From Washington D.C., USA
My name is Ashley, and I live in Washington D.C., but grew up in Colorado. I am volunteering with IMALive because I understand the importance of having someone to talk to when times are dark and life feels overwhelming.
When I was 16, I suddenly went from being an outgoing teenager who enjoyed school, my friends and my family, to being unable to eat or get out of bed due to depression. My depression came on suddenly, and I felt like it took over my life in just days. I spent two weeks out of school, and it took months after starting treatment and diagnosis before I began to feel like the person I was before depression began.
The most important thing in my recovery was knowing that I could talk to my Mom and dad. My mom had also suffered from depression, so she was able to really listen and empathize, and knowing that I was not alone when everything felt futile was everything to me.
Over the years, I came to realize that not everyone has that kind of support system, and that is what makes organizations like IMAlive so important. I hope that I can be there for even one person who feels alone.
In the years since I was diagnosed with depression, I moved across the country, graduated from college and law school, and have gone through all the highs and lows of adult life. For the last three years, I have found great joy in belly dancing, and I will performing in my third show come December.
If you are suffering and feel like their is no way out – there is. I found it. So will you.