My mother liked to sleep. She slept all day while my two older brothers were in elementary school for the day. She didn’t wake up until lunchtime when we’d watch her soaps and then she put me down for a nap or whatever until it was time to go get my brothers.  As I got older, my mother was diagnosed with depression. She was prescribed Zoloft, which she discarded and tucked away from my dad. Instead, she turned to alcohol to dull her pain and when that wasn’t enough, she moved to heroin.

I was so afraid I would turn into an addict that I didn’t realize depression could be one hell of a drug as well. My mother passed down all her bad habits like watching hours of TV, sleeping all day, and then of course, getting wasted when all else fails. I never had a dependency on alcohol, but I began to find comfort in drinking the same way I did laying in my bed for days. 

My depression took a backseat to my mother’s rapidly progressing addiction during my teenage years by everyone including myself. My father was otherwise occupied with divorcing her, maintaining my growing school absences, and working to make up for both parents. He didn’t believe in modern medicine and therapy for my depression. I used to resent it, but now I’m not sure I do either. 60% of children diagnosed with depression will go untreated according to ADAA in 2015. Honestly, it wakes my sad, cold heart to know that a lot of these kids will go untreated like I did. I’m strong, but I don’t want them to grow up like me. No one ever would.

One day, I woke up and I was 28. I dropped out of grad school like I did high school, was getting my heart broken by the same jerks, and was easily 30 pounds overweight. Honestly, I never thought I’d make this far through life. I may not need a Doctorate degree to figure out I came from a broken home, but I do need the tools to fix the foundation. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life with what’s been built. It’s time for a renovation.

I’m tired of coasting through life by avoiding conflicts, feeding my fears, and isolating myself. I want to enjoy my life, and I can’t do that without facing my issues head on. I’m upgrading what doesn’t serve me, because I won’t be crippled by my mental illness anymore. Mental health is taken for granted by so many because talking about mental illness has a stigma. But how are we going to understand one another if we can’t effectively communicate?

Even in the darkest days, I knew I wanted to be a writer. I want my story to educate, comfort, and help those that need it. I started to hone in on my writing skills and share my journey of depression recovery in a relatable way. Since I like to DIY, it was only right to DIY myself. I’m only a few months in, but it’s already been a rewarding experience. It is a challenge without medication or therapy but it gets easier by the hour. Happiness is possible if you’re willing to get your hands dirty. You are never alone. Come join me! I love new friends!

More About Ashley

Ashley Prinzo is a writer turned blogger from New Jersey. When she's not writing like mad, she enjoys binge eating, browsing adoptable dogs and blogging about living with depression on

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