Helping men who feel something missing in their lives

The Disquiet in Men

Helping men who feel something missing in their lives

First Aid


Re-lighting the pilot light

Every once in a while, I receive an email from a man in trouble. He has read something here or in one of my articles out there, that really strikes a chord with some aspect of the Disquiet. Sometimes he is really suffering, has no money or resources, and does not know where to turn.

Here is what I generally recommend in these situations. Please note that I am not a health care professional and this is not intended as a treatment plan. This is a strategy to get unstuck when you have no resources.

I know well what it’s like to be lost. It is very hard to find a direction you can move towards when there is no internal navigation that tells you whether you’re on track or not. It is like the pilot light is out. So the first order of business is to get that re-lit. Here is what I would recommend to fan that ember:

1. Read everything on this site and the report that comes with a subscription to the newsletter. This is all free and might provide resources to help you know that you are not alone and provide some helpful tips. Visit the blog and keep checking back – it’s updated about 3-4 times a week. Ask questions and make comments. It may not be a “real” conversation, but it can be helpful.

2. Get structures of support in place. Do you have friends and/or family who can be a supportive? Is there someone you can confide in, be scared with, strategize together, etc? It’s very common for us men, when we feel at our worse, to “turtle”. We go underground. We pull away from that which we most need. We seem to be wired to go off and try to figure it out alone. So if you don’t have any friends – make some. Really. It makes a difference. Think of where you like to hang out or what kind of things that interest you (even things that used to interest you). Go where others who share that interest hang out. It will be hard at first and you may have to fake it until you make it. You can read more about this in this article.

3. Get moving. Do something to get your heart pumping and do something with weights. If it’s been a while, start walking. Now. It is critical to get the body moving. It is sooooo easy to just lie around. That is quicksand. It robs you of strength and endurance. It exacerbates the sense of helplessness. Exercise may be hard to do when you feel lost. It sometimes takes some teeth-gritting t work out, but only for a while. This is important. Here is some information.

4. Make sure you are getting sleep. In our world today, most of us are sleep deprived. That becomes a real issue when we are impaired. It depletes us physically and emotionally. We get foggy, can’t make decisions and our judgment is way off. The opposite is something to watch out for as well – sleeping all of the time. There are plenty of online of resources to help you come up with a plan of attack to make sure you are getting the sleep you need. Tips for getting quality sleep.

5. Bring in the pros. If after doing all of the above for 2-3 weeks and there is no improvement, get help. There are free services through churches and community services. This is impossible to navigate alone and sometimes you need help from the professionals. I didn’t provide any links about this because there are so many local resources available for you in most countries. If you are having trouble finding them online, try hospitals, doctors and social services.

match.jpg Your job right now is to get that pilot light re-lit. Once things have stabilized, then you can start looking at what your Disquiet is trying to tell you. You can chart the new course for yourself and begin taking action. But that will come in due time. For now, you need to take care of yourself.

If anyone has additional tips, wants to share their own experience, or ask questions, you can use the comments section below.

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One Response to “First Aid”

  1. Ron Says:

    GOsh, who among us hasn’t at some point experienced the extinguished pilot light. Your suggestion, Dave, about exercise is a greatt one. A good workout releases all those internal juices that re-energize you. Getting back on track then is easier.

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