A birthday is always a wonderful opportunity to celebrate a person. Today my lovely bloke, Tom Brown, is officially a bit older. I am therefore taking this opportunity to embarrassing him in public a smidge by singing his praises.
I first met Tom through a publishing house, something like ten years ago. We were put together for him to do me a book cover – and while that didn’t happen for various reasons, we got talking and never stopped being interested in what each other had to say. We’ve faced many trials and challenges since then, survived some tough times apart, and some hard times together, and pulled through, hanging on to each other all the way.
Tom’s history has some painful stuff in it, which he shared the gist of here – https://druidlife.wordpress.com/2012/09/10/guest-blog-after-the-asylum/ But he’s managed to come back from some decidedly difficult things. Not only that, but he’s done so without becoming cynical, jaded, or otherwise on a downer about humanity and the world. Tom’s wilful optimism is an ongoing source of inspiration to me. His line, ‘we will have our revenge by being far better people’ has carried me through quite a few things now.
I wouldn’t be here without him. I would not have survived the ravages of serious depression. I probably wouldn’t have found the courage to get out of the situation that made me so ill in the first place. His belief in me kept me going when I had no belief. His courage and generosity held me together. And alongside that he’s taken his own intense journey from being a hermit and a bit of a lost soul, towards social confidence and a Penguin contract. It’s been quite something to see.
I am immensely proud of him, and profoundly grateful that he has chosen to share his life with me. Here’s to many more years.