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One cell at a time

A million small steps will bring you far way

Today was a good day. I spent many hours in front of my laptop. I finally got 2 good hours, the rest was mediocre or simply wasted but I feel great… Two good hours… Few years ago I was able to pull out 16 a day, 6 days a week, but zero complains now. In two good and productive hours I got a general scenario of all the financials in my project, my new project. Yes, It will take a while but I am kicking back to gain some air again, to escape these muddy waters. In some of the bad hours from today, I generated a sort of calendar, so I think I could have finished a draft of my project in 4 weeks. It is not impressive by any practical means but to me it is simply great because I could push back depression, the monsters in my head, that heavy sadness in my heart. I had 2 hours of light.

Yes, very small steps, so small I can handle each one, very small steps I conquer and place one after the other and then I see I make some progress. Yes, there is vertigo and I worry when I make some progress, then I think all was a fluke and tomorrow all will be shit and dark but then again, it doesn’t have to be all like that… Tomorrow I will fight many small steps again, yes, I need to feed this tiny hope, this candle in the stormy night…

So now it is 6 pm. I will prepare some dinner for my daughter and will listen to her day. I will remember the day she was born, those deep blue eyes that changed to light brown, between honey and almond. I will remember how I changed her first diaper, how I played with her when she was a baby, how I told her a story every night before she went to bed… Yes, I remember that… If I was 10,000 miles away and with a big time difference, in a meeting, I used to go to the bathroom and Skype her so I could make up a great story with brave characters and monsters and adventures… Now she is a teenager and I enjoy when we talk about life, her future, Star Trek or dogs, yes, but in my heart she will always be 5 and I will always miss those bed-time stories…

I digress 🙂 I meant I will relax now, have some dinner, enjoy her company and soon go to bed, no TV, no phone, no more laptop. I will read Rendevouz With Rama, or a biography of Genghis Khan or a paper on genes related to autism or a book about AI. I will let mi mind relax and then, hopefully, sleep.

Excel, mon amour…


Living on the surface of my brain

Focusing on small simple steps…

I could finally shave today, the way I always liked it, very hot water, warm soap and brush, safety razor… I applied the soap, abundantly, let it work on my 3-day beard, then shaved once, washed my face, applied more soap and shaved a second time, then a third one. After 3 repetitions, my hard beard is gone and my face is smooth and soft. It is not about looks, it is about taking control of my acts, myself, for 15-20 minutes and doing it by focusing on myself.

Depression is there, preying on my mind, hidden in corners and drawers of my brain, patiently changing its chemistry. I know, I have been defending myself against it for over 2 long and dark years. Few weeks ago I realized I had been fighting depression on its grounds, where it is strong: my fears, my sadness, my lack of energy. Then I thought I might chose other grounds, so I decided to work far away from my interior, meaning I began focusing on very simple and routinary things, like preparing coffee, frying and egg, breathing slowly for 5 minutes, etc. In the last 2 weeks I shaved few times and none in the last 3-4 days, so today I did it. Yes, a small and simple thing, but a victory for my heart…

That small victory gave me strength to prepare a hot coffee, eat a bit and then sit down in front of my laptop, open Excel and start working on a new project. I was very good at this, I used to have a knack for long-term vision, product development, cost analysis, development timing, time to market, marketing strategies… I failed choosing partners but now I don’t want any, so I don’t need to worry about that. I opened a new Excel file and began working. I could work for an hour or so, very efficiently. It was my first good hour in a long time. I went for another coffee and then my strength was gone but I didn’t panic, I just worked very slow now but still working…

I remembered I only had to focus on the very simple (superficial) details of what I was doing: turn the laptop on, open the file, type just the first cell, once the first cell was ok, then the second, etc. When all the numbers and financials were in place, open the function library, program JUST ONE function, focus only on extremely simple steps… SO I got a very good hour and a mediocre second hour. Now I write this entry in my blog and once I finish, I will close the blog and send JUST ONE EMAIL to a provider asking for the COGs of some references. I won’t negotiate, won’t work on future inventory or delivery costs or storage or legalities. I will focus on that email until it is sent. Then I will go for another small, tiny step…

I don’t want to think about lack of funding now, or my doubts about myself… No, I want to advance step by step. I will put 8 hours of laptop today and probably will get 2 good ones and 2 mediocre ones, the other 4 will be wasted from a practical point of view but I will put the fight against sadness, surrender and depression. I am an entrepreneur, I don’t want a boss, I want to develop my own ideas and products, what burns inside me, I want to go back to the days when I could push ahead.

