When I wrote my Dave Amitri, Del Amitri and Me piece I mentioned the frog in a pan of boiling water analogy that someone once used to describe my situation. When your stress builds up boiling around you but you carry on unaware until it all boils over usually in a very messy spillage. It feels that Naomi Osaka, Simone Biles, Ben Stokes and perhaps now Dina Asher-Smith have felt the signs and have got out before the messy spillage. I wish them all well. It makes you wonder how many have suffered in silence over the years. I always recommend the Marcus Trescothick autobiography. It’s a frighteningly honest account of his breakdown. Being an elite sportsman on top of travelling, training and playing in bubbles is clearly taking its toll.
I hope thar it sends out a message that it’s ok to feel that way and even more ok to admit it. Society has a long way to go to properly support those who suffer. Business and employers need to get their act together to recognise the signs and help. Elite sportsmen and women can afford to walk away financially. I was incredibly fortunate with my boss at the time. Not everyone can afford to make that call even if they are able to acknowledge it.
There will be those who sneer and those who see mental health as an easy way out. Its harder to prove than the classic bad back. I think it’s worth a few wronguns slipping the net to ensure those that need help can get it.
It feels like a really important few weeks and I wonder how many others will come forward now. Look after yourselves and those around you. The signs are always there if you look for them.