Over the past few weeks, in multiple conversations with friends, I was blindsided by how many have struggled or are struggling with depression and anxiety over the past two years.Â I won’t bother to call the things I feel depression- yes, from time to time I get depressed but this is a reaction to events not an overwhelming, persistent, pervasive, life-altering scenario.Â Â Maybe my bouts are making me more sensitive to it in others and able to recognize it? Or maybe people feel comfortable talking to me about it after my experiences.Â Generally depression isn’t a topic that comes up among male friends, at least in my circle.Â I realize I’ve been out of my circle a bit due to circumstances, but as I finally can open up to people again I’ve reached out and people have reached in.Â This topic has come up scarily quickly in those interactions, with people from all walks of life- straight, gay, married, single, younger, older, fathers.. . the list goes on.
I wish I had better answers.
I wish we had a society that was more open to the concept of men feeling emotions (yes, this from stoic me).
I wish it wasn’t winter, there wasn’t a pandemic, and our society wasn’t teetering on a high wire right now.
I wish we didn’t feel exhausted all of the time.
I wish the majority of popular culture and music wasn’t based on negative emotions like fear and loss.
But I have hope.Â I wish I could share it as easy as saying it.