C-Suite Profile - Matt Wolff
Founder and CEO of Ticket Time Machine
What physical or emotional traumas, genetic predispositions, or life events have you experienced that you feel had an impact on your ability to feel the healthiest you can feel from a mental health standpoint?
I had very few issues or problems growing up. My parents didn’t get along so well but they stayed together. My dad died of Pancreatic Cancer when I was 29. We were extremely close and it happened very quickly. I lived in FL and he was in NJ. I got engaged in 2018 after moving in with my girlfriend. First time I lived with a significant other. Also, it was way past the longest relationship I had and I’m a very independent person set in my ways with a lot of traditions that take me away (events, vacations).
How did those events impact your state of mind and overall psyche in terms of symptoms? You can describe the feelings and/or share a diagnosis if you would like.
Losing my dad reinforced my belief that life can be short and that we should live with little/no regrets. I think about him all the time. Sometimes it makes me sad. Sometimes it makes me smile. I’m okay with both because it makes me think about myself. I don’t know that any of the events cause me to be depressed, but the engagement happened right before. I didn’t have any doubts about getting married other than the fact that I was depressed and couldn’t figure out why. That and my job seemed like the obvious choices.
How did that experience that you’ve gone through change the way you view mental health?
I have always had a soft spot for mental health, but this was the first experience of understanding what it means to be depressed. It really gives you a different perspective on things and I don’t feel like my case was extreme comparatively speaking. So it’s hard for me to understand fully what some of the people who suffer from worse symptoms, but I have learned the ability to be more compassionate and I have decided it will be an area of focus that I will put a lot of effort and energy into. Bringing Mental Health to the forefront of conversation and perpetuating that 5 in 5 people experience challenges, stress, and traumas.
Why did you decide to share your story (whether previously or on this site for the first time)? Who were/are you hoping to help and how?
I want to help people and when you can be vulnerable and show people it’s okay to share, we can start to break the discomfort in addressing every challenge we face. I don’t have anyone specific. I want to help anyone that needs it. Some people are crying out for help and others won’t. There is a fine line between caring about someone and intruding when you start to ask these questions. At the end of the day, I want people to know that I am there for them if they need it. No strings attached. No explanations are necessary. I wouldn’t be here today without a lot of help. It’s only fair that I offer to others. That is the only way we will begin to make a dent and move onward and upward.
Why do you value mental health? What is your motivation to help others?
I always valued it. Always felt bad for those struggling with their mental health. I’ve also always been someone that wants to help people, maybe to a fault. I do it because it’s the right thing, but there is a feeling you get when you help others and improve their livelihood.
When & why did you decide to ask for help to get relief from those feelings or symptoms?
I couldn’t get out of bed. Wasn’t eating anything until dinner time. Didn’t want to go anywhere or hang out with anyone. I had no choice. I had a job and a fiancée and I’m very close with my family so I’m thankful for that because they made me get help. I knew that I needed it, but I wanted to see if I could help myself first. I wanted to see if this was just a phase. Turns out I needed the help.
What methods or practices helped you get/feel better?
Medication did the heavy lifting. I had spoken with some therapists that also helped. Being open about things and acknowledging that you have a problem is the first step. It’s cliché but true.
If you have told your story before, how did people react when you went public? If you have not previously shared your story, how do you think people will react?
Everyone was very supportive. I post a lot about Mental Health and I’ve gotten a bunch of messages of people telling me that they experience the same and that I was brave and they were happy and proud that I shared. People said they had no idea. One of my friends asked me if I would talk to their son about some of the stuff he is going through.