One-minute review: Reflections on what he now realizes was a nervous breakdown.
Quote: “Of course all life is a process of breaking down, but the blows that do the dramatic side of the work—the big sudden blows that come, or seem to come, from outside—the ones you remember and blame things on and, in moments of weakness, tell your friends about, don’t show their effect all at once. There is another sort of blow that comes from within—that you don’t feel until it’s too late to do anything about it, until you realize with finality that in some regard you will never be as good a man again. The first sort of breakage seems to happen quick—the second kind happens almost without your knowing it but is realized suddenly indeed.” p. 139.
Comment: I think every man—and I did say “man,” not person—has had this experience. RayS.
Best American Essays of the Century. Editors: Oates and Atwan.