April 9th, 2020

Keep the conversation going

Mo Bro Ryne Turner on being a dad while physical distancing and how he's staying socially connected.

My new reality is honestly just organized chaos. My job is still considered an essential function so I am still having to work a full schedule every day. I try to work from home some, go into the office only when I have to, and go to project sites on a rare occasion.

Leaving the house has become a nervous necessity for many people but I feel even more so for us who are considered “at risk” due to my testicular cancer diagnosis. I personally feel that I am trying to still do everything as if things are normal and that’s causing anxiety because things aren’t normal but THAT’S OK.

I am a very active person and not having my gym available and having to social distance has almost brought a sense of loneliness and depression. Trying to accept a different type workout or a different type of family dinner is what I am trying to wrap my mind around. I am a creature of habit and do not like change at all so I think focusing on accepting the craziness of life at this moment is the only way we can overcome it. 

“It's more important than ever to keep the conversation going. Even if it’s just to check in or talk about nothing. We need to talk.”

My family is trying to stay busy by keeping our boys on somewhat of a school schedule and being outside as much as possible. If it’s not raining we are trying to get everyone outside into the backyard moving. We are taking lots of walks, playing soccer, and sometimes just exploring the backyard and finding bugs. We set up a Zoom story time reading with my parents for the boys. 

For the past eight or nine years, my group of friends have gotten together for golf, darts, bowling, or go cart racing every month or two. Since social distancing has stopped all of that we are trying to set up an online poker event where we can hang out, talk trash, and have a few laughs. 

The way I am trying to balance it is to be fully involved in each thing I am doing at that moment. I explain to the boys that when daddy has to go to his office upstairs he has to work and when they see daddy then we can play. I try to let them stay on their schedule, which my amazing wife has put together for them, so they can keep some sense of normalcy and continue to learn and grow. I do my best to not mess up the great job she does on a daily basis!

Another thing we don’t do enough as men is to reach out and speak about what is going on with ourselves mentally during these trying times. We are ingrained with this sense of bravado and the “I can do it myself” mindset which can be so detrimental to ourselves, our families, and our relationships. Speaking to anyone can help you in so many ways, and in some instances additional help, such as medications, is OKAY. I personally have struggled over the years and most recently with the COVID-19 situation grasping the fact that I can’t do it alone. Things on top of things and stress on top of stress eventually broke me and I realized that I need help. Speaking with my doctors, doing my own research, and having an incredible support system is the only way I am able to get through times like these. Being able to verbalize that yes, I suffer from anxiety and depression and no, I can’t do this alone has given me a new sense of strength in the midst of this chaotic time. Talking has brought a calmness over myself and my situation to know at the end of the day that every little thing is going to be alright    

It's more important than ever to keep the conversation going. Even if it’s just to check in or talk about nothing. We need to talk.

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