No, I won’t fight back depression by deep analysis, I will fight it back on simple grounds, on a daily and routinary basis. Step by step. Years ago I could work 18 hours a day and advance extremely fast. Now I start very slow, but it is COMPOUND INTEREST, so I know tomorrow it will be a bit better, and the day after tomorrow a bit better and so on…

Yes, it was a good shave…

The very first step to fight back depression: Quality SLEEP

I was just asked what is, in my experience, the very first step to fight back depression. I have a very clear answer: QUALITY SLEEP.

When you realized you are clinically depressed and you need to start taking some actions to fight back or you will really take your own life, the first you need to do is to control your BODY. I have learnt (no genious here, it has been published many times) that you can use your body and routines to start fighting back depression, since depression is a black hole of chaos and lack of energy…

The very basics are:




So the first step is GOOD SLEEP. I don’t mean (at all) spend a lot of time in bed. I mean SLEEP when you are in bed, sleep 8 hours a day (night).

I used to go to bed tired, exhausted, and then turn the light off and start tossing around, moving, thinking over and over my own misery. Then, at night, all my fears came free and ate me alive, inside out. So next morning I woke up cranky, tired and even more depressed. I understood bad sleep was a big problem so I began fighting it back. I still doit, my nights are not prfect or even good, but I now I can reach at least 4 good hours (and growing). How? Well, there are different ways. I discard taking sleeping pills, they are the very last resource for me since, in my experience, even when they make me sleep 8 hours, I am quite a zombie next day. Also, I CANNOT DREAM when I take them, so no more sleeping pills for me. In a very bad situation, I can exercise a lot (A LOT) during the two hours right before going to bed, I don’t have a big dinner and I don’t drink a lot of water (or I will get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom). I exercise a lot, like a maniac, with no music. Then I take a hot and long shower, as hot as I can and at least for 30 minutes. Then I go to bed and turn the light off. I don’t use my cell phone or laptop during at least the 3-4 hours before actually getting into bed, for me it is very true what they say about it. I have also learnt that turning the AIRPLANE MODE on 3-4 hours before I go to bed helps a lot because I am not just nervous about bad news coming by email or a bad phone call, all triggered by anxiety.

If you can, meditate for 10-15 minutes after the shower and before getting into your bed. Meditation really helps me too. I am still a begginer but the key is to control your breathing so your heart relaxes and its rate goes down. Anxiety increases heart rate and you will never sleep if you go to bed with a crazy drum inside your chest.

Always keep in mind good things take time, effort and patience, so never expect all to be OK the first night. You might need 1-2 weeks before you can reach 4 good hours of sleep.

Once you have your sleep under control, you can work on your diet and eating habits. For me, it is better to eat 4-6 times a day in small portions than fewer times and more food. Also, I need to have a light dinner and 2-3 hours before I go to bed, as I said before. Every once in a while treat yourself; in my case I go for a big, juicy and greasy cheese burger but I can also cook a big meal (stew, paella, steak…) and then eat with some wine. I cannot do this every day, of course, but, say, once every 2 weeks or so works for me.

When you control your sleeping and eating habits, then you need to work on your exercise habits. Regularity is a must. You can practice a sport or hit the gym or weights or whatever works for you. The key issue here is regularity, make a habit of it. Do it the same week days at the same time, it will help your mind a lot, not only your body.

Who am I? Sometimes you can hit the target but miss the self…

What to do when we forget who we are? Perhaps simplify our lives…

I often wonder WHO AM I. Yes, I know my name, SS number and parents/spouse/daughter names. I also know I love sailboats, biplanes, red apples, rice and dogs. I know I love to read and I used to play the guitar years ago. I know, very well, that I love Tokyo and Florence to death and that I long for the Mediterranean licking my bare feet on yellow sand. I know the Tuscany colors even with my eyes closed, and the smell of London and NYC in a busy Sunday morning. I will also remember the smell of my daughter’s hair when I used to comb it every night (she was 4 or 5). I know all those things. But I am not those things. I am something else…

When I feel lost inside myself (the worst and loneliest place to feel lost) I open the windows of my mind and throw things away. I simplify as much as I can and discard books, shoes, winter clothes, old postcards and pictures… I empty my room, my desk, all the pockets in my shirt and pants. I then try to empty my mind as much as I can.

