Depression is a flaw in chemistry, not in character
This week has been a hard one in that we heard the tragic news that a dear friend of the theater committed suicide. He was much loved, and his community of friends and family are reeling with the deep sense of grief and loss alongside guilt and anger, too. How did I miss it? How could he do that to us? What more could I have done? As someone who has struggled my entire life with depression and at times suicidal ideation, I know it is difficult to explain the broken circuitry in my brain that can make me feel dead inside, unable to even remember life-affirming emotions like joy and even sadness. Thankfully, getting older has helped along with the right medication. This is why I try to program fundraisers for mental health organizations when I can, and also support the creation of stories, poems, films, music, and plays of so many folks who are truly "tortured artists." I'm thankful that the Clinton is a space where these demons can be exorcized and the larger community educated about the mental health needs in our community.
Whenever I start my car, the computer console in the center of the dashboard lights up with an admonition about driving safely. I rarely read it word for word, but just that quick reminder imbues the truth that I am undertaking the serious business of navigating a 3500 pound weapon on streets with teenagers playing basketball, dads pushing strollers, grandmas walking curly-haired fox terriers. For a time at least, I start my drive with more consciousness and thought.
Wouldn't it be great if we could be given the same kind of warning every morning when we wake up? Let's start off each day with these simple instructions, "every interaction matters; so be kind and love one another."