The Importance Of A Monthly Cadence With Close Friends

I’ve been thinking a lot about  Aaron Swartz the past few days. I didn’t know him, but knew of him and have a lot of friends who knew him. I’m still processing it, especially the dynamics around his suicide, and expect I’ll have plenty to say in the coming weeks about depression and entrepreneurship. In the mean time, I thought the USA Today article, Activist Aaron Swartz’s suicide sparks talk about depressionby Laurie Segal, is particularly good. I’m quoted as saying:

Investor Brad Feld, who has battled an anxiety disorder all his life, says one the hardest things for those fighting the disease is opening up about it. “Many entrepreneurs don’t feel like they can talk openly about their depression, as they don’t want their investors, employees, or customers to know they are struggling with it,” he says. “For anyone who has been depressed, not being able to be open about it with the people around you makes depression even harder to deal with.”

I’ve been lucky in that I’ve had a few people incredibly close to me that I could talk openly about my depression with. The two closest are my wife Amy Batchelor and my brother Daniel Feld. In Amy’s case, she’s my early warning system for my depression. She knows me better than anyone on this planet and is able, in a way that doesn’t set me off, make observations about what she is seeing in my behavior whenever it shifts toward a depressive episode. She goes into a mode that I call “observer” – she’s not critical, doesn’t tell me to “snap out of it”, but also doesn’t get overly concerned. She watches, gives me feedback, and observes. Usually this is all I need since I’ve learned that with my own struggles, merely knowing that I am struggling is often enough to start a shift back to normalcy.

As part of this, I’ve set up a monthly cadence with Amy and Daniel. In the case of Amy, we have “Life Dinner” on the first night of every month. We talk about this in our new book, Startup Life: Surviving and Thriving in a Relationship with an Entrepreneurbut I missed that nuance that in addition to a monthly reflection both backward and forward, it also serves as a touch point on “how I’m feeling.”

Daniel and I do something different. We love the relationship our dad (Stan Feld) has with his brother Charlie Feld. A number of years ago we committed to each other that we’d never get hung up on bullshit between us and if anything came up, we’d clear the air each month. So – we have an “almost monthly” dinner (probably six to nine times a year). I can’t remember the last time we actually had any emotional dissonance of any sort. It’s a casual couple of hours for us to check in on each other.

This morning I was emailing with Fred Wilson about some stuff. He asked me how it was to have Jerry Colonna living part time in Boulder. Jerry is now chairman of Naropa University and is one of my closest friends. He and Fred used to be partners at Flatiron Partners and are still very close. My response was “It’s awesome to have Jerry here. I love every minute I get with him.” Fred responded “i do a monthly lunch with him and its awesome.” There’s that monthly cadence thing again.

Yesterday, I had my monthly meeting with my partners at Foundry Group. We have a quarterly offsite where we spend a day and half together and have recently instituted a monthly day long meeting ending with dinner to go deep on our portfolio now that it’s about 60 companies. We spend the day on the portfolio and the evening on ourselves. It’s yet another version of the monthly cadence that let’s the four of us check in with each other.

I’ve always found rhythms like this to be extremely helpful to me, especially around my depression. Amy, Daniel, and my partners are safe people to talk to about it. They don’t judge me, or coddle me, but they listen and, if nothing else, give me empathy. And, in many cases, they check in regularly to make sure I’m in an ok place, until the phase passes.

Being an entrepreneur, or anyone pressing the boundaries of society, can be incredibly lonely. Make sure you are surrounding yourself with people who can help. And don’t be afraid of being open about being depressed, or anxious, down, or sad. There is no crime or shame in that.

  • http://avc.com fredwilson

    I love routines and rhythm.

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      Indeed. It is one of the most powerful types of structure that we can create for ourselves in this chaotic world of ours.

      • jerrycolonna

        I like to think of rhythms and routines as containers, holding back the craziness of life. But then, the three of us are nerds so what we enjoy may be a little crazy-making for those of us in our lives.

  • http://twitter.com/rodley John Rodley

    Good post. Connectivity routines are hard but an invaluable backstop.

    But this post reminds me of a question that always leaps out at me whenever I see you talk about depression (apologies if you’ve addressed it elsewhere). Namely – would you or Foundry fund a team led by someone with a history of depression or currently on an anti-depressant regimen? Is that opinion widely shared among VCs and is it different from most angels? My experience of angels is that they generally have a pretty harsh view of weakness.

    You see where I’m going I assume. One enlightened man does not a trend make. Openness about depression is a very difficult risk calculation for an entrepreneur to make.

