I should have known. The last time the Heads Together Press Officer invited me to to an event I was ambushed by three royals
Of course, I am not blaming the decrease in exercise as the only reason for my depression and anxiety, but I believe it is one of the reasons. Alongside other methods aimed at keeping poor mental health at bay - such as diet, mindfulness and talking -- exercise is a tool in which I can control directly.
He battled a mental illness for 18 months before he brought it to an end in 2011. But despite how my dad's life ended, he was, and still remains, the most positive person I have ever known. Always upbeat, he loved to sing, crack jokes, act the fool. A sociable and out-going bloke with so many friends, a loving husband, dad and grandad. He was all the proof anyone needed that mental illness can happen to anyone.
That's what the London Marathon was saying to me on the start line - you and whose army? Like many other lycra clad dads at the start line, I felt vulnerable, underprepared and anxious. But after my royal hug I could say my army was Harry and the rest of the Heads Together team. They were backing me, and with them behind me I knew I'd succeed, chaffing or no chaffing.
Nobody hesitates for one moment about telling people they suffer from hay fever. They would never fear that they might be then seen as a lesser person, or somebody who 'can't cope', or that they will be judged as a fruit loop because they have asthma or arthritis.
Since childhood I have struggled with anxiety and depression, and it's only through talking with others about my difficulties that I have been able to feel better. My dad also has anxiety and depression, and we've both experienced stigma and misunderstanding about what we're going through.
It's important to go to your GP if we feel as though you're struggling with mental illness. But it's also important to remember that feeling is normal, feeling is okay. It's normal to feel sad, upset or low at times, especially if someone close to use has died.
When we look at our parents, we hope that we'll inherit the best of them - looks, personality, brains... but when that parent has a mental illness your expectations are rather diminished.
‘Into It' Podcast: Lady Gaga And Prince William Talk Mental Health, ‘Broadchurch' Finale And Is Damian Lewis ‘A Minority'?
In the latest episode of 'Into It', the team reflects on last week's 'Broadchurch' conclusion predictions (spoiler alert: no one is giving Hardy and Miller a run for the money any time soon), and compares the farewell episode to other hit shows' finales. Plus, in honour of Her Maj's 91st birthday, they're putting their knowledge of queens from the big and small screen to the test in the big quiz of the week.
After a long wait for the right level of treatment my son is taking small steps in the right direction. While he takes those steps, I've decided to take the approximately 52 thousand steps it takes to complete the London Marathon to raise money and awareness for YoungMinds and Heads Together. Life was a lot easier for me when I was 14, so I'm happy to sacrifice my knees to start a conversation about mental health.