“An old grandfather told his grandson: “My son, there is a battle between two wolves inside us all. One is evil. It is anger, jealousy, greed, and resentment. The other is good. It is joy, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy, and bravery.”
The boy thought about it, and asked, “Grandfather, which wolf wins?”
The old man quietly replied, “The one you feed.”
Eric Zimmer recites this parable at the beginning of every episode of his very popular self-help show, The One You Feed (co-created by Chris Forbes) in order to elicit an interpretation from his guest.
And the answers are always interesting. And his interviews flow from there.
One of the main reasons I wanted Eric on my show was to talk about his past… those dark days of alcohol, drugs and depression.
Having been depressed myself for about 2 and a half years gave me some perspective on this matter But, I’ve met people who’ve been depressed for 20 or more years! I’m not sure how they got as far as they did considering that life must have been a great challenge for them.
For Eric, even though he’s been through the worst of it, his depression still comes and goes.
This surprised me.
I thought, “Once you’re over it, you’re over it! Aren’t you?”
This interview enlightened me in a couple ways:
- We all get into, get out of, and experience depression just a little differently
- Sometimes we can be so deeply depressed that no amount of thought processes or exercises can pull us out
In regards to number 2, Eric found that he had to turn to medication in order to get to a place where any type of positive thought process could start.
I have a belief that depression can be countered if you dig deep enough to find when and how it started. But some people can block that part of their life out to the point where finding the source is impossible. Or, they were so young that they have no memory of it whatsoever.
That’s when Eric says that medication could help someone get to a better place, where their thinking gets clearer. This gives them a new starting point and helps them start making more conscious, more beneficial decisions for their life.
We cover more than depression in this episode, but I really do appreciate Eric taking the time to help me understand a wider perspective on depression and how everyone experiences the darkness just a bit differently.