Nicola Sturgeon said the past nine months have been the hardest of her life as she conceded public figures seldom reveal their personal vulnerabilities.
In her conference address to SNP members on Monday, Scotland’s first minister admitted to “dark days and sleepless nights” during the pandemic.
Her comments strike a similar tone to those made by Michelle Obama in August when the former US first lady referred to experiencing “low-grade depression” during the pandemic and in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
Sturgeon has previously said she has been “scunnered” by Covid-19, which hit Scotland in March.
More than 5,000 people are recorded as dying with confirmed or suspected coronavirus in Scotland since then.
Sturgeon said politicians “usually run a mile from admitting human frailty”.
She said: “I don’t mind saying that these last nine months have been the hardest of my life.
“I’ve had many dark days and sleepless nights, struggling with the horrendous choices the pandemic has forced upon us.
“At times I’ve felt completely overwhelmed – as I’m sure many of you have.
“I feel a deep sadness for the lives that have been lost. Not a single day passes that I don’t think of families who are grieving.”
Thank you @NicolaSturgeon for saying this. I know few people who have not suffered mentally, if not physically, through this pandemic and it's really important when those in power say it openly and honestly.
— Jane Merrick (@janemerrick23) November 30, 2020
A true leader admits to being human. A political culture is sick when this kind of statement is seen as either weak or unusual. https://t.co/VOJNyxWQGk
— Jonathan Lis (@jonlis1) November 30, 2020
While the first minister said she has “done my best to get these decisions as right as I can”, she admitted there have been mistakes and she takes that responsibility on her own shoulders.
“The responsibility for that is mine and mine alone,” she said.
“I feel it deeply and I...