I figured out for myself that being at peace with the idea that I DO suffer from depression and may do so for the rest of my life, brought a kind of relief. I am who I am. Depression is only a part of me, not the whole me. People who know me well love me no less for it. They might not understand it (though seeing me suffer during my depression episodes gives them a pretty good idea) but they accept it. I don't stress myself about people who don't know me. If they judge, well there, I have more important issues in my life than dealing with those strangers.
What I've also found out though is that if you're open about your condition, many people approach and share their (similar) stories. At least from my experience.
I actually gave my general practice doc a few lectures on depression when she tried to share false information with me, telling me depression is sort of a weakness. She never spoke of it in that manner again lol. After a decade of living with depression and anxiety I've also found a great psychiatrist and I'm not going back.
I guess what I'm saying is I made terms with my condition and do realize I might have to go through some more episodes in my life. But that's ok, all people struggle in one way or another. Our assertivenes, knowledge about depression and letting go the 'shame' may help future sufferers also.
Just be who you are, shefloats, don't be afraid of yourself and love and friendship will come, I'm sure of it. Wishing you all the best on your journey!