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  • Writer's pictureMike Douglas

I understand, but you're an inspiration to me

I am currently sat in a pub listening to live music and reading a few blog posts. I have just come across Doris' post (Angela to some of you) about not being an inspiration. There are some really interesting and quite important points in her post. Especially in regards to only being seen as 'inspirational' when you are in or have completed your recovery from a mental health illness. I recommend you read her post. While I agree with much of what Doris / Angela said, I really wanted to offer my view on someone I do consider inspirational. Whether it's mental health, periods, sexuality, gender or anyone of a range of topics, I find it inspiring to see / hear a few of my friends talk about topics society often avoids.

As someone with a mental health illness, I take inspiration in being able to read Doris' posts talking about a serious topic. Be that recovery, a spiral, a success or a struggle. Seeing someone create a platform for others to meet, discuss, debate, support and share successes is inspiring in my book. So big up Doris for #MHChatHour and Angela says. Which is focussed on US, not the illnesses. Its OUR experiences and OUR thoughts. Do these things relate to mental health? Yes. If they didn't, I probably wouldn't know about them. But would that make them less inspiring? No!

Doris would just be being appreciated by someone other than me. Maybe someone that loves books, or travel, or dresses... I don't know. But you get the idea. Doris / Angela does all this at an age when I couldn't talk in front of more than 10 people. So I, personally, find her ability to talk to people, and to write, inspirational. While I was at university I thought about doing a year aboard, but I wasn't confident enough to look into it properly. Angela is currently on her year aboard, exploring the world in a way I was too scared to. Again she is my inspiration. Who remembers my car singing videos? Hopefully no one! Well Angela has posted herself singing, she's also written a flipping book! Double inspirational points! Just to make a point, to me these are not mental health related. They are achievements and inspirations all by theirselfs.

I repeat, a book! This is a short post to say, while I understand, acknowledge and agree with Angela about not always feeling or being an inspiration, and maybe not wanting to be one sometimes. I wanted to let you know, you are an inspiration to me. Yes, partly because of your successes with your mental health, but(!!) definitely not only or even mainly because of this.

I don't think you do what you do to be an inspiration, but that doesn't mean your not.

I don't like you because you have a mental illness, I like you because your Doris.

I love you Doris

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