Depression: There Is So Much More To You

Flower Girl by Flora at  HappyDoodleLand  on etsy

Flower Girl by Flora at HappyDoodleLand on etsy

In the summer of 2012, I started writing about depression. Ultimately, I wrote thirteen articles that were published monthly at the online magazine Scoutie Girl.
A part of it includes my experience with a long, dark episode of depression. But mostly, my goal has been to remind myself of good things to do and help others to help us when we’re unwell: something I couldn’t do when I was down.
The first full week of October 2015 encompasses Mental Illness Awareness Week in Canada, so I thought, why not republish these? So, here they are. Where possible, the articles exist as they did in 2012-2013, with links to originals.

Depression: There Is So Much More To You

When I first started talking about writing this series on depression, I was nervous. I mean, it really was a kind of “coming out.” But it felt like the right thing to do. I mean, if I can’t find some way to talk about what I went through, if I can’t share some of what I’ve learned with others, what would have been the point?

A good friend asked me early on, “Do you really want to be known as ‘That Depression Girl’?”

Well, no, of course not; there are so many other parts to my life. To each of our lives. But if carrying the label of “That Depression Girl” for a while means that I can share some of what I went through, then I’ll deal with it.

When we go through something big — say, a medical diagnosis and all that that involves — it changes us. For me, depression became that thing that was ever-present in my life. It was the thing to deal with, to treat, to eat and exercise for, and to connect spiritually around. And there was a time when I didn’t really believe that depression isn’t the only gig in town. It isn’t. I also write, edit, plan events, ski, swim, love, bake, sew. . . and the list goes on. Everything feels better when I feel better. And feeling better, though it took focusing on who I am and how I operate, and needs tending, became reality.

Remember that when you’re unwell, it is possible to start feeling better.

You might not move completely on from your symptoms, and you might have to attend to continuing to feel good, but you are so much more than a diagnosis. Remember this.

You are so much more than a diagnosis.

I am writing this because I had an experience. I am in no way a medical professional. I had an experience, and I have learned a lot from it, and that’s the foundation of all of this.


If you are in crisis, follow this link to find someone to call.
Simple Mayo Clinic depression self-assessment 
Mental Illness Awareness Week

This article originally appeared in July 2013 at Scoutie Girl.