Today is a sad day for me as it marks 12 months since my best friend Trevor took his own life after a long battle with injury, mental illness and depression.
But when I say sad I don't mean bury my head in a pillow all day sobbing kind of sad (although a few tears have been shed today), more of a sad he is not here to share life's experience's with me sad. Sad that he did not have the strength to carry on and sad that his illness did not allow him to see the the possibility of a better time to come.
I remember all of the good times we shared, all of the mischief that we got up to and that brings a smile to my face, but I think it is part of human nature to always be thinking about the time to come, the experiences you are yet to have together.
And that's what I miss. The still to come, the possibility of what might have been.
As someone not prone to depression I choose to live my life looking for the good and the precious and the beauty of life regardless of how dark life might seem to be. I have learnt that even in the darkest weather there is always the promise of sun after the rain and that sometimes it is the stormy weather that allows us to build strong roots and defences to help us stand up in tough times to come.
Sadly the reality is that for some people depression and mental illness is a part of their daily life.
Sometimes as a spectator like I was, living through the feelings of helplessness and the constant fear of where this might lead. And sometimes as a participant where the dark days outnumber the bright.
According to Beyond Blue one in five of us will suffer from depression at some stage of our lives. So while it might be difficult to start the discussion with a friend or family member about how they are feeling it is often more difficult for them to come to you and let you know there is a problem.
So get out there people. Touch base with your friends and family. Check in and say hello, let them know that you are there. And if you need help seek it, let your friends and family know how you are feeling.
For everyone regardless of if you are the support person or the sufferer go to http://www.beyondblue.org.au/index.aspx for more information about where you can get help and support.
And if you are able donate, volunteer or get involved please do so, remember one in five pretty much means we will all be touched by this at some time in our lives.