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      I am completely comfortable funding someone who has publicly acknowledged depression, is in therapy, or is on anti-depression medication. My friend Ben Huh, CEO of Cheezburger, talks about his own journey (we are investors) – http://benhuh.com/2011/11/29/when-death-feels-like-a-good-option/

      I think any VC or angel that views this as weakness (a) doesn’t understand that this is a disease, just like diabetes, or gout, or hypertension, or … and (b) is misinterpreting weakness. It’s actually a huge STRENGTH when you have depression to face it and master it.

      • http://twitter.com/rodley John Rodley

        That Ben Huh post is epic. Highly recommended. Tnx.

      • Jeffrey Hartmann

        Brad,

        I really appreciate you calling this out to the greater community. I have personally dealt with depression my entire life. First it was relationship troubles as a teenager, and later it was dealing with the fact that I can’t do the same things I have always loved due to my autoimmune disease Ankylosing Spondylitis. I used to run 9.5 miles 6 days a week, now I can’t do it and dealing with that was hard to come to terms with for me. Daily pain doesn’t help either obviously, but the very fact that I have have fought these battles in my opinion gives me a huge advantage. I have incredible perspective that many people just don’t have, I don’t worry about trivial things that many people constantly suffer through. When you wake up each morning in constant pain, and you must battle that demon you get really good at filtering what does and does not matter in life. I am so far from perfect, but the battle scars I have help me focus on what is really important. My son, my wife, my family, my deep faith in God, science and men, and my growing business. The process of working through adversity gives us skills to personally evaluate ourselves, and those skills are pure gold. I rarely get blue these days, and it totally is due to what I have learned from therapy and fostering my relationships with others. I love your advice to have a monthly cadence, I’m going to have to be more deliberate about how I connect with others.

        People who deal with adversity everyday are strong, anyone who thinks otherwise isn’t someone you want in your corner. I don’t know how many people in the VC and startup community feel this way as a percentage, but I deeply respect Brad Feld, Ben Huh, Jerry Colonna, Noah Kagan, and countless others for admitting depression and showing to the community that adversity breeds strength. I think this is an important message for us to remind ourselves of these days, especially when we have lost one of our own to depressions grasp.

        • http://www.feld.com bfeld

          Jeffrey – thx for the kind words but more importantly the awesome example of your own experience. Powerful – and well said!

      • http://www.engag.io/Abdallah Abdallah Al-Hakim

        very well said and deserves an upvote!

      • http://www.DomainRegistry.com/ LE

        Having dated a few women [1] who suffered from depression, one severe, (and having done some research on their behalf in this area – even scheming my way in for free at the American Psychiatric medical convention) and comparing how I felt about depression prior to these relationships I can fully understand why some people would view depression as a negative the way you are describing it and not want to get involved or invest. (It’s also possible that they have had prior bad experiences with depressed friends, family neighbors and are generalizing and jumping to conclusions from that experience.) We had no depression in our family and I remember how we used to talk about people with depression while growing up. So in a sense you can’t blame them, we all do this with things we don’t understand.

        In any case there are obviously different degrees of depression so if you don’t have any understanding of it you are going to lump it all together, right? Just like a computer illiterate person can’t distinguish a guy who can code like Woz from the guy who sets up their PC (hey, Dave from the corner store is a really smart computer guy!!!). (Woz is a proxy for a guy who really knows his shit I don’t actually mean Woz.)

        Same thing happened with homosexuals until outing reached critical mass. Now that’s seen as a positive attribute when it used to be negative because of all the creative contributions (as only one example) that gays have made.

        [1] I had no problems and actually found the relationships quite interesting and challenging and never boring. So I was actually drawn to it. I was also the kid growing up who learned to talk to the “crazy” guy in the neighborhood while finding the “normal” people quite boring.

  • http://twitter.com/bobgower Bob Gower

    Thank you for this Brad. It’s refreshing to hear someone I respect be so open about your journey through depression. It’s an important part of my own story and one I’m getting more comfortable being open about. I appreciate your example.

    And rhythms are incredibly important for me though I never really though of it that way exactly. Last year my amazing partner Alex Jamieson and I adopted the Life Dinner practice when we began co-habitating and it’s served our relationship very well through all the adjustments that combining households brings.

    Also about a year and a half ago, just after I moved to NYC, I helped start a small men’s group here. We meet every Monday evening — there are 8 men in the group and we usually get 3-6 people who are in town and available each week. It’s an opportunity for real conversation, an emotional check in and usually some great business advice as well. I can’t tell you how important this has been to me.

    Thanks again!

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      Fantastic examples. Super psyched you are doing life dinner with your partner Alex. It’s one of my favorite institutions.

