My name is Darren Edwards and I have been running my own design agency, by myself, for over 25 years (started 1993). I had built a solid business with a good mix of regular clients and had plenty of work to keep me occupied for more hours each day than I had hoped for. So much so that I often had to compromise my family time in order to keep ahead of the work load. Over time, I started to become resentful of my work but had to keep soldiering on as I needed the work to fund a few investment properties we had purchased along the way. I had created a giant wheel and I was the little mouse keeping it going and could not get off. I guess a lot of people feel this way in life, that we live to work.
One day my world came crashing down. I was beside myself with grief and felt overwhelmed by everything in my life. I could not understand what was happening to me as my life had been so great. I had fallen into a deep depression. A depression so deep, that I felt nothing but despair. I just didn’t know any other way out and was in so much pain. I know people who have lived with depression, but until you have experienced the black dog for yourself you will never know or truly understand the absolute darkness that surrounds you or sickening pain that enters your heart.
On reflection, I think it was the feeling of being trapped by what I had created that made me feel depressed about my life, although I did not realise at the time. I just thought that everything around me was falling apart and I started to think that I would never get out of the hole I was in.
At the time I lived on the edge of a state park in Melbourne’s west so one day I dragged myself out of bed and went for a walk by myself in the bush. I returned quite a few hours later feeling more alive and refreshed than I have ever felt. So the next day I did it again, then again, and again.