Depression and anxiety rob you of connections. Too late I’ve realised that connections are what is really important in life. And so this is my goodbye note to anyone still around to bother, my last piece of advice:

I always knew money and power wasn’t important. I always knew that cleaning toilets (been there, done that) is just as valid as running a school department with 1100 students and 100 classes (ditto). I always knew that possessions were unimportant. But I always put great value in experiences, in travelling and seeing things, in learning and in knowledge. I still think these carry weight but along the way, I forgot about people and people forgot about me. Don’t make my mistakes. Don’t be in a situation where you desperately need someone – someone to sit with you, to talk to, to make you laugh, to hold you, to tell you they love you, to tell you they are there – and you look around only to realise that there is no one. I’ve driven everyone away. I’ve fought and lost a battle for company and companionship by being distant or weird or mental, by being awkward or by being miserable. And now I look around and there is emptiness. Don’t be me. So, yes, wear sunscreen. Yes, walk barefoot in springtime and swim in lakes. Yes, climb mountains and play on swings if you want to. But do it with someone. Find someone and hold on to them, then find someone else and cling to them too. Keep finding people, keep making those connections.

People will make you valid. Friendship and loves will justify your place long after everything else is gone.

And you might need them one day. You don’t want to be alone when that happens.


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