“I have always suffered from a predisposition to depression. It was like the old friend, the constant companion, always a few paces behind or in front. There. I was never truly alone. It was always in the room, sitting on the edge of the bed, wanting to snuggle. . . . I appeared to be succeeding, inside I was drowning. . . . I felt that I was doing an amazing thing. People, including my family, told me that I was. But I never said the thing I thought I couldn’t say: that parenthood was too much for me to do on my own, that it was consuming me, that I sometimes felt trapped in it, that it sometimes felt like someone was sitting on my chest, and I couldn’t breathe. . . . I wasn’t healthy. I was lonely and alone. I drank too much. I lived my life like it was about to end. I was afraid to be alone with my pain, because in the quiet, it got loud. . . . Then, my brother’s death blew a hole in me and made me reconsider everything. What kind of life did I want to live? What kind of man—kind of person—did I want to be? Within a month, I changed everything. I stopped drinking. I learned to sit with myself, alone, and experience my emotions, and to deal with tough days, and even the exhilarating ones, head on. . . . And I have come to see things clearly again—things that seem so simple to me now, but that somehow I couldn’t see then: that life is a series of peaks and valleys, and it is a fool’s errand to try to flatten them out. That beauty is in the connections we make, to self, to family, to friends, to the earth. That we don’t judge the quality of a life by the volume at which we live it. That I deserve to be kind to myself.” Charles M. Blow
Moving From Head to Heart
*How do you measure whether you’re doing well? Is it your impact, a list of achievements, notoriety? Is your body telling you that something is wrong?
*Does your lived experience demonstrate that you also have learned Blow’s important, seemingly simple, but hard-earned lessons?
*Can you be alone? . . . accept daily peaks and valleys? . . . be kind to yourself? Are you making beautiful connections?
O God, save us from ourselves. Deliver us from all our “fool’s errands.”
For More: “Death Changed My Life” by Charles M. Blow
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