Pulling yourself out of a deep hole involves more than just a decision to do it. Pulling yourself out of a depression is many times harder, and more complicated. There was certainly more to it than that one moment, even if for me that one moment sparked the beginning of my climb. I had a son who loved me, a wife who’d given up her job to take care of me, a mother-in-law who was acting as a night nurse. I had an army of friends who came by whenever they could. I had others still in combat who were all pulling for me. All of those things played in the background of that spark Evelyn ignited that day. My faith certainly helped, as did the lessons and examples my parents had given me. One other thing, one other spark, ended up driving me, pulling me out of that metaphorical blackness. At some point in October, not too long after Evelyn scolded me, I found myself between one of my doctors, Dr. Fick, and a nurse, Hannah. They started talking about the Marine Corps Marathon. I sat listening as they talked about the race and the experience. You know, I used to run. I used to enjoy it. The next time Dr. Fick came into the room, I interrupted his examination. "Hey, Doc, I heard you talking about the Marine Corps Marathon. You run?” “Yup,” he said. “Can anybody run?” “As far as I know.” “I’m going to run in it next year. You think I can?” “Yeah, you can do it,” he said, going back to the exam. Undoubtedly he thought I was on drugs. Well, I was on drugs. But I was as clear-headed as I’d ever been in my life.
I could barely get out of bed, let alone walk, but in one year I was going to run a marathon. Blind.