Mending a Broken Heart

I have been doing a lot of thinking. Sometimes I’ve needed to keep very busy to avoid thinking, but the thoughts move around on their in the background and eventually push themselves to the front. Like a sliver in your finger. Takes time. Lots of time.

I used to tell a story to my students about posture and self-confidence; about how you can change your mood and your self-image simply by changing your posture. Walk like you are confident and eventually you will start to feel confident,” I would say. “If you don’t feel confident, then pretend to feel confident; hold a confident posture.” So much power we have over ourselves. So much power the mind has over the body.

Today as I walked through the woods with Samson, the thought pushed itself forward that it can work both ways. Events can happen to you that cause your brain chemistry to change so drastically that you become physically ill, causing PTSD, or major depression – what they used to call a nervous breakdown – a term I actually prefer.

The heart is indeed a fragile thing. Fragile and resilient at the same time. But it can break. And it does mend. I’ve been thinking, and it seems too much of a coincidence that the depths of the depression followed on the heels of heartbreaking events in my personal life last Fall.

The beautiful song “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” has been playing in my head. Poor Andy Gibb. Andy suffered bouts of depression most of his life. In the last year of his life he went through a severe depression caused by a broken heart from his break up with the love of his life, Victoria Principal. He died in March, 1988 from myocarditis, a virus that attacked his heart. He was only 30 years old.

How can you mend a broken heart? How can you recover from depression? Time. Time and the guts to move forward. Andy knew it, and so do I.

Here’s to you, Andy.

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