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Mental Health Thread 2

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On 03/08/2019 at 9:47 AM, Carns said:

It’s been quite the emotional rollercoaster of a year for me.

I have always suffered from anxiety in one form or another. Be it social anxiety, making me reluctant and withdrawn in unfamiliar social situations, to general anxiety making me question everything I think, say or do in social and professional situations.

My partner of 9.5 years and I found out in March that we were expecting our first child (baby boy, due end of Oct). It is something that was planned and hoped for. And we’re very excited about, and lucky we have successfully conceived without hurdles. The pregnancy itself has been relatively smooth sailing so far too (touch wood).

Literally within days of finding out we were preggers, one of my best mates of the last twenty years died suddenly and unexpectedly. It was a complete shock, particularly for a relatively healthy guy in his early thirties. It was most likely death by misadventure, he’d had a night out drinking and partying with friends, went to bed and never woke up again. Absolutely devastating for all his friends and family. Everyone is still reeling from it and it will take a long time to recover (if we ever fully do).

A month or two after that news, whilst still definitely grieving, I had a crisis at work where something I was involved in got escalated where it ended up in a court scenario, and the work I had done was completely torn to shreds by someone who had vastly more experience in my field than I did.

I had a massive crisis of confidence where I questioned everything. I even questioned whether I really wanted to continue in my chosen work path. Considering the number of hours and literally years I had put in to my chosen career, studying and building experience, it rocked me to my foundations.

I am still a bit unsure whether I want to pursue my career long term, the last six months has really made me question whether I really want to continue on. I have the support of my boss and colleagues, but I can’t help questioning everything and whether it is what I really want.

In my personal life, the missus keeps growing, and we’re now six months in. We’re over the moon expecting our first child, and life in general looks positive. But it doesn’t change all the **** that we’ve been through, and the uncertainty and crisis that I have put myself through.

It is definitely character building, and I will come out the other side better for it, but to go through this whole experience has fundamentally changed my mindset and world view.

Life has a way of knocking you down at times. And all you can do is try and pick yourself up, and dust yourself off to face the next challenge that comes your way.

Thing is, I have so much to look forward to. The love of my life is about to give birth to my first child. Being a baby boy has an even greater significance since I lost my Dad just under four years ago. I am acutely aware that I will be a father to a new generation. I am a father to a son. My father and I had a strained relationship at times, so I really don’t want to **** this up. I feel an acute pressure to be present, engaged and open to whatever challenges come my way (and they will be numerous and all encompassing).

The new challenge is about to begin, and I (we) wait to see what comes of it.

I would much prefer to be able to celebrate our new adventure with my mate, but I can’t. And all I can do is best prepare myself for my future as a new dad, as best as I can. All I can do is ready myself for the birth of my son and prepare my world for his introduction to it. It’ll be tough, and I am not looking forward to the sleep deprivation!

But hey, life goes on. As much as we want life to stay static at times, it does not work that way. All we can do is prepare ourselves as best as possible and wear whatever comes.

It’ll be an interesting 12 months ahead!

A follow up to this... this one is partly for @wendybr who asked how being a dad was (in the Car Thread :rolleyes:).

My son turned one a few weeks ago. Fatherhood has been somewhat what I expected: amazing, challenging, full of love and stress all at the same time. He's a great little kid who is happy and healthy and a tornado of energy. He keeps us on our toes. I'm just grateful he's healthy, growing well and doing all the things he should be (and plenty he shouldn't! :P)

I was pretty daunted about having a boy, due to my strained relationship with my dad at times. He was a good man, but had a terrible father role model and struggled with showing affection at times. I know deep down he loved me, but we only really rekindled our relationship in my twenties. It was equal parts him and me though, moody teenagers aren't easy to deal with after all. But so far its been pretty good having our little man. I have moments where I get over stressed or lose my cool, and hate myself for it, but I'm trying to at least recognise, acknowledge and apologise for my behaviour to him and my partner. The joys of anxiety. I lose control and then hate myself for it. I must say it doesn't happen often, but it's something I need to keep working on. Most of the time it's good, we can be silly together and play and sing songs and do all the fun stuff. Part of fatherhood is getting to do lots of kid stuff all over again - I could probably do with a bit less Wiggles on repeat, but it is what it is.

