"I am now the most miserable man living. Whether I shall ever be better I cannot tell; I awfully forebode I shall not. To remain as I am is impossible; I must die or be better." - Abraham Lincoln

American film and television actor Joe Pantoliano once identified strongly with Lincoln's sad statement. Its hard for many of us to imagine that Pantoliano, a man who has achieved fame, wealth and adoring accolades could possible feel such a sense of quiet desperation. On the outside his life is glitter, glory and downright gorgeous. On the inside, not so much. Many other people profoundly identify with Abraham Lincoln's famous quote.

Pantoliano revealed this dark, empty cavernous secret of lifelong depression in a recent blog in the Huffington Post - "Stigma Ain't What it Used to Be". He writes about what he calls his emotional stigma and his compassion for the soldiers he visited in Iraq who similarly suffer with struggle and depression. Suicides among our heroes fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have outnumbered combat deaths since 2009, he writes.

Joe went to Iraq to help our men and women in uniform. He returned with something he did not expect. He embraced the surprising gift of life-affirming freedom self-expression provides. In sharing his secret with others who understood through experience Joe was able to shine light upon his dark hidden areas. He realized that by acknowledging and releasing rather than suppressing pent up negative energy he could finally set himself free.

It's an unfortunate fact - emotional disorders are common. The good news is we have the power to change that fact. We all have within us the tools to get back on the path to healing - acceptance, inner light and new perspective. Embrace who you really are underneath the layers of emotional trauma. Realize who you are capable of becoming. It's what you're here to do. Look for light where you see darkness or shadows. Reach for possibilities where you experience struggle.

"Speak up, speak loud and be proud." - Joe Pantoliano

Hiding depression perpetuates depression. Closeting any part of who you are kills the human spirit. Speaking your truth, examining it for what it is - or is not - is what each and every one of us is here to do. In his blog, Joe said the nine days he spent discussing depression with the soldiers was the best thing that ever happened to him. He began to see that he was more than just a Hoboken street kid making a fortune playing characters people love to hate - and hating himself because he wasn't an Al Pacino and any number of things that he allowed to ratchet up his anxiety meter.

Joe's got his Moxie back! He tapped back into his confident courage to achieve authentic greatness. He discovered a new perspective. Joe realized he is a man who has a lot to share and is more than capable of contributing to the greater good of all.

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