Shortcut back to  Christopher Clark's biography # Chris Clark's success story:
recovering from depression

# Christopher Clark mentions, in his honest and personal biography, that several times in his life he suffered from clinical depression. He relates how inventing and crafting his boardgames has given him a new lifeline toward recovery. Here he recounts a wonderful success story. We hope you'll find it as touching and inspiring as we did.

Christopher Clark writes:

There's something that you might find interesting, and so I would like to share it with you. It is a personal victory for me and happened on June 29, 2001.

At work we had the 2nd annual "Employee Appreciation Day." We set up tables and chairs in the parking lot. Barbecued meat along with salad and beans was our meal. And we had games, one of which was a water balloon toss. There was also a karaoke (loudspeaker) set up. This year I volunteered to be the MC. (Nobody else wanted to do it.) In addition, I organized a four-member singing group to take part in the song contest. We sang an old rock 'n' roll song.

I started the afternoon off by giving a short speech on "success" which I thought would be of interest. (I had recently been thinking about this subject.) I read the following, which I had seen a couple of months previously and which stuck in my mind:

The man was staring out the window, as he was accustomed to do — often until noon — without saying one word. Then he reflects: "In '31, I failed in business. In '32, I was defeated for the state legislature. In '33, I failed again in business. In '35, my sweetheart died. In '36, I had a nervous breakdown.

In '38, I was defeated for speaker. In '40, I was defeated for elector. In '43, I was defeated for Congress. In '48, I was defeated for Congress. In '55, I was defeated for the U.S. Senate. In '56, I was defeated for Vice President. In '58, I was again defeated for the U.S. Senate. But in '60, I became President of the United States.     — Abraham Lincoln

I continued by saying, "Success is valued much more after experiencing failure." Then I asked the question:   "What is success in life?"

"I submit it is achieving happiness and fulfillment. We strive for happiness, but we search for fulfillment. (I believe that failures can be life's ways to guide us to fulfillment.)

"Happiness is a state of mind, whereas fulfillment is doing. It's activity.

"There are certain things that we all have in common that make us happy.

"But fulfillment is individual (personal) and is unique to each one of us.

"It can be thought of as the purpose for which we exist."

Then I said: "The next time you get a few quiet minutes by yourself, sit down and make a list of your talents. One of them may lead the way to finding fulfillment.

"If you end up with a blank sheet of paper, maybe you have a talent you're just unaware of as yet.

"Fulfillment is not easy to find and we may encounter many dead ends along the way. The search may even take the better part of a lifetime. But when found, it will become your passion and your reason for being.

"So, good hunting!"

Footnote:   For as long as I can remember, I have been terrified of speaking in front of people, to the point of living my life to avoid it. (The doctor said it was because of the anxiety/depression.) But I couldn't wait to get the microphone in my hand, and I had so much fun that I didn't want it to be over. Not once during the previous week, while preparing for that day, did I want to back out. Now this last barrier to taking on any challenge has finally been knocked down. I don't even think I can find the words to describe how wonderful I feel. — Christopher Clark


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