It’s a competitive world out there and how dare I stop. There are times when I feel I need a break, that I need to vent out the emotional baggage I have been carrying, probably do my laundry which has been pending for weeks but who cares?
I am not sure about you but certainly, I cannot.
I am a man and I cannot and I do not care.
Sometimes, I feel I should let go of all the shackles and the judgment. But alas, I am a man and I cannot do that or people would laugh at me, for being so weak, for not being “manly” enough, for crying, for expressing my emotions.
I have always been told this,
“Men don’t cry”
“Men aren’t expressive”
“Men need to look tough”
“Men need to earn more”
“Men cannot fall in depression, you would be weak if you do that, Just Man up”
So, I kept on drinking the poison. But our body has a funny way of functioning too. It rejects what it cannot digest. It pushes out undesirable things. Although I had been swallowing my emotions, venting in my frustration, my brain chose a different way to push them out, through anger, through violence. Sometimes, the anger harmed me, and most of the time, it harmed others.
People began to be scared of me but I believe that’s what being a man is about, to stand tall and alone where no one can question or doubt me. I felt powerful and strong but soon this load of “masculinity” began to take its toll. I felt alone. I felt “depressed” but I couldn’t show it.
I needed therapy, the people in my life can ascertain you that I did but I absolutely cannot take it. The way society judges mental health is scary and for a man who is supposed to be strong at all times, it’s nearly impossible.
But then something rescued me. It was like a happy ending for me. Finally, someone understood and accepted me as who as I was. It was thrilling, it was exciting and most importantly, it was relieving. It was something I could boast of all day long and I would feel even more confident and masculine.
However, the love story didn’t last long, it consumed me. And it was too late when I understood that I fell in love with death. Drugs, cocaine, and alcohol made me feel special but it wasn’t for long before I succumbed to it. But, it wasn’t the first time. I had seen death before. It was at every moment when I didn’t accept my emotions, my life for a fake definition of “masculinity”
But it wasn’t always my fault. I was forced to act this way or people would have made fun of me, called me weak. I too wanted to live, to breathe, to express but I never could for I am a man and I don’t care.
Depression is ranked as the single largest contributor to global disability and it its worst, it leads to suicide. At least 800,000 people die due to suicide every year.
Understand that it’s just another illness and should be cured through professional help. Seek therapy, talk to people, and open up about it.
A real man doesn’t hide behind his emotions.
- A real man expresses.
- A real man cries.
- A real man loves.
- A real man lives
- And most importantly, a real man cares.
It’s important for all of us to understand this, be it men or women. Don’t shove the traditional societal definitions of man onto your friends and family. We are all together in this journey of life and we must help each other reach our destination.