Welcome and thank you for visiting.
Hi, I’m Lee Horbachewski. August 2012, I came dangerously close to ending my life. From the outside, my life looked perfect. On the inside I was spiraling down, yet again, into the darkness of depression.
At that time, my book, “A Quiet Strong Voice – A Voice of Hope Amidst Depression, Anxiety, and Suicidal Thoughts,” had become an International Best Seller, I was a highly sort after Public Speaker, I peer mentor coached people through depression and anxiety, I had a following of half a million people between my blog and social media, and I spent countless late nights on Twitter trying to save people’s lives through suicide intervention and providing them hope, inspiration and finding resources in their area. My life was consumed with mental illness.
That dark day in August 2012, was a wake up call. It was an opportunity to pause, and re-evaluate. I knew the change that was needed for my own mental health and I was scared.
In November 2012, I closed my beloved business, SimpLee Serene. Leaving behind all that I believed was my purpose – to advocate, inspire and save people’s lives. SimpLee Serene had become all of me. I felt empty, guilty, useless, and living with no purpose.
My husband gifted me a camera for Christmas. After some coaxing, I started going on adventures with my camera. Exploring so many beautiful places right near our doorstep in Calgary, AB. I found myself in awe of the wide open prairies, the majestic Rocky Mountains and the abundance of wildlife. I found hope and inspiration in nature, it was also a place where I found peace. Long drives would give me an opportunity to reflect and heal.
Photography gifted me a distraction from the pain I was feeling from leaving the entrepreneurial world behind, and many of the friends and being well known, that came with it. It also gifted me a metaphor for life:
“When there is darkness,
I adjust the settings and there is light!”
With photography, I find healing, life lessons, a way to fuel my creative mind and spirit. It plays a significant role in my mental health and coping with depressive episodes and anxiety.
What has photography taught me, and continues to teach me:
- Being present in the moment.
- Looking at things from a different perspective.
- Practice patience.
- When there is darkness and low light, adjust the settings and there will be light.
- Don’t give up, be persistent.
- There are gifts in both spontaneity and planning.
My hope is that by being here you will find hope, inspiration and beauty – whether it’s to find tools and resources for mental health, to purchase my book, to purchase or find inspiration in my photographs and the stories that come along with them.