Then, sometimes I am lucky and the answer comes to me: I AM A MAN WHO ENJOYS LIGHT, COOKING AND POETRY, I AM A MAN WHO LOVES CREATING A COMPANY FROM ZERO. Then I see I am not my pain or my fears or my job (or lack of job). I am much more and much less than that.

Whoever I am, he looks at me then and I reach to that mature man with hope and a smile. And it is then that I bring back all those things to my pockets and the books and memories. It is then that I close my eyes and can be back in Tokyo or Florence or London or NYC. Then I feel the Mediterranean on my skin and I can cook some good rice dish or a good fish.

I am always beyond the last word so I don’t define myself verbally. I am this and that, I used to do this or that, I am not the person who owns X or Y. I, simply, AM…


The dark deceiver is not to be trusted…

Reality is the idea you have about reality… In other words, the only world that really exists is the one we create or re-create in our minds. We see things outside, then we put two and two together and then we form a working image of it in our minds. That image is the map we use to navigate every day, to open the door, grab the car keys and face the world. In a normal situation, that map is ok and useful but when you are depressed that map is distorted by FEAR. Fear causes stress and when we live in anguish, any shadow becomes a monster in our imagination. Again, it is a defensive mechanism that 1 million years ago saved us from a lion but today it might kill us.

The first defense mechanism you need to exercise against depression is mistrust against fear in general, your fears in particular and exactly the monsters you see around you. When you are down, fears are multiplied by a billion and the reality map distortion will drive you to terrible scenarios: shadows empowered by shadows. The first thing is NOT TO TRUST YOURSELF when you fall to anxiety. Learn the name of your enemy, identify those fears.

So what to do when you panic? When your heart races out of your chest? I have learnt a couple of things in the last 2 years. A useful thing (at least for me) is to grab a white piece of paper and write (this blog is a version of that). I write my fears, my hopes, I list everything in boxes and I draw arrows connecting boxes. I try to make some sense of whatever is in my mind. Then, if the result is still messy, I throw that paper and start all over again with a new one. I repeat this over and over until some clarity comes to me.

A second and very important thing I have learnt is that OUR BODY AND OUR MIND ARE ONE UNITARY THING. So we can influence our mind using our body. If I am really down, I just move a bit towards the door, then I stop, gather strengh, ponder my steps and take a few more. Eventually, I reach the door and then look through the glass. I see the exterior and then, after a while, I can open it and take a few steps outside. Then I just sit there. If it is very cold, I bring a thick cardigan or even a blanket and I just stay there. If I manage to do this, to reach the porch of the house where I live, then I have changed the scenary my eyes see and my skin feels. I can now smell other things, hear other sounds and then my mind learns that there are more things, other things different from my pain and darkness. This helps in tiny bits but a tiny bit can make an enormous difference.

A second thing I have learnt to do is a brief phone call, under one minute. I call somebody totally unrelated to my mood or my darkness. I can call some online company selling TVs or socks or paint or a cruise to the Bahamas. I call and talk to somebody about something I really don’t care to even consider buying (and besides, I have no money left). But that call gives me the glimpse of a reality outside my mind, outside this room and this house. I can talk for a minute or so and then I just hang up (sorry) because I get anxious. Nevertheless, those 60 seconds helped me put some perspective in my head.

When I am really down I keep it very simple. If I am tired I set up the alarm clock for ONE HOUR, put it away from the bedroom and then I go to my bed to sleep. After that hour it forces me to get up and turn it off (if I keep it close to my, I turn it off and simply hide under the covers). I can also take a shower; for some reason getting undressed seems to me like a lot of work when I am down so I have to do it slowly. Getting dressed after the shower is always easier and I feel better.

No matter what I do, always the first thing is to be aware of my inner demons, of those thoughts distorting my minds. I just sit down, close my eyes, breath deep and regularly and then I think things are a bit better than I am feeling in that particular moment. For some reason, these lines from Game of Thrones just came to my memory:

We ask the Lord to shine his light, and lead a soul out of darkness. We beg the Lord to share his fire, and light a candle that has gone out. From darkness, light. From ashes, fire. From death, life.

Sunrise of the mind

Sunrise over the Mid Hudson area

Like every day, I got up at 6 am, struggled to find energy to brush my teeth and wash my face. Today I couldn’t shave, I looked at the dried brush and razor and just didn’t have the energy to do it. I went to the kitchen and poured some coffee my wife had already made, I sat at the table with my daughter while she had breakfast and we talked for few minutes about simple and silly things. This is what saves my life every day, every morning, her face, her world full of future and also uncertainty, her dreams of becoming this or that, the little stories she tells me about her friends.

