Former Nashville Mayor Megan Barry Hopes Her 'Worst Day' Inspires Others | Nashville Public Radio

Former Nashville Mayor Megan Barry Hopes Her 'Worst Day' Inspires Others

Nov 30, 2018

Former Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, who was forced to resign earlier this year, is quietly re-emerging in the public eye.

At a public appearance in Nashville last week, where she said she's trying to use her "worst day" as an inspiration for others. And that worst day was not March 6 when she had to resign.

"It wasn't the day I had to plead guilty to a felony. It wasn't the day I had to confess to an affair. It was the day that Max died."

Police arrived at her door in the middle of the night last year to deliver the terrible news. Her only child, on a cross-country trek home after graduating college, died of a suspected overdose.

More: Family And Friends Urge Mourners Remember Max Barry For His Vitality

She grieved publicly at the time and quickly started talking openly about the impact of addiction on her family. But since then, she's also had to come clean about an affair with the police sergeant leading her security detail and subsequently pleaded guilty to theft of city funds.

Barry says many have had it worse, but as a public person, she feels compelled to be candid.

"You get to pick yourself up and you get to keep on living your life," she told WPLN. "We're human and we make mistakes. So let your mistakes define who you are going forward not make you go and hide."

Barry says she came to this realization in Manhattan, Montana — population 1,700. She'd fled from Nashville on solo mission.

"I was running," she said in a TEDxWomen talk last week. "I was shedding my labels. I was no longer the mayor. I was no longer a mom. I was barely a wife. I was just Megan, and I didn't even know what that meant anymore."

One day, she said, she introduced herself to a bartender, named Becky.

Not necessary.

"You're just one step ahead of the law, aren't you?" the bartender joked.

"Becky assured me that even in Manhattan, Montana, they get CNN."