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"When you are fighting anything, the fight becomes a lot easier when you realize you are not fighting alone."

About Julian:

Three years ago I was scrolling through social media and came across an article a careless person had written, with a photo showing police tape cornering off a block.  There was a comment that said “sounds like a case of the Mondays.” I later found out that a person had jumped from their building and that’s why the police tape was there. I can’t begin to explain how much pain this caused me, having lost two friends to suicide the subject is very sensitive.  At that point I realized people were not understanding what depression really is. The next week I started a project called Hole 72. My goal was to educate people on this awful disease, raise awareness, and also raise money to get people the help they so greatly need.  

Julian’s Story

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What was the major turning point in your recovery from depression?

Depression had never been something I ever thought of to be honest.  I didn’t know much about it, and I thought it was uncommon. After high school I made it one of my goals to travel the world.  I met some amazing people on my travels, I grew as a person and to this day have not lost my passion to embrace other cultures of this world.

When I came back home after my first trip, the world seemed to spin at a much slower rate.  There would be days on end when I would be so unmotivated I would do nothing but sit in my room and cry.  I am usually a very active person, however this period of my life sidelined me.  My desires to do anything were completely gone.  I gained weight and I really had no idea what was going on. Upon further research and through some professional help, I came to the realization that I had depression.  

What are some things that really helped?

Talking about it

  • The biggest thing I can say that helped me was talking, it took me a long time to get the courage to do that, and it’s taking courage for me to write this article.  But I came to the realization that the people I want in my life are the ones I can talk to without judgement, and the ones that would drop anything to help me if needed.
  • For me that first person was my grandmother, you will be amazed at how good it feels to talk to someone who loves you unconditionally.  Even if it’s just a shoulder to cry on, or even if that person is thousands of miles away. When you are fighting anything, the fight becomes a lot easier when you realize you are not fighting alone.  

Building lasting supportive friendships

  • While depression did slowly creep its way out of my life, there have been moments over the past year where I felt it creep back.  I have a great job, I have my own apartment in Vancouver, I have an amazing and supportive family, and I have a girl that I am so grateful to wake up beside every morning, who makes me happy and loves me unconditionally.
  • However one day when I was shopping for an engagement ring, I just started crying. I felt hollow on the inside, not because of the life changing decision I was making but I just did.  I felt like a piece of butter scraped over too much bread.  I left the store and called a very close friend of mine, she came to meet me within half an hour.  The moment I saw her I hugged her for over 10 minutes.  I talked and she listened, and I felt so much better. 

What advice would you give to other guys fighting depression?

While there are a few different ways to take control of depression, for me open communication worked best. We as men tend to shelter our feelings and be tough. I thought when I first spoke up I was being weak, but in fact it was me talking about my weakness, that ultimately made me tough and made me into the man I am today – an engaged man, a grateful man, and a man in control of his depression.  It may not fully ever go away,  but the moment it shows its ugly face all of us will know how to fight back.

– Julian, mental health advocate and founder of Hole 72 based out of BC, Canada.insta