David Nail: “It Was a Chore Just to Get to Zero”

David Nail has provided what is probably the most enlightening description I’ve ever heard of what it’s like to suffer from depression.

“The only way I’ve ever known how to explain it is that every day I would wake up … I feel like everybody starts at a zero and different things can take you up and down,” he explained. “I started out in the negative. It was a chore just to get to zero and so many days … I could never. … If I got to 10, it was just for a second.”

That’s what his mindset was for years, he said in an interview with The Tennessean , Nashville’s daily newspaper.

But after realizing he was suffering from something real and things had to change, Nail is now being treated for his depression with therapy and medication.

It sounds like he’s is no stranger to problems going on for too long. He told the newspaper his attention deficit disorder went undiagnosed as a kid in a small town, and the adults just thought he couldn’t concentrate because he’d had too much sugar in the morning.

“I remember getting those letters sent home (from school),” he said. “It was just something you didn’t talk about it. Nobody back then really knew what (attention deficit disorder) was, so anytime somebody says, ‘Were you a bad kid?’ I was bad, but deep down I didn’t know any better. I was trying.”

Now that he is on the road to recovery, Nail’s music is making some positive changes, too. His new album I’m a Fire is more upbeat that his past albums, and he seems proud of his ability to record a wider range of music.

“There’s so many songs that I would never have entertained even writing or recording had it not been for getting well,” Nail said. “Suddenly, as a result of that, you’re exploring all of these new possibilities.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.