The Rock's Emotional Strength

When the world calls someone “The Rock,” there’s an assumption that that person is strong, almost immovable. Standing at six foot five inches and weighing in at 260 pounds, you wouldn’t necessarily be wrong. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson would be pretty difficult to push down the stairs. But herein lies the problem – we tend to only take into account someone’s physical attributes, when what lies beneath the surface can be quite different.

In a 2015 interview with Oprah, The Rock opened up about a spell of depression he faced in his twenties. After being cut from a Canadian football team, and thus unable to pursue his dream of being a professional athlete, his sense of purpose diminished. It’s hard to imagine The Rock without his charisma and smile, but in his twenties, that smile was hard to conjure up. Depression, in the Rock’s word, is when “you just feel like you’re alone. You feel like it’s only you. You’re in your bubble.”

The Rock’s story highlights an issue with our perceptions of mental health. Often times mental health is stigmatized to mean fragile. Yet contrary to our beliefs, physical strength and mental strength have no apparent or relevant relationship. We think of a sad person sitting alone in a dark room. Do you picture a boy or a girl? A teenager or an adult? You certainly didn’t immediately think of The Rock, staying in a “little apartment for a month and a half and cleaning.”

This also opens the door for a conversation about perspective. If The Rock hadn’t been cut from the football team, he likely wouldn’t have pursued a career in wrestling, and consequently, acting. Many of us set goals and make plans for ourselves, which is important for keeping us motivated and engaged. But in the end, to path to happiness is nonlinear. Life is unpredictable, and there are many unexpected twists and turns that lead us to the places that we are today.

When we’re experiencing these times of isolation, loneliness, and despair, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. Everyone goes through hard times – from your peers, to your neighbors, and even Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. As hard as it may be to do, try to hold out for something good. As Johnson says, “hold on to that fundamental quality of faith. Have faith that on the other side of your pain is something good.”


Liz FernandezComment