My struggle with depression spans decades & it will stay with me for decades to come. Living with depression is a daily battle that can’t be won every time. Some days all it takes is a strong mental hand to push the darkness aside & get on with the day. Other days it’s a bit harder to convince myself I’m strong enough to push it aside & it stays there fogging my thoughts, weighing me down. But the worst days are when I can’t see for the heavy black fog that clouds my thoughts with doubt, hate & pain. Those are the days it’s hard to breathe with the lump in my throat, sweat on my palm & pain in my chest. Sometimes I don’t know what’s worse, the days where the darkness takes over or the weeks & months where I fight to hold it back. Luckily, I have the most incredible family & a few close friends who have taken the time to try & understand my depression! In the past I have felt ashamed of my bouts of serious depression because I saw it as weakness to let the darkness take over. But now I lean on the people who love me & are there for me! I communicate with them instead of pushing them away. They give me strength, compassion & most importantly patience! One of the hardest things about my depression is I never know when or why it hits when it hits hard & I have no idea how long it will last but I do know it makes it worse if I try to make sense of it! So it is incredible to have patient support from the people around me! The second heart on my sleeve I wear for them! It can’t be easy to see me at my lowest but they put their pain aside to be with me in mine! And for that I am eternally grateful! It’s taken me 36 years to allow myself to accept help & support from the people in my life & it’s taken me that long to recognise the people to trust who will stick by me no matter what! There are no words to express the gratitude I feel for the love, strength, support & patience you shower me with every day! I choose life every day & I’m no longer ashamed of my depression! Yeah, it gets hard sometimes but it’s part of who I am & that’s ok!