Craig Melvin may appear to have it all together on TV, but he wants viewers to know that behind the scenes he's just as human as they are.
In a revealing interview for Selena Gomez's mental fitness newsletter Wondermind, the Today anchor, 43, got honest about how he processes his emotions while covering traumatic events, like mass shootings, as well as how he deals with feelings of impostor syndrome.
Melvin says that throughout his career, he's found it challenging to disconnect from the stories he's covering, which eventually became "problematic" after years of not addressing it.
"I covered a lot of consecutive mass shootings before the pandemic," he said. "I probably did eight or nine in the span of a year and a half. I found it was really bothering me, especially after having small children. I learned early on that in our line of work, you have to leave it at the office. You really do, because if you bring it home, it seeps into everything."
The South Carolina native went on to say that the Charleston church shooting in 2015, which took the lives of nine Black churchgoers, was a turning point for him.
"I had a close connection to that story. I was pretty down for a couple of weeks, but I couldn't figure out why," he explained. "Then I was talking to my therapist, and we sort of got to the bottom of it. When you cover death, doom, and destruction on a regular basis, it takes a toll on your spirit. It takes a toll on your soul, and you don't realize it, oftentimes until you're a couple years into it."
Going even deeper, Melvin shares that an ongoing challenge in his life is dealing with impostor syndrome, a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success.
"Wondering whether I actually belong, wondering if I'm as good as some in the audience might say that I am," the father of two said. "I struggle with feeling like I'm inadequate in some ways. I struggle with guilt — I think when you lose people who are close to you, you struggle with that. I struggle with a lot.
"Some days I'm on top of the world, and then some days I'm like, Ah, maybe I should have gone to law school. Maybe I should have gone into another field," he added. "But here's the thing: You start talking to other people, [and] you realize, Wow, everybody's going through something."
Still, acknowledging the will required to overcome devastating losses in his life — the death of his older brother to colorectal cancer and of his younger brother's 3-year-old daughter to a rare form of Ewing sarcoma — has made him stronger.
"I've had people say, 'Oh, Craig, you just seem so unflappable sometimes' or 'so cool' or 'collected,'" Melvin said. "I think when you have experienced and seen a lot, you start to realize that you can take a lot."
Melvin has spoken about the emotional work he's been doing to better himself and his family: a daughter Sibby, 5, and son Delano, 8, whom he shares with wife Lindsay Czarniak.
While reflecting on how his relationship with his dad directly impacts how he parents his children, Melvin explained in a June interview with Kindred by Parents that forgiveness is key in order to "break the cycle" of unhealthy parenting behaviors.
"I had to forgive my father for me because what had started to happen is I was angry," he said at the time. "I was annoyed all the time with him and with my mother for putting up with him. I was annoyed by him directly and indirectly, and our relationship was, it was a cold war."
Melvin explained it wasn't the kind of relationship he wanted his son to see.
"It was more important to me that my children came to know my parents, their grandfather. That was part of my motivation," he said.
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