  • http://twitter.com/BSiegler Brad Siegler

    Great post! Being a trep with anxiety issues it’s refreshing to see I’m not alone. I also agree 100% on how important it is to be both open and self aware about anxiety or any other issues one may have. Knowing the problem is a huge step to conquering it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=702606570 Cole Morrison

    The glitz and glam of “hollywoodified” startup scene makes it seem like something of such nature is impossible. But if you’ve really delved into it, it makes absolutely, 100%, complete sense. The way my mentor put it was that the newscasts, headlines, etc. are but a snapshot in time of the massive path which is largely spent grinding and working hard. Even though the movies sum up the training and such into a “montage,” that’s where the real journey is.

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      Well said. I think it’s important that entrepreneurs recognize the press, glitz, movies, and headlines for what it is – mostly bullshit that has no correlation to the actual reality that it is creating companies.

  • Michel Rbeiz

    Expanding on meeting with friends on a regular basis (which I love) and other routines, someone taught me the positive energy/negative energy concept which has worked wonders for me.

    The concept is simple: there are activities that bring you down and activities that lift you up. By being conscious about what brings you down (e.g., doing laundry for me, paperwork, shopping), you will actively work to minimize them or not do them.

    Then the second goal is to balance it with one activity a day (if not more) that lift your spirits (in my case, working out, playing with my kids, watching a movie, hanging out with friends)

    Thank you for posting about this!

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      Great suggestion. I have way too many days were the # of things that drag me down are much greater than the ones that lift me up. Time to reinvestigate that balance.

      • panterosa,

        My mother had me write a + and – list. The idea was to minus a – and to add a + in a rhythm which worked, daily, weekly, monthly. And then go back and look over how it worked. I’ve not done that in a while, and I should start it again.

        Today was an interesting set of -‘s. On AVC the post was on makers and how they scale up: by having others manage, by managing a new team of makers, or by trying to do both. I referenced your makers vs managers hours post.

        As a maker about to scale up to build a company and launch, I am looking to hire a manager because I get no joy in managing. Building a company for some is an act of creation but I find it very dull work, besides it’s not my passion nor skill set. Making is my joy, passion and ++++. As much as I love AVC, I can’t comment daily because it brings me back to manager’s hours and out of my maker routine, which is hard enough to balance as a sole founder to start with as I’ve had to do both roles. Sort of ironic that AVC which has informed me so much, and whose community I really love, and which has in essence helped me become a better manager, is now the source of conflict as I have to redefine myself as a real maker.

        • http://www.feld.com bfeld

          It’s mixed for me. Sometimes I have extreme clarity during my depressed periods. Other times my head is full of cotton, my stomach has a hole in it, and I can’t concentrate on anything. The second case usually happens when I’m really exhausted, which is one of the triggers for my depression.

    • http://www.themusingsofthebigredcar.com/ JLM

      .

      Good observations.

      Down, up — cleansing.

      When I am flying, I am so disconnected from everything else, I come homewondering where my brain has been having forgotten almost everything that was troubling me.

      It is different up there and it cleanses your mind.

      I love mindless activities — shoveling snow, cutting grass, power washing, shining shoes — literally relaxes my mind.

      .

  • http://byJess.net/ Jess Bachman

    Cadence is a good word here. We have daily and weekly routines, and yearly traditions, but a monthly….cadence. I can make that work.

  • http://twitter.com/PivotGuild Alyson B. Miller

    Thanks for being authentic and sharing yourself broadly Brad. Empathy abounds. I wonder how many other people – like me – are reading this today and thinking, “I could have written this post.” With entrepreneurs and other creatives, living in your head can be a very fertile and fun place – but at other times, very dark. In addition to rhythms and connections with trusted others, my husband and I have developed a practice of saying, “I just need to say/ask this out loud.” By taking some of the more troubling inner thoughts outward, there is less distortion and anxiety and more connectivity – even intimacy.

  • http://twitter.com/cag123 Christine

    My greatest sadness for Aaron is that it took his death for so many people beyond his family and close friends to want to reach out to him, to champion him, and to support him – to SHOW him that he was valued, that he was making a HUGELY important difference, and that he was not alone. Being the first one through the wall is hard enough. Being the first one to chart new territory is an extremely lonely existence for anyone — even when the cameras and the microphones have been turned off. Maybe even more so. My heart breaks every time I think of how alone he must have felt in those last few moments and it breaks for his family who have valiantly been there to support him and have loved him all along. My hope is that, as a community, we will continue his great work, that we will continually reach out, that we will not let the march of time become the cadence of excuses for disconnecting, and that we will throw in with our pioneers.

  • mgwitham

    Thanks for talking about this Brad.

    It’s people in positions like yours that help break the stigma and allow people to feel more free to ask for help.

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      Thx – I’m going to be writing a lot more about this based on the feedback I’ve gotten and the fit with Startup Life.

