For Men Like Me

I’m learning once again I simply cannot please everybody. It’s impossible.

Constantly, the people-pleaser in me pulls my strings like a crazed puppeteer, and I tiptoe around every person I meet. Especially over the last couple of months, in these divisive times, I have made statements on Dadding Depressed–bold, atypical statements–only to retract into my hole with apologies and “I didn’t mean that”s for fear of displeasing someone, offending the sensitive, or shaming family members with differing beliefs. I imagine the sighs of disapproval, the bullets of fret sweat, and the fervent prayers on my behalf on the receiving side of the computer screen. So, I live in the gray. I pussyfoot on the line. I balance the opinions of the entire world on my delicately typing fingers. And, put simply, I am untrue to myself.

Be True To Myself?

“Be true to yourself.” Where did that even come from? Some Disney musical or first lady campaign for preteens? What does it mean? I don’t know, I really don’t, but perhaps it starts with firing the puppeteer, the people-pleaser, and accepting the fact that I cannot entirely please everyone. I shouldn’t even try. Those who stand above the rest, who fuel positive change in this world, are not the people who live to please others; they are the ones who faithfully serve an ideal, a conviction, an inner pull of responsibility bigger than any single person’s opinion. These individuals offer a unique voice among the babble; they do not hide in the gray when a line has been drawn, and neither should I.

So I’m Refocusing

I took a week off from posting on Dadding Depressed because I caught myself succumbing once again to that evil puppeteer. Obsessing over clicks, visits, and views, stats, and people’s varying opinions of me and my blog, I found myself losing sight of my mission and releasing my grip on inner convictions of personal responsibility. I needed to go back and read my About page to remember the reason I write.

A voice for silently-struggling men, Dadding Depressed is a resource for guys with mental illness and their supporters from a struggling new dad’s perspective.

Did you know, in 2015, 7 of 10 suicides were males? Ingrained at a young age, sayings like, “Boys don’t cry” and “Cowboy up,” still haunt men into adulthood. These words pressure men into internalizing struggles and empower depression and anxiety to quietly chip away at their lives. Despite common belief, these issues are not gender-exclusive; many men deal with mental illness and too often their battles are fought in silence.

Living with depression and anxiety, I have noticed a need for male advocacy in online resources regarding mental health. I am a freelance writer equipped with honesty, perspective, and humor. As I personally learn how to better function as a new dad and a man dealing with the challenges of mental illness, it is my hope to be a voice for other men who are silently hurting.

My vision is clear, my responsibility is apparent. All are welcome and even encouraged to read my blog, but for the sake of my sanity, my potential influence, the people for whom I write, and in honor of my inner convictions, it is essential I refocus on the task at hand.

This Is Why I Write

Dadding Depressed exists for the silently-struggling. I write for men with mental illness, for those who know not the names of their hardships while they wallow in confusion and isolation. I write for the men who think they are not man enough, masculine enough, or strong enough because they can’t even get out of bed some days, despise themselves, or have crying fits or panic attacks. I write for the men who feel a numbness towards their children and for the men overcome by irritability and anger issues, afflicting their coworkers, families, and friends. I write for the men who culture says no longer deserve a voice because our forefathers misused theirs. If you are a man broken, hurting, depressed, anxious, suicidal, not knowing how to move forward, how to keep going, how to thrive, how to even live, I write for you.

Trying to please everyone is the fast track to becoming obsolete, and men with nooses around their own necks can’t afford for voices like mine to fade away into the babble. It is vital I refocus on my mission and cut the strings from the vile puppeteer, remembering the beautifully simple words of Laurie Buchanan, PhD.

“Don’t allow yourself to be held hostage by the opinion of others.”

I write for all who read, but firstly for men like me.


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