House of Wolves - A Power Couple's Playbook

Confronting Male Depression: A Path to Resilience

November 27, 2023 Randy & Mary Vasquez Episode 14
House of Wolves - A Power Couple's Playbook
Confronting Male Depression: A Path to Resilience
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

We've all been there - caught in the throes of life's turmoil, we've found ourselves suppressing emotions and putting on a brave face, especially men. It's a toxic cycle, one often hard to break, but it doesn't have to be this way. So, let's pull back the curtains on the taboo topic of male depression and inexpressiveness, discussing its impact on our personal life, work, and friendships. In this episode Randy shares his personal journeys, shining a light on the toll it took on himself and  us (marriage), and emphasizing the importance of normalizing such discussions.

Sports, a realm of high stakes and fierce competition, might seem worlds away. But it's a mirror, reflecting the same struggle with emotional suppression. Randy shares anecdotes from his time in the sports world, the hidden battles with mental health, and the cost of emotional inexpressiveness. What if we told you that acknowledging and dealing with trauma is not an act of weakness but a pathway to resilience? Let's dismantle the victim mentality and replace it with a narrative of self-advocacy and emotional well-being.

Life's pressures, financial stress, and tumultuous relationships cast long shadows on our mental health. We've walked through that darkness and emerged stronger, learning to navigate our emotions and find healthier ways to cope. Recalling a time when overwhelming financial stress almost broke us, we share how we clawed our way back, emphasizing the importance of communication in maintaining our sanity and the health of our relationships. We invite you to join our candid dialogue, learn from our experiences, and hopefully, find a way to open conversations, promote emotional honesty, and build healthier relationships in your own life.

Want to join in the conversation? Subscribe to The Broke Millionaire Youtube channel or follow Randy and Mary on Instagram. You can also check out their luxury & exotic vehicle rental service at howmotorsluxe.com, and elevate your side-hustle education at The Broke Millionaire Academy.

To watch our episodes please subscribe to The Broke Millionaire Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvci4bqKjDE&list=PLh_N9FtZhe5qF453HxF7SbrKqLg1D2PBT

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Speaker 1:

Male depression and inexpressiveness.

Speaker 2:

That's a deep topic. Now we got water, we don't got wine.

Speaker 1:

Do you want to drink wine at 10 o'clock in the morning?

Speaker 2:

I don't know why you guys tell people at 10 o'clock in the morning Alright, we're recording. Alright, let's do it, let's rock. What are we talking about today?

Speaker 1:

Today we I thought it would be good to talk about male depression and inexpressiveness.

Speaker 2:

That's a deep topic.

Speaker 1:

I know, but it's time that we talk about something that serious.

Speaker 2:

Oh, okay, but not so serious, it's not so serious, it is serious.

Speaker 1:

But we're going to try not to make it that serious. Alright, cool, let's do it yeah.

Speaker 2:

Wait why that's happening.

Speaker 1:

Because I think it's time that we start having conversations about normalizing these types of conversations, about mental health and especially when we talk about marriage. We've had tons of episodes about marriage sucks, the one do the work of the stuff and I think we touched on postpartum depression, but we've never really talked about when guys go through blues and impact that we have on the marriage, life, work themselves, friendships, etc. It's such a fucking taboo and I'm kind of over it.

Speaker 2:

That's so wild because when you mentioned that, I was like this is a boring ass topic, nobody wants to hear about this, but that goes to show sort of like. Then I thought myself what you were just talking, which means that I wasn't listening to what you were saying Well, okay, it just Wait.

Speaker 1:

You know, we're live right, no.

Speaker 2:

What that's fine, okay, because it's real. I wasn't listening to that. It's so ingrained to For me to. That's my first thought. It's like oh, that's weak, that's boring. Who the hell wants to hear about that? I'm glad you mentioned that, because now I just caught myself right off the bat. Yeah, you're the problem I am part of the problem, which is part of the problem. Yeah, okay. So why this topic? Why are you trying to get so deep? Besides, how do you feel like it affects you or us, or why does it even matter?

