So I’ve just watched the royal team talk special on the iplayer and to say it was emotional would be an understanding.
Hearing some of the legends of the game ( and Jermaine Jenas) talk of their struggles along with Prince William was an eye opener. It made some of it more real and put in perspective the fact that depression and anxiety doesn’t just affect normal folk but everybody.
As mentioned in the programme, successful people suffer just as much as the next person. I’ve been lucky the last few years to advance my career and reach a fairly lofty position. This has come with its own trials and I suffer for it at times. The last two months I have been off work with a serious bout of depression and experiences some very dark days.
That being said, match days have been my glimmer of hope. Even the Norwich game, although a disappointing result, just being at the game was a boost and so was watching their fans celebrating and hoping that would be use the end of May.
The two Albion games were the worst I’ve felt watching the villa for a very long time. (I grew up in smethwick so they are my blues.) Not just the result mattered to me but also my mental health and the dark places I’ve been. I missed half the penalty shoot out through being physically sick.
That night afterwards was elation and so was securing tickets to the final. That now brings on a whole new sense of anxiety as I work in the shadow of pride park with an office full of derby fans and I’m due to return to work the day after the play off.
This is going to be one hell of a long week to get to Monday but that’s the shining light at the end. The prospect of promotion is huge. I’ve enjoyed the championship and think it’s the most competitive league in the world and the place that we’ve found our villa again.
That being said, the lure of the premier league and all its riches and is great for a club like villa and we deserve our place at the top table. I know the outcome will affect my mental health greatly but would I change it, hell no.
I urge you all to watch the programme if you get chance and if you need help talk to someone. I’m always happy to listen and help along with many others so please reach out. And remember we’re Aston Villa, we’re on our way back.