Firstly, I’d like to thank the wonderful Kate Loveton for asking me to guest post on her blog. Some of you may know that Kate and I have a friendship that transcends blogging and writing, she’s my closest friend, confidant and all-round guardian angel. We’re as close as any sisters could be and we talk on a daily basis, mainly through email, cheeky tweets and every fortnight through the medium of Skype.
I guess it was fate when our paths crossed two years ago. If it hadn’t been for a particular set of circumstances we may never have known that the other existed. Had things been different I would have missed out on meeting one of the most important people in my life – a thought that shocks me at times. Kate has done so much for me, more than I could ever repay and it frightens me to think where I would be today without her.
I know this for sure, I would never have had the courage to make the major changes in my life that have happened this year. After years of living life how others wanted me to, Kate helped me find the courage and strength to stand on my own and discover who I really am as a person. Whenever I felt like giving up, Kate would be there with words of encouragement and advice, never getting frustrated when I dithered back and forth on a decision. She commiserated me when things went wrong and congratulated my successes when things finally came right.
Kate has watched me grow from a depressed and unhappy individual into someone who now has a purpose and sense of enjoyment from life and I know that I would never have been able to make it this far without her. That’s why I think that everyone needs a Kate Loveton in their life; everyone needs at least one person that they can truly call a friend; the type of person that will always be there for you no matter what.
Life is a precious gift and I firmly believe that you are only given so many chances in this life, you need to make the most of each and every one that comes your way. While the past will always try to hold you back, each new day is a battle to take another step forwards.
The tragic loss of Robin Williams this week just goes to show that anyone can be affected by depression. It is an illness which does not care for race, gender, sexuality or social status. Depression doesn’t discriminate; it can and will take over even the most happy and settled of people. It is a silent killer and one that creeps up, gripping you in its clutches before you even realise what is happening.
We can and we should do more to highlight the fact that depression is a treatable disease – I’m living proof of that. For too long I let my illness take over my life until it clouded my judgment and almost lead me to contemplating taking my own life.
People do not choose to be depressed, they simply are. ‘But what have you got to be depressed about?’ someone will inevitably ask you without realising that you have no more control over the illness than you do to blink or breathe.
Depression is a selfish and lonely illness and one that can only be battled by being good to ourselves and receiving the love and attention of the people who care about us. It’s hard to ask for help, but every once in a while, a friend will come your way who will do just that for you. They’ll make you see that there’s more to life than being stuck in an unhappy past, all we have to do is open our eyes and see it.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is that we all deserve that special person in our life who will support and encourage us, who’ll give us the strength to stand up and keep fighting even when we feel like giving up. Some of us might be lucky enough to be surrounded by a group of such people, but I’m content with having just the one.
This is my tribute to the best friend a girl could wish for; so if you’re lucky enough to have one too, give them a call or drop them a line and tell them what they mean to you. Love – and friendship – make the world go round and I think that’s something we could all do with a little more of.