      • mgwitham

        Let me know if I can be of help.

        • http://www.feld.com bfeld

          Weigh in when you see them!

  • http://bsoi.st/ bsoist

    Excellent advice. I remember setting up a monthly lunch with a mentor. At the time I thought monthly wasn’t often enough. Turns out it was just perfect. I look forward to our lunches – they keep things in perspective for me.

  • http://www.engag.io/Abdallah Abdallah Al-Hakim

    My group of friends started organizing events that allow us to meetup. We have been doing this for a 3 years now and has been tremendously helpful in staying in touch especially given that many of us were in the phase of having kids and generally getting busier at work.

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      Awesome. Many of us used to do this regularly in college but then life got in the way. Life shouldn’t – this is an important part of life!

  • http://twitter.com/jtangoVC Jo Tango

    I think the idea of a monthly cadence is very powerful. It makes it almost programmatic and forces you to interact with those who know you best. Great suggestion.

  • http://blog.kwiqly.com/ James Ferguson @kWIQly

    Brad – Slightly off-topic (and your topic is very important).

    I was interested to read that you take a day to go deep on 60 companies. Suppose a fifteen hour day (with dinner).
    How would you could describe “going deep” and how is it possible to “go deep” on a startup in 15 minutes ?

    From a CEO perspective would this be “skating superficially”? – or am I missing something?

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      Actually, we go deep on a subset – not all of them – each month. Yesterday, we focused on 30 of the companies from our 2007 fund. It’s important to realize that we already have a huge amount of info on each company given the way we work (we share everything). So, it’s not a review of performance or financials – we already have this information. It’s also not a task level review. Rather, it’s “what do we need to do in the near and medium term to help this company win that we are not already doing.”

      • http://blog.kwiqly.com/ James Ferguson @kWIQly

        Ok – Thanks much clearer

  • sdl

    Many thanks for this post. You gave me much strength and courage to go on.

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      Glad it was helpful. If you are struggling, make sure you ask for help from those close to you!

  • http://twitter.com/jonathanfields Jonathan Fields

    So powerful, Brad. I look at the rituals you shared almost like having human circuit-breakers, people who you meet regularly and who you trust implicitly to be motivated by a sense of genuine service, love and the desire to elevate. So when they get “tripped” and let you know, you listen. And respond in a way you would to few others. I’m incredibly fortunate to have this with my wife, too.

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      I love the metaphor of “human circuit breakers” – look for that to show up in my writing in the future! Great phrase.

  • http://www.samedaydr.com/ Rich Weisberger

    Sucks that society criminalizes behavior that really has no victim. When it comes to mental health, the creative assertives are are on the tail end of the normal distribution, and with that power comes the challenge of how to manage it with all the constraints that society has. Ive been in boulder and denver this past few days considering a move, the city looks and feels amazing. Thoughts on the energy and it’s trend of the city? 

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      I’ve been here 17 years and completely love it. Happy to connect you around if you’d like – just drop me an email – brad@feld.com

  • http://www.kineplay.com/ben Ben Milstead

    Couldn’t agree more, and love the word “cadence” in this context. I’m not generally given to serious depression and didn’t get it until I was in the hot seat with my product and business and had everything on the line. The level of despair is hard to articulate, it’s so intense. An incredible wife and friends who are willing to regularly listen and give empathy has kept me off the ledge more than once.

  • jerrycolonna

    I’ll add my thanks buddy. It’s hard to do justice to the importance of people standing up and being open about struggles. It’s hard to communicate just how powerfully helpful it is for someone who’s struggling to hear that people not only feel that existential pain but know that there’s no shame in it.

    I tried to kill myself when I was 18. Thank god it was one of my many, many failures.

    Later, in 2000 and 2001, I struggled again with deep depression. As I’ve spoken about before, on Feb. 2nd, 2002 I nearly leapt in front of a subway at the Wall Street station.

    The black dog of depression is a dear old friend and one with which I think I’ve finally made peace with. Whenever we stand up and unashamedly admit to the all too human condition of existential suffering, we make room for someone else to stand, to withstand.

    I wonder if it would have helped Aaron to know he was not alone. By the way, let’s not forget Ilya Zhitomirskiy, the 22-year old co-founder of Diaspora. His suicide was in November 2011.

    In 2002, one of the books that helped me was Let Your Life Speak by Parker Palmer. In it, Parker describes his own struggles with depression. It’s vivid poignancy spoke to me so deeply that I felt less alone.

    Other powerful books include Terence Real’s I Don’t Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression; Andrew Solomon’s The Noonday Demon; The Mindful Way Through Depression by J. Mark Williams; and Darkness Visible by William Styron.

