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A smiling photo.

Enjoying an evening with my daughter at the theatre. Earlier we had gone shopping and enjoyed a drink at our hotel bar before heading to the show.

Happy. Blessed. Smiling.

What is behind my smile?

Depression. Anxiety. Grief. Fear. Crushing emotions.

My head tells me I matter. That my story isn’t over. That I would be missed.

RELATED: We’re All a Little Broken, Some Just Hide it Well

But my heart says otherwise. It tells me I am a failure. I am alone. I don’t belong.

Wondering why I try, why I fight so hard to stay in this life. Asking myself why I feel alone. Why I feel inadequate.

A daily struggle. Exhausting. More than one day at a time, it is one hour, one minute, one second at a time.

Tears, warm baths, showers, walks, puppy kisses, yogadistractions to help me survive.

I want to be OK. I want to be happy. I want to feel like I matter. I want to feel appreciated. I want to do more than survive.

Depression is a constant. It has been and always will be a part of my story.

RELATED: Depression Doesn’t Care

Until my story is truly over, I pray I enjoy many moments that make me smile even as depression is right behind that smile.

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So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Cindy Houlden

Sharing my life journey is therapeutic. In the past I have used CaringBridge and Facebook. I have come to the realization that I need to use a blog site. This is my first attempt; so I apologize in advance if I fail. Who am I? I am a daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend. And I am a cancer survivor; who suffers from depression. Through this blog I will share my story of my journey with you. I truly appreciate those who make this journey with me and I hope we can make each other’s journey positive. Thanks for joining me!

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