Speaker 1:

Well, because I feel like we've been together for a long time. And then it doesn't matter how well I know you, and even though I know you in and out, every time that I perceive that I go through my motion, my checklist of okay, well, he's not hungry, he went to the gym, I went through my, I'm always hungry, bro, my Randy pack Okay. He has had the essentials. I'm like, well then, what's going on? And if you go through a few days where you're not really being yourself, you know, then I come to the table and I'm like, hey, babe, everything okay, like what's going on? And it's always kind of like it takes me a few days to kind of like muster up the courage to ask like, hey, are you okay? Did anything happen? Not that I don't, because sometimes I'm like, bro, how did that call go? Like that's bullshit. There's a different temperature in the room when you know the moons are not aligned with you.

Speaker 2:

There's a dynamic happening, yeah.

Speaker 1:

There's like no word to say. But hey, are you okay?

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Personally inside.

Speaker 2:

Right, yeah, and then I shy away from telling you if I'm okay or not, because I feel like you don't want to hear it, or normally people don't want to hear it, and I'm playing like the victim mentality. But it's real, right, like there's a lot of times when you've had asked me those questions, even when we first started dating, that I'm just like I'm not going to tell her anything. What she's going to think? That I'm weak. She thinks that it's not real, that you know I'm not dealing with something myself that perhaps affects me in a different way than it would hurt, doesn't affect me with tears, yeah, but it affects me in a different type of way where it gets me out of character and if I mention it it wouldn't matter, like what's going to be your response to that, right? So at the beginning I think it was a lot of.

Speaker 1:

It's a pre-judgment.

Speaker 2:

Like Pre judgment yeah, knowing that what I usually get, or what people usually get, is a reaction of like are you serious right now?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, or like suck it up.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, Like a little bitch and I use that word very loosely because that's you know how I was raised and it was stabbing a little bitch. You're crying or you have some feelings right now? You don't do that, You're a man.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Push through it, keep working.

Speaker 1:

Especially you. You grew up with like two brothers, like the most macho man of dads. Facts, facts, like the epitome my dad's father, yeah Of a man's man, my dad's one of those times, there's not a lot remaining.

Speaker 2:

Like my dad yeah, he's one of a kind. Yeah, he's a dinosaur. When it comes to the topic, yeah, yeah, so technically, yeah.

Speaker 1:

So I could understand, like the assumption of like and that reservation from you, because I, as your wife and even when we were dating, I didn't really make that really easy. I was like so alpha myself that you you know what I mean Like my personality didn't really probably allow for that type of vulnerability and I'm sorry for that because I recognize that early on that you know I probably you had to like step it up a lot. And yeah.

Speaker 2:

And that's part of it. Regardless of what, whether it was you or not, I mean you did have a stronger personality and attitude towards it, which comes culturally to it and comes sort of the perception that you had on what a man is supposed to be and what you want in your life. And for me in that time it was sort of like I got to show up, but I'm used to having to show up, right, I'm used to having to perform, I'm used to having to suck it up, I'm used to having to not showing that side or being able to talk about it. So for me it was kind of like okay, here's just a normal day a normal person, just again challenging the fact that this is what I'm supposed to be doing. I'm supposed to be strong, I'm supposed to produce, I'm supposed to. Men are just supposed to produce. And that's sort of the mentality that I had when we were first dating and was okay, this is it. She's not going to accept me being weak or not hustling, not moving, not doing what I have to do. She's not going to accept me crying because nobody accepts that.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 2:

So it was just a normal feeling for me at the beginning too.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I think, like when we jump into a relationship, especially me, like, for example, like we have so many conversations about, you were not allowed to have any bad days.

Speaker 2:

Right.

Speaker 1:

Like I expected only perfection from you because I set the bar so high and you were only held to that regard. Like this high or nothing. Like you know and like I remember we always joke around like Beyonce only has one bad day a year.

Speaker 2:

Right yeah, and.

Speaker 1:

I'm like that, is that that day?

Speaker 2:

No, okay.

