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.