The views and opinions expressed in the following story are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Mental Health Colorado.
By: Kimberly Mock
My story with depression and anxiety started with my dad’s passing in 2015.
I’ve also experienced a lot of loss and am a recovering addict so there is a lot of trauma there as well, trauma that I didn’t even realize I had until I started therapy.
As of today (January 2021), I have 11 years clean from heroin and opiates.
I have sought out therapy before, but I would always stop after a couple sessions. I thought I could handle this on my own and for a while I thought I was, it wasn’t until recently in 2020, is when I finally decided to seek more help for my mental health and take it seriously.
I was spiraling, not showering, snapping and getting easily irritable, isolating myself, barely eating or overeating, lying in bed all day, dwelling and worrying, my productivity declined at my job, it was just horrible. I was having thoughts of suicide and I would self-harm when I was overwhelmed or anxious. I started to not recognize the person I had become. I finally decided that I wanted my life back and that I needed help.
I was a little ashamed to admit I needed medication to deal with my mental health issues. I felt weak, and like a burden to my family and friends. I felt like people would judge me or think I was somehow less for taking medications.
I also felt like no one really understood how I felt. It was very hard for me to tell others what I was going through for fear of judgement and I felt like my friends and family would look at me differently. Why couldn’t I just get over it? I have so many good things happening in my life, but depression didn’t care. All I could do was dwell on the negative.
After I saw my psychiatrist for the first time, I finally felt a little hopeful. It did take a while to find the right medications that were right for me. It was frustrating, and I thought there was something wrong with me, but my psychiatrist assured me that it was normal.
Once my psychiatrist and I figured out what worked best for my treatment things started getting a lot better. I finally feel like I can start to heal, and I have little victories every day. Such as taking a shower, cleaning the bathroom, going for a walk. I learned that you must acknowledge the little victories because they are just as important.
I picked up my first camera after my dad passed away. Photography is something that really helps me in my mental health journey. I try to take pictures every day of anything that inspires me. I love to hike and be outside in nature and take photos of my hikes. Photography is my passion as well as a healing technique for me. I love sharing photos of the outdoors in hopes that it will help others who struggle get outside.
Click the arrows on the side of the image to view some of Kimberly’s photography
I also discovered social media pages that shared symptoms and stories of others who were going through the same things I was. I didn’t feel so alone in this anymore. I have a great support group of friends and family and I just keep showing up. Showing up to my psychiatrist appointments and to therapy and showing up for myself. With the help of medications and therapy and putting the work in yourself, it is possible to get your life back.
I recently did a self-portrait series on anxiety and depression. These photos were taken during a real anxiety attack. I want people to know that they are not alone and so many others feel this way and help is out there.
Click the arrows on the side of the image to view the images
If you would like to view more of Kimberley’s photography, please visit her Instagram page @kimbo_explores