Monday, August 9, 2010

Something You All Should Know

Dear all,

Over the last two months, I have had a number of events occur in my life which has led me to the point of writing this blog.

Those who are close to me know that I am now ready to stand up and deliver news that will either shock surprise some of you, or just confirm what you may already know.

I suffer from a major depressive disorder.

I have suffered from this major depressive disorder for over ten years.

I have lived my life, trying to keep it all under wraps, so that it did not affect my standing as a legal professional. I was so afraid of putting it in this blog because I did not want anyone to "stumble over it" and discover the "truth".

As a result, over five months ago, I was so low that I wanted to end my life. Thankfully, I had the support and facilities available to me to ensure that my depression wasn't the end of me.

I have now accepted that, by trying to keep it a secret, to battle it quietly, I am not only living through poor example, but I am contributing to the stigma that hovers over society with respect to professionals who have been either biologically, or through psychological reasons, been given this horrible illness. This stigma is wrong. It is appalling. It is cultivated through misunderstanding.

This stigma contributed to the demise of my relationship over six months ago. He may not agree, but I actually don't care what he thinks anymore. He gave me the greatest gift possible. Freedom.

People who have been (and gone) in my life would have cringed if I had have put this up on my blog six months ago. However, as I now believe, there is nothing to hide about this illness - and there is a heck of a lot more to gain by doing this. I have begun to disclose this illness in a respectful and unashamed manner, without any flair or drama. I have not required people's permission, nor acceptance, in doing so. This was the first step I needed to take in order to go on and actually make a difference. I am now no longer apologetic for the mistakes I have made along the way, I am proud of my ability to rise amongst the ashes (so to speak).

The constant changing of identity, from triathlete, to lawyer, to Asian traveller, to photographer, back to lawyer and then all over again was symptomatic of this illness. Now, I understand that I am not just one of these things, I am all of these things - and if I happen to fail at it, so what. Life goes on.

What that difference is, is still to be determined.

I walked away from a massive salary.

I walked away from a relationship that wasn't making me happy.

I am now being open about my illness.

I am now inspiring people to talk about their own battles with this illness.

I am now making people think a little more about their own behaviour and stigma towards mental illness.

I am now talking with a large non profit organisation about obtaining funding to go on and assist in breaking down the stigma attached to depression amongst professionals, like lawyers, doctors, psychiatrists, pharmacists and professors - people we look up to with respect, people who struggle with life under the weight of this respect. Its time I used my brains to help others make sense of the world, not make sense out of making money. My time is done with that.

So there. I have a mental illness. And I am not afraid.

For anyone in Australia who is struggling with mental illness, I urge you to contact:; or


  1. Our love and support are with you forever. We are so proud of you and what you have achieved despite your depression.Keep going with your dreams and interests no matter how hard it may get sometimes. You are an example of someone who will not let depression stop you.

  2. Thank you, Mum. You'll be more proud of me in years to come, when I can look back and see the difference I've made. x

  3. "if I happen to fail, so what. Life goes on." words to live by :)