By Chia Xun An
First published in Issue 1 2016 of The Rainbow Connection
Along with all the professional success Rowling has seen, there is another aspect of her life in which she has seen success, again and again- that of fighting against clinical depression, winning, and telling others it can be done.
Author J.K. Rowling is famous throughout the world as the person who brought us the magical world of wizards and witches locked in an epic struggle of good versus evil- much of which revolves around a young bespectacled wizard and his two friends.
The Harry Potter series has transformed the world. Not only is it a literary and commercial success, it has also gone on to impact and shape aspects of modern culture – Platform 9 ¾ at London’s King’s Cross station is now a real place!
Not an easy journey
Before the success of Harry Potter, Rowling was an aspiring writer who had seen a few bumps in life- as a divorced single mother surviving on welfare, Rowling was diagnosed with clinical depression and had contemplated suicide. However, despite her situation, she bravely pressed on, sending her manuscript to various publishers before one finally decided to publish her work.
And then Harry Potter made history.
Success, however, did not mark the end of Rowling’s struggles with mental health. In fact, the unprecedented success brought about new pressures and challenges, and she sought therapy in order to adapt to the changes.
“I have never been remotely ashamed of having been depressed. Never. What’s to be ashamed of? I went through a really rough time and I am quite proud that I got out of that”, says author J. K. Rowling.
But through it all, Rowling was never afraid to admit that she had had too much on her plate, and that when she needed help, she sought it.
In addition to what she does now, Rowling is also a vocal advocate of mental health, speaking publicly about her own journey, inspiring, and encouraging others who face similar issues.
Her stand on depression is one of strength, resilience, and openness to face both the good and bad.
Taking inspiration from J.K. Rowling, I shall end the article with the following:
Let us all strive not to be ashamed when the going gets tough-and that sometimes if the burden is too much to bear, it is actually okay to seek help.
Let us also be proud of overcoming our struggles, big or small; and for those who face challenges now, let us be proud of fighting and living each day, no matter how tough it can be.
For in choosing to overcome challenges, the battle is already being won.