Happy Sunday everyone. It’s been a few days since I have posted and after leaving the gym I had an urge to post.
This one is specifically for a male audience. Gentlemen, how many time in your life have you heard “shut up, stop bitching” or “get the fuck up, don’t be a pussy” or “stop crying you sound like a little girl”
Growing up I’m sure we heard this from our dads, coaches, uncles even teachers. I loved my dad more than I can say, he was my biggest fan and probably one of if not the best friend I ever had. That being said, I heard all of these things fly out of his mouth growing up. People would say “he’s just old school, he grew up in a tougher generation” or some bullshit along those lines. Like myself you’d probably take it “like a man” and move on, probably harboring a little resentment for a time. Still, you’d accept this as healthy criticism because “I’m a man.”
Fact, men can be much more prone to mental illness. Why? Because we grew up being told to “be tough” and “don’t be a little bitch.” So, as teenagers all the way into adulthood we maybe start to internalize how we feel. Shit, if we talk about our feelings we’ll seem scared and weak right? No guy wants that, tell me I’m wrong fellas. Due to this fact we are at risk. We may suffer from depression, anxiety or having thoughts of killing ourselves. I have dealt with all of this personally and for a long time just brushed it aside because “I’m a man!” Statistically, and feel free to check this yourselves I may have my facts mixed up, more men than women commit suicide. I feel there is a direct correlation between this and how we were brought up. My dad, and myself, are perfect examples of this. His father raised him to not “be a pussy” and “be tough” so ultimately he internalized all of his suffering and eventually couldn’t handle it anymore and put a bullet in his head. He raised me the same way my grandfather raised him. So, years after his suicide, (years I spent self medicating with cocaine, pot, pills and booze) I realized, thanks to my wife that I needed help. At the point where I started seeking help I was years removed from my cocaine addiction. I was however still self medicating with alcohol and pot. Even after starting therapy and being medicated, by a doctor, I still was self medicating in my own way.
I’m starting to ramble, sorry. The point that I’m trying to make is that my decision to get help is what made me a man, made me strong. Self medication and internalization are weak behaviors. Hiding your problems from the world isn’t strength. At one point during my treatment I still got to a point where I was ready to say fuck it and join my dad six feet under, didn’t care. I gave no thought to my wife and my family, I wanted it to end. Then, I made a decision that took real strength. I asked for help. Once I finally told my wife how I was feeling through paroxysms of grief, she rushed me to the hospital immediately. They found me a bed in a local mental hospital within a day or two and ultimately I was able to heal. Not fully, I’m not there yet, but, I’m still putting in the work. I don’t think we ever fully heal, but we can keep opening up, keep fighting to be present for the ones we love who have stuck with us through everything.
If you feel depressed, or feel that ending your life may be the best option, be a man and ask for help. A real man has the strength to lean on others if he has to. No man is an island. If this reaches even one guy out there I hope it helps. I hope you read this and realize that you’re NOT alone and there are so many reasons to live. I’m gonna put a few links below relating to today’s topic.
As always, thanks for listening. Talk to you all later.