Since I admitted to my depression back in May this year I have had the pleasure to meet and make friends with many many people who suffer with depression or other mental illness. Travelling around the UK, football used to be my chosen universal topic of conversation. Now it is mental health, depression and anxiety and, if I can combine the two, I’m ecstatic. So if you are a depressed football supporter (calling all Aston Villa fans!) I’m your mate!
In the past when asked who I admired and who inspired me I always thought of Karren Brady, current vice-chairman of West Ham United FC, business woman, mother, Sir Alan’s assistant on The Apprentice and someone who was back at work just 1 month after a brain operation. A role model for all the down-to-earth talented women everywhere. But, whilst I still admire her, she is no longer top of my list.
So who are at the top of my list of people whom I admire or inspire me?
I’ll tell you. All those people who frequent the Depression Alliance Face Book page. Those with or recovering from depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety and insomnia. Everyone who is still here despite the setbacks. They are still here because underneath this beast of an illness they are strong, decent people. They have families who care for them; they are waiting for treatment for months on end but never give up hope; they are open and honest about their illness and most of all they inspire me to do the same when I’m not up to it.
So to all my new friends at DA, “Thank you for being you” I wouldn’t want it any other way and I hope that 2011 brings us all health and happiness because that’s all that matters.