And I know I’m not the only parent to ever think or say these words. It’s a very human reaction to something that drastically changes your life.
But it has been a struggle I did not expect. I knew sleepless nights would happen.
What I did not expect to happen was to find myself in one of the deepest depressive moments of my life.
I’ve written about my mental health struggles before. This is something that I believe in sharing with others because it’s important. Men very rarely open up about their mental health, and sometimes when they do have been (or are) shamed for doing so.
This makes fewer and fewer men feel that it’s okay to open up and discuss how they’re feeling. And as much as I hate feelings (ugh), they are a part of this experience we call being human.
My human experience over the last four months has felt like I’ve been on a rollercoaster.
And I’m not talking about a fun rollercoaster that brings you laughter and glee.
Oh no, this is a rollercoaster that feels like you’re never coming out of the drop. Then when it does feel like things might level out, all of sudden you’re thrown into a loop-de-loop that crushes your skull through your spine and into your butthole.
You know, the kind of pressure they say is at the bottom of the ocean, but instead of crushing the Titanic, it’s crushing your soul.
There’s also no getting off this coaster. It never seems to return to the station.
You are its victim at 7am, 2pm, 8pm, 4am (the time I’m writing this email), or as you toss and turn in bed demanding that the ride end so you can go back to sleep after dream feeding your kid at 1:30am.
Fuck this coaster, man. I want off this thing.
Some of you reading this may have had an experience like this with your kid. Or maybe you live on this rollercoaster in your mind every day already.
I hope that my opening up about this makes you feel less alone, that you feel like maybe you’re not the only rider on this maniacal machine.
But I want to share with you the one thing I’ve tried to do every day to make it feel less shitty.
I am not a fan of these types of things most of the time. Platitudes like this often feel like they were created by someone who has never suffered from depression or that they found another way to say “cheer up, the sun will come out tomorrow!”
(And those people are people I want to punch in the face.)
Still, this small question has helped me attempt to at least do something good for someone else while I get tossed around on this crappy coaster. One thing I believe in doing is serving others.
It’s why I’m a coach at heart. It’s why I write these articles and emails and make posts on social media platforms that I loathe spending my time on.
And I’ve found that when I am in the throes of depression in the past, one thing that does help move me forward and through my situation is to continue to serve others.
Lately I’ve been asking myself this question every day:
I ask myself this every day, not to avoid what’s happening or how I feel — I can’t hide from the emotional and mental rollercoaster I’m on — but I ask myself this because it’s the only way I’ve found to keep the weight of how I feel from completely crushing me.
- Can I do something for a client that makes them feel extra special?
- Can I do something small for my wife that may feel infinitely larger for her?
- Can I text an old friend and tell them I appreciate our long friendship?
- Can I be a little extra kind to a stranger today?
I know friends who can’t get out of bed some days when they’re in the throes of depression. That may be you too. And if it is, please know I see you and that you are not alone.
Serving others when you’re in that situation may be an impossible task. And that’s okay. No judgment from me.
Truth is, everyone is fighting their own battle(s) every day that you and I don’t see.
But if we can all do a little more good for the world and those around us, perhaps we can lessen someone’s struggle and make the shit coaster they’re riding a little less, well, shitty.
So, I ask you, what little good can you do for someone today?