One guy told me his brother committed suicide.
Another man, from a state I’d never been, sent me an email entitled, “I hope you read this.”
At a wedding in Cincinnati, a woman hugged me. I didn’t know why until she told me that she read my blog.
I’ve been maintaining Dadding Depressed for a year now. These stories, and others like them, have fueled my efforts and inspired my work in a way few other things have.
Sure, the numbers are encouraging. At this moment, 11,978 people have visited Dadding Depressed. I’ve had 20,772 views, and I’ve gained nearly 500 WordPress followers in under a year. Dadding Depressed has blogged just about every weekday and in a few weeks, I’ll be publishing my 200th post. Pieces like “How To Find Your Forehead,” “Are You Man Enough?,” and “Are We Just Talking About Talking About Mental Illness?” have especially gotten attention.
I’ve also been motivated by a sense of community. This past year, I’ve connected with many other bloggers, both local and on the other side of the world. I’ve recognized Dadding Depressed as an opportunity to facilitate the vital conversation I believe we need to be having, and I’ve created Facebook groups to do so. Once a month, I have guys come over to my house for BYOB and ping pong. My goal is simply to create a needed community for men whose lives are filling up with responsibility.
“There is someone else for whom I write, and I can only hope that Dadding Depressed might reach him.”
I’ve loved writing this blog, and I’m eager to see how Dadding Depressed develops throughout its second year. But, to be honest, while the community, the numbers, and even the people who share their stories with me are awesome, none of that is my goal. There is someone else for whom I write, and I can only hope that Dadding Depressed might reach him.
You know, panhandlers aren’t the face of homelessness? A friend of mine, who works at a local shelter, said he doesn’t see the same people in his kitchen as he does on the street corner. It’s because the true face of homelessness isn’t behind a cardboard sign. The true face of homelessness looks like you; looks like me.
She’s the barista serving you coffee.
He’s the man carrying a briefcase full of dirty clothes.
She’s just another child at school.
He has a Ph.D.
The people in the greatest need are often the most silent. They are those in our everyday lives and are masters of disguise. Ian Mclaren said, “Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”
“The people in the greatest need are often the most silent. They are those in our everyday lives and are masters of disguise.”
So, I write for the everyday man. I write for the man in the shadows, the dad who feels numb toward his kids and doesn’t know why, the guy who can’t bring himself to talk about mental health, or the depressed man who doesn’t realize he’s depressed. I write for the man who flounders quietly, and the boy cowering in shame, and the man who swallows his emotion and the man who is angry, irritable, addicted. I write for the silently-struggling and those functioning in this world but not thriving.
I write for those like me.
I lived most of my life as a depressed, anxious, and shameful person, hiding in the dark lest I be labeled as broken. I had no idea I was depressed. Believe it or not, I’d never connected those dots until I read a revealing article and was confronted by my mental health.
On April 19, 2017, in the gloom of my living room, where window shades were pulled like fortress walls and depression was a shackle on my mind, a blog came into being as a single spark of hope, a match for men in the dark.
It costs me $99 per year for the Premium WordPress account. Having this allows me to have my own domain name and it gives me access to sleeker design options.
There are projects in the making, including a live Dadding Depressed panel, and a podcast.
Your support will help allow me to continue investing in this project. I heartedly believe in Dadding Depressed. I hope you do too.
If you feel inclined to support Dadding Depressed in its mission to be a match for men in the dark, you now have the chance. Please visit DaddingDepressed.com/Support.