Everton's Aaron Lennon would have expected the last few months of the Premier League season to be extremely testing and they certainly have been for the Toffeemen to a certain degree, but for Lennon, experiences off the field rather than on it have proved the most exhausting.
As we all embraced the beginning of a new year, the pacey winger gave an emotional and heartfelt message to those that have supported him on his journey to recovery from mental illness.
The Blues' star is now firmly back in the thick of first team action and showing tremendous form since his return after he got sectioned under the Mental Health Act last May. The England star was diagnosed with a stress-related illness and sought help with experts at the Priory Hospital in his fight to get his life back on track.The 30-year-old posted on his official Twitter account his thoughts, appreciation to those that have helped him and guidance for those that might be experiencing similar symptoms:
Mental Health seems to be an enigma that in the past was very much a taboo subject, best avoided than tackled. Although you can not see it physically, it is an illness that is debilitating and emotionally exhausting which can affect people in all walks of society.
The overall number of people suffering with mental health problems has not changed significantly in recent years, but worries about things like money, jobs, family and friends can make it harder for people to cope.
In fact, one in four of us will experience a mental health problem each year. Therefore, it is reassuring, that Lennon and many others feel compelled to bringing the attention of the illness more into the public domain. This can only help in the long term to create awareness and develop support networks as it is on-going battle.
Be thankful for all the struggles you go through. They make you stronger, wiser and humble. Don't let it break you. Let it make you.— Inspirational Quotes (@InspowerMinds) January 1, 2018
Lennon's journey began as he had not played for three months before he found himself sectioned after a stand off with police, but his recovery is one to be immensely proud of. Hopefully, it can serve as an inspiration to those that are going through similar experiences in their personal life to aid them on their steps to recovery.
This season, the England international has made 17 appearances for the Toffess and is now a major part of Sam Allardyce's plans at Goodison Park - fingers crossed this is going to be a great year for Aaron Lennon both on and off the field!!