My Story: Lorraine Bryce

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What were the steps leading up to your diagnosis?

It was a caring, father-like boss who sat me down in 1995 and said that he and other people had become concerned about me. He said he didn’t know what was going on but that I needed to get help… or maybe lose my job. That was the start of a journey of peaks and valleys, sharp curves, tears and — most importantly — learning!

I am not sure when I was specifically diagnosed. Most professionals suspect that I have been depressed most of my life, but since 1995 I have been diagnosed with dysthymic disorder, mood disorder and have had multiple major depressive episodes.

Who has been there for you? How?

Early on in this journey I didn’t have much support at all. Through prayer, acceptance, listening and being there my pastor and church family have helped me learn, grow and remind me in the darkest of times that God loves me and has a plan for me.

What lifestyle changes have you needed to make?

I have accepted that I need to take medication probably for the rest of my life. I have also had to be willing to take a look at my life through counseling, reshape my ideas and perceptions, and grow to a place where I can accept things and grant forgiveness where needed. An unexpected lifestyle change was establishing/accepting a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

I have struggled with and have fought this battle with depression for years pretty much alone.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

Having the courage to share my struggle with my church family and continue to do so for purposes of education and to encourage others who struggle.

Becoming debt free in 2015 after five years of sacrifice, multiple jobs and living on a tight budget.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

Having the courage to share my struggle with my church family and continue to do so for purposes of education and to encourage others who struggle.

Becoming debt free in 2015 after five years of sacrifice, multiple jobs and living on a tight budget.

You are not alone!

You are not alone!

What's your advice to someone else living with Depression?

You are not alone! Find someone you trust — like a friend, a boss, a counselor or a doctor — and talk to them, and then talk some more! Be willing and open to try different things or medications. What works for one person may not work for you. Keep fighting — you are worth it! God loves you!

Keep fighting — you are worth it!

Is there anything else we should know?

I have struggled with and have fought this battle with depression for years pretty much alone. It is a hope of mine that I can one day “pay forward” the encouragement, love and acceptance I have received from my church family to others who are struggling.

About Lorraine Bryce

My Story: Lorraine Bryce

I am the youngest of eight children but I never felt especially close to any of my siblings, and as an adult I still don't. Since getting my diagnoses, getting help and accepting things I have become more comfortable with family.

I was a floral designer for 13 years. Now I work at the local hospital and for my church. I love dogs. I had one, a Lhasa Apso called Casey, for 11 years, and she kept me alive many times through the years. I miss her to this day. I have knitted now for about five years, a little bit of everything.

I don't have a website or blog. I've been told my many people professionals and friends that I am a good writer. I'm not so sure about that, however I do know that it does help me. Maybe a blog is in my future? I hope someday my story can be a source of encouragement, comfort or information that will help someone else in need.

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