032: Real Men Talk About Their Feelings with Al Levin

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September 12, 2017
033: Chasing Butterflies with Nate Crawford
October 16, 2017

032: Real Men Talk About Their Feelings with Al Levin

Al Levin is an assistant principal in a public elementary school. He has been in education for nearly twenty years. He is married and have four young children. He speaks publicly for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and tweets @allevin18. His latest project is a new podcast called The Depression Files, which can be found at allevin18.podbean.com or on iTunes.

Click to tweet: Al Levin shares his incredible journey on the i’Mpossible Project #podcast!

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Time Stamped Notes

  • 2.12 In Al’s junior year of college, he went and studied in Japan without knowing the language
    in advance
  • 2.30 Al spent another four years in Japan after college
  • 3.04 Al is licensed as an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher and a Japanese language
  • 4-11 minutes Al expounds on unique attributes of Japan that he experienced and some reverse
    culture shock when he returned to the United States
  • 11.48 The first time Al ever experienced a major depression was in 2010, at age 40. It was triggered in part by becoming promoted from vice principal to principal and immediately had to start firing teachers because of district budget cuts. He also had three children under the age of 5 at home, and all of the stress and stressors piled up.
  • 13.21 Al first shared about what he was experiencing with that first major depression with his primary care physician and got treatment for his depression
  • 14.32 Almost three years to the day that Al experienced his first major depression, in 2015 Al
    started going through another major depression. He lost 40 pounds, couldn’t sleep, and
    couldn’t eat, and was lethargic for a good while.
  • 16.05 Al shared with his boss about what he was going through—who was incredibly
    supportive—and was given ten days off of work
  • 18.55 In late 2015, after weeks and months of trying medicines and treatment, Al began to think
    about suicide and realized he needed more help. He was able to get a letter from his psychiatrist
    to take 3 weeks off of work and he then checked into a partial hospitalization program (on his
    way to recovery)
  • 21.44 Al says that he read that the average male with depression waits 10 years before reaching
    out for help
  • 27.55 Al manages his depression on the day to day by trying to sleep well, exercise, eating well,
    counseling/therapy, and advocating for mental illness and mental health and helping people
  • 38.09 Al’s favorite word is (spelled phonetically) “tokey dokey,” which in Japanese means “sometimes,” if someone made a movie of Al’s life Bruce Willis would star and Quentin Tarantino would direct (find out more fun facts about Al in the Quick Fire round)

Key Points

  • People, men included, need to talk, and need to express their feelings somewhere in a healthy outlet
  • Depression and/or mental illness can affect anyone and everyone, directly or indirectly

Resources or Websites Mentioned

Al’s website, blog, link to his podcast, and contact information – Allevin18.wordpress.com
Al’s Twitter account – @Allevin18