Speaker 1:

I'm going to get up, but for you it was like a whole different paradigm. Like we, like I, just I felt like I didn't make that easy and I think that I feel other people can connect with that because, just like yourself, you know, imagine how many other men are struggling to just share that. And I want to go back to probably even like in high school or your youth, when you were competing in sports and probably the physical like beat up that you guys would go through when the losses and the wins and the mental heaviness of having to show up and still be like I'm in a therapy session right now. No, I don't want it to be.

Speaker 2:

I don't want it to be. I don't want it to be.

Speaker 1:

I want you to tell me more about like, even that, like about how you tell me I don't want to say it for you because I would just be doing what I do, which is I don't want you, I don't want to assume. I want you to talk to me like go deep into like growing up playing sports. Like fuck, like I lost this fucking sucks. Like I want to go and fucking cry but I can't because I don't know.

Speaker 2:

I don't know if it's the generation that I was raised in and by who I was raised by, right that affects that. Or and I mean the generation, because I think a lot of my friends and a lot of people I talked to experience similar things where, again, we weren't able to show our sensitive side, those pieces. But growing up in sports, let's say that that was a piece to write, you would lose a game, and it was a very strong feeling that, hey, this really upset me, for whatever reason might be, and it was like don't cry, you don't cry, right. I used to play baseball, I used to strike out and I cried. I was so upset that I knew I had to perform, I knew I had to hit the ball, I knew it like, and there was a competitive side to me, right, yeah, that was like shit, I just failed, and it was a big deal, which would lead to those emotions, right, and those emotions would then suppressed because it was like you're not supposed to cry. Don't cry. Why are you crying? Are you a little girl? I mean, I know that's a hard word to use, right, but that's sort of the generation and the culture that I was raised in. Yeah, I mean little girls, only girls cry. Man, I grew up it's time to. You got to perform I keep using that word so I grew up in that culture and as a kid you don't realize those things Right. And now that I'm older and I've gone through my own journey of understanding myself and understanding the culture and understanding life and understanding generation, understanding mental health and all those pieces and being in tune with my body and my mind, I think that I've realized that a piece of me and the way that I am today is grateful for that moment because it prepared me to get through tough times. But it's also an unfortunate time for me because there was so many different emotions that could have steered me in the wrong direction. And what I mean by that is, luckily I have been able to find myself and find my mental peace older. But there's a lot of people that don't Right and a lot of people then go into those deep depressions, go into sort of these emotional sort of states that affect their lives and they don't know how to deal with that and they have these traumas.

Speaker 1:

And often influences like they resort to drugs, alcohol to suppress.

Speaker 2:

It influences drugs, alcohol. It influenced to violence right. No relationships with others, how they treat people, how they treat women, how they treat themselves right, because they're dealing with all those traumas that unfortunately they weren't able to get through or weren't in the position to be able to utilize the resources that might be available to them to see that or have that awareness and that I speak about that in the first thing that comes to mind as well. That person is just a little bitch, that person right.

Speaker 1:

Because you have to undo that wiring you have to undo that wiring of no.

Speaker 2:

it's bigger than that and it's okay and we just need to start helping. We need to start helping people to understand what they're dealing with and what that looks like, and we need to make it okay.

Speaker 1:

Normalize.

Speaker 2:

Normalize from a fact of having a balance there, right, so normalize it and say, hey, you are dealing with these. You thought with this as a kid, society put this towards you. Here's how you could beat that. Here's how you could make this better. Here's some of the things that you could do. Right, and we need to give that space for it to be okay. But at the same time, we need to give the space for people to find their own way, versus trying to push it down them. Right, and I feel like a lot of the cases is hey, you dealt with this, so I want to feel bad for you, right.

Speaker 1:

Like empathy.

Speaker 2:

Like there's a lot of empathy and then it's like we excuse the fact that now people are not trying to make those situations better. Right, I don't know if that's too deep, but I feel like we always have to get, whether it's male, female, anything. We always have to get to a point where we are finding ways to make whatever situation we have better. But if we get into the victim mentality of like hey, I experienced this, this was the culture I was raised in, this is the generation I was raised in, this is the way that I was raised and caused a lot of trauma, now my life sucks, no no, no. It's like, okay, it caused a lot of trauma. I have awareness of that. Now I need to figure out a way to get past this. I need to figure out a way to get in tune with my emotions. I need to figure out a way to get in tune with some of my traumas and move past that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, of course Is that what you were looking for no.

