I used to have a brother. I don't anymore. When we were teenagers, he shot himself while we were all sleeping. I never knew he was depressed. He was a good looking, popular, athletic kid. He was extremely proud - TOO PROUD - and unfortunately it cost him his life. He didn't know anyone else suffering from depression. He didn't know who to talk to. To him, he was alone in his sadness and something was wrong with him. And rather than admit it, he chose to make the pain go away by ending his life.
Over the last 20 years, I've realized depression runs in my family. I have it. It's not constant, but there have been a few low points that required me to get help and medication. The thing is, most of my friends will be shocked to read this. Because, for some stupid reason, I STILL feel embarrassed by the whole thing. Like my brother, I'm too proud and don't ever want to admit to a weakness. I get very quiet and I keep it a secret.
Something is very wrong with this. I've lived through the pain of losing someone - I, of all people, shouldn't feel ashamed for getting depressed sometimes. But nobody else is saying they get depressed either! I read statistics about the millions affected by it, but they're just numbers. It doesn't comfort me.
For years I've wondered how I could use my experience to help people. And then I realized, the only way to get people to be okay with their depression is to be okay with mine. And that's how I got the idea for this t-shirt (which has now grown into other items as well).