Dadvengers Podcast Episode 36 – Josh Connolly
It’s the Dadvengers Podcast episode 35 – Josh Connolly. This week’s guest is making waves in the mental health world. He is one of the UK’s most influential mental health advocates and has spoken in the House of Commons, and helps shaped mental health policy. Runs mental health workshops for individuals and businesses, and cohosts the 115 miles podcast. We’re so pleased to welcome Josh Connolly to the podcast!
Josh grew up in a household with an alcoholic parent, and this had a massive impact on his life. He remembers a lot of feelings of fear and shame. His father died when Josh was 9, and this loss had a huge impact on him. By the time he was 12, Josh was using alcohol to hide from the pain he felt. By the time he became a dad at 18, Josh’s alcohol use was controlling his life.
At 24, Josh was a dad to four children and separated from their mum. That’s when he realised he needed to stop drinking. He joined a 12 step programme and got sober, but all the emotions he’d been suppressing came back. At that time Josh made a decision to take his own life, but luckily spending time with his children changed his mind and he sought help instead.
Since then, Josh has become sober and sought support for his mental health. He has also had two more children and learnt to be a present, emotionally available parent. All while being an ambassador for NACOA – an amazing charity who work with children of alcoholic parents.
Hearing Josh’s story of going from a dark, deep depression, to using his experiences to help other people is truly inspirational. We’re so grateful to Josh for joining us 💙
Use the player above to listen to Dadvengers Podcast Episode 36
Episode Time Stamps
1:51 – ” I grew up in quite a frightening environment… one that was steeped in a lot of shame”
– Josh shares his upbringing.
4:47 – “When people were telling me to be brave, I think they were terrified of the feelings I needed to express.”
– Why trying to fix our children’s emotions is more difficult than trying to help them.
10:10 – “I have to notice how regularly I can’t be there emotionally for my children and what brings that up.”
– Josh tells us how he ensures he is there for his children.
15:02 – “Our common belief is men don’t do them… they do them, in a space where they feel it is acceptable and safe”
– Josh on men and showing emotions.
18:58 – “It was a terribly dark place for me, but when I made the decision it felt like the right thing to do”
– Josh tells us about planning to take his own life, and what stopped him doing it.
23:55 – “I made a commitment to myself to be as gut level honest with myself and the people around me as I could”
– What helped Josh seek support when he was at his lowest.
26:48 – “I am a compulsive people pleaser… It is a coping, protection mechanism, but it keeps me alone.”
– Josh tells us how his childhood still impacts him.
30:12 – “I remember vividly with my first daughter… I thought was you need to get as far away from me as you possibly can, there is no way I can show up for you in the way that you need”
– What scared Josh the most when he became a father,
35:18 – “Regrets is different to blame… I was doing the best with the tools that I had at that time.”
– How Josh reflects on his mental health issues.
38:36 – “Since the time I nearly took my own life… the main bulk of the work I had to do was learn that the ways I felt made sense.”
– Josh on healing from his childhood and moving forward.
40:49 – “We launched a campaign because we realised that there has never been any funding for children of parents affected by a parents drinking”
– Josh’s work with NACOA
44:13 – “It is more strange in our society for me to be a sober dad than it was a drunk one.”
– How society views being sober over drinking as a parent.
46:31 – “Those moments of total presence with my kids is what I live for… they’re beautiful.”
– Josh’s favourite part about parenting, and how he achieves it.
49:56 – Josh’s Dad Superpower!
Also on Dadvengers…
If you enjoyed this episode of the Dadvengers Podcast don’t forget to check out some of the others. We have dads from all sorts of backgrounds and industries talking about their journey’s through fatherhood. And more are being added all the time.
Whether you are male, female, and parent or a parenting professional there’s lots to be learned by listening to men tell their stories. We also have a comments box below if you’d like to leave your thoughts.
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Another awesome guest that will hopefully inspire others to keep on learning as we parent. There is no one size fits all formula to being a dad we all have to adapt to whatever life throws at us.
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