I Am Marc. #ForMarc #MaleDepression

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

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  • Kricki

    Jack Heine, I have always loved your honesty and directness. You have troubles it’s true but they are not without understanding and that is the important thing. Remeber that as strange and wild as it may seem there is a whole group of faceless, sometimes nameless people that love you, support you and are here for you if and when you need us.

    Thank you for being you!


  • So very sad for this loss. Suicide is never the right answer. Life is tough but never tough enough to tackle with some time out with the ones that love you. I love your blog Jack. Thanks for sharing.

  • Amy

    When I first moved back east after high school, the first year was really hard on me. I went through a brief cutting phase but was always able to convincingly explain away the cuts and nobody suspected anything. I eventually grew out of the phase, or so I thought. I went through a second phase when I was 31. Three months into my marriage things were so bad that one day I found myself on the bathroom floor, a box cutter in one hand, my other arm covered in blood. I wasn’t trying to kill myself but I was definitely cutting myself. 9 years later and the scars still remain. For the first few years I blamed it on the cat – I said she scratched me really bad when we tried to introduce her to the new dog. It wasn’t until someone close to me had a “car accident” while trying to avoid a deer that I finally admitted the truth because I knew we were both struggling with something. I said to him, “There wasn’t a deer, was there?” and when he said no, I confessed, “These aren’t cat scratches.” I finally admitted to my mother what had happened and she made me promise her that if I ever felt like cutting myself again, to call her immediately, no matter what. Thankfully I haven’t had to make that call. I think there are a lot more people struggling in this world than some realize because people are afraid to speak up for fear of being labeled or being treated differently. I know that I used to be ashamed of what I went through because I was worried what people might think of me. But this is me; this is who I am. Thank you for sharing your story, Jack, because, aside from the few people I’ve talked to about this personally, this comment is the most complete acount I’ve ever given of my journey. Hopefully if more people talk about their journeys the less stigma there will be about it all and perhaps more healing. With all that said, I’m sorry to hear about Marc.

  • Julie

    Love you, Jack… you rule. RIP Marc.

  • You are an amazing man and a wonderful father. The world (our world) would not be complete without you. Those of us who have the pleasure to call you a friend, love you.

    You’re pretty cute too (I hope Jason doesn’t read this)

  • Anitraa aka Nitro

    Thanks Jack! R I P Marc. Sorry for your loss Angie :-(

  • Beth

    Thanks Jack for sharing this. I have dealt with depression throughout my life but thankfully have not had an episode for a few years. My son also has struggled and has had numerous suicide attempts and hospitalizations throughout his life. He seems to be doing much better the last few years. Having your child go through this is horrible and watching him suffer and worrying about one day him “succeeding” is unbearable. Thank you for your courage in sharing. I hope more men seek help for thier issues, there is no shame in any of this, this is a medical condition like any other and should be treated as such, unfortunately it is at times terminal. RIP to Marc, his children will miss him. So glad you never found “success” in your attempts. I am sure you are too.

  • Marc was a good friend. A great Dad. A fellow musician in our “dad-bands”. Marc’s passing was a terrible shock. It still doesn’t make sense and I can’t imagine it ever will. It seems trite to try to “learn” from this, but I try to listen ask “how are you” with more intent to listen to the answer I get. I miss you Marc. I hate that you’re gone.

  • So sorry to hear of his loss. He seems like he was a loving and devoted Dad. My heart goes out to his family.
    Depression is particularly evil because it tells you that there’s no way out except succumbing to it when that’s the exact opposite of the truth.
    I have to say that your post is lovely and candid. I hope it inspires more than one person to stop and re-evaluate and get help when they need it.

  • Jane

    Jack, thank you so much for your candor. While these are just words, know that you have helped me so much through your sharing. Even if it hasn’t been easy, know that I among many others are cheering you on through these moments, to make it get past these moments that make up a bigger picture. Your life which has impacted many.

  • Connie in Colorado

    Dear Jack – I jam just now reading this 6 months later…thank you for sharing your story with us. Please know that we are all here for you. You may not know any of us, except through your blog, but we all feel like we know you. The world is a better place because you are in it! I have followed your life ever since Jamie, Jack & Stench days, I still need my Jack “fix” everyday. Sending good thoughts your way :-)

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