I consciously decided to not hide my struggles with anxiety and depression. I want mental health, in particular, seeking help for mental health issues, especially among men, to be destigmatized. I’m still fighting, but I might be one step ahead on my journey to wellness and resilience than some people-and thit might be enough to make a difference.
Of course, me coming forward on my blog wouldn’t do as much as, say George Clooney or Randy Couture having the same conversation, but I’ll do what I can.
What I’ve learned is I can be of use, connecting people to resources, and listening. Do I want strangers to contact me and unload on me? Not really. It’s hard to listen to someone else’s suffering and not take it in. I’m not a trained professional, I don’t have the ability to both empathize and compartmentalize. For a friend, though, I’d go to the ends of the Earth.
A few friends have reached out to me-we talked about my struggles and theirs. In a few cases, our relationships didn’t really have this dynamic before. It was encouraging to discover I have become resilient enough to handle this, that I am a sort of mental illness warrior bodhisattva. I’m glad for it- I need dudes to talk to. We talk about career stress, fatherhood, depression. We talk about art and music and motorcycles and cagefighting. We attempt to close the distance that at first is a comforting insulation, and morphs into a dark and funky isolation.
Connect with someone, preferably someone you can meet face-to-face. Get professional help. Whatever you do, don’t to get through it on your own. It may be to handle, and you may not be thinking clearly. If you have no one, you can talk to me.
Today is Suicide Prevention day. Please take a moment to visit http://www.afsp.org/.