Right now I hate the world. I hate everything. I hate that I’m depressed. I hate that I’m gaining weight and I don’t know how to eat right. I hate that I hate so many foods. I hate that I can’t keep up with other dad bloggers. I hate Facebook, Twitter and all social media. I hate that I have no passion. I hate that I don’t know what I’m doing anymore with my Fantasy Baseball team. I hate that I’m dependent on my parents. I hate getting gifts of anything that I need- like clothes. A gift should be something special, something you wouldn’t buy yourself. I hate that that’s a first world problem- it makes me feel guilty. I hate that I dislike Sienna right now and I don’t want to be around her. I hate that my wife has physical illnesses I can’t do anything about. I hate my age. I hate that I missed out on so much.

I hate the culture of the world- everything seems pointless. The government doesn’t care. They have their own agendas and lobbies. Nothing’s ever going to change. I hate people who can’t understand there’s an underlying current of race in everything even when it’s not racial. I hate the whole white privilege thing. I feel powerless about that and the whole mental illness thing. I hate that I’m a nobody.

I hate cleaning, I hate that Sienna’s not listening. I hate that I’m so resistant to change, to fixing myself. I hate that I have to always ‘understand’ something before I can do it.

I hate that I have no faith. I hate religion. I hate the news. I hate these people that hide behind the Second Amendment – it’s so infuriating.

I hate that I can’t remember a lot of stuff from my childhood. I hate New York.

I hate that I have no determination: I give up so quickly. I hate that I don’t know what to do with Sienna after school. I hate that my best friends live so far away.

I hate that I’m losing my hair. I hate that I’m tired all the time. I hate that I have so little time with Elaine. I hate having panic attacks.

I hate smokers. I hate people who think they’re above the law. People who don’t signal. I hate people.

I hate that I don’t have a mind that grasps things like math and photography computers. I hate that I can’t read an instruction book. I want to learn photography so much- I want to take pictures of the moon and the Galaxy but I can’t grasp how. I forget things so quickly. I hate that I forget things so quickly.

I hate that I can’t conjure up feelings.

I hate bullies.

I wish I could be one of those people that lets it all go, let’s it all slide off, can be confident in who they are and lets it all slide off.

I hate being afraid.

Most of all I hate that I’m so negative.

My Appearance On The Dad Bros Show Podcast

It’s a bit late…well, a lot late, but it’s because I’ve been going through a lot. Here’s my appearance on the Dad Bros Show Podcast from the National At-Home Dads Network Convention. I’m in the second segment and I talk about depression, the mental illness stigma, and why I chose to produce This Is My Brave NY. I hope you enjoy it. Many thanks to Josh and Jon at Dad Bros for even being interested in interviewing me.

One Daughter, Two Dinosaurs And A Break In The Darkness

As anyone who goes through dark spells can attest to, it’s the simple things that bring you light and snap you back to what’s important. A few such moments occurred when a big cardboard box filled with toys from the Playskool Heroes collection arrived at my door. Inside were Rescue Bot Transformers, a buzzing, light-up Tony Stark laboratory and one big, green T-Rex representing Jurassic World. My depression lifting slightly didn’t come from the toys themselves, but from watching my 3 1/2-year-old girl enter a world of imagination, one where she adopted an imposing, roaring, chomping T-Rex.


Sienna wearing her Playskool Heroes cape and holding her new pet dino

I’m not going to lie. When I took this creature out of the box, got excited. What can I say? When I was a kid I was totally into dinosaurs and like most children, the T-Rex was my favorite, so when I saw what this toy could do – you push its back slightly forward and it not only roars, its eyes light up bright yellow, it bends down, opens its mouth and literally takes a big chomp followed by the sounds of crunching, swallowing and every so often, a burp – I wanted Sienna to go nuts and have the big green dino eat the little wrangler guy that comes with him and even Iron Man himself, but it wasn’t to be. Instead Sienna showed her kind-heartedness. She saved the wrangler from the dino’s jaws, held him to her lips and whispered, “It’s ok. It’s ok.” And you know what? My stomach fluttered a bit. The dark clouds opened slightly and the sun shone through.

We happened to go to my parents’ later that evening and we brought the toys with us. Both my mom and dad loved “Dino-Roar” (as Sienna christened him from an episode of Peppa Pig) and my mom went downstairs to the basement to find my old T-Rex, an itty bitty plastic thing that paled in comparison to Sienna’s new pet, but the memories flooded me and I was proud to share this love with my daughter (even if mine was a bit more bloodthirsty 35 years ago). Immediately she adopted my old T-Rex and brought him home. I sat across from my daughter and had Dino-Roar attack my old T-Rex, but Sienna quickly flew Iron-Man in to stop the fray!

“Be nice!” lectured Iron-Man (aka Sienna). “You’re best friends now!”

And the dinos listened. They stopped their battle and I watched, that little flutter in my stomach, that pride at having such a wonderfully compassionate little girl once more blowing away the gathering storm.


Playskool Heroes’ Iron-Man stops by to tell Dino-Roar and my old T-Rex to play nice


Sienna smiles at her 2 new pets as Daddy’s nostalgia meter and pride go through the roof

At night-night, Sienna let Dino-Roar drink from her sippy cup and then gently placed him in her lap as Mommy read them a story with my old T-Rex sitting nearby. When story-time ended, she cradled Dino-Roar in her arms along with a stuffed kitty and her precious scarf, placed her thumb in her mouth and eventually flew away to dreamland.


Sienna helps Dino-Roar drink from her sippy cup


Dino Roar sits in Sienna’s lap as Mommy reads them a story

Each toy brings a child new wonders, but not all hit the sweet spot…not all bring out the best in that child’s personality. Playskool Heroes’ Jurassic World T-Rex did just that for Sienna and in so doing, it helped momentarily alleviate the gloom swirling through my head. When you suffer from the disease known as depression, even an instant of lightness can be a harbinger for an end to the spiral. It hasn’t happened yet. The panic attacks remain. In my mind the rational still fights the irrational like two toy T-Rexes going at it before Iron-Man flies in and yells, “What are you doing? You’re best friends! Get on the same page!” But the end is coming. Watching Sienna play with my old dino and her new and waaaaaaaaay improved Playskool Heroes dino let in a little light and told me that Iron-Man’s on his way.

For more information on the Playskool Heroes line visit their social media channels to stay up to date with all the latest news:

Instagram: @Hasbro
Twitter: @HasbroNews

(Disclaimer – Thanks to Playskool Heroes, which compensated me for this post, for encouraging dads and kids to be heroes together and for helping me get out of my head for a bit. My views and opinions are my own.)

6 Things You *Should* Say To People With Depression

I was lucky enough for The to ask me to write a list of things you should say to people with depression considering there are plenty of lists out there explaining what not to say. It took me awhile to write this post. I had to dig deep within myself and think about when I was at my worst and what words were able to get through. I’ve chosen 6 things from my own experience. They won’t work for everyone because every person is different, but they may work for some. If you know someone with depression, try them out. If you have depression and can think of others to add to the list, I’d love for you to explain why they work for you.

I hope my “6 Things You *Should Say To People With Depression” resonates and helps both those with and without depression to maybe understand each other a little better.