Over the course of just a few years, Simon Leyshan went through more than a few major life changes. He came out to his friends and family as gay, met and moved in with his life partner, welcomed a daughter via surrogacy, and changed career paths to become a stay-at-home dad for his little girl. "It's the best job in the world, massive privilege, AND SHIT CRAZY HARD," Simon wrote on Instagram. "Plus, it's scary how much you love your child. I can't think for a second my life without mine."
However, things weren't perfect for this new dad. Although he had previously struggled with depression, the exercise and healthy lifestyle that once helped wasn't alleviating the severe dark feelings that he was now dealing with. "What made my depression worse? Not knowing why I felt this way and feeling I had no right either as I have what so many people want," he wrote.
Simon explained that he hit rock bottom on the morning of Olivia's second birthday as "this foggy darkness totally took over." After not being able to figure out why he was crying as Olivia opened her gifts, Simon went to a doctor for help. "She told me severe depression, in fact, post natal depression. Yes, apparently dads get it too!" he wrote. "I went straight to a psychologist (talking with a stranger was awesome) and among other things made changes to my life."
One of the most helpful things Simon did was starting to use Instagram. "I signed up to get my mind out of the house and to look for motivation. Parenting is bloody hard, stressful and quite lonely. Add stay-at-home dad and then GAY, yup not the easiest," he wrote. "SO my Instagram has been for ME to stay motivated, collect memories, stay happy, and share our adventures hopefully to inspire others."