Always treat your co-parent with respect and compassion. A metaphor for co-parenting might be, "Treat them as well as you do a convenience store clerk." You want to get in and get out with as little hassle as possible.
We need our dads to show up for us, as well as our moms. And when the dad is removed from a family, with the SPO, the balance is shifted dramatically in favor of the "mom as the emotional center" of everyone's lives.
For me, depression is a lot about getting afraid and then continuing to listen to the fear more than the present. I've used some mantras during my walks that have seemed to push me up the hills with more energy and joy. "Further, Stronger, Healthier, and Happier."
One of the most pivotal moments in recovery is admitting to yourself that depression is a problem. For me, isolation is pretty deep on the list of symptoms. By the time I'm isolating and fucking up at work, the other mechanics of depression are in full bloom.
There is no one here to save you. There is no one who is going to show up and make things better. It’s you, that has to show up. It’s you that has to take action. Now. Today. Everyday.
My goal, as a good dad, is to be available emotionally and physically to my kids all the time. They know where I stand. I've never bad-mouthed their mom. And as they continue to grow and mature into adults, I'm back to having an equal opportunity to be with them.
So as I speed away from another "potential" I am trying to be aware of the great things I learned. And most of all, I hope to make use of the momentum her gravity and ultimate slingshot has provided for the path ahead.
We're all on this journey alone. No matter how many loving family members or supportive friends are around us, it is our decision that keeps us walking past the open window.