    Again, my friend, thanks.

    • http://www.DomainRegistry.com/ LE

      “I wonder if it would have helped Aaron to know he was not alone.”

      Wow Jerry. About the only things I knew about you was that you were Fred’s partner, you do coaching, and are highly regarded.

      Maybe there needs to be a conscious effort of people suffering from depression “outing” themselves with the intent of helping others and themselves by drawing attention so those suffering don’t feel all alone (as opposed to private support groups).

      The word “douting” might be distinctive enough to apply and get some traction to the concept. (Although something more positive would have advantages.)

      • http://www.feld.com bfeld

        Jerry has always been very open about this and leads the way for a lot of us to talk openly about depression. It’s one of his great gifts – processing his own emotions and condition, recognizing them for what they are, and helping others understand their own.

        • jerrycolonna

          Thanks.

      • jerrycolonna

        When I was a boy, I fantasized about running for President (yes. I am a nerd.). I remember thinking that, “Oh shit, the press might find out how crazy my family was.” And then I would imagine myself jutting my jaw out and saying, “Yeah. So? Want to make something of it? What? Your family wasn’t crazy? Fuck you.”

        Sometimes I feel the same way about depression. (I was, after all born in Brooklyn.). Now, in my workshops I’ll often talk about these things–especially as it relates to the existential pain of work and identity and when I inevitably get the “But doesn’t it make me seem weak if I talk about my feelings?” question, I challenge them to see if I appear weak, standing there on stage in front of a hundred or so people, being real.

        Sometimes I get so tired of the self-imposed shackles. In enrages me that people die as a result of these strictures.

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      I had a conversation about Ilya with a few friends tonight. As an MIT grad, I got through the periodic ritual of hearing about an undergraduate committing suicide. As I’ve been reflecting on this the past few days, I’m feeling a steady increase of importance to help people, especially entrepreneurs, understand that it’s ok to be depressed, to acknowledge it, and to ask for help.

      I’ve turned my black dog into black clouds that are just on the horizon. When I see them, I walk toward them and acknowledge them – I no longer fear them or run away from them. I’ve learned they pass quickly when I don’t imbue them with importance, but instead accept them for what they are.
      The book recommendations are awesome ones. I just grabbed Terence Real’s I Don’t Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression and Let Your Life Speak by Parker Palmer. I’m planning to take Friday off and lay on the couch in Keystone and read – I think at least one of those will make the list for the day.

      • http://hirethoughts.blogspot.com/ Donna Brewington White

        “I’ve turned my black dog into black clouds that are just on the horizon. When I see them, I walk toward them and acknowledge them – I no longer fear them or run away from them.”

        Wow, that’s a powerful picture of courage.

        • http://www.feld.com bfeld

          Thx. It took a long time and was really difficult. Fortunately it wasn’t a private journey – I shared it continually with my wife Amy.

      • jerrycolonna

        Enjoy the books. Parker Palmer is one of my heroes. More than anyone, he showed me the way.

        • http://www.feld.com bfeld

          Parker is going to get my undivided attention on Friday in Keystone. I’m going to lay on the couch and read the book.

  • panterosa,

    At RISD we had many depressed and talented people. 20 years later they still struggle deeply, and their art suffers and benefits in waves of manic episodes. The thing I have learned about depression, as a mild episodic sufferer, is that it brings some incredible realism with it. You have not addressed this and I wonder if you see it as such. Depressed people are often most clear about what they are surrounded by and even themselves, which only induces a further difficulty. There have been studies on their realism, none of which I can quote.
    Would you comment on that realism from your point of view or others you know?

  • http://hirethoughts.blogspot.com/ Donna Brewington White

    Brad, thank you. This is a very important post and I am glad to hear that you are going to further address the topic of depression, especially from your vantage point. Depression is close to home for me, both family members and close friends. I experience mild depression from time to time, which perhaps makes me more empathetic, but I won’t insult anyone by pretending that I fully understand.

    I am deeply moved by Aaron Schwartz’s story. The stories and comments shared over the past several days have raised my awareness of something I knew instinctively — that depression is something that many entrepreneurs experience which makes an already lonely road even lonelier. In some of my circles, there is a lot of openness about depression and this has been lifesaving both figuratively and literally.

    I hope that this type of openness becomes more prevalent in the startup world, along with related support — both those seeking it and those offering it, It is certainly something that I would be very glad to make a contribution toward in whatever way I can. But someone who has “been there” and who faces depression with courage and wisdom will be the most effective in raising awareness and offering hope.

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      Thx. I know it’s a really hard topic – both to read about and write about. I’m taking Friday off – since I got back from the new year I’ve been working non-stop. I’m going to lay on the couch at my mountain house and read a few books, including two on personal journeys around depression, as I try to frame how to talk about my experience in a constructive way.

