The opposite of depression is not happiness. It’s being present.
“I’m Not Here” is an emotionally raw and personal short I created to literally help me break free of the me that was spiraling into a state of deep depression.
I remember seeing a picture of my daughter and myself, and I couldn’t recall anything about that day. I could physically see her hand in mine but I couldn’t really remember feeling her tiny, precious hand in mine. It scared me. I didn’t know how many other moments I was missing with her.
“I’m Not Here” is what I call the detached time in my life when I wasn’t present for the people who matter the most to me, and also when I wasn’t present in myself.
From this vulnerable state I wrote “I’m Not Here.” It has two points of view: one is from the point of view of the mom who is deceased and recalling her life from the grave; the second point of view is from her daughter, now grown, who is wandering through the cemetery and remembering her mom.
I was fortunate in a sense that my depression was caused from external circumstances. I say fortunate because the root was external and it gave me control to recognize the situation for what it was and allow me to make a choice to redirect my sadness.
Through the process of making this short film I realized that the opposite of depression is not happiness. It’s being present. I still have feelings of sadness, doubt, insecurities and fears, but I own these feelings, they don’t own me.
“I’m Not Here” was a wake-up call for me and has been my ultimate liberation, my saving grace.
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Assistant Ed. Paige Vignola/Ed: Bryonie Wise