I woke up the morning after finishing up a recent blog post, with a smile. It is the story you are about to hear, and it felt good to get the story out that I am about to tell you. I’ve kept it bottled up inside, except the conversations that my wife and I had over the last two months, without a hint of what has been going on inside of me on social media.
But the smile represented what was the start of me feeling better and getting over what had started by a comment my wife made to me one Sunday afternoon…
“You really should watch your tone with William. You have been really hard on him lately.”
It was those words that told me there was something wrong. The headaches that I was experiencing during this time of my life was just an outward sign of the struggle going on inside of me.
I Was Parenting With Depression
I was depressed. I knew that I was, but I didn’t realize just how bad things were until that comment. It was then that I knew I had to make a call to my doctor so that I could feel better, not only for myself but for my family.
“Do you feel like you are worthless?” the nurse asked me as I sat down on the bed in the doctor’s office.
“Yes…” and my eyes started to swell with tears.
Handing me a tissue to dry my eyes, the nurse then said, “That answers my next question about if you start to cry at random.”
There was no need for me to feel depressed!
Sitting there, listening to the doctor explain what I needed to do to start feeling better, I began to think that there was no reason for me to be feeling this way. There were so many things going right in my life that I couldn’t explain why I was feeling so down on myself.
To start, my career as a social influencer was (and still is) on the climb. I was working with some fantastic brands that gave me the freedom to write truly authentic content for them. I was also getting to see amazing places and promote cites like St. Louis and Chicago that would typically be out of reach to vacation with my family.
My day job was going smoothly for the first time in my life. Granted, there were a few supervisor changes that had me feeling a bit uneasy, but it was something I had been through before and knew what to expect. Even though it might have been feeling crazy at the moment, there was something inside of me that was saying it will all get better… that voice might have been my wife, but there was also a voice inside telling me exactly the same thing.
Then there was my family life. It felt like everything was going right in that aspect of my life. Every morning I was able to wake up next to a wonderful wife, and my two kids were growing up to be some incredible young men. Sure, there was the occasional annoyance, but not a day goes by that I can’t look at my kids and think about how proud I am of them.
There wasn’t any reason for me to be parenting with depression in the way that I was feeling at the beginning of the summer.
You don’t have to feel this way.
To those who know me personally, they know that I am not one who typically feels this way. I am a positive person who always has a smile on his face, even if I am faced with difficulty. Sure I have days that are better than others. There are days in which I am frustrated with my job or the kids, or I have no motivation to write or produce content for The Rookie Dad, more often than not, I was happy. I could take a negative and spin it into a positive quicker than you could spit the negative out.
You might be wondering where exactly am I going with all of this. It sounds as if I am bragging about how great my life was, but for those 2 months, it wasn’t. I was suffering a massive headache day in and day out along with waking up frustrated, tired, and feeling hopeless with where the day was going before I would even step out of bed.
I’m sharing my story because I know that I am not the only one who has gone through or will go through a period in their life like this.
There is no shame in getting help.
The moment my wife told me, “You really should watch your tone with William. You have been really hard on him lately.” was the moment it all changed. It was the comment that encouraged me to pick up the phone and schedule a doctor’s appointment.
It’s interesting to someone who is going through a depression that there is that one moment, that ah-ha moment if you will when it all stops and you realize precisely what you are doing to yourself and those surrounding you. Sometimes it can come when your wife makes a comment to you about your tone with your children and you realize you are parenting with depression It happens at different moments throughout our depression too, it can be a comment from a friend or family member, it can be a moment when you feel entirely alone, it can be a moment when you are sitting there wondering why you are feeling the way that you are.
The unfortunate reality is that for some of us, that ah-ha moment happens when it is too late.
I don’t want to make this sound like it is easy, because it isn’t. Even though I am feeling much better than I was in May, I still have days that are harder than others. This isn’t my first-time fighting depression, but it was my first time parenting with depression, so I knew what was happening before my wife made that comment, I was just afraid to admit.
Saying that you are depressed is not easy to admit. Maybe you are reading this, and it is your ah-ha moment, perhaps you can see a friend who is going through the same thing I did (who felt more irritable than usual, had no motivation and didn’t feel like they were worth anything) or you are the point that you are considering ending it all.
I’m sharing my story with you so that you know YOU don’t have to feel this way. Do not feel ashamed in seeking out the help that you need. Talk to a friend, a spouse, a doctor, anyone that you feel comfortable with who might be able to help you.
Once you find the help that you need, change won’t happen overnight, and there are going to be days that you feel worse than others. But by seeking the help you need, you can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel and eventually thinks will get better.