A special gift!

BruceNo, I am not talking about the book as such, although it is one of the best presents I have ever given myself.

But even better are the few paragraphs on pages 454 and 455, where Bruce speaks about his struggle with dark moods and depression. By speaking about it, he acknowledges the ongoing battle of so many depression fighters. So many of us are still ashamed of it and find it very hard to admit that we struggle. But here is this brilliant, rich and famous man – and he admits to being in therapy for many years, to being on antidepressants, to being unable to stay completely out of the claws of depression. Then surely the rest of us can do it, too?

“You go through periods of being good, then something stimulates it. The clock, some memory. You never know. The mind wants to link all your feelings to a cause. I’m feeling that because I’m doing this, or because that happened.”

Eventually Bruce realized that his worst moods had nothing to do with what was actually taking place in his life … “You’re going along fine, and then boom, it hits you. Things that just come from way down in the well. Completely noncausal, but it’s part of your DNA, part of the way your body cycles.”

Not long after the end of The Rising tour in 2003 Bruce started taking antidepressants. Within days he felt like a shroud had been lifted from his shoulders …

And yet Bruce knows his particular brain chemistry will never leave him completely in the clear. “You manage it, you learn and evolve, but another recognition you gotta have is that these are the cards you were dealt,” he says. “These things are never going to be out of your life. You gotta be constantly vigilant and realistic about these things.”

For me this is a wonderful affirmation of the things about myself and about depression I have learned through the years. Accept it, but don’t ever stop fighting it. Take some medication if you need it. You can manage this thing. You can work, you can be creative, you can live a full life.

You don’t ever have to give up.

One thought on “A special gift!

  1. I read the section about creating the album Nebraska. It was great info about his part in creating it, but unfortunately the author didn’t know much about the original Starkweather/Fugate case. He got a lot of facts wrong about it, but I suppose since it’s not a book about that, and there’s a lot of misinformation about that story, it’s understandable.

    The reason I know about this is my own book, Pro Bono – The 18-Year Defense of Caril Ann Fugate, is about that case, and has a whole chapter dedicated to how it influenced musicians, filmmakers, writers, etc. There’s one story about Bruce in particular that’s adorable that I’d love to tell you here.

    He was inspired by Ninette Beaver’s book Nebraska. After releasing the album, he held a concert in Nebraska specifically so Ninette would come. He had his secretary contact her. Ninette didn’t know who Bruce was, so when his secretary said, “The Boss would like to speak to you,” Ninette said, “Who’s boss?” The secretary said “THE Boss.” Ninette said, “I don’t have a boss,” and hung up the phone. Bruce called her personally then and told her who he was. She didn’t really know him as she was a fan of big band music, so he sent her all his albums. He called her later and asked what she thought, and she told him she was still more of a Glenn Miller fan.

    He sent her tickets to his show and she gave them away. He sent more and begged her to come, so she did. At the concert, he had the spotlight put on her and told everyone they should read her book. Afterward, they all met backstage and had a nice long conversation together.

    I have more information about that story and the case in general in my book. I’d love to present it here if you’re interested. You can see a video about it using Bruce’s music Nebraska at:

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