I'm going part time with work next year and will be looking after him two days a week, which I am really looking forward to. Both from a parenting perspective, but also to take a bit of a step back from work, which is simply a job and a means to earn a living to me now. I was fortunate that work were accepting of my proposal to go part time, and my partner is more than happy to work full time as she loves working and her job.

Juggling fatherhood, work and a pandemic has been an interesting ride. Life definitely hasn't gotten easier, its tough. But in many ways much more satisfying too. The stress and anxiety hasn't gone away, and with a kid the responsibility is just never ending, but he puts a smile on my face every day, and I know there are plenty of people in much worse circumstances, so I am happy for what I have. We enjoy watching him grow and develop. It's amazing how much of his personality is already built in on day one! I can see a lot of me in him, for better or worse!

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16 minutes ago, Carns said:

A follow up to this... this one is partly for @wendybr who asked how being a dad was (in the Car Thread :rolleyes:).

My son turned one a few weeks ago. Fatherhood has been somewhat what I expected: amazing, challenging, full of love and stress all at the same time. He's a great little kid who is happy and healthy and a tornado of energy. He keeps us on our toes. I'm just grateful he's healthy, growing well and doing all the things he should be (and plenty he shouldn't! :P)

I was pretty daunted about having a boy, due to my strained relationship with my dad at times. He was a good man, but had a terrible father role model and struggled with showing affection at times. I know deep down he loved me, but we only really rekindled our relationship in my twenties. It was equal parts him and me though, moody teenagers aren't easy to deal with after all. But so far its been pretty good having our little man. I have moments where I get over stressed or lose my cool, and hate myself for it, but I'm trying to at least recognise, acknowledge and apologise for my behaviour to him and my partner. The joys of anxiety. I lose control and then hate myself for it. I must say it doesn't happen often, but it's something I need to keep working on. Most of the time it's good, we can be silly together and play and sing songs and do all the fun stuff. Part of fatherhood is getting to do lots of kid stuff all over again - I could probably do with a bit less Wiggles on repeat, but it is what it is.

I'm going part time with work next year and will be looking after him two days a week, which I am really looking forward to. Both from a parenting perspective, but also to take a bit of a step back from work, which is simply a job and a means to earn a living to me now. I was fortunate that work were accepting of my proposal to go part time, and my partner is more than happy to work full time as she loves working and her job.

Juggling fatherhood, work and a pandemic has been an interesting ride. Life definitely hasn't gotten easier, its tough. But in many ways much more satisfying too. The stress and anxiety hasn't gone away, and with a kid the responsibility is just never ending, but he puts a smile on my face every day, and I know there are plenty of people in much worse circumstances, so I am happy for what I have. We enjoy watching him grow and develop. It's amazing how much of his personality is already built in on day one! I can see a lot of me in him, for better or worse!

Ahhh...I've only waited a year to find out how fatherhood....and life....has been treating you, Carns. :lol:

Thanks for that excellent update! Very glad you are rising to the challenges so well, and that life is rich for you!

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I went through some similar stuff re: losing my cool a bit carns, early on. Wish I had the secret, but I think if you are aware of it and things that's the most important part. All good now, can't think of the last time I felt that way (including the remorse after). 

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2 hours ago, marron said:

I went through some similar stuff re: losing my cool a bit carns, early on. Wish I had the secret, but I think if you are aware of it and things that's the most important part. All good now, can't think of the last time I felt that way (including the remorse after). 

A lot of it is learned behaviour from my old man. Big thing for me is to acknowledge it and apologise, and try and learn for next time. I know it'll keep happening, but if the frequency and intensity of it dissipates over time that's progress. Learning healthy coping mechanisms for my anxiety will play a big part too.

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1 hour ago, Carns said:

A lot of it is learned behaviour from my old man. Big thing for me is to acknowledge it and apologise, and try and learn for next time. I know it'll keep happening, but if the frequency and intensity of it dissipates over time that's progress. Learning healthy coping mechanisms for my anxiety will play a big part too.

Don't sweat, your normal.

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