On our podcast ‘Tales That Tethr’, tethr Founder & CEO Matt Zerker interviews entrepreneurs, experts, thought leaders, and regular people about what is means to be a man, the challenges that modern men face, and how to overcome challenges and live life in a more connected and authentic way.
This week our partners at HeadsUpGuys featured tethr co-founder Burke White! Story included below or check it out on their site:
My name is Burke, I am a 25 year old living in Toronto. I am one of the co-founders of tethr, a mobile, peer enabled mental health and well-being platform for men. I began my career in product building Fintech, blockchain, and mobile solutions. I’ve built on that experience since becoming the CPO at tethr.
I have long battled depression along with anxiety, with its peaks occurring during periods of transition in my life. From being on-the-go, excited, and constantly busy, to stagnant non-fulfilling phases of my life. Through reflection and help of others I’ve come to a place of understanding and growth with my own mental health.
WHAT WAS THE MAJOR TURNING POINT IN YOUR RECOVERY FROM DEPRESSION?
For me, there was not one single turning point towards my recovery, however smaller significant events.
I had long struggled to understand my purpose and unemployment only exacerbated those feelings. At the time I was doing everything wrong for myself, from self-gratification to hurting people who cared for me.
It took hitting complete rock bottom and daily thoughts of suicide for me to acknowledge that the way I was living was not bearable if I ever wanted a future.
WHAT ARE SOME THINGS THAT REALLY HELPED?
Speaking to others:
- Once I came face to face with my own demons, I realized that everyone in my life was fighting their own battles. I broke down my own walls which led to those close to me to break down their walls as well, initiating open conversations with others that I did not believe was possible before.
Revisiting childhood hobbies:
- This may sound silly, but reinvigorating your child-like wonder can bring joy in places you would never expect. I had a busy upbringing, bountiful of sports, friends and academics. However it was only in my 20’s where I realized I have a stronger passion than I let on as a youth for music – re-exploring playing guitar has been a strong force to help sooth any bad days I am faced with.
- I have always enjoyed staying active. However, it is a tale as old as time as we grow older we find less time and energy to do so. I created a schedule to hold myself accountable to stay active, and ultimately to stay healthy physically as well as mentally.
Facing my past:
- Although it was hard, realizing that my past was far from perfect and to reflect on past mistakes helped significantly. Even attempting to rectify the most difficult situations has helped to rewrite my future in a positive light. Re-connecting with relationships I thought may have burned forever became a form of my own therapy to soothe those wounds.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER GUYS FIGHTING DEPRESSION?
My first piece of advice is to acknowledge that life is a tumultuous journey. Wherever you are on your path, things can and will get better. Having said that, there is no band-aid solution for improving mental health. But making small daily changes will make a substantial difference.
Start today with forming one new habit to incorporate into your daily life – reach out to an old friend, take up a passion project, finish the book you’ve been eyeing, set your alarm one hour earlier to go for a walk. Next week add another. They talk about the power of compounding interest in finance and investing, however no one talks about the power of compounding when applied to habits and your own mental health.