I learned most of what I know about Marc Block after his death. I met him once or twice, but didn’t really remember, not because he wasn’t remarkable, just because we were socializing with people we knew better.
The first time I was admitted into the mental hospital it was voluntary. I was in bad financial shape, my wife was cheating on me, I was worried I would be unable to see my kids if I divorced, I was commuting a long distance to a job they were trying to fire me at and it had all taken it’s toll on me, I had anxiety (racing thoughts, restlessness, inability to sleep) and depression (hopeless feelings, thoughts of suicide, lack of interest in things I used to enjoy.) I called my insurance provider and since it was a weekend they said my only option was to go to the local hospital and ask for a “mental evaluation.” My wife and kids dropped me off outside the emergency and I went in alone and filled out the paperwork.
My Sister showed up after I had been taken to my examination room and sat with me while I waited to be evaluated… My Sister who years later would work with Marc Block. From all she has told me she really liked Marc, as both a friend and co-worker, and he liked her, I remember him telling her that he wanted to bring her along to the new company he was working for as soon as a spot opened. He and I spoke briefly at this party about social media and radio… just general small talk about our respective career choices and how they related to each other.
It took hours in the emergency room before I was examined and admitted, at that point my Sister was forced to leave and I was on my own. A security guard and a nurse were summoned to escort me to the psych ward. I remember one nurse being especially kind to me, she told me that they didn’t often see someone like me in there… Depressed? No, it was full of people just like me. She meant a man who admitted himself, she told me it was extremely rare.
That’s because it’s not manly to admit you have mental issues, that you can’t cope, that you’re overwhelmed… And to be totally honest, it is also terrifying! There were dangerous people in the hospital, you are locked up, you are made to eat and sleep when told, it is uncomfortable… and yes I’ll say it again, scary.
I know a little bit about Marc’s life, I know he was a dedicated Father, I know he was well respected professionally, I know he had a complicated relationship with his Ex-wife.
For lack of a better word, I was crazy when I went to the hospital… But I wasn’t insane enough to not know what to say to get out of there. I quickly realized that it was not where I wanted to be (It is where I should have been.) The next day I met with a psychiatrist who asked me a set of questions, I answered appropriately and was given a prescription for sleeping medication, anti-anxiety and anti-dpressants and was released.
exactly one month later I washed all those pils down with a bottle of vodka and passed out before I could hang myself with a belt in a doorway.
My Sister called me a few weeks ago, obviously upset and explained what had happened to Marc… She said “I wish there is something we could do.” Because I am not the only one who is Marc, as a radio personality I have been very open about my struggles with depression and I have met many of us. Similiar stories, similiar struggles, similiar reactions.
I guess this is what we can do, be honest about our struggles and insecurities, admit that we aren’t always tough, or in charge, that we are scared… and open the doors for others to reach out to us.
Rest In Peace Marc Block