Let’s not concentrate on the fact that I am late to the party; let’s focus on the fact that I am here now. Inextricably, I had not checked out Bryony Gordon’s “Mad World” Daily Telegraph podcast until the last few days; days in which I have been kicking myself.
It is a triumph from start to finish and an incredibly important contribution to the much-improved – but long way to go – national discourse about mental health. Bryony’s openness and positivity about her own struggles with her mental health and addiction are disarming and her knowledge and passion for supporting others with mental health challenges is present throughout but worn lightly. I have already drawn inspiration and a feeling of support from my early listening and have found things I will listen to over and over again.
Her interview with Will Young was brilliant for many, many reasons – lots to do with Will’s openness and authentic reflections on his own experiences. It was so telling to hear him describe how he felt he had to hide his ill health – he suffers from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – when he left Strictly because it would not be understood and he would be judged. He was right. His “personal reasons” story just prompted more speculation and some nasty, ugly, ignorant and frankly disgusting media coverage. It is sad he couldn’t just say he was struggling with his PTSD. I hope that we see that change in the coming months and years. His willingness to speak out so frankly is a massive credit to him and will have helped many others. I found his reflections on abandonment and the fear of abandonment – something I can readily relate to – fascinating. It has got me doing some more thinking and reading and will no doubt help me with my daily work to stay on top of my wellbeing.
Bryony said she wanted the podcast to feel like a big hug to those struggling. To answer her question from the start of the podcast, I’m feeling ok right now but I still appreciated the hug. Thank you Bryony. Thanks a million.