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Strength in Numbers
Posted by taliterblanche
25th Apr 2016

It is nearing the end of Depression Awareness Week, but it will not be nearing the end of many journeys alongside depression. There are still those of you who are afraid of the dark, and I want to give you the opportunity to step into the light and to share your story with other strong-minded people. We have come to the places of accepting what we trifle with everyday and so have found ways to quieten our minds of these bad thoughts and feelings, but this did not just happen overnight Ė to get out of our dark places has taken a lot of courage and strength. Speaking from personal experience, it is not easy to admit there may be something ďwrongĒ with you, but since I realised those years ago that I could not fight this big enemy alone, I sought after help and guidance from professionals, family and friends.

I asked a few people who I know have suffered from depression, or have known others who have suffered, to share a Strong Selfie with me and have given me permission to upload them onto my blog. This shows that there are strength in numbers and that there are many people speaking out who understand what it is like to live with depression Ė one including the inspirational author of Black Rainbow and Walking on Sunshine: 52 Small Steps to Happiness, Rachel Kelly .

I thought Iíd share this post, because it is all about being strong and sharing peoplesí strengths during these bad days in our lives. I have previously shared my story, on SANEís website, but these are two other ladies' stories:

Jenny Mullinder

ĎIíve struggled with mental health issues since I was a teenager. I got bullied all through high school and had low self esteem, and was depressed but didnít really realise it. My mum had Parkinsonís Disease and I had to do a lot at home helping to take care of her and sort things out that an adult normally would, so I was just on autopilot to keep going. When I went away to uni I thought it would be better but I was just trying to run away from my problems, which obviously didnít work. After she died in 2012 I finally had to confront everything. I became very anxious and closed off for a while, I was terrified of dying and felt so alone but didnít feel like I could talk to anyone about stuff. Eventually I started to open up a bit, and writing my blog around mental wellbeing has helped a lot. I still have bad moments and bad days now, but I know more about my own needs and limits, and how to help myself. I am strong because I have been through so much and Iím a better person now than I was before. Iím fighting to raise awareness that everyone needs to look after their mental health.í

Jorgie Bain

ĎI suffer with generalised anxiety, I have my good days and bad days and thanks to all the positivity I surround myself with, the bad days are very few and far between. Itís tough but I KNOW Iím not alone and my life is so much more than being paranoid and upset every once in a while, itís a beautiful gift and these struggles will sculpt me into such a kind and understand person, mother, wife and friend!í

Depression is not a friend, even though sometimes it is easy to fall into its arms. We must push it away and embrace the help and positivity that is out there to help us get through our dark journeys Ė not alone, but together.

Join me in breaking the stigma and help raise awareness of depression and take a Strong Selfie too! Share your story, share your thoughts and experiences and share the passion, that we have, to end the silence. Thank you, and peace.

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