Gains of losing

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I want to commend Fiona McCade on her article, “A winning lesson in how to lose” (Perspective, 27 June).

It was succinctly and eloquently written, with a real human touch.

It resonated with me on two levels: first, as a Star Trek aficionado, and second, more importantly, as someone who has experienced failure of an extreme kind.

I was hospitalised for more than one year with severe depression. The process of recovery only started when I began to embrace and acquire skills which I didn’t know I was capable of.

In addition, I had to force a radical shift in my perspective on the outside world, and on the way I responded to and treated other people.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), although taught by professionals, is something only the patient can do, and only worked when I bent and broke the rules by which I had lived for so long.

I’m still learning all the time and the best way I can stay well is to constantly challenge myself and develop new skills in every aspect of my life.

Echoing Fiona’s view of the qualities that losing fosters, I can confidently say that admitting I couldn’t carry on any more was one of the most life-affirming things I have ever done.

Her piece was positively inspirational and I would add to it by saying that the time when you learn fastest is when your back’s truly up against the wall.

(Dr) A Mirakhur

Falcon Road

Edinburgh

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