Speaker 2:

I feel like coming down and I'm like should I leave the room?

Speaker 1:

I want to go back to a lot of the conversations that we've had. So, for example, in our relationship. Whenever you and I are going through something or I'm struggling with something, I have a set of friends that I can always call and I could I spared no regard. I just spill everything, like, hey, this is what's happening, this is what I feel like doing. I don't want to get off of my bed, I don't even want to shower, as a matter of fact, like I'm really going through it right now, like fucking life sucks and fuck that guy and all this other shit. And we'll go down this rabbit hole and we'll have that openness. And I think I'm not trying to steer this into being like, hey, women aren't just like this, it's just with my set of friends, we have that candid like we, everything goes, 100% disclosure, we love him today, we love ourselves. Listen, like you're a punk bitch, get out of bed, full disclosure. When I speak to you and I only have you as an example, it's almost like so you got together with your friends and I was like did you guys talk about it? And you're like no, we just had a drink. And I'm like what? Like you didn't talk about that one thing that we thought you guys weren't talking about. No, and it's and then you wait, wait, hold on. Before you say I'm, then you're like well, you know, having a drink is having the talk.

Speaker 2:

No, it's different. So, man, especially when you have a good circle, like I do right, of people who have know me and have been around for some time, I think it's the silence goes a long way, right? So it's not necessarily that I have friends and family and members that I lean on with my circle and try and explain it a little bit better. Yeah, and I don't have to go to them and tell them hey, all this shit is going on and spill and like, call and like have an hour or two hours of a crime fest with them. For me to feel the support, I don't have to go to them. They come to me because they can see that there's something happening, or they'll check in and be like hey, you're good, right, and then it's like they understand hey, there might be something there. I'm here for you, bro. I like let's have a drink Right and the drink is not like. Let's have a drink and you, you know, cry out to me which I think we still have the space for that. But, it's more like I just have somebody there that checked in on me. That's right and let's just have a conversation, right. And I'm not saying I'm going to walk away feeling like, oh, I'm good now and I have all the things that I need, but I feel like I have that support. I feel like I did something to kind of share a moment with somebody although we didn't go into deep of like, hey, this little thing is happening, and there's moments that we do. There's moments I'm like yo, I'm dealing with a lot of shit, this happened, blah, blah, but it's not a crime fest. It's more like yo, this is what happened, it'll turn around. But like y'all that stuff, bro, yeah, I'm also dealing with some shit and blah, blah, blah, and we'll talk about that and keep it moving and we're all good. And two days later you're, you're good, how you feeling, and then that's it, we, we move on from that and that's more than enough for me, because it just gives me the feeling of like I have somebody I can lean on if I need it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you're not alone.

Speaker 2:

I'm not alone, but not necessarily do I need to sit down and have this emotional complete dive into it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

And what's nice about that is the more that I've thought about it. When you and I have those conversations like we didn't talk about shit, we want to be supportive to each other, but we don't want to get involved to that detail.

Speaker 1:

You don't want to be intrusive.

Speaker 2:

We don't want to be intrusive, less is more with you guys. Less is more right. So it's like yo, I'm dealing with a lot of stuff. When I'm ready to tell you about it, I will, because that's when I feel like I need you, but right now I'm just. You know, we're good, let's just kick the shit, talk, chill, have a drink. There's something going on, but I just need to have company. Okay, so it's different. I don't know if that makes sense, but it's pretty simple in my opinion.

Speaker 1:

Okay, I guess it's a understanding universal for you guys. Yeah, unspoken, okay, I get it. Yeah, for us is a little different, or at least in my set of group, in my set of friends and my people in separate. But I understand it. I feel much better when I speak about it and like they know, know, and sometimes there's gotta be that layer of like reservation.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but I'm not saying that they don't. It's not like, it's not every little detail and every little thing that happens, and yeah. It's all good, it's all right.

