ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:
I'm Robert Siegel.
MICHELE NORRIS, Host:
And I'm Michele Norris, and this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
U: I believe in figuring out my own way to do things.
U: I believe in the power of numbers.
U: I believe in barbeque.
U: Well, I believe in friendliness.
U: I believe in mankind.
U: This I believe.
SIEGEL: For our Monday series, This I Believe, we invite you to send us statements of your personal beliefs. Today's comes from Andy Blowers, who lives with his wife and son in Fairfax, Virginia. He's employed as a software developer, and he's working toward a graduate degree at George Mason University. Here is our series curator, independent producer Jay Allison.
JAY ALLISON: People who send us their writing are sometimes compelled to do so by hearing the beliefs of others. Andy Blowers said he heard other essayists talk about their beliefs in daily pleasures and celebrations. But he felt he couldn't write something like that. Blowers has clinical depression, and is forced to find his belief in the context of his illness. Here's Andy Blowers with his essay for This I Believe.
NORRIS: And then, it's as if I'm drifting off to exile inside myself, with only a shell remaining. It used to be that rising from the ash after the depression cleared was like resurrection. The burial over, I catch myself laughing or looking forward to the next day. I'd pig out at my favorite deli. But now, when I look closely, I find mental illness leaving other significant gifts in its wake, things I didn't discern when I was younger. The discovery is like that scene from the "Matrix," when Neo finally comprehends his identity.
SIEGEL: And that's enough. Of course, I'll take my medicine. I'll talk to my gifted psychiatrist. But when the dark does come, I'll stand up and breathe deeply, knowing I'm becoming the person I'm supposed to be.
ALLISON: Andy Blowers, with his essay For This I Believe. Blowers said he thought there would be some risk in making this public declaration about his mental illness, but in order to honor the bravery he writes about, he felt he ought to do it. We hope you'll consider sending your own statement of belief. Find out more at npr.org. For This I Believe, I'm Jay Allison.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.