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Mental Illness Recovery Series: Story # 93

Bryce Evans was born in Edmonton, Alberta and now lives in Vancouver, BC, Canada. He is an artist, introvert, entrepreneur and loves expressing himself in creative ways. He said, “I started The One Project, which is a photography community for people who suffer from depression and anxiety. It began with my own story and how my photos were what helped me to better understand and eventually work towards breaking my silence. Once I made my story public, I saw how common these issues were and how many other people could benefit from using photos in this way.” Bryce teaches people the exact techniques that he used to overcome those issues with online courses and a free, private online platform. He is goal is to further his project and help over 100 million people change the way they think about mental health through photography. Bryce said, “In 5 years, I see myself leading and empowering a strong organization of incredibly passionate people who have already served 10 million people through our work and that we have helped to bring therapeutic photography into normal conversation.’

Since his teens, he has struggled with severe depression and anxiety, with suicidal thoughts. Amazingly Bryce has overcome it, but has to stay on top of his tools, habits and routines that help him to not regress back into getting overly anxious or into a depressed state. He said, “In the times where I’ve fallen back into it, the way that I experience and deal with it is much different, likely because I’m a much different person now.”

He believes what caused his mental illnesses is that he wasn’t aligned with himself. He said, “I allowed my anxiety and depression to control my actions and silence my voice and I just continuously retracted more and more. I didn’t listen to my gut or inner voice and I eventually felt out of touch with myself and began to hate myself.” Not only that, but bullying, social pressures, and the environment affected Bryce. He said, “It was also partially existential depression and as I’m mature for my age, not feeling like I was able to relate or connect with people who I was surrounded with at the time.”

Bryce dealt various symptoms. His social anxiety made him nauseous and would end up vomiting before social events. Additionally, he had negative thought patterns, with low self-worth and energy. Due to this his life became disastrous. He said, “I was constantly second guessing and overthinking. I would isolate myself from others and always be thinking that they were out to get me, making fun of me, or about to turn on me. It kept me from building strong relationships with people and building social ‘muscles’ and experiences during that important time of development.” Thankfully, even though he has a lot of ideations of suicide, her never acted upon it.

Bryce said he felt, “worthless, trapped, broken, desperate, hopeless, wrong and all the things I don’t have words for. That’s why I used photos”. He also said, “I took one photo specifically, that was a moment when I started to listen and take action on that gut instinct and inner voice that I had ignored for so long. I felt a shift happen within me and it was the start of my process to start expressing and working to overcome these issues with my photos.” Bryce even spoke about his full story in TEDx talk.

He now has a strong daily routine and set of tools that he consistently uses, these include:

  1. meditation
  2. daily journalling / free writing
  3. working out / exercise
  4. photography
  5. quality connection with friends (or people in general)
  6. wim hof breathing
  7. positive affirmations
  8. proper eating &; drinking lots of water
  9. no caffeine and no/very low sugar

He is grateful for his depression because it helped him to learn so much, including the importance of being in connection with and living true to his authentic self. It forced Bryce to look deep within himself to discover the answers that he was looking for. He said, “I am a completely different person than I was during my struggles in the best way possible. It pushed me at a very young age to start a journey of self-development and figure out things that sometimes take half a lifetime for people to work through. It also put me in touch with my true calling and purpose, which I am eternally grateful for.”

This is Bryce’s advice for anyone going through similar situations:

“Do not look outside of yourself for the answers, look within. And if you’re struggling in silence or don’t have the words to express what you’re going through — try using photos.”

“You can sign up for free to our online platform 🙂 we welcome you with open arms!”

Help me make a difference by sharing your story. If you or anyone you know needs a safe place to vent out and recieve advice feel free to become a member of the Mental Illness Recovery Series Group on Facebook.

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Mental Illness Recovery Series: Story # 92

Mental Illness Recovery Series: Story # 94