Why I Created a Series About People With Depression

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By: Shawna

It’s been a while since I have visited this page. It’s been a bit longer that I have been interested in continuing this project. I fell into a pretty dark and deep depression in the midst of this project. I struggled listening to people explain about the confidence they have in themselves or just they way that handle their day to day life. I would sit and absorb the interviews and start to think “What is wrong with me? Why can’t I be like that?”

I have dealt with depression before in my life but this one felt different. It wasn’t set off by an event or a loss. This one crept up and swallowed me whole. It was scary. I woke up one morning not too long ago not wanting to get out of bed. Not the, “Oh this is so comfy and I want to just lay in bed” but more like “I never want to get out and live life anymore.”

I didn’t feel suicidal, I just didn’t want to be a part of life anymore. I know that doesn’t make sense to some, but to others, I bet it makes perfect sense. I had been spending my time helping my kids through some tough times in their lives that I neglected my own. I was so wrapped up in keeping things status quo on their side that I didn’t recognize right away that I was slipping….and fast. I started neglecting things in every aspect of my life.

I stopped photographing, I stopped writing, I stopped caring. I just didn’t have the energy to go on with anything anymore. Thankfully, I began to recognize what was going on and knew it wasn’t going to get better until I did something to help myself. I got a psychologist and started the hard work of getting to a better place. I started seeing a psychiatrist when I recognized that I needed more help in the form of medication. I started to reach out to friends that I pushed away during my darkest days. I started to pick up the camera and reach out in my grief and depression and express what I was feeling. Some I have shared, others I have deleted because they were dark. Today, I can say that I am feeling the light. I am starting to laugh again. I am starting to sing, dance, and joke again. I am wanting to go outside and taste the daylight again. It’s getting better. And so it is time to continue to spread the beauty of these men and women that I have interviewed in hopes that someone recognizes themselves in these stories. I hope that everyone sees their own beauty. We all deserve to feel that love.

Absence

 

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