My Story by Erma Friesen

Back in 2000 I started my journey into depression. There was an occasion when I found myself in my car with no place to call home but, I had an Aunt, she had always said I could come and see her anytime. So I would go to her in Huntsville and just hide in bed.  She was my anchor many a time even though she may not have known it.  Because the only one I could talk to about it was my Doctor.  I would see him once a month, he put me on anti-depression medication and when one wasn’t doing the job in full he would find another one to help me out.  In 2001 I spent a month in hospital and they found workers to find me a place to live which turned out to be Elmira.  I believe it was 2003 maybe 4 when I met Mary Mackeigan and learned about ALIV(e).  I was there from February 2002 till March of 2004.In 2002 I got into Ontario Disability Support Program and CPP Disability.

I moved out on my own also in Elmira on Memorial Ave.  One thing I had always wanted was a dog so I finally got one who I named JD.  My Dad died in 2007 on 24th of February four day’s after his birthday. He was 91. It was not one of my better days.  Mean while I was traveling back and forth to see my Doctor in New Hamburg once a month.  I still had good days mixed with bad days when my depression would act up.

In 2012 the owner of the building I lived in was sold to someone I didn’t like they offered me a deal and I decided to take them up on the offer.  I found this place in New Hamburg, where I currently live, so that I could be close to my Doctor.  A few months late he up and retired.  Mean while JD was becoming a major handful that I just couldn’t handle.  So I got another dog and I named her Peanut.  The 2 dog’s got along really well but the Honeymoon didn’t last and he became a handful again.  I was in no shape to take them for long walks so I finally advertised on Kijiji and found him a new home.  So it was just Peanut and me.  That is when my neighbors Marion and Lee moved in next door.  During this time I still went to ALIV(e) meetings once a month.  Marion and Lee got Aladian, well he and Peanut became very good friends.  But in 2018 Peanut was having a hard time breathing and I got her checked out and she had masses in both lungs.  The vet said the best thing for her was to put her down.   I was in agony. What would I do without Peanut.  Well, my first thought was to find another dog. I now have Penny and she keeps me young.  But, my depression still gives me bad days when all I want is to stay in bed.