Watch: Man who tweeted ‘I am not OK’
A man who received an outpouring of well-wishing after tweeting “I am not OK” during the coronavirus pandemic has said people are “yearning for hope and good news”.
Edmund O’Leary, 51, from Epsom, Surrey, posted an update about his mental health on Twitter on Friday night that went viral.
In his tweet, which has been retweeted more than 14,000 times and has more than 298,000 likes, he wrote: “I am not ok. Feeling rock bottom.
“Please take a few seconds to say hello if you see this tweet. Thank you.”
Following his tweet, the father-of-two, who has been struggling to find employment during the pandemic, received goodwill messages from all over the world.
A number of Twitter users sent him their paintings and inspirational videos in response.
I am not ok. Feeling rock bottom. Please take a few seconds to say hello if you see this tweet. Thank you.
— Edmund O'Leary (@emerald1910) October 16, 2020
O’Leary has been out of work for 18 months after working as a mental-health adviser. He has been battling depression for more than a decade.
He said an “absolutely horrendous” year had taken its toll.
In an interview with ITV News on Sunday, he said: “People are yearning for hope, love and a bit of good news and I think my little tweet has turned into, I suppose, a good news story.”
Hi Edmund, you are not alone. So many people are feeling exactly that way at the minute. Never forget that you are loved & there are people who care about you. We see you like 747s; here’s one just for you, along with a picture of dawn in Dublin. Sending you hugs from back home. pic.twitter.com/x2TyI06uD7
— Dublin Airport (@DublinAirport) October 17, 2020
Hi Edmund, this is Humphrey. Well, I call him Humphrey. He lives alone a the field beside my house with no other donkey friends, so I speak to him every day as I’m worried he is sad and lonely. We all need someone to speak to. I hope you’re having a better day today. pic.twitter.com/LsaowcgcnT
— Pamela Houston (@pammy77) October 17, 2020
Wow, so so beautiful. Thank you. https://t.co/EbXibS66Cp
— Edmund O'Leary (@emerald1910) October 17, 2020
He added: “Suffering with depression during normal times is one thing but to end up suffering with depression during a global pandemic where there is very little good news is devastating.
“I’ve had people tweet from California. I've had people tweet from Canada.
“I’ve had tweets from Australia. One little boy said to his mummy: ‘I really feel for Edmund O'Leary and I want him to know he is loved.’”
In a separate interview with the Sunday Times, O’Leary explained why he posted his tweet.
“Most days are really rubbish, and yesterday was another day I was feeling really low. I thought: ‘I’m going to be honest.’
“I am shocked at the degree of the response. It has been phenomenal.
“This year has been absolutely horrendous. My mental health has really taken a battering. I live on my own, I'm divorced, I don't have much family support.”
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