A pattern has emerged, where he stays up to 2am, drinks 6-7 beers, and roams the dating chat-line while his wife and kids sleep in the next rooms. Harmless right? (he tells himself).
He has no intention to actually meet anyone. Until… there is a request to meet on skype, and to then undress… “oh no – not that – not into that!” Except its already too late – she’s 15, and a Police warning follows – real or fake we don’t know. So much for the harmless bad habit. How did we end up here?
But why start in the first place – where did this habit come from? Restless, can’t go to bed, alcohol to self-medicate, to numb some kind of awareness or pain, and to isolate himself so it remains invisible, and won’t embarrass.
A man navigating his way between the lines – not happy, not on the rocks, and coping by avoidance. Still at work, so he is still outwardly functioning, and for all appearances just like anyone else. Except for the secret discomfort.
What’s the diagnosis? It could be anything – a struggling marriage, rebellious children, boring employment, awareness of aging, declining fitness, no close friends who would listen, guilt over past mistakes, fear of the future…
Each of these are very normal experiences for parents, for adults. On this occasion however, the coping skills are failing – avoidance, worry, not solving a problem, perhaps self-blame and certainly isolation.
We’re challenged here with the final stage of adult development – maturity. And not everyone gets there – especially men.
We typically perceive mental health issues when the functioning fails – when they can’t get to work anymore – or they lose their job – grinding to a halt. But prior to that? The easy jobs had become hard, the avoiding while still appearing to deliver 100% – nearly. There are many people below their best, and if you can see yourself in this, do something about it.
Join us, email Skillbiz to enquire about the 50/50 programme. In a spirit of support, work out what to do. Send me a note. Start something, back yourself.