  • http://twitter.com/citizenglish Dil-Dominé Leonares

    This is a great read – definitely glad I came across this post. I’ve been doing a lot of research around the way I tick, think and act.

    Definitely, in the areas of anxiety disorder. I came across a study by a Professor Dabrovski who coined the term overexcitabilities (OEs). My sister initially showed me a couple or articles she came across that she thought fit the struggles I went through in school being double-gifted – twice exceptional. For me emotionally when its good, life is great. And when there’s a small hiccup it feels like the world is going to end and there is no tomorrow. But I’m learning to deal with those emotions in away that helps me to keep moving forward. I’ve been reading a book which I thought you’d probably love as well, it’s called “Living with Intensity”.

    They say “Creatives are usually lonely people because see the world in away that usually don’t want to share with others…” but I’m glad that I’ve learned to be more open about the moments when I’m sad or depressed. Very blessed to have built a solid group of friends who can just listen and absorb what I have to say without patronizing me. I tend to sleep it off and wake up the next day with a new sense of adventure and hope.

  • http://engag.io/ William Mougayar

    Wow that was a powerful post. It caused me to pause and think about the cadence thing and putting some routine into the chaos as a big lever. You are right. The rat race gets intoxicating after a while. One needs to stop, interrupt the flow and smell the roses. Rinse and repeat. Thanks.

  • http://www.itdatabase.com/ Travis Van

    When you’re clawing on thin ice, it’s reassuring to hear successful people talk about anxiety and depression. So much of our society is about bravado. My step dad is a retired heart surgeon, and he talks nearly exclusively about the days when he was terrified and struggling, but almost never about the days he had the respect of his peers and started new hospitals. It seems like most people of substance really had some low lows along the way. But to read the news cycles about the tech industry, the victors just sound like cold blooded mf’ers who never get their butts kicked.

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      The victors get their butts kicked on a regular basis. The press just either talks about how amazing they are or how horrible they are. Your statement “It seems like most people of substance really had some low lows along the way” is absolutely correct.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jefwfunk Jeff Funkhouser

    Very important post, Brad! Thanks for sharing so forthrightly.
    Related question, kind of … how do you see your passion for de-patenting software in comparison to what I’ve read about Aaron’s passion for a more general free knowledge? Seems like fighting such a fight can bring about episodes of depression.
    Parker Palmer has a lot to say to teachers as well.

    Thanks again!

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      De-patenting software and fighting for immigration have been two things that have been giant downers for me. I don’t know how much they’ve specifically led to depressive episodes, but I’ve had my share of “fuck it – I’m done working on this” moments. They eventually pass and I give it another shot.

  • Dave Crenshaw

    Thanks for sharing this Brad. That monthly cadence idea is very helpful.

  • Guest

    Very important post Brad, thanks for opening it up for us.

    Jerry – to your point on not feeling lonely: I had a roommate/best friend in college that had episodes of depression and in one instance I practically attached myself to him for 3 straight days and night in fear he was going to electrocute himself. Later he told me he wasn’t really going to do it but wanted to have someone with him as he was going thru it… For me it was a horrible experience as I did not know how to handle the fear and distress I felt, and not experienced enough to ask for help.

  • Pingback: Are Entrepreneurs More Prone To Depression And Divorce? - Feld Thoughts

