It’s men’s mental health week, so I thought I would share my own experience in dealing with my internal battles. As a man, I feel like we’re told to suppress our emotions; this is not right. It’s good to talk about these things. We must talk about them.
Before becoming a dad, I never really understood anxiety or depression or any mental health problems in general as such. I suppose I was lucky? I wasn’t very understanding, until having kids, I always struggled with empathy. I rarely ever felt it.
Thinking about it, I’ve always been disconnected from society and socialising in general. I’ve never been bothered once in my whole life about making friends or what people think about me. I could have happily survived this life as a lone wolf. But life has a funny way of pulling you in specific directions.
My mental battles come solely from fatherhood and money worries; I’m not a ’lone wolf’ in this world anymore. I Have a beautiful family who I need to look after. It’s not enough to survive. We must thrive.
That is what I tell myself; sometimes, it can feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders. I’m not made to feel this way by anyone other than myself. It’s all self-pressure.
“The best thing you could do is master the chaos in you. You are not thrown into the fire, you are the fire.”-Mama Indigo
I must admit I’m a very proud person and feel the need to be self-sufficient in everything I do. I’ve always strived to be the best and struggle with letting people take over.
I’m always asking myself; Am I a good father? A good husband? It’s so easy to question your parenting skills, and have self doubt, because who really knows what they’re doing? I am one hundred percent learning as I go.
One thing that I have come to terms with recently is that ’money is never more important than time’. It’s worthless if you don’t have the latter. I’ve always been told I need to work, work, work.
I’m facing a mental battle at the moment of knowing that I need to work, my only option being a 9 to 5 right now, and the overwhelming feeling that I want to be more involved in my kids lives.
I never really paid much thought to this before lockdown, I’ve had precious time with my family that I would have never been able to obtain. I just don’t want it to end. I must make this my new reality.
These are somethings that help me:
- Talk to some about how you feel, anyone, maybe you would feel better speaking to someone who doesn’t know you personally?
- Think of all the good things you have in your life; I can tell you these will always outway the bad.
- Set a goal and stick to it. Sometimes having something to focus on can help massively.
- Be brave, do something out of your comfort zone; self-growth is always a good thing.
- Be true to yourself, that’s easier said than done with all the social pressures that exist in this day and age, but just remember nobody does you, better than you can.
- Spend time with the ones who love you most.
- Get plenty of rest when you can, a good night sleep does a wonder of good.
- If you’re a parent like me, take some time out for self-care. No matter how small, it all helps.
- Write down your feelings, such as I’m doing with this blog post. It can be an instant stress reliever.
- Join a community of like minded people online, places such as instagram can be amazing if you find some people who share the same passions or people who are going through a similar situation as you.
- Speak to your GP; they can help point you in the right direction, I’ve never had to do this personally, but my wife has always suffered with anxiety and speaking with the GP and getting set on the right course, in her case medication, has helped her massively.
there isn’t anything wrong with the way that you’re feeling, it’s okay not to be okay.
There are lots of people who want to listen. Amazing support networks out there. Since starting this blog I have met some wonderful people and made a lot of friends, and it’s crazy to find out how many people are going through the same things as you and have the same worries as you. You’re not alone.
If anybody reading this wants to talk to someone, speak to me. I’ll listen.
I’ll finish off by leaving some links to resources where you can get some expert advice, not only for yourself but also if you have concerns about anybody else:
Men’s Health forum
Rethink Mental Illness
- One-Year-Old Keeps Waking At Night-5 Reasons why
- Should I Leave My Baby Alone With Dad?
- Dad and Newborn baby bonding tips
- How to maintain a healthy relationship
- A dad’s mental health