When I get up in the mornign and see no sun light through the window I feel a dark night still covers my mind and I retreat to dark places inside myself. I just wait, anxiously, for some signs of the sunrise. Then, a weak clarity can be seen over the mountains and I know there will be light again. Like a cave man 50,000 years ago, I ask Nature to please bring light, bring sun and a blue sky over my head.

In the last 2 years of depression I have learnt not to trust my early morning feelings. When I get up they are always somber, fed by areas of my brain in charge of old, reptilian mechanisms of defense: FEAR. Yes, fear of the unknown, fear of the known, fear of what might happen or not happen… Fear is a basic mechanism of defense, of readiness. Our body prepares to fight or to run away from a fight. Fear is wired in our brains and behaviors, yes. When you are depressed, fear is a big and dark monster able to freeze us, to eat our will. Then, one day, you decide to take your own life and an enormous sense of peace flows through your heart. You see all that pain will cease soon, once you do it. But with a bit of luck you still have some light inside, some tiny inner voice telling you to look at your daughter’s eyes in the morning, or to your sife, or perhaps it is a sense of God or godly presence, or it is your favorite sports team… Whatever it is, GRAB IT. Grab it because it is the only lucid thing in your damn mind/life.

In my case, I need to see my daughter’s eyes in the morning, hear her complaining with her teenager’s view of the world. Then, when she is gone to school, I need to grab my morning coffee and just sit by the window waiting for that first light, the promise of a possibility, of perhaps some energy to fight back a bit, to make some room inside myself so I can breath.

That frist light allows me to see the empty canvas I am now. Emptiness is a lot of pain, yes, but also the promise of POSSIBILITY: I can have some hope. Yes, my life is in ruins, there are only liers and vultures around me (this is what happens when you are weak and cannot defend yourself), yes I made mistakes in my life, yest I trusted the wrong people. But that first light also allows me to see I am a human being so I can be reborn from my ashes. I can see I have a spirit, a mind, two healthy hands and still some will to live, not to kill myself, not today, not now… I have made mistakes, yes, but I have also done great things: I have tried, I haved given all my money, my time and my health to help others and that is a good feeling somehow. Yes, I must fix many things inside me, yes, but I have some good materials left after the storm.

Never trust fear, always wait for that little, weak and early life, grab your coffee and allow light come through the window…


What I have learnt from HELL

Yes, I have been deeply and clinically depressed during the last 2 years and now I start this blog to (among other things) vomit all the crap that bitters me inside, all the sadness, all the bile…

Yes, I still think of taking my own life, though in those really terrible moments I think of my wife and my daughter and I still manage not to do it. This also means while my life was going to hell emotionally, professionally and financially, I had a lot of time to think and read so I have been reflecting on why do we destroy our lives, the deep causes, not the symptoms or the actual mistakes (that are the consequences of deeper problems).

Once you are depressed and really down, my basic set of rules for survival first and perhaps some day even rebuild re-yourself are:



I think the deep, deep problem that starts corroding us inside is the DISTORTION OF TRUTH. In other words, for different reasons, one day we accept a lower quality of truth in our lives, we accept some little lie that we tell ourselves or we are told or we tell others. That weakens all foundations in our deep being. Looking back in my life, I can pinpoint precise moments when this happened to me. A lie is not only a morally reprobable thing. A lie is a mirage, a false reality in front of us, a rotten apple in our basket… Now, there are absolute and big truths that we must and need to keep clear and clean but also a myriad of smaller truths, little ones, that in many occasions we don’t care too much to twist simply because it is convenient in that moment. I could paraphrase Jordan Peterson and say that YOU SHOULD ALWAYS TELL THE TRUTH OR AT LEAST DON’T LIE. But this goes even beyond that…

Yes, you are responsible of maintaining the truth in your life, so in addition to telling the truth or at least not lying, YOU NEED TO FIGHT BACK AND REJECT ALL LIES THAT COME TO YOU FROM OTHERS. So TRUTH is the basics of all you will end up building up in your life. I failed to defend truth in many occasions. Sometimes I saw somebody doing the wrong thing in my company and I was too busy to act. Big mistake, I paid the price. Sometimes somebody understood what he/she wants to understand from my words and NOT what I meant but I failed to go further and clarify all again and again and again. Yes, big mistake.

