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As a dad you’re under a lot of pressure to conform to the standards, obviously the basics feed, clothe, house etc your children all the norm but also well being, happiness laughter love.

I spend time on Instagram and it’s hard not to get drawn into these picture perfect lives and the representation there of, saying that I could be guilty of the same it’s all down to an individuals perspective. I try to post an honest association of my life as it happens good or bad

I have been lucky to join a great group of dads @dadscomm and the support, banter and help has been great in just giving me an escape and somewhere to sound out if it all is quite as it should be.

I fear I’ve been failing at these standards that I am letting down my family, I have slipped back into the realms of depression. The exhaustion, the stress, the worry and the self loathing. One leads into the other work pressure, financial pressure my health and the diminishing of my mental strength. It’s a real roundabout with no outgoing lanes just a collection of problems to keep it moving.

I hate to say it but I’m really struggling this time, I’ve lost my willingness and ability to run. As much as my body isn’t letting me it tends to be that work is enough for it at the moment and earning money comes before running but with that is my one release from the stress and pressures within. My rock is trying her best to support me but we’re both unsettled at the moment the recent miscarriage had knocked us both more than we care to let on and we are not arguing but picking at little things. I see her struggle and desperately want to ease her burden but I end up lost in my own inner sanctum, I try to talk but when she try’s to come up with solutions I’m already in the defensive and on edge as I have the plan, let’s face it it’s running through my mind 24/7 I just don’t have the ability to implement it.

I’m losing my motivation with the children and find myself snapping at them or shying away from activities with them. I hate that I can become angry at the drop of a hat at stuff that it is so inconsequential it’s laughable, that is not the father I am or who I wish to be but I don’t seem to have any control over it, they don’t deserve the harsh words or to see me angry with them. With two teenagers and their prying ears it’s hard to keep them away from what’s happening and it affects their behaviour and attitude.

They know I’m struggling and we have had open conversations about depression and it’s effects , but that does not mean they should hear my worries or struggles. They should be focusing on being children and the pressures of turning from that into young adults.

I’ve tried to bully my way through and I am ashamed to say I’ve let the stigmas get to me I stopped all my medications because I was embarrassed by my affliction I like to think I was getting better and even deluded myself into that belief but I’m not.

The fact is I shouldn’t be embarrassed it’s an illness, people myself included are working hard to break the mould so why? I really don’t know. What I do know is I don’t want my children seeing me like this or have to deal with me not wanting to engage or play or show no interest, I don’t want my wife feeling like she has to look after me or she’s completing this journey alone or in fear of what my mind will do.

So I’m showing his illness the respect it deserves again I’m talking my worries and stress through, I’m staying on whatever meds I’m told to, and when I lose my way, and my head I’ll hold my hands up and cry for help.

Smiling, laughing engagement with my family providing through my work life and giving them their dad back is worth the world to me.

So that is my objective once again and I won’t let my perception of the worlds opinions seduce me out of my own beliefs again.

World mental health day is coming up and I intend to organise another run to talk, to be honest and open and hopefully help someone else who may be frightened, enveloped in their own struggle.

Talk, listen, take the time to ask are you ok?

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Shaun Hurr

Dad to 6, Husband to 1, runner for sanity!

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