Up & Down

Most people are very surprised to learn that l have lived with the diagnosis of clinical depression for more than half of my life. Surprised because l am an immensely positive individual, and generally come across as a very cheerful person. They are quite right to be surprised - the positivity is completely genuine, and extremely hard won - and l have worked enormously hard not to become someone who 'suffers from' my condition.

Yes, l am fragile. But l am also stronger than anyone could possibly fathom. I'm a fighter. I'm torturously sensitive and highly creative. I love fiercely and feel deeply. And I am not alone.

It has taken countless aborted attempts over many weeks to even begin to write this, the shortest blog l have ever written - and although l have spoken without shame to my amazing friends over the years, this is the first time l have publicly acknowledged my condition.

Today, with the help of my incredible husband, who through a wild coincidence lives with exactly the same condition and - luckily for me - understands all its peaks and pitfalls, l am here to help remind people living with a mental health issue that they are not alone. You are never alone. Never be ashamed to own your condition.

It is my husband who has brought on this bravery in me. His latest single release is a brutally honest, yet positive take on managing the ups and downs of life with a mental health issue. As soon as l heard it - many months ago, obviously - l made a tentative suggestion that we use it to help raise awareness for the Mental Health Association and Mental Health Awareness Week. He didn't hesitate.

Click here to see the video 'Up & Down' by Jo Burt.

I hope that by sharing this extremely personal blog - and this revealing and uplifting video - that we will help become part of the movement to remove the stigma attached to mental illness.

Antonia & Jo Burt behind the scenes at the 'Up & Down' music video shoot. Photograph by Edd Edwards

 

 

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