason I’m alive is because I have anxiety. It’s a really crappy reason to be alive. I want to write about all of this and start a blog. I love to write, but I can’t because unlike you I don’t think I will ever see the light at the end of the tunnel. I really enjoyed your blog. And you are right, you are one of the lucky ones.

  71. Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, MCC, SCAC

    FYI: I linked this article to one of my own, ‘When Depression Comes Knocking,’ published on National Depression Screening Day – it looks like you may not have pings enable.
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

  72. Kathryn Furlan

    Hi Erin, I love your writing as well as your artwork. I experience depression in my own life and am interested in better utilizing my own blog to talk about my dealings with mental illness. I wanted to ask you some questions about how you use blogging to manage your own depression, to better understand the process:

    1) What do you consider your relationship with this blog to be? Is it more of a journal for you, or do you consider this blog a kind of refuge?

    2) Do you believe that self-disclosing on this blog has had any effects on your depression? And how so?

    3) Would you consider self-disclosing on this blog to be a therapeutic experience?

    4) Do you feel that there is a difference in how women with depression are perceived through the Internet, compared to how they are perceived in real life? Do you feel that people are more accepting over the Internet?

    I understand if you do not have time or simply do not wish to answer these questions. As someone with depression myself, however, I am interested in understanding the role blogging plays in helping people manage their mental illness. I hope to hear from you soon.

    Thank you!

  73. Lexie Tweeter

    you inspire me.
    I am 14 and have been struggling with depression and anxiety pretty much my whole life, I thought it was normal until my doctor told me it wasn’t.
    my mom was addicted to alcohol and my dad battled cancer. my dad dies when I was 9
    before that I was separated from my older brother and put into foster care when I was 7.
    I got adopt when I was 10. November of 2016 I started cutting after I found out I had depression.
    then I tried hanging my self at school. I started cutting again and was put in the ER until a psychiatric hospital had an open bed. finally there was an opening at a hospital called Prairie St.Johns in Fargo, ND. I was sent there December 9th and discharged December 30th. I started cutting again because of bullying. now here I am still cutting, being bullied, feeling like I am dying inside. I am ready to end it all..
    I started cutting again.

  74. Brianna Monique Forsythe

    Dear Erin,

    My name is Brianna and I was diagnosed about six months ago with non- specified bipolar disorder. I also self mutilated and spent time in a hospital. I pushed all of my family and friends away and i have slowly started rebuilding my relationships back. I have anxiety to an extreme to where i hardly ever leave my house. My doctors won’t let me go to work or school because stress causes me to shut down. I have been fighting with anxiety all of my life and i attend therapy and have my own blog. you are not alone with your battles. there is always someone with you at all times even when you feel at your loneliest. You should check out my blog sometime. http://www.endthestigmawithbrianna.com

  75. Bec

    Hi Erin

    I have only recently come to terms with the reality that I too have depression. I began googling different blogs for people on a similar path and inevitably came across yours. I couldn’t relate more to some of yours posts, so thank you.

    Having taken to writing about my own journey, I’d love to do something similar. Do you have any tips for blog-writing or starting a blog? I’m not fussed if anyone reads it necessarily, I just think I need a place to vent.

    All the best to you.

    Bec

  76. KC

    Hi, Erin! Reading your story inspired me a lot. For a couple of years I have friends who claimed to have been diagnosed with depression. After witnessing the situations they’ve been through in few years time, I became curious of the idea of how depressed people must really feel. I know it’s not merely sadness, and it is a mental illness. Then just recently, I was diagnosed with moderate depression. People tell me, “really you’re depressed?” or “gosh, do you just say that just so you can bring up the ‘im a depressed person’ card?”

    People don’t realize that it is a real illness. Not because someone doesn’t “look” depressed, doesn’t mean they aren’t. Depression sucks and you’ll never know what time or where you are when it hits you. You feel like there’s so many tomorrows yet none of them are going to be better. But seeing your blog? It gives me hope. Thank you so much Erin. You’ve been an inspiration to many. Let’s stay strong :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *