For years, I found myself in the throes of depression without even realizing it. The weight of it just became my new normal. I won’t delve into the details of why I felt this way because, the “why” pales in comparison to what comes next.
What I did recognize was my plummeting motivation to work, write, or pursue the passions that once defined me. The lockdowns during COVID brought about a 20-pound weight gain and led me to abandon many of my goals. Reading Radio lost its momentum, and Be Better Tomorrow was abandoned for the same disheartening reason. Thankfully, my marriage remained intact, thanks in part to the solid foundation we had built over the years. Still, it weathered its share of rocky moments.
It’s alarming how many men, myself included, tend to convince themselves that “this is just the way life is.” I vividly recall friends and acquaintances who would return home, sit in the dark, or escape into mindless TV-watching. These men would repeat the cycle of monotony day after day, all while harboring an ever-growing resentment towards life.
The tragic truth is…I’ve lost more friends than I can bear to count to the silent struggles of mental health. Don’t let that be you!
Signs of Depression
From the NIH
- Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
- Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
- Feelings of irritability, frustration, or restlessness
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
- Decreased energy, fatigue, or feeling slowed down
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
- Difficulty sleeping, waking early in the morning, or oversleeping
- Changes in appetite or unplanned weight changes
- Physical aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not have a clear physical cause and do not go away with treatment
- Thoughts of death or suicide or suicide attempts
Depression is a relentless adversary, one that thrives in the shadows of secrecy and silence. But it begins to lose its grip when we have the courage to expose it to the light, to share our pain, and to seek help. You are not alone in this battle, and you deserve the support and understanding that can pave the way to healing and renewal.