Happy Mental Health Awareness Month! I made a dramatic short.

Honestly, I always thought and knew I was different.
Not in one of those revolutionary ways...like wow I'm going to be President or I'm going to end world hunger. But just different. 
I knew I was feeling. I always felt. I felt what people were feeling around me and what I felt about them. Even if it seemed like I was checked out, I was always watching and feeling for others and feeling things within myself. My mom said she would sing me songs when I was very little, maybe just 3 or 4 and I'd cry because they made me sad. And then as I got older, I started getting written off as very sensitive. I would cry or get defensive at the mere insinuation of an insult. 
It wasn't until I moved to New York at 20, that I started realizing what parts of my "feelings" actually were. I was depressed. I think I had been for awhile. 
New York has a way of making or breaking you and I think I experienced both. It was only when I felt like I was "making it" --but why am I still so unhappy?--did I realize something was wrong. 
Just to clarify, I think the childhood instances of sensitivity are not red flags for depression--in fact, I find my feelings and my sensitivity my strengths now--but as an adult, I realized that some of these thoughts and feelings were uncontrollable no matter how RIGHT everything seemed to be...and that was depression. The more I tried to trick myself into being happy, the more it backfired. I finally went to a therapist, then another one, then another one and finally found the right one. And we worked through everything and realized hey, maybe it's just chemical and maybe I should try an antidepressant. To me that felt like failure. Even though I am a creative, I can be very black and white about things. It can't be chemical because I do everything right. I work out everyday, I go for a walk when I feel sad, I journal, I meditate, I do yoga. It can't be chemical. My ego said I could fight this without resorting to medication. And my doctor said, "that's why I think it's chemical. You're doing everything right and you still can't get out of bed some days. If you had a stomach ache or a migraine wouldn't you take medicine to feel better? This is the same thing." 
And I got it. I started taking lexapro. And the "cloud" was gone. Things were not as bad. Since then, I haven't needed to be on lexapro but going on it was integral to my progess. It "recalibrated" my system in ways. And yes, sometimes I still have to make that extra effort to make it through some days. I can feel when I need to work out. I can feel when just working out isn't  enough. I can feel when I need to journal and I can feel when I need to meditate. And sometimes I just cry. And it's okay. Sometimes it can be a 10 step process, but it's all worth it because thanks to taking care of my "stomach ache" (depression) through medication, I knew what I could achieve when I was truly myself. 
So this film? My first short film. It's an example of one of my worst days when I was in the thick of depression. It's not perfect and it's not as bad as other people's days and it's not as good as other people's days, but this was my experience and my norm for awhile.
I shot this film at the end of 2016, then didn't have it edited for another year, and then finally got it edited, but put off sharing it. I was scared! Then I finally shared it with a few close friends and family and I'm not sure what response I expected. I think a lot of people felt/feel sorry for me. And then I got scared again. Because that's not why I made this film: for pity, or empathy, or anything like that. I made it because although you never really stop having depression, I feel like that part of me being unable to manage it is gone.  So this film was a love letter of sorts to myself. This is/was a part of me and I've finally learned to love it.

So without further adieu, Happy Mental Health Awareness Month!
If you're struggling with depression and need help, please call: Call 1-800-273-8255
There is help available, and you are worth it. I see you. <3