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SLO County Supervisor Adam Hill to take time away from duties to - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

SLO County Supervisor Adam Hill to take time away from duties to deal with depression

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San Luis Obispo County District 3 Supervisor Adam Hill admitted Friday that he's suffering from depression that has clouded his ability to effectively communicate with others but he accepts responsibility for lashing out at a constituent recently.

In a letter sent to KSBY News, Hill said his depression has gotten the better of him, describing his situation as a "public figure suffering from private pain—a pain that expresses itself bluntly in frustrated outbursts."

"Alas, I am responsible for my own actions and I also know no amount of justification can mitigate troubles of my own making," Hill wrote.

Hill recently told a man to "f--- off" in a Facebook message. That man, Mark Burnes of Pismo Beach, took his concerns to the Board of Supervisors (minus Hill, who was not in attendance) during its meeting on Tuesday:

The four supervisors who heard Burnes' complaint agreed to direct staff to come up with a code of conduct for how public officials should interact with constituents.

Hill says his office will be active in meeting the needs of the public but he will "be taking some time to reflect." Here is his full statement:

Depression is a familiar companion of mine. We know each other well. When it pays a visit, it’s like old times.

Depression isn’t picky. It calls on everyone from time to time. For me, it often overstays its welcome.

I’ve struggled with depression nearly my entire life, a situation that for me, manifests itself in heightened states of anger and anguish.

Depression isn’t a nagging quirk of my personality, but rather a fixed obstacle to my well-being that must be overcome on more occasions than I’d choose. I’d rather depression not come see me at all, but when it does I need to learn better how to politely manage it until it leaves.

A public figure suffering from private pain—a pain that expresses itself bluntly in frustrated outbursts—has created a persona that has allowed me to avoid and dismiss the obvious signs of self-sabotaging patterns of behavior. But that, as I am all too aware, wears out the people closest to me, and exhausts most, if not all means of forgiveness and repair.  And that cycle of fluctuation and obstinacy prevents the calm reflection and hard work of healing oneself.

It’s not a secret that I have allowed outrage at injustice and unfairness to overwhelm my sense of proportion.  From an early age I have been too acutely attuned to the inequitable conditions of our society, without the balance of perspective or necessary acceptance of a great amount of futility.  As Camus tells us, “We must imagine Sisyphus happy.” I have not been able to do that.

Alas, I am responsible for my own actions and I also know no amount of justification can mitigate troubles of my own making.

This is perhaps a high falutin way of explaining why I’ll be taking some time to reflect on repairing my relationships with people I love and associate with. I need to be more effective in accepting and responding to all our human faults, mine most especially.

My office will continue to work on constituent services, and I will maintain as much of a public schedule as possible while getting myself in better shape emotionally and physically.

I appreciate everyone’s support, and am sorry for those who have been on the receiving end of my depression’s unwelcome visits.

See you all soon,
Adam Hill

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