In many ways, Abe was a deeply troubled man with a history of depression and other issues. He seemed to handle them pretty well and , on the outside at least, kept them under wraps.
He Was Afraid To Carry Knives Because He Might Kill Himself
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On the surface, Lincoln seemed like a fun-loving joker. He would go out with the mask of a smile on his face and crack filthy jokes, letting everyone think he was the cheeriest man alive. When he was alone, though, he struggled with crippling depression.
He told a friend that he “never dared carry a knife in his pocket” out of fear that he’d kill himself. It wasn’t an unwarranted fear—he very nearly did it more than once.
In winter 1840, Lincoln spiraled into a terrible depression. He was engaged to Mary Todd but had fallen in love with another woman named Matilda Edwards. He couldn’t bring himself to call off his wedding. But the emotional struggle was tearing him apart.
In the words of a colleague, “Lincoln went crazy as a loon.” Lincoln had a mental breakdown, becoming unable to work or do anything but sit and talk about how horribly miserable he was.
He may not have carried a knife in his own pocket on any day, but his friends couldn’t trust him to have a blade anywhere in his home during his dark moments. They went through his house, pulling out every kitchen knife and shaving razor, convinced that Lincoln would kill himself if he was left alone for a second.
Truth be told, there were probably many famous leaders throughout history that had a few mental problems, some we never hear about until after the fact. In other cases, however, the signs are often quite obvious, ya know?
Coffee out on the patio this morning. Nothing crazy about that!