I get it now dad. I get it.

Thursday June 11, 2015

My dad's book collection consists almost entirely of all things wartime. Fiction, non-fiction, documentary-he devoured it all.

On the rare occasions my dad would find himself home alone for an evening, an Indian takeaway, a couple of beers and Schindler's List (the movie), accompanied by a few clean, cotton handkerchiefs, was not far from a perfectly spent night for him.

I never really understood. Why seek out such sad and tragic reading/viewing matter? Is life not stressful and sad enough without reading the diaries of someone who lived through a holocaust?

So, any fatherly invites to imbibe in a few beers and to join him in watching all the human despair and misery of say, The Killing Fields, was met with a gruff, "Huh, I don't think so dad!"

Almost 7 years on from his death, however, I think I understand now why he was drawn to all that suffering and sadness. He wasn't revelling in the melancholic. I see now that he found inspiration from the stories of those who had endured the unendurable; who had borne the unbearable, and yet survived to tell the tale with dignity and grace.

(I'd wager too that dad was drawn to humans who had suffered much because he knew that there was often an inner richness to souls touched by sadness.)

We can't pigeon-hole human distress or pain. Indeed, one of my (many) pet-peeves (and disbeliefs) surrounding depression or anxiety is that someone could actually say, 'There is always someone worse off.' Or, 'Look on the bright side!' when, in all likelihood, the depressed/anxious person would do (and probably has done) anything and everything in their power to just feel halfway normal. So yes, suffering is all relative, I know.

But working my way through (I have to pick my moments, mind) dad's collection of books on the World Wars, the Cambodian Holocaust and other dark times, I do begin to find the inspiration that my dad did. If people can survive such harrowing times then I can survive whatever life may throw at me - including the very real isolation and horror of depression and anxiety.

Maybe this is what he was trying to impress upon me.

I wish I could tell him. I wish I could say to him, "Ah, I get it now dad. I get it."

A Moodscope member.


Comments are viewable only by members. Register Now to participate in the discussion.

Already have an account? Login to leave a comment.

There are 8 comments so far.

What is Moodscope?

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. If you’d like to receive these daily posts by email, just sign up to Moodscope now, completely free of charge.

Moodscope is an innovative way for people to treat their own low mood problems using an engaging online tool. Anyone in the world can accurately assess and track daily mood scores over a period of time. We have proved that the very act of measuring, tracking and sharing mood can actually lift it. Join now.

Blog Archive


Posts and comments on the Moodscope blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice. Moodscope makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this blog or found by following any of the links.

Moodscope will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.