The Mental Illness Awareness Week blog, sharing stories of recovery, personal experiences, and mental health/mental illness news.


The Blue Veil - by Leigh Turgeon

The Blue Veil cannot be allowed to oppress,
So listen, understand, you could change a life.
-The Blue Veil, 2012, Leigh Turgeon

I have personally been dealing with depression for a long time. At first I was unaware of what was happening to me and felt terribly alone even in a crowd of people. I wanted to cry when all my friends were laughing. Then I attempted to get help and was told I would be taking medication for the rest of my life, news which in itself was even more depressing. It felt like I was slipping and sliding down a dark path alone and I could not go back or even change my direction it was just down, down, down.

One night, on a very rare occasion that I had gone out with my friends, I sat there looking around the table and it dawned on me that none of my closest friends, confidants, former roommates had a clue of the inner turmoil that I was dealing with, I had successfully ‘veiled’ this pain from them until I had totally isolated the sadness internally. I longed to be in touch with these women again. As I looked around the table I envied their happiness. So at that moment I blurted out, “So, I have depression…I’ve had it for a while…and I am going to write a book about it and call it ‘The Blue Veil.’ Everyone sat there stunned at my admission, but wow did it feel good! So, ‘The Blue Veil’ was born.

I would never want anyone to ever felt as alone, trapped and misunderstood as had felt. I wanted to promote depression awareness on three levels. The three levels of awareness I mean are depression self-awareness, depression awareness for family and friends living with a depressed person, and depression awareness in the community, such as in the workplace, community or school environments.

Well, I am one person. While it is my goal to have ‘The Blue Veil’ have a global reach, I chose to support 15 depression awareness organizations to support with proceeds from the book, as they are all organizations that provide support for people with depression and anxiety and victims left behind by suicide. Most of them are national organizations for six different nations including the U.S., England, Scotland, Ireland, Canada and Australia. All of them are established, legitimate organizations which have helped hundreds of thousands of people and I am proud to associate my story and experience with them. I never wrote the book to make money. I wrote it so that no one ever feels trapped behind the Blue Veil, stifled by depression the way I did on that night out with my friends, when it dawned on me that none of my closest friends had a clue of my inner turmoil.

I, as it turns out, will not be taking medication for the rest of my life. Did you know that depression can have remission? I am now walking on a lighter path and I could head in any direction I want. All I know is that it will be forward, forward, forward.