After depression hit my mind as a freight train, as a 200 pound hammer, I saw all collapsing inside me. It took over 2 years for all to collapse, yes, all, from my financials or my possessions to my health. But there is a very useful tool I still have and use: DETACHMENT. In few words, I can see myself from outside myself, like a sort of independent Einstenian observer. I see now that I am a very intelligent and capable person, I was a good entrepreneur and CEO in many of the things I did (also I made some quite big mistakes, yes). So I realized that building up a startup has an early stage slow-path learning/development curve. During that period it is KEY to set up the foundations based on TRUTH and clear concepts, documents, financials etc. NEVER EVER hurry up: you will pay an enormous price down the way.

It is also truth that when you do things wrong, those mistakes will always catch you, hurt you. The thing is that those mistakes don’t hit you right away but there is always a delay. This means you can even forget those mistakes but one day they hit you hard, 2 or 3 years later. Remember: if your foundations are not rock solid, all will collapse eventually.

So after being my own independent Einstenian observer, I came up with this very simple set of rules that now I am applying to my own life. I have many bad days but now some good ones too, or better to say some good hours in one of those bad days. During those good hours I can see clearly, the dark cloud of my depression lifts up and I see the sky, I see blue over my head. I know there is still love for life inside me even when 95% of my time I cannot reach it.

These simple 8 rules help me to get those simple few hours of blue sky. From that, I am trying to breathe, to come back from the dark hell of my depression.

About Procrustes

There are partners and partners…

I began my entrepreneurial adventure 8 years ago. I was focused on developing new drugs against pediatric rare diseases. I had two companies, let’s call them A and B, both working on the same field. We were approaching clinical trials and we needed several million dollars for the next step. We did not find any investor or VC fund interested in these diseases (all of them come to you once the drug is well advanced in clinical development). Those days were quite hectic to me and I met a guy, older than me, also from the pharma industry. I will call him Procrustes. He was a typical sales person who had been fired from his previous company. He explained to me how unfair they were with him and how much money he made for his former employers. I did believe him, completely. He is one of those people able to look into your eye and lie about anything so convincingly that you do swallow all he says. Yes, I was a complete idiot, I should have checked his story and background but I have to confess I just believed him. Should I have investigated a bit about him, I would have discovered how he was fired because I stole money from sales, organized a parallel network of pharmacies to which he sold products in a sort of black market approach, etc. His former company reached an agreement with him to kick his ass before any public scandal.

When you are an entrepreneur you tend to think others see your project the same way you see it, with tons of passion and faith in its potential. Don’t make this mistake. This is not true and it is a good thing it isn’t. Procrustes acted as if he had found the holly grail of pharma projects with mine, he jumped on board with no pay but I gave him a % of my B company and lots of freedom to develop a series of subproducts for the skin care industry so we could reinvest 100% of those profits into the pharma activities. THough he had no salary initially, I learnt later that he, again, sold our products to pharmacies the same way he had done in his previous company. With time, like the cuckoo bird, he managed to elbow out a third partner, with lies and smiles. I should have fired Procustes then and send him to hell but I was idiotically focused on the research and I didn’t (BIG mistake).

One day, Procrustes showed up with a lawyer, a friend, all smiles; I will call him Misha. Again, I should have know better but I didn’t. Long story short, with time, smiles and lies, I gave them more and more % of the B company and one day I was out. That simple. When I protested they showed to me all the docs I had signed up and Misha threatened me with long and expensive lawsuits. With no money at all to legally defend myself, no salary (all I had was in both companies) I swallowed my pride, gave away Company B and focused on Company A but all debts was there (none in B), so I ended up losing everything.

Now, I admit I made an enormous mistake, I should not have trusted Procrustes and Misha. I should also have closed my companies much earlier, when the cash flow was very bad and debt too high. I should (too) have paid attention to Procrustes acting as the cuckoo bird. I admit my mistakes, I regret them but admit them and I learnt from them. What really hurt me those days was that Procrustes DID NOT NEED TO LIE TO ME. I had given a big chunk of Company B to him and I would have shared even more. In other words, he lied to me because IT WAS IN HIS NATURE.

Yes, it is the frog and the scorpion fable again… Briefly: a frog and a scorpion are on the same bank of a river, both want to get to the other side crossing the water and the scorpion asks the frog to jump on her back since he cannot swim. The frog hesitates and asks the scorpion if it will behave and not sting her. ‘Of course I won’t hurt you !!’ says the offended scorpion ‘How am I going to hurt you if you are the one carrying me???’ The frog is convinced and carries the scorpion o her back. In the middle of the river, the scorpion stings the frog and the surprised and dying frog asks the scorpion WHY, tho which he answers: ‘I COULDN’T HELP IT, IT IS IN MY NATURE’.

