Maybe the saddest thing I've ever read

black dog.jpg

 

This article broke my heart.

Please read it yourself:
https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2018/06/23/diary/ep6tAOTtMVVLYCBYx0o9GJ/story.html
 

There are three reasons it impacted me so strongly.

1. As a father, it’s terrifying.

Am I doing everything I can to build relationships with my kids that can bear the weight of honesty? Do they trust me enough to tell me their darkness? I don’t know. I need to work harder to earn their trust. So I need to give them more time.

2. I know how she felt.

Winston Churchill called his depression, “the black dog.” I had my own black dog as a teenager. If you were to read my journals from all those years ago, you’d see a lot of the same words of hopelessness, self-hatred, darkness. I made it through, but I don’t know why or how.

And if I’m honest, that black dog has never really left me, even at my age. I know it’s always out there, lurking. I respect it, so I’ve learned to leave it be. I work really hard to look for hope and light in the world, even if it’s like thinking and speaking in a different language.

3. Others feel this way.

It’s been said we never really know what anyone else is going through. We look at others through a lens of self-preservation. I wonder, am I able to drop that lens? Is it possible for me to get beyond my own self-centeredness, my own insecurity? In my interactions, I want to do more than just take for me. I want to give others something, just for them.

When I finished the last sentence of the article, I sat down and wrote an email to someone I love. I want that person to know it’s normal to struggle in life, that I struggle too, and that I am here.

That article was the saddest thing I’ve read in a very long time. I thank the grieving parents for their gift.

I must work harder at looking for that black dog in others’ lives. Because it kills.


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