Speaker 1:

Okay, has there ever been a moment where you have been going through something and you have actually like, went out of character, like, what has been the experience that you have been? Like yo, I got to fucking chill right now, like, yeah, when, when my personality, my character, changes, right.

Speaker 2:

So if I am experiencing something where it's heavy on me, there's a lot of anxiety, a lot of stress, depression maybe happening and I eventually get out of character. Whether that's an aggressive is the wrong word, but how I feel like I am, my demeanor is changing. My demeanor is stronger, right, not towards you or anything, but to everybody where I'm like ready to snap. That goes on for a little bit and I eventually catch myself, fortunately again, because I've gone through, like I've told you and you know, my own therapy sessions, right, and my own finding of myself, where I've been able to now identify oh shit, something's up right here because I'm acting out of character. My eating schedule changes, right, like my appetite changes, my again, my demeanor changes, how I get antsy and I get up and down and I and I move around, how I can't focus those things and sleep I can never sleep, that doesn't matter, but those there's triggers that I've identified like this is not my usual self, something's up here, yeah, right, and I feel like that goes for everybody. Your body and your mind will tell you that there's something going on with how your actions are, and then it's just a matter of understanding what those triggers are. So for me there has been a lot of times where I find myself out of character and I find myself at that point and luckily, throughout the years, like you've mentioned, I've been able to share that with you. Like yo, something's up. Right now I haven't really been able to figure out what it is, but I'm about to fucking explode. So let me just get in a car and just drive somewhere so I can have some space or detach myself from this, and that gives me sort of that mental space that I need, like that's what helps me cope with what's happening Sit down, think through it, change the scenery, and that just helps me. But I do see those points often.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

With a lot of the pressures that happen with us right, managing businesses, kids work, right, just myself and growing through it, the age that I'm getting to right. Sometimes it's like fuck, I'm dealing with shit, family. You have those moments. It seems like it all comes in at the same time and then it's like all right, well, how do I control this? How do I find a way to make this better, versus letting it spiral and go to something crazy where I'm taking it out on you, I'm taking it out on the kids, which then at that point is worse, which then I tripped now, as I've gotten older, to taking care of my mental health. What are the things that I'm doing on a daily basis to take care of my mental health? Am I going to the gym? Yes, check box.

Speaker 1:

Wait, that's the code of the Randy pack.

Speaker 2:

The Randy pack.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Am I going to the gym, in fact? Am I eating healthy? Yes, cause that helps me feel good. Do I have a haircut? Yes, do I? Okay, do I have these things? Yes, do I? Maybe I need to fucking buy a pair of sneakers.

Speaker 1:

Oh, my God, you do do that. You go to your little shopping spree. It's like what the hell?

Speaker 2:

Maybe I need to buy a pair of sneakers, make me feel better. Maybe I need to take a ride in a car. Maybe I, you know, there's something that I need at that moment and I understand what those things are and that checks off sort of my mental health on a daily basis. That helps me cope with all the pressures and everything that's happening on a daily basis.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, good, thank you. And then let me ask you something a little bit more personal. Can you remember a time in our marriage or in your life where you were not in control of that particularly, and you remember a key moment where you wish you could have redone, because you were not, let's say, you tapped into your inexpressiveness and not being comfortable to speak out, so you kind of just like camouflage the shit for something else and it impacted a relationship for bad, or a situation or a period of something that's a hell of a question, bro.

Speaker 2:

You're going deep, you didn't? You didn't park me for this shit. I'm asking you.

Speaker 1:

It's okay, we can edit this. You can take it at a time.

