When I contacted my GP to begin the process of getting counselling for my mental health problems, one thing she said was:
The suicide rate among men with families is much lower.
I didn’t know this from a statistical standpoint, but I knew it from personal experience. It was, after all, duty to my children which kept me from killing myself in February, 2021.
And November 2023.
As I watch them growing up, I see them hit the milestones, and I feel happy and proud. My oldest taking charge of getting his brothers and grandparents on the right train, to the right station, when they were nervous about it all was one such moment.
I suppose one of my problems is that I’m future oriented. Yes, I love being with them in the moment, but I’m constantly borrowing trouble. I’m happy and proud of him, yet at the same time, sad that the sweet little boy is all but gone.
The joys of parenting are, for me, bittersweet, but I’m learning to turn this to my advantage.
While I mourn the loss of innocence and childhood, rather than let it get me down, I focus on the visions I have of what they will become.
I see great futures for all of my boys, and I want to see those futures unfold. If the monster gets me, I won’t be here for it.
So I tether myself to my children, and in doing so, I tether myself to this life.