Depression is both a selfish and selfless illness.
A never ending pit you’re desperately trying to climb out of without pulling anyone else in with you.
It’s a taboo subject. Rarely spoken about because of the stigma attached to having a mental illness.
As a Formula 1 fan, I was only made aware of The Inner Ninja Foundation when an interview with Daniel Ricciardo, notorious smiler and world’s fastest honey badger, became a supporter of the foundation.
I was amazed by how open and honest his interview with Fox was, stating that his ‘eyes had been opened’ and he had a ‘new understanding’ for depression and other mental illnesses.
Ricciardo became an ambassador for The Inner Ninja Foundation due to both his relationship with Caminiti *both are lifelong friends* and his belief that mental health wellbeing is a ‘fundamental aspect of keeping racing fit, successful and being able to tackle every day life’.
The Inner Ninja Foundation may be an Australian based support foundation but the principles are universal for both those suffering from mental illness as well as those who support those suffering.
It’s hard, near impossible, to see how those who love and try to support you are being effected by your struggle.
I asked some of my friends and family for their experiences of dealing with my depression.
‘I stay awake at night, worrying about you. I never know if you’re lying about being alright or if you’re fine. I feel sick with worry that one day I’m going to get a phone call saying you’re back in hospital. The worst thing I’ve ever done is leave you in hospital by yourself’ – a phrase I’ve heard my mother say many times. A regret she’s had since the day I attempted to kill myself at 16 *I have never held it against her*
My best friend will always be the one that has endured the worst; the mood swings, isolation, the razor blade to the wrist, sobbing until I can’t breathe.
I have never once asked any of my friends or loved ones how it’s affected their lives and, for that, I am truly sorry.
It takes strength to battle mental illness publicly or privately like Stefani Caminiti but it also takes strength to support those battling their demons, if you are educated about the illness or not.
Release your Inner Ninja and fight your demons or help those around you fight them. Everyone has their own Inner Ninja!
Live. Breathe. Embrace.