The Elephant in the Room: This is Real

Introducing our newest Wear Your Label Community Champion, Samantha Madore of Truro, Nova Scotia. Samantha shares her story with us - The Elephant in the Room: This is Real.

I suffer from depression and anxiety. For the longest time, I wouldn
t admit this. I would, instead, spend time inside the house and inside my head; focusing on my own personal 'weakness' that kept me from getting off the couch, being social, living my potential. The more time I spent wishing I was someone else and comparing myself to others who just seemed to be better at life in general than me the deeper the depression became.

After reaching a place in my life where I could finally acknowledge that what I have is real a real illness, not a real weakness I want to help to erase the stigma associated with the elephant in the roomthat is mental illness. But it's not easy. None of it is easy.

Its not easy because depression is unpredictable and there are lots of setbacks. There are some days, some moments within a day, when I feel empowered and effective in my life. Then the very next day the very next moment I can perceive a glance or overhear a comment that I interpret to mean that I am not good enough. That I don't measure up to some irrational idea of who I assume someone else thinks I should be. Who I think I should be. In that glance in that irrational moment I am back to the depths that I am so good at creating for myself.

It's not easy because, even though I may be suffering and I know I need help, I may not want help. I may think that I am unworthy of help. And someone telling me that I am good enoughwhen I believe that I am not is not going to work for me.

It's not easy because, for no apparent reason, I just don't want to get out of bed today.

In the process of coming to terms with the ‘realness’ of my mental illness, I started working with my local branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association. I have helped to plan their Women & Wellnessevent for the past three years and, while helping with their second annual Walk for Defeat Depression, I wrote and shared this poem:

It is hard to know what to filter
Which thoughts are real
Which feelings are building from an imaginary source

It is hard to grasp without reaching
The highs and the lows dance blindly inside While we capture ourselves in darkness

Turn the lights on Look away

It is all making sense in an unclear way
It is all closing in on the one thing you never wanted it to be Fear

This is real.
The body doesn’t match the mind The soul is dark
The darkness is real

Wanting to close the door but the draft persists Holding the candle too close to the heart Watching
Waiting for hope

Waiting for the sand between your toes The light
The calm.
The bridge to where you want to belong

Holding the hand of who you wish you were The mirror.
The looking glass to your soul

There will be hope.
There will be home.
The safety net will appear in plain sight Take a breath

I am hoping that by adding my voice to those who are openly talking about their struggles with mental health more and more people will join in. I am hoping that mental illness will ultimately no longer be considered the elephant in the room'.

- Samantha 

Samantha Madore is our newest Community Champion from Truro, Nova Scotia. She is the owner of Bliss Productions, a committed volunteer for mental health events, and lives with depression and anxiety. Photo credit: Portraits by Johanna.


5 Responses

Amy Millican
Amy Millican

January 29, 2016

Hi Sam, I’m from Truro and I saw your presentation at Women and Wellness today and I wanted to chat with you afterwards but I didn’t get the chance but I’d love to get in touch with you sometime.

I was recently diagnosed with anxiety and depression and had to drop out of university because of it and your talk today really inspired me to do more to work through it.


January 07, 2015

You are so brave and inspiring for sharing your personal struggle. That is a very moving poem. <3

Cindi Talbot
Cindi Talbot

January 06, 2015

I am the mother of Beck of Beckandboosh . My daughter just shared your poem with me and I am so glad she did. I have been battling depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember. You have captured, in your prose, my feelings that are so hard for me to express.
Thank you

Wanda MacInnes
Wanda MacInnes

January 06, 2015

This is a truly touching, Sam. You are an amazing young woman with a tremendous amount of passion and compassion for life and others. I believe you will make a huge difference in everyones life you touch. Just be you. I hope we get a chance to work together in the future.


January 05, 2015

THANK YOU is not a strong enough phrase for what you have shared. I am a mother of an 18 year old daughter who struggles with Depression and Anxiety and has for most of her life and endured much bullying because of it. I just read this to her and she said " that is me ..that is powerful…that is me … Wow" People like you who are willing to share their inner most feeling will help others like my daughter find their inner voice and get rid of the " elephant in the room "

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