Double exposure image of a man

"Starting the initial conversation can be tough but working with a counsellor or therapist really helped me get the ball rolling."

About Ryan:

I’m a freelance accountant with a high passion for personal growth and wellness.

Ryan’s Story

Ryan poses with thumbs upWHAT WAS THE MAJOR TURNING POINT IN YOUR RECOVERY FROM DEPRESSION?

Putting myself out there and attending a personal growth weekend workshop.

I knew something needed to change when I had a verbal outburst with a significant individual in my life. I had been struggling with intense inner anger and frustration for many years that I simply did not know where it was coming from. At the surface I appeared calm, cool and collected, but that was all a façade.

I was given the opportunity to attend the workshop, which I didn’t know anything about. The workshop was 3 full days long over the weekend led by an experienced seminar leader who taught transformative learning skills and allowed people to share their personal stories and experiences. The uncertainty of the workshop was stressful at first but it turned out to be life changing. From there I began to work on myself through self-care and counselling/therapy and I can now say I’m (mostly) free of my depression.

WHAT ARE SOME THINGS THAT REALLY HELPED?

Counselling/Therapy

  • Starting the initial conversation can be tough but working with a counsellor or therapist really helped me get the ball rolling.
  • My experience with counsellors/therapists has been positive. They tend to be very compassionate, and non-judgmental, which really helped myself open up.

Self-Care

  • I took time to really begin to like myself. The key for me with this was doing it alone. Previously I depended on relationships to bring me value and worth, which never ends up working.
  • This can come in many forms. For myself it was through meditation, physical exercise, playing hockey, reading books, and just focusing on being in the present moment with myself as much as I could.

Personal Growth Seminar

  • This is specific. But as mentioned above, taking a personal growth seminar was really life changing. Not only did I learn lots about myself but listening to other people’s stories was eye opening. And connecting with others was very humbling.

Meditating

  • Very key in clearing the mind and eliminating the thoughts. I’ve read almost all self-help books, and listened to hundreds of podcasts and videos, and one common theme in all is meditation.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER GUYS FIGHTING DEPRESSION?

Realize that fighting depression is exhausting and prevents one from living a truly fulfilled life. All the anger, frustration, depression, etc is not who someone is, it comes from past trauma and experiences one has gone through.

We’re taught at a young age and through media that men need to “suck it up” and hold in their feelings, yet that becomes counter-intuitive when men grow up because as humans we need to feel and express to truly live; gender is irrelevant.

It may take work but it’s all worth it in the end. The amount of love and happiness that comes out of it is worth the work.

Also realize that you are not alone. There are many men at various stages of their fight against depression. Realizing this really helped my progression.

– Ryan, freelance accountant, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada