As I walked back from the shops with my seven-year-old an hour or two ago, I took a moment to think about how lucky I am.
Two children, a growing business, a new house and a book nominated for two prizes.
It doesn’t get much better.
My daughter was going through a list of animals to see if there was one I could consider getting her as a pet.
Despite the grey, blustery Stockholm weather, I wouldn’t have swapped places with anyone else in the world at that moment.
Shortly afterwards, the news of the death of former Newcastle and Wales midfielder Gary Speed hit me like a punch in the stomach.
I met him briefly in Dublin once. He was different to most other footballers- self-assured but not arrogant, confident but not cocky. Intelligent, well-spoken, a gentleman.
There is nothing gentle about depression or suicide.
Depression doesn’t care about your skill, or your money, or how many medals you have.
Depression is not a passive lying-down in the face of the challenges of life.
It is a battle, a struggle. Sometimes it is a fight to the bitter end. Sometimes it doesn’t end well.
Just before I moved to Sweden a team-mate of mine took his own life. Few things have affected me as much as that did – he was a young man, a superb footballer with a beautiful young son. But none of this mattered in the end.
Aside for the grief and memories of his family and friends, all that is left is a fair play trophy named after him- ironic given that he was known as the hardest tackler on our team.
The coming days will see much written about what a great player Gary Speed was for his clubs and his country. Much will be written about depression and suicide, and a lot of it will be nonsense.
If you haven’t suffered it, you will find it hard to imagine just how suffocating and crushing it can be. It is not an illness that can be cured by simply talking to someone, or going for a walk or “copping yourself on”. It’s a lot more complex than that.
But one thing that is certain is that there are organisations who do great work in helping people who are depressed or suicidal. The likes of the Samaritans and Pieta House have a proven track record of helping people who suffer from depression to find a light in the darkness. They are deserving of your support.
As Swansea played at home to Aston Villa today, the minute’s silence was interrupted by spontaneous applause and the chant of “there’s only one Gary Speed”. It was a far more fitting tribute to a man whose goals and tackles often brought the crowds to their feet.
But it is a tragedy for the man, his family and for football that his undoubted skill and courage on the field wasn’t enough to help him defeat depression off it.
Rest in peace Gary. You were a great champion, and you will be missed.
Suicide won’t solve your problems, or make people love or respect you more.
Call the Samaritans or visit http://www.samaritans.org and get help. There is an answer, but suicide is not it.