A week ago, I was asked by Alicia Morton aka @thealiciamayway on Instagram to talk about mental health from a man’s perspective and maybe talk a little bit about my background in mental health, what my story is and things that have helped me maintain some positive mental well-being and in the following few paragraphs, I want to talk about how it felt whilst I was writing it.
The request came totally out of the blue and to be honest at first it felt scary. However I am a firm believer in that sometimes pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and taking on difficult but necessary challenges are beneficial for our own development but much more importantly, I wanted people to learn that it is ok to talk about how we feel (especially from a male perspective and to hopefully give others a bit of hope)
Whilst writing it, it did take me back to some dark places. Places where I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy and the one thing I constantly thought is that I wish I had opened up
a lot sooner.
As men we often tend to feel embarrassed or ashamed of talking about our feelings because it’s not seen as the manly thing to do and that we can’t be open about our feelings and emotions but writing my story reigniting my passion to get the message across that it’s ok for men to be open and expressive.
I’m a firm believer that talking can save lives. I wouldn’t say it saved my life but I would say it helped in a massive way. I dread to think of how my life could’ve panned out if I didn’t somehow pluck up the courage to talk about how I felt and what I felt.
For me it was important to be open because I’m open I was, the more support I felt like I was getting. It’s just as important or to make sure that you are opening up to the right people, people who you know care for you and love you because those are the people who tend to support the most. That listening ear is so important but you should also know it’s okay to accept that listening ear and it’s okay to accept support. People often think of men who are muscular and burly as manly because they are strong and powerful but for anyone (including men) to show their emotions and feelings is also strong and powerful in a much more important way.
Talking is power and power is talking. Never be ashamed of it. There is no need. Speak to people if you feel comfortable with e.g. parents, family, GP. The last thing is help yourself as you matter.