One autumn morning in 2005, I dropped my kids off at preschool and immediately broke down in tears.
Pushing an empty double stroller down a few houses to avoid the other preschool moms, I dialed up the number of my writing (and life) mentor and dear friend, Mike Leach.
I stayed there, on the sidewalk, as he talked me through this panic attack as he had so many others.
Mike was in the middle of the book “Lincoln’s Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness” by Joshua Wolf Shenk. He told me all about it, how Lincoln was suicidal at a point in his life, and how relied on humor, friends, and a purpose to channel his depression into a greater cause.
I’ll always remember that conversation, because I was completely out of hope at that point, just out of the hospital and wondering if I ever would get my appetite back again, or if that horrible knot in my stomach was here for good. Mike’s words—and the description of Lincoln’s journey—made me feel less pathetic for melting down two houses away from preschool.