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  • Writer's pictureDillan Taylor

When I feel depressed & alone

Yesterday was the hardest day I've had all year.

I didn't want to talk to anyone. I had a piercing headache. I wanted to escape into the woods where no one could find me.

I burnt out hard for the first time last year. It was terrifying.

Nothing sounded exciting. I had no motivation to work on anything. My friends and passions didn't interest me at all.

This time felt different.

I was showing up to my work and obligations just fine. I...

  • made progress on my card game

  • coached my clients

  • knocked out a few chapters of my book

But I felt sad. What's more, I felt completely alone. And I had no idea why.

Despite my incredible group of friends, family, and felt like I had no one to turn to. I knew it wasn't true logically, but that was the emotional feeling.

Yesterday was tough. It was hard to laugh. I canceled a couple of calls. I even had the urge to watch porn for the first time in over a year. (Pornography cravings have more to do with low emotional states and less to do with sexual desires—from Dr. K).

Remembering my burnout last year, I had one frightful question: How long will this last?

My answer last year was about two weeks. I can't afford that much time again.


So after work yesterday, I came home and opened a Google Doc. I listed out the questions I ask myself whenever this happens:

  1. How's your sleep?

  2. What have you been eating and drinking?

  3. How's your exercise?

  4. What projects are you working on?

  5. How much friend and nature time are you spending?

I got several insights in less than five minutes.

Firstly, my sleep schedule has been all over the place. Since returning from London, my sleep tracker says I've been averaging four to six hours of sleep.


I also came to terms that I've been drinking way too much caffeine. Two (sometimes three) cups of coffee a day.

And I was confused as to why I felt so anxious and jittery by five o'clock.

Finally, I realized how little time I spend barefoot in the grass or walking around the forest.

I love the big cities I've traveled to this year. But I belong in the woods. Near trees. Away from cars and crowds.

My action items:

  1. sacrifice evenings to be in bed by 9 pm

  2. limit coffee intake to one cup in the morning

  3. add "time in nature" to my weekly planning system


Today I feel like my normal energetic and positive self.

I got 8.2 hours of sleep. I'm prepping for the first men's retreat I'm hosting at the end of the month. And I'm spending this weekend at the lake house with my family.

It's a wild experience to feel physically incapable of joy. You don't want to smile. You don't want to spend time with your favorite people. You don't want to do any of the life activities you want and need to do.

I don't know if depression is what I'm feeling in those moments, but that's the best way I can describe it. So I have empathy for anyone who goes through it.

However, I do think we are too quick to label things as outside of our control.

If we're feeling awful, there are a ton of things we should look at before declaring, "I have x, y, or z condition."

What are you eating? How much alcohol do you drink? Are you getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night? How much time do you spend looking at a screen? Have you been outside lately? Has the sun touched your skin today? Are you doing work you enjoy?

Things are more in our control than we often believe. But beyond that, I would hope anyone would get professional help.

I wish every single person could afford a therapist, a life coach, and a physical therapist. But since we can't, it's crucial to take great care of ourselves on our own.

If you've experienced anything like this, please reach out and tell me about it. I'd love to learn more.


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