If my life were a novel for instance, then Ashley and I would’ve met, fell deeply in love, and overcome crushing obstacles together on our way to a satisfyingly romantic ending. In reality, however, my life is a blog with buckets of greasy, smudgy messiness that ruin the chance at a pristine story, and in this version Ashley and I are no longer together.
|Father and son after a 5k. He crushed me.|
I’ll admit that consciously adhering to a healthy lifestyle as a young father in my late 20’s and early 30’s was not something I gave a lot of thought to. And why should I? At that point in my life I was an Infantry office in Army and in pique physical condition. Working out regularly was part of my job, and thus shoveling down piles of whatever like Michael Phelps in training for the Olympics added not a pound to my lean, mean, 185-pound frame. But things change.
Eventually I left the military and entered the fast-paced corporate world. Gone was my workout routine, and oddly enough I had to start shopping for new pants. Time for exercising and eating healthy meals was further disrupted by the demands of having two more sons. “But hey, that’s how life progresses. No big deal,” I thought, and I continued not to give my health a second thought. Physically I still felt invincible; mentally, however, things began to unravel.
When I initially informed my first wife of my diagnosis and the associated concerns I held for our three boys, she expressed strong reservations about saying anything to them. This, however, is exactly the problem for men with depression. It actually needs to be talked about more, and if I don’t talk with my sons about the twisting despair brought on by depression, who will? There’s actually a lot they need to know. So, boys, listen here: