I have a very special pal who this song will always remind me of.
Many a drunken night has been spent singing this song, whilst getting tipsy and wearing the classiest of red wine smudges all over our lips.

The funny thing is, I have no idea how we came to share the love of this song. I suspect we discovered the enjoyment of singing the “Supapappaaa, Trooopapapppaaa” backing bit, again, after too many wines. However, it’s actually turned out to become a very apt song to symbolise our friendship.
The lyrics almost sum up the sentiment of our friendship to me now.

Super Trouper beams are gonna blind me
But I won’t feel blue
Like I always do
‘Cause somewhere in the crowd there’s you

My friend and I are similar in many ways and have both had periods of being prone to sensitivity, anxiety perhaps and occasional bouts of darker days. Depression is a bold word and I have never sought help from a Doctor so I won’t label it “depressed” per se but I can certainly empathise with those who find it hard to feel light and happy, as opposed to those who are largely carefree. You know, those that can roll with the punches or stroll through life with a smile – ahhh, the lucky bastards!

Yet when you are feeling a little blue and have a friend who is willing to help share the load, even the darkest of days feel slightly brighter. My friend and I have always been there to support each other on those days where you can’t help but cry, moan and generally say that you are finding life a little difficult. Not many people can empathise and be there are on multiple occasions to try and listen and help counsel.
We’ve counselled each other through the very sad end of relationships, a horrific death and through aspects of life we have both found challenging. She really has been my Super Trooper and never failed to answer her phone or email on days where she may well have been thinking “I can’t be arsed with this today”.

1:4 people suffer from depression. As Ruby Wax says, that’s more people than have dandruff.
Women are also more likely to suffer. Why is difficult to be exact. Hormones and our ability to admit our feelings, good or bad, is probably why.

The main purpose of my article however, is not to dwell on why or how depression occurs. I can’t tell you that.

Instead I am here to praise all of the Super Troopers. Anyone who doesn’t find life bright, breezy and easy. Those who have struggled to overcome symptoms of self-doubt, negative thinking, low self-esteem, anxiety, and the inability to hold regular sleep patterns.

As with any illness, there are shades of grey and not everyone prone to feeling low is necessarily clinically depressed or suicidal. Some of us just feel a bit “blah” when it comes to certain aspects of life. A little more, “what’s the point”? A LOT more “is this really all there is”?

Yet if we put some of this negativity to one side, in my limited experience, I feel that all of those who have felt blue, are often pretty amazing people.
They make brilliant friends and are usually the most fascinating people to get stuck into a deep and meaningful with.
Super Trooper, my Pal living Down Under and my part- Greek, part- German Ex, you are included in this.

So in an attempt to find cheeriness and inspiration in every day life, even in depressing circumstances, there is a silver lining.

Here are my top 5 reasons, that all Super -Troopers should love themselves.

1) We as a breed are more creative.
Creative types tend to ruminate on their feelings more and are very analytical.
According to http://creativesomething.net – depression is a psychological desire to be better, be stronger, to reflect on where we have made mistakes and to find new ways to improve ourselves overall. After a depressive state, it’s usually followed by a motivational boost, and there are higher rises of this in creative types. We think, we analyse, we conquer. Then usually come back down to earth with a bang as we think the conquering could have been handled better. Creative slash perfectionist, add that to your ‘depressed’ or ‘loser’ self-labelled tag.

2) We usually care less about what people think.
We really invest our time into those that we really care about and happily accept we won’t be liked by everyone, in a way that is liberating.

3) Laughter
My personal favourite.
Everyone knows that there has been a high incidence of Comedians with depression or anxiety disorders.
Caroline Ahern (Mrs Merton is my hero), Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan, Ruby Wax … the list could go on.
Those who have been low, love to laugh because we feel so sharply and see so sharply the contrasts of happy and sad. We really know the difference between love and pain.
There is always humour, even in the darkest of times. In fact laughing in the face of blackness, is often some of the most amusing forms of comedy. Only when you’ve felt what it like to be face down in a personal crises, are you allowed to make sensitive fun of it.

4) Compassionate and thoughtful.
Because we have felt low, we recognise the signs in others. If we can feel and sense that someone is having an off-week, we are more likely to be the friend that sends an unexpected text of moral support or pop a card in the post.
When you’ve done something monumental, like achieved something you never thought you would, or invested in a new project, we will be the ones on the side-lines to cheer you on. We appreciate achievements in the face of adversity.

5) Appreciate the little things.
People who haven’t suffered from low-ness, often say “You have so much to be grateful for”.
We do know this, and we are not ungrateful.
It’s just that the heaviness of the load sometimes means we are waiting for something of lightning bolt proportions to laser the load away.
We do however, have huge appreciation for the little things in life, even if the happier clan, don’t notice.
Like the Wombles, we see the things the every day folk leave behind. We probably notice the vividness of colours more or spot amazing acts of kindness, even as we sit on the bus or work out in the gym.
Even if that act of kindness is something as subtle as a boyfriend glancing at his girlfriend like she’s the Queen of the world. We see it and it makes us smile.

So depression can sometimes, cause great things to happen and can come from great people.
Read this from Caitlin Moran:
http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/your-stories/letter-to-the-dark-place
I especially love this paragraph:

WE FEEL MORE OF THE WORLD THAN MOST PEOPLE. That’s amazing. That is why we end up in the Dark Place – but it is also why we cry with joy when we listen to David Bowie and are obsessed with the moon.

My Super Trooper had an 18 month struggle to get pregnant. After 18 months of throwing negative pregnancy sticks in the bin, watching friend by friend announce they were pregnant AND living as much of a healthy, vegetarian lifestyle a previous carnivore can handle, Doctors said she should go for IVF.
With a pragmatic yet not overly optimistic attitude she made the appointment for the first stage, almost a year ago to this day.

At my wedding we had asked all guests to RSVP with a song that would guarantee to get them up dancing.
ST obviously asked for “our song”. I was merry and in heaven and have vague memories of us dancing together. She sat me down after to tell me she was pregnant. She found out the day she was due to have the first IVF appointment.

I think I was so happy anyway that day, this was the utter icing on the cake and I was completely dumbfounded. Blind-sided by happiness. The pain before made this moment all the more magical. Seriously, like miracle and godly levels of magic!

You see this is the thing with Super Troopers. We may be ‘blah’, sometimes low and annoying overly analytical but we never give up. In the face of difficulty, we don’t all give up on happiness.
We are often the shining lights for other’s, even if we can’t always find the light for ourselves! So Go S-UPA-PA TROO-PAPA’s!