  • Pingback: Change the Myth « Anne Libby

  • Pingback: xbox 360

  • Pingback: Neomi Pinnell

  • Pingback: Alexander Braver

  • Pingback: Jayne Ladeau

  • Pingback: Alexander Braver

  • Pingback: Detra Worthington

  • Pingback: Zachariah Brean

  • Pingback: Marcus Botdorf

  • Pingback: Mohammed Castro

  • Pingback: Rolanda Warmuth

  • Pingback: Barbie Duffer

  • Pingback: Stevie Saleeby

  • Pingback: Sue Plyer

  • Pingback: Celestine Gasse

  • Pingback: Elnora Piantanida

  • Pingback: Cecile Gerson

  • Pingback: tao of badass review

  • Pingback: Riva Wolfing

  • Pingback: Johnnie Konzen

  • Pingback: Celestine Gasse

  • Pingback: Jena Donchatz

  • Pingback: Major Ramsby

  • Pingback: Jacquie Matheny

  • Pingback: Geoffrey Giorgi

  • Pingback: Refugio Boza

  • Pingback: Efren Garrity

  • Pingback: Herman Stampe

  • Pingback: Ruben Kravetsky

  • Pingback: Melida Heritage

  • Pingback: Ronny Mahaney

  • Pingback: Ewa Hord

  • Pingback: Maryjo Tobon

  • Pingback: Fred Warburton

  • Pingback: Shyla Zent

  • Pingback: Lakisha Vanderboom

  • Pingback: Larhonda Laventure

  • Pingback: Charolette Manigold

  • Pingback: Cole Kiehl

  • Pingback: Ariel Kurylo

  • Pingback: Rigoberto Preissler

  • Pingback: Sharice Douga

  • Pingback: Jaime Thor

  • Pingback: Charlette Waitz

  • Pingback: Depression | Startup Iceland

  • Pingback: Eldridge Gilreath

  • Pingback: Morgan Kolbeck

  • Pingback: Otis Rathai

  • Pingback: Rodrick Chirco

  • Pingback: Jasper Damiano

  • Pingback: Jewell Vanderhoef

  • Pingback: Devon Krenn

  • Pingback: Manuel Simi

  • Pingback: Tammara Drozd

  • Pingback: Jeffrey Doriean

  • Pingback: Zachary Deyon

  • Pingback: Lorrie Breese

  • Pingback: Kum Kotas

  • Pingback: Burt Galipeau

  • Pingback: Mercedes Frausto

  • Pingback: Otha Churches

  • Pingback: Melani Waltmon

  • Pingback: Rickie Schley

  • Pingback: Brianna Urrea

  • Pingback: Mira Trentini

  • Pingback: Austin Gulston

  • Pingback: Ben Leight

  • Pingback: Kermit Sammut

  • Pingback: Abel Sarrell

  • Pingback: Annelle Nacar

  • Pingback: Bobbye Maniaci

  • Pingback: auto insurance quote

  • Pingback: Tammara Drozd

  • Pingback: Benjamin Berkowitz

  • Pingback: Ardelia Luchesi

  • Pingback: Damon Coville

  • Pingback: Kris Metevier

  • Pingback: Eugenio Trifiletti

  • Pingback: Sherwood Donoho

  • Pingback: Chong Garmon

  • Pingback: Jaime Gareau

  • Pingback: Luise Kaspar

  • Pingback: Anjelica Hoffelt

  • Pingback: Karole Eilderts

  • Pingback: Janae Proco

  • Pingback: Elise Robante

  • Pingback: Arielle Kozlak

  • Pingback: Margart Balicki

  • Pingback: Beaulah Brickel

  • Pingback: Drew Cherrette

  • Pingback: Waldo Cordas

  • Pingback: Sherell Schimizzi

  • Pingback: Bruno Alejandro

  • Pingback: Mariano Zerhusen

  • Pingback: Rodrigo Whelton

  • Pingback: Mike Carmo

  • Pingback: Lucas Pimple

  • Pingback: Annabelle Maltez

  • Pingback: Elina Rossiter

  • Pingback: Corene Argudin

  • Pingback: Domonique Terkelsen

  • Pingback: Raymon Looby

  • Pingback: Darren Bann

  • Pingback: Tommy Sferra

  • Pingback: Ethelene Gartland

  • Pingback: Charise Degear

  • Pingback: http://learnwiki.nsu.edu/groups/test/wiki/1537c/Exactly_what_All_and_sundry_Should_Learn_about_the_Truth_about_Six_Pack_Abs.html

  • Pingback: Alejandra Taschler

  • Pingback: http://ftp.fhw.gr/groups/test/wiki/98c7e/Unlock_your_remarkable_new_music_expertise_aided_by_the_optimum_defeat_producing_software_application.html

  • Pingback: Everett Micek

  • Pingback: Pisanie prac licencjackich

  • Pingback: Lista Edu i Gov AA

  • Pingback: Salvador Vogelzang

  • Pingback: Harland Hatcherson

  • Pingback: Jarvis Poma

  • Pingback: Jenae Keyon

  • Pingback: http://hsi-kbw-46-223-242-110.hsi.kabel-badenwuerttemberg.de/groups/work/wiki/d2c09/The_magic_of_constructing_as_many_as_get_the_ex_back_again.html

