Gentle reader: Has there ever been a moment in your life when you realised that you had stepped into a new world? That everything had changed?

As the sun rises, the transition from night to day begins. The newly illuminated world in which you find yourself is the same world as yesterday. Yet it feels fundamentally different. Everything has begun again. All around you is refreshed.

Looking back, I feel as if I spent most of last year struggling through the darkness. Trying to put one foot in front of the next, hoping that I was moving in a more positive direction.

It was a chaotic, challenging year for me. Many aspects of my life were turned on their head. I was diagnosed with mixed anxiety and depressive disorder (and so began an unexpected mental health journey*). I had to make radical changes to my diet, following a pre-diabetic reading in a blood test.

At times, things felt so dark that I could see only a step or so ahead of me. Finding myself in uncharted territory, I felt I had no choice but to keep going. I would not have been able to make it through without the help of some beautiful souls who went out of their way to offer me their wisdom, sympathy and moral support. I am humbled that I was able to thank so many of those beautiful souls in person at a lunch in London early last month to mark my turning 50.

At some point in any and every night, the first signs of light will start to appear. The sun will slice through the darkness, bringing light and colour back to the world. No matter how long you might seem to be stuck where there is no light. No matter how dark the night, the sun will eventually rise again.

Eventually, the light felt as if it was finally returning. As the darkness began to lift, the world around me looked unlike the one I had known before. As different as day following night, as spring following winter.

This new world is different. But it is not to be feared.

Creative destruction?


From the vantage point of April 2023, I wonder if the experience of last year was one of so-called “creative destruction”. One by one, so many aspects of my life as it was unravelled and collapsed.

In the midst of what felt like constant chaos and darkness, I had to make many adaptations – big and small – to my life just to get through the week, or even the day.

One by one, these small adaptations to a life create their own momentum. I may have been unaware at the time, but I can now look back on last year as a time of seismic change in my life. Change to an extent that I would always have feared. Facing my fears and doing what needed to be done.

The pieces start to fall back into place


There comes a point in any process of change when the hardest part is (touch wood over). There is a moment of transition, when the pieces start to fall back into place. When chaos and uncertainty give way to the new way of the world.

With the difficult stuff (possibly) behind me, I am doing my best to put my best foot forward into whatever it might be that today and tomorrow hold in store.

So much feels different now. So much is different now. My mental and physical health both seem to be improving (albeit in fits and starts – my progress never seems to go in just one direction). I have also now entered a new phase of my working life. You can read more about this on my LinkedIn page, should you feel that way inclined.

A year on from the point at which my life felt like it was falling to pieces, everything looks different. At the start of this new decade in my life, I feel nothing but humility and gratitude to be here. The new way of the world is starting to reveal itself. Things now feel transitional. I cannot wait to see what comes next.

My friend Rachael Heenan wrote something lovely in the birthday card she kindly gave me on the occasion of my turning 50:

“It takes courage to get through it all. But when you do, the possibilities are endless!”

Has there ever been a moment in your life when you realised that you had stepped into a new world? That everything had changed (I hope for the better)? Can you remember the exact point of transition, from one stage in your life to the next? I would love to hear from you. Please tweet me, or post a comment below.

May you be nothing but kind today, to others and to yourself.

May today be nothing but kind to you and yours.


  • Mental health (NHS) Information and support for your mental health from the NHS.
  • Information and support (Mind) Resources from Mind, the UK mental health charity.
  • NAMI Homefront (NAMI) Online resources from US charity NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness).
  • SANE Australia Visit the site of this “national mental health charity making a real difference in the lives of people affected by complex mental health issues”.


* I  have written about my ongoing mental health journey in the following posts: Into the infinity of thoughtsRenewal; and No words?Mental health first responseGlorifyIn our darkest hours; and At the heart of thingsNo feeling is finalRelax harder.; and Anxiety: Your own worst enemyAll these moments; and Mental health: Six things I’ve learnt in 2022Coping?The sun will return; Gratitude.; and Mental health: Night and day.


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