Emily's Story of Living Well With Depression
LiveWell Peer Emily shares how she lives well with depression, offers some wisdom that she's gained along the way, and describes how participating in LiveWell peer support groups has benefitted her mental health.
"This group opened me up to exploring healthier ways of coping, how to reach out for help, and has set me on my own path to continue Living Well."
How do you live well with depression?
I live with my depression by acknowledging that it is there -- that it is not something that is my fault or makes me "less than" in any way. Accepting it as a part of me, but not all of me has propelled me forward into the happier, healthier life I want to live.
How has participating in LiveWell peer-support groups positively impacted your mental health?
I found LiveWell during a time when I had pushed a very important person to me out of my life due to my struggle with depression. I decided at that moment that, while I may not be able to have them in my life anymore, I was going to change 'me' so I would never be that angry, empty person again.
At my first LiveWell meeting, the facilitator shared a powerful experience very similar to my own. The validation I felt after their share was something I had never experienced and was the first time I felt seen as my whole self, the good the bad and the ugly, not just the person I projected to friends and family.
This peer group has positively impacted my mental health in that I have learned that I don't have to walk on eggshells when trying to discuss my depression. My peers showed me that internalizing my (emotional, mental) pain does not get me where I want to be, but rather lightyears away. This group opened me up to exploring healthier ways of coping, how to reach out for help, and has set me on my own path to continue Living Well.
If you were to share one piece of wisdom or inspiration with a peer starting out on their own depression treatment or wellness journey, what would it be? And why?
My small nugget of wisdom for those out there starting their wellness journey is to know healing is not linear, but you do have to start somewhere; and I hope you find LiveWell and the strategies as helpful as I did and still do.
Secondly, live as authentically as you can, even if it isn't pretty all the time -- you'll slowly find yourself where you want to be.
Join Emily and the rest of our LiveWell Peers in challenging the stigma of depression by sharing your story today.