“That was so important because that helped them understand me and how my mind was working. And I think the way the therapy helped me was that I didn’t need my family to say, ‘What can we do?’ The only thing they could do was just come to some of the therapy sessions to start to understand,” he confessed to The Telegraph.
James - who was diagnosed with depression, attention deficit disorder (ADD) and dyslexia - says he's “conscious that I have not got rid” of his mental illness, he's “very pleased that I went through it, because of who I am on the other side.”
“It was a dark and miserable place to be, but the fact is there is hope at the end. It requires effort and energy, but the other side is… the grass can be greener than it was before,” he added. “For me, now, there’s a feeling that I can take on anything, in the nicest possible way. Not in a [combative] way. Because if I can talk about my mental health and the things I am passionate about and the way I truly feel… well then I’m not pretending to be anyone. This is who I am.”
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Now an ambassador for the charity 'Pets As Therapy', James also credited his pets for providing him with emotional support.
“I recognize, too, the role my dogs — Ella, Inca, Luna, Zulu and Mabel — have played in my recovery,” he wrote in an op-ed for the Daily Mail earlier this year.
“Ella, particularly, has been my constant companion for ten years and she’s been with me to all my therapy sessions. In her own particular way, she has kept me going,” he added.
“As a result, Ella and I now volunteer with the Pets As Therapy charity and Ella is a fully-fledged therapy dog for PAT.”