My younger brother Daniel is 25 years old. I’ve always bragged about how gorgeous yet modest, talented but humble he is. Dan’s the most thoughtful, kind, considerate and generally fantastic young man I’ve ever met. He cooks, cleans, dresses well, doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink – the ultimate SNAG, and I am so proud to be his big sister.
He has travelled the world solo twice, mentored kids, won the Pan-Paciﬁc Championships for the sport he loves, and started his own business. Dan is idolised by his students, adored by his girlfriend and cherished by his family and friends.
Dan told me this February that he thought something was wrong with him. He was incomprehensibly upset – it didn’t make sense to him or me. He’s young, ﬁt, strong, intelligent, grounded and surrounded by love. I didn’t understand that none of that matters when you’re depressed.
Dan did all the right things to try to get himself better. He took the medication he was prescribed, attended the appointments, read books to understand more about the mind. After reading The Art of Happiness several times over, he went to see the Dalai Lama with the hope to broaden his already mature wisdom, knowledge and insight.
I did everything I could to be there for him – my partner Ruth and I attended his gym two nights a week, had him over for dinner, hung out with him when he was lonely. For those 6 months I got up to 10 calls a day from Dan, when he’d often have nothing to say, and just cry. He’d call Ruth at 3am unable to sleep and desperately sad. He really leaned on us, and although we tried to hide the toll it took, I worry he felt like a burden. It broke me to see Dan hurt so much despite our tirelessness.