About Us

How we started

I was raised in a home where therapy wasn’t an option, and we rarely talked about our mental health.

When I was in my mid 20’s I experienced deep depression. I had no idea how to cope with what I was facing and I had never been to therapy. No one knew what I was going through, and I hid behind my smile and humor until I no longer could. I remember experiencing my first anxiety attack, heart pounding, tightness in my chest, unable to breathe. I started a downward spiral, googling ways to end my life, self inflicting pain, and I stopped eating. One thing led to another and I found myself being transported to the psychiatric unit. I remember clearly that day, everyone was shocked that me “the happy and funny girl” was feeling this way, they had no idea. I wanted to get better, so I started to seek out options for therapy. 

At the time I was afraid that people would find out about my hospital stay. I was afraid of being judged for my depression, and that people would think I wasn’t “strong”. I remember asking my therapist if my hospital stay would come up on a background check. I remember the first time my therapist suggested that I take an antidepressant. In my previous world, that was taboo. You don’t take medication to get better, just “snap out of it”.  

Through therapy, books, and the love and support of family and friends I was able to develop healthy coping tools. It has been a process that has evolved over the last 10 years of my life, and created me into the person I am today. Over the past 5 years I started opening up more about my experience with mental health and letting go of what people would think of my story. I started to share it with a select few people, and the more I shared it the more I realized I was not alone. 

My personal journey led me to create the Breathe Easy Project. Once I started talking about my personal experience with mental health I realized that there are more people out there who are struggling, and this needs to be talked about on a wider scale. We are all anxious, fearful, hurt, scared and afraid. We don’t need to be ashamed of how we feel, or hide behind our smiles or humor. We need to love each other, check in on each other, start the conversation, knowing it’s ok to ask for help. Life is not easy, and it’s ok to not be ok. My hope is when you see someone in public wearing one of these shirts, it will spark the conversation to discuss one’s mental health. That these little reminders will encourage you or others that everyone has their story, and their own journey. Let’s build a community where we aren’t afraid to ask for help, to be judged about being on medication, seeking therapy, etc. Let’s build a community where we can take a moment, together and just Breathe Easy.