Now, my point is: there are many people like the scorpion, out there, and Procrustes is one of them. I was a stupid frog and I should have known better, yes, but people HAVE THE CAPACITY OF REFLECTION AND THE FREEDOM TO CHOSE. So why did he lie to me? Why? Because that is the way he is and feels and sees the world. He needs to lie so he feels in control and he doesn’t have anybody around…

My problem is not really Procrustes and his mendacity, no… My first mistake is that I did not do my homework and check his past. My second mistake is that I was not on top of his bad actions to kick his skinny ass out of the company before it was too late. But I am still perplexed today about his actions because if he had been an honest person, Company B would be worth much more today and he would have much more money (yes, at the end of the day, everything is about money). So WHY??? Why did the scorpion kill the frog?? It wasn’t in his best interest, so WHY??? Because that is the nature of human beings… It is in human DNA and when an optimistic idiot like me thinks that everybody will want to develop new drugs to cure a few kids suffering from a rare disease, well that idiot is wrong.

So what have I learnt? Control your company, be on top of things, don’t trust any kindness but reward a work well done, fire anybody the minute you stop trusting that person. A company must be kept healthy, runned by a team of people interested in ADDING VALUE to it. You can also be interested in curing diseases and that is wonderful, but without ADDING VALUE TO IT, EVERY DAY, you will kill it.

One last word of advice: be aware of the Procrustes in your life. They are rats and you should treat them like rats: exterminate them the minute you spot them.

First entry…

Today I am in a dark place, lost inside myself where nothing else can reach. I start this blog as a sort of message in a virtual or cosmic bottle to reach to other human beings that might also be in pain, alone, with a bleeding soul.

I am 52, I put in my company ALL I had and all went to hell. I lost everything but the worst part is not even that, it is seeing those ‘friends’ I had were there just for the money, to squeeze all they could and now that I have nothing they either go away (if I am lucky) or just stare at me with a vulturesque smile.

I cannot just sit here and list all bitter experiences. That would be just digging even deeper… I reach out looking for some sense. Was all this pain part of a universal plan so I learn and become a better person? Is life just a random succession of stochastic steps and in the end we just cease to exist? Is there any meaning in my suffering, in my mistakes, in my pain?

I have been depressed for more than 2 years. Now it is affecting my marriage and my daughter and believe me, I would gladly blow my brains out before hurting my wife or my daughter. Depression is a strange thing, a black hole of energy, of life, of future… I don’t have energy to shave, I don’t want to eat, I just want to cease existing, cease my life, stop breathing. And then, somehow, I still breath, my heart still pulsates blood to my brain, I still look through the window and see snow and trees. I still have dreams, plans, a laptop and a business model… I can rearrange my project, minimize the initial investment needed, generate an Excel scenario with financials, cash flows and Gantt steps to follow.

I am focused in the biotech/pharma industry. More precisely in pediatric rare diseases. I have seen kids die of terrible afflictions, just go down, lose the light in their eyes, the strengh in their muscles… I wanted to change the world, develop new drugs against those diseases, save them. But I failed, I chose the wrong partners (that was MY mistake, I admit it), people who managed to divert me from my main goal and for this I also blame myself because I trusted them when I shouldn’t have. I have my intelligence intact, my instinct, my mind, but I don’t have my heart anymore, I have no energy, no passion left. I just sit or close my eyes on bed. Nobody wants to be with a person that is down, deep in shit, in pain, in debt, in depression.

Yes, I can see crisp, clean and white snow through my window, trees still sleeping through this winter that will end soon. Yes, I decided to take my life, to end this pain. Only my daughter’s face prevents me from doing it. I wait, looking at my watch, for her to arrive from school, to listen to her count of how her day was, what friend did/said what, what subjects did she study today. I look at my wife, that marvellous human being that I am hurting every minute and I want to hold her or to just rest my head on her knees and cry or sleep or talk for hours, but I keep in silence, instead. We have lost our house, our car, our savings, our friends, our dogs… She is still here, sad though still at my side, I wonder for how long…

I have experienced the thrilling chills of scientific discovery, of molecules that only existed in my imagination, coming to life and then treating cultured cells from these kids and curing them in the lab, under my eyes. That is an inefable feeling, there are no words to describe it because there is one entire and split second where and when you KNOW, for the first time, that you have the chance of saving a human being. Yes, I still have that, but it is also fading away.