  • Pingback: Olin Obanner

  • Pingback: Major Backhuus

  • Pingback: Bennett Chamness

  • Pingback: Clifton Dubay

  • Pingback: Dominick Lasage

  • Pingback: Shara Worsfold

  • Pingback: Garth Canney

  • Pingback: get the tao of badass free

  • Pingback: Hester Trimnal

  • Pingback: Sharice Fundis

  • Pingback: Alanna Oyen

  • Pingback: can i buy cymbalta cause weight gain

  • Pingback: Retha Okelberry

  • Pingback: Sanford Stayrook

  • Pingback: Mariana Soren

  • Pingback: svbaarlo.freegb.nl

  • Pingback: Bert Yett

  • Pingback: Sheldon Nickleberry

  • Pingback: Lazaro Witzke

  • Pingback: Gilma Massy

  • Pingback: Caleb Degraw

  • Pingback: pozycjonowanie kraków

  • Pingback: Learn More

  • Pingback: kredittkort

  • Pingback: Wesley Gagon

  • Pingback: hotele w centrum paryża

  • Pingback: Zack Leet

  • Pingback: Ruth Hudock

  • Pingback: Rex Pinsonnault

  • Pingback: Edmundo Machak

  • Pingback: Adolph Birckbichler

  • Pingback: Particia Feist

  • Pingback: Christy Borling

  • Pingback: Andres Speegle

  • Pingback: Brain Delp

  • Pingback: Wystrój mieszkań Gdańsk

  • Pingback: Elinore Garramone

  • Pingback: Marcie Lutrell

  • Pingback: Maria Leners

  • Pingback: Kristine Vijil

  • Pingback: Stan Dose

  • Pingback: Jody Avendano

  • Pingback: This is my Site

  • Pingback: Sterling Fuentes

  • Pingback: Angelia Trufin

  • Pingback: Anthony Pickerell

  • Pingback: Chuck Bayardo

  • Pingback: My Singapore Site

  • Pingback: Manual Griffies

  • Pingback: Sarah Frasch

  • Pingback: Nicolas Einhorn

  • Pingback: footwear

  • Pingback: Ursula Carleo

  • Pingback: Jackie Kuney

  • Pingback: Gail Cousineau

  • Pingback: Oscar Bamba

  • Pingback: Vaughn Prazenica

  • Pingback: Andreas Queja

  • Pingback: backlinks genie

  • Pingback: click here

  • Pingback: sell my gadgets

  • Pingback: Angelo Leven

  • Pingback: Stan Nate

  • Pingback: buy lipitor online cheapest in uk

  • Pingback: reign dark cyde

  • Pingback: durable

  • Pingback: Kelli Georgalas

  • Pingback: Aubrey Lohmeyer

  • Pingback: acrylic

  • Pingback: Bernie Fillers

  • Pingback: make money online for free

  • Pingback: seo new jersey

  • Pingback: Angeles Hauswald

  • Pingback: gangnam style

  • Pingback: office lobby furniture

  • Pingback: hypnosis

  • Pingback: Penny Auctions

  • Pingback: open frame monitor

  • Pingback: pure leverage scam

  • Pingback: Bradley Lavanway

  • Pingback: Fastest Way To Lose Weight

  • Pingback: Runescape Po

  • Pingback: Valarie Belflower

  • Pingback: push present

  • Pingback: singapore locksmith

  • Pingback: طبخ العاب

  • Pingback: docteur.pharmacie-burthier.com

  • Pingback: holdem

  • Pingback: Club Flyers

  • Pingback: toledo bend cabins

  • Pingback: العاب المزرعه

  • Pingback: Blade and Soul Gold

  • Pingback: buy houses desoto texas

  • Pingback: how to use a gun

  • Pingback: green coffeee beans

  • Pingback: Professional Social Network

  • Pingback: zu trockene augen

  • Pingback: Sample CVs

  • Pingback: Audiovisual

  • Pingback: Netbooks

  • Pingback: Computer repair New York

  • Pingback: physical therapy for back pain

  • Pingback: Los mejores e-books en espanol

  • Pingback: money choice

  • Pingback: professional dentist in Solana Beach

  • Pingback: Jade Andreoli

  • Pingback: Website

  • Pingback: seorimícuaro

  • Pingback: pole dancing courses

  • Pingback: Kourtney Thelen

  • Pingback: reviews on Phentermine

  • Pingback: iphone3

  • Pingback: Edmonton Car Dealerships

  • Pingback: slatwall panels

  • Pingback: Haywood Calderon

  • Pingback: bankruptcy lawyer fort worth

  • Pingback: garrett fitzgerald arrested northampton ma

  • Pingback: jogos de carros

  • Pingback: easy magic tricks for kids

  • Pingback: Jim Mosconi

  • Pingback: read about

  • Pingback: skype hacker

  • Pingback: cleveland drunk driving defense attorney

  • Pingback: forskolin

  • Pingback: Equestrian Fencing in Norfolk

  • Pingback: teak furniture singapore

  • Pingback: car accident

  • Pingback: Jermaine Abe

  • Pingback: Bart Baggett

  • Pingback: click here to see credit companies in singapore

  • Pingback: Deals in Tulsa

  • Pingback: pienso royal canin junior

  • Pingback: http://www.bestitdocuments.com

  • Pingback: Luanna Geris