For many, Christmas is, as the saying goes, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. And while most of the people who celebrate Christmas are using the remaining days of this holiday season to trim the trees, buy the presents, hang all the decorations, carol all the carols, and force you to listen to endless loops of Christmas songs; to the point that if you hear one more, you’re going to Pa rum pum pum pum someone in the neck…
…wait, what was I saying? Oh right!
While all of the aforementioned festive fun, brings joy to many during this holiday season; there are some that are, right now, experiencing the most stressful time of their year, and their holidays feeling like anything but festive.
How do I know this? Well, I’m one of those people.
“Champions are willing to do anything necessary to be a champion. You’re a champion; do what it’s going to take to make you better.”
I’ve been called a lot of things in my life…I mean, A LOT…but I can’t recall a time I’ve ever been called a champion. Ok, maybe once or twice, but it was definitely laced in heavy sarcasm. You know, like when you screw up and some jerk calls out in a mocking tone, “Way to go champ,” followed by snickers and laughter. But that changed this week.
If you’ve been following me on Instagram or Facebook lately(and if not, fix that now!), you’ve probably seen I’m going through a bit of a rough patch again. Then again; when aren’t I going through a rough patch?
We’ve become quite the pair over the years; you and I. It almost feels like I’ve spent more time with you than anyone else in my life. I’ve visited you again and again. Even when I didn’t want to, I did it; kicking and screaming a lot of that time.
I have to be honest – I don’t like you. No…that’s probably a bit too harsh, but I’m sure that’s the vibe I give off. I feel, saying I don’t enjoy our visits, is probably more appropriate. Because why should I?
That’s the first time I’ve ever said, written, or even acknowledged that fact about myself.
I’ve never been to rehab, although; I probably should have at a couple points in my life. I’ve never been to AA or any recovery program, for me, but I’ve attended a lot for other people. And, I’ve never gotten a single DUI…sadly, not from a lack of trying in my younger days.
But, I have done a lot of damage to other people in my life, including my former marriage, and worse, to myself, because of my issues with alcohol. My ex-wife and I may not agree on much, and we may never see eye-to-eye on most things, but one thing I will never deny, is that I should have gotten help a long time ago, and because I used alcohol to self-medicate a lot of issues from my mental illness; irreparable harm was done…and that’s on me.
If there is one thing that is synonymous with parenting, it’s sleep…or, lack there of to be honest. And while many of us joke how we cope with the loss of sleep, or how much coffee chug just to avoid ending up in a orange jumpsuit – the loss of sleep, and how it effects the body and mind is a serious topic. That’s why I’m happy to have a guest author Sarah Cummings from SleepAdvisor.org to talk about this very issue.
Stress is an inevitable part of modern life. For short periods of time it can be perfectly normal, your body is designed to cope with it and it can even give you the kick up the behind you need to get things done.
The words slammed into me like a baseball bat. Shocked and shaken to my core, I quietly sat; not daring to say another word. I could feel the words still floating around the room – watching me, waiting for me to say something else so it could remind me again. A voice, deep inside spurred me – poking me, “Come on man! Fight back! Do it for love…do it for you!!” But I remained silent.
I’ve always found it odd how there are times I can’t recall what I did in a single day, yet, I can remember back to a single moment in my past; a moment like this, and recall it in such vivid detail. Maybe it’s because of the impact it had on me, or that I still carry around the invisible scar these words left behind. Or, maybe I’m making too much of it, and it’s just how our brains work. But I will always remember this day – this conversation, for the rest of my life.
I needed you, and you weren’t there for me. I need you…YOU!! I felt all alone. I felt abandoned; when I needed you most.
Have you ever felt this kind of alone before? Alone because, no matter if it’s true or not, you feel those closest to you have abandoned you; left you in your darkest hour. Left you reaching out into the darkness of depression and anxiety; only to find no comfort, no matter how hard you reach. No one to hold you; no one to comfort you. No one to reassure you and tell you things will be ok; that the claims depression make against you are lies. No one to tell you, you are loved…or that you’re even worthy of that love?
I know this feeling all too well…and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Have you ever…been the person that abandoned someone in need? Refusing to set yourself aside; if for nothing else than because you’re their person? Or the fact that YOU are the one person in this world that can actually make a difference; that can actually help in this situation, but instead, you’re too focused on you.
I know how that feels too…and I will have to live with that; hearing the words that started this post, in my head, for the rest of my life. Six years ago, shortly after my son was born, my wife started showing signs of postpartum depression. I recognized them right away, as depression and I go way back.
The incidents surrounding Harvey Weinstein are sad and disgusting. My heart breaks for the women who are speaking out, and even more for the many I know are still not. Sexual assault and intimidation, sadly, are nothing new to women; within Hollywood and all the way to the suburbs.
But what has come out, as almost a sub topic, is the fact that this is happening to men as well. While speaking about the women coming forward about Weinstein, actor Terry Crews (Brooklyn 99) and James Van Der Beek (Dawson’s Creek and Varsity Blues) both came forward and revealed while the abusive treatment of women is disgusting and rampant, the abuse was not only directed towards female actors. Both actors revealed they too had been groped by older men with influence and power in the entertainment field.
So, I had a joke all set to go for this morning, but, as life does sometimes; a curveball was thrown my way and I no longer feel compelled to tell a joke. Instead, I want talk about something I witnessed this morning – a thing I have witnessed many mornings over the years our son has been at his preschool.
This morning I was solo parenting again as the Wife is with another client awaiting the arrival of their baby. No matter how many times I do this multiple kid dance, I will never get it all down pat, and my respect for single parents and stay-at-home parents grows every time I attempt it. Read more →
Could you imagine telling your father, or me, telling my father, “I’m struggling. I have postpartum depression.” They would be like, “Suck it up buttercup!” ~ Kirk and Callahan Show (5/22/17, WEEI Boston)
These were just some of the ridiculously moronic words spewed on the May 22, 2017 Kirk and Callahan morning show on WEEI (Boston). I could probably write an entire novel on the absurd, not to mention machismo fueled ignorant behavior the Kirk and Callahan show has been known for over the years. Instead, I’ll sum it up with a quote from ESPN host Paul Finebaum when he said that Kirk and Callahan, “were toxic pieces of waste, who have never accomplished anything in their life.”
Where was I? Ahhh, yes…
Today is the last day of May 2017. The last day of Mental Health Awareness Month. So, I feel it’s only fitting that we talk about the last thing it feels like anyone wants to talk about when it comes to mental health – men. Read more →