p>There are a lot of negative aspects to suffering from long-term mental ill-health but I have found that there are a lot of positive aspects also. Without my fall into the ‘black pit of despair’, which occurred in my late 30’s, I would never have returned to the creative self that I was in my youth. For that I am deeply grateful. Not only has it meant that I have been able to go to art college and University and undertake three Research Artist posts since graduating in 2002, but it has meant that I have met a lot of wonderful, diverse and interesting people that have not only become friends but a source of inspiration as well. I hope that I have been able to give as much in return.