Speaker 2:

No editing, bro, no editing. Yes, a lot of my earlier relationships were those times. A lot of my earlier relationships and commitments to like work were part of that where I felt like I had no control and I might have acted in the situation a little bit different and that's a lot of immaturity as well, but I didn't know what was happening to me and I did play the victim card often where I was like, hey, you did this or you did that, or my job did this or my job did that, or they didn't give me this or they're trying to set me up with that like lack of accountability, like a lack of accountability on it and not understand that it was me where I was at mentally and what was happening to me and I was using that as a defense mechanism to that. So I know I'm answering the question broadly, but there is a lot of situations where that's happened to me, um, where I felt that way of holy shit, um, my, the way that I was almost caused a major spurt, and I can tell you actually, you know what, now that I think about it and now we'll edit it, we'll put this back in there because I like it. Um, now that I think about it, the camera, I'm good, okay it's marry out. This is about you now that, now that I think about it, one of the things that did almost get to that was that one time when we were really stressed with finances, where we were maxed out on credit cards, maxed no money in the bank, um, that I felt like we had no out and it was for like what? Four or five, six months where it was really fucking hard. We had nothing. We had nothing. It was. It was it was strenuous, like we were late on our mortgage, like for the fucking first time ever, um, and I can go down the list of how terrible that period was for us and I wasn't figuring out ways to deal with the stresses and the pressures of that time where I was just letting go and I was like you know, I'm about to fucking file for bankruptcy. I was like this close to file in the bankruptcy, I'm a file bankruptcy, I'm just gonna not pay the fucking house, I'm just not gonna do all those things. I was like, yeah, that's the right route. And it was all because my emotions of the pressures and stresses were leading me down the route of just exit run go yeah, I was exploding. I was like fuck this, fuck, that just just doesn't all matter, I don't care about anything, right? And I was just fighting the fact of how. I wasn't dealing with what was happening at the moment, with the stresses, with the pressures of the finances. I wasn't dealing with actioning on how do I change this. I wasn't looking, I was thinking negatively and it was all affecting because of the stress that I was on there. Yeah, um, and that was a time for me where I was like shit, I blew up, I hacked it out, I didn't find a solution for my mental health, I didn't talk about it, I didn't even tell you like, hey, I'm feeling this type of way right now and all those things could have led us to that one moment. I think I'm telling you. It was like literally.

Speaker 1:

Oh.

Speaker 2:

I remember the next day I was ready to fucking file and then shit turned around. But I think that that was a moment for me where I was thinking about fuck, I almost lost complete control of it because I didn't realize what really was happening and that could have really had a huge impact on us now.

Speaker 1:

Wow. Wow, no that was like well, I can go on into how it looked like from my lens, but we won't, because that was really deep. Well, I think. Thank you for sharing that, because that is a moment that I definitely remember. Thank you for sharing. I feel like You'll get a car, you'll get a car, everybody gets a car. Well, let's wrap it up there and encourage. I'm sorry, I'm lost, because I'm literally still stuck on that bridge that we were under when we had that conversation.

Speaker 2:

You remember yeah?

Speaker 1:

I'm still having PTSD over that. Yeah, thank you so much for sharing that, honestly, all I can think about when you were speaking, because I was reliving day by day of that time expanse of you losing control of like it was so difficult wifing during that time not mothering and taking care of the things, just like being your wife during that period where I was trying to figure out, is this stress? I don't know. If you're not telling me, then I don't know. I can only make assumptions and when I make assumptions we have problems. It was really difficult supporting you because I didn't know what was going on and I didn't know how to support you. I didn't know if it was just like the financial stress that we were having and I just didn't know how to show up for you. And I think that that can translate to a lot of the issues sometimes where we lose control and we suffer through that inexpressiveness of what's going on with us. And when we share our lives with somebody else, it just becomes very toxic because I personally, from my position, I just didn't know how to act and I didn't know how to show up for you, and that was particularly very difficult. But I'm so happy that we got through that and I'm so happy we had this conversation, because I think we need to normalize it.

Speaker 2:

I like it, let's do that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, thank you for opening up that was all right.

Speaker 2:

Cool, I mean, you do that all the time now but publicly All right.

Speaker 1:

Thank you for joining me.

Speaker 2:

Stay tuned, we got to follow this one. I'm just doing another one with this one because there's a lot more to this.

Speaker 1:

Perfect. All right, I'm here for it.

Speaker 2:

Let's do it. Cheers with the water bottle.

Speaker 1:

Thank you.

Male Depression and Inexpressiveness
Emotional Resilience in Sports and Mental Health
Navigating Mental Health and Financial Stress
Normalizing and Opening Up in Relationships