Apr 9, 2018
I was 28 and I was depressed. This was my second period of depression in a year and it changed everything for me. I remember the fear in my wife’s eyes and the guilt and shame about telling anyone. The sofa became my solace for 6 months. I got up, sat on that sofa and that would be that till I went to bed. I became addicted to online poker and would spend hours of every day in tournaments. My life was on hold for 6 months whilst I sorted myself out.
Truth is depression had been with me all my life. Both my parents’ partners died before they married and both were children of the second world war, with my mum surviving the blitz, and my dad signing up and fighting in the Korean war after it. They both had experienced some of the harsher side of life and dealt with it how they knew how, stuff it away. So little Mark learnt how to stuff emotions away and to never share any ‘negative’ emotions.
But those 6 months on the sofa served a very important purpose. It removed me from a job that on reflection I hated and never fitted with who I was. It taught me what was important in life and gave me perspective. It brought me closer to my family, especially my wife. But most importantly it lit a fire in my belly, to find the better version of myself that was lurking underneath it all.
Fast forward to 2012 and I was now in another career and far happier – in fact back then I would have said I had rid myself of depression (Ah, perspective is a wonderful thing!). And my wife was expecting our first child, Ben.
Ben’s birth completely changed my life again and that little flame in me kicked up a notch in intensity. Fuelled by the idea that my son would never have to feel those emotions that I did. I realised that I can fix myself and get 50 or so years of peace, but real change would be never needing Ben to be fixed at all and that that would change generations to come.
A lot has happened since those days, I’ve had another son, Alex, we’ve moved to Bournemouth but most importantly I’ve found Duke and learnt EH. Through that I have completely shifted some of the programs about self worth, control, fear of failure that had left me in a perpetual state of anxiety and has left depression a distant memory. And now that little flame has grown into a full blown raging fire. I not only want to help my sons not to get lost in anxious or depressing thoughts I want to help all men to remove it from their lives and I have a tool to do it with and a track record of doing it to myself.
When I recently saw the statistics of male suicide rates, I set up a closed Facebook group for men called True Man.
The name comes from men being true to themselves and others about how they are feeling. I now know that anxiety/ depression comes from emotions that are stuck because the person can’t allow them to flow out. For too long now, society has prevented men from expressing their emotions and allowing them to flow (Man up!, don’t cry! Etc etc).
I setup the group to be a place for men to express their emotions without fear of judgement, a place for them to be true. I still have the same stuff happen to me, but now the fear/sadness it brings simply flows out because I allow it to. I want to give everyone else this freedom.
It's an ongoing process as you continually learn more and more
about yourself, of course you could learn EH to find out when you
made those decisions and to release the programs you're currently
believing to be true...
BUT here's 3 daily go to's that keep you in tune and in flow with your emotions and work for anyone:
1. Anything that is coming up for you, breathe.
Any thoughts or feelings you're not sure of... Breathe.
Do some deep belly breathing, then from that place of calm. Maybe 5 minutes of breathing, or more if you feel to.
Then journal. Let the pen flow... write whatever is on your mind in that moment. Then reflect and do some more deep breathing.. then reflect again and you'll be amazed at what realisations you get.
2. Search this group for "forgiveness" and you'll find Duke's videos, but just doing mirror work or forgiveness Ho'oponopono style on yourself and then others is gold!
3. Release the judgement. Give yourself permission to cry, scream, get angry... whatever it might be. The sooner you embrace whatever it might be with courage, the better AND it might get dark for a bit, but believe me when I say, the sunlight ir a whole lot brighter on the other side! So be courageous and embrace those feelings, even when you don't know what's going to happen, or how you might be received.
If you're a woman, ask yourself, how you feel about a man sharing his emotions?
AND as a man, what would it mean to you, how would it feel to
share your emotions without fear of judgement?
Who might you become?"