we need to talk about men and mental health

It’s time to break the silence and stigma around men and mental health. How do we expect to befriend, marry, or raise loving, nurturing men, when society shames them into being something they aren’t?

First things first, I am so incredibly blessed to have found the male friends I surround myself with while in this lifetime. Lucky for me, they are all deeply compassionate, loyal, protective, respectable men whom I feel safe with 24/7 and I know I could go to them with any problem without judging me. I believe the reason for this is because within my individual relationships with all my friends, I’ve created a safe space for them to know they can always talk to me.

We love an honest conversation, truly — the most healing comes from real talk. It is not “acting gay” or “like a pussy” to cry when life gets hard, because it inevitably will. Besides that, gay men and women (if we’re referring to pussies, that is) are hands down some of the strongest people on this planet. Those slurs should no longer be considered an insult.

But why do we teach men not to cry, when we should be teaching them that vulnerability is the most important thing in life? To be vulnerable allows you to feel your emotions deeply. Without fully feeling your emotions, you allow them to stay bottled up forever, hidden away, waiting patiently to explode. These hidden insecurities can manifest as other illnesses in ourselves, they can push people away, and they definitely refrain us from finding true happiness and peace.

Obviously, this narrative that “boys don’t cry” needs to get thrown out. We are teaching these boys that it’s not okay to tap into their ‘feminine’ sides, when in fact, masculinity and femininity go hand in hand. It’s the balance of life.

Embracing the femininity within you is where you step into your true power, your highest self. To become caring and nurturing of yourself, the Earth, and others, is when healing begins. Anxiety and depression slip away as you navigate through life with a more emotionally-balanced approach.

Crying is human nature. We come out of the womb crying. Since when did we shame men into resisting such a natural and powerful force? Crying releases the old and allows for the new. It’s a cycle of life, and it’s healthy for you, and your mental health.

The fear of looking weak is an issue when it comes to talking about their feelings, therefore many men don’t reach out to those around them. These men often feel they have to appear strong and resilient. Well let me tell you, you are strong enough. Silently carrying the weight of your world goes to show how strong you truly are, but you don’t have to go through your struggles alone. There are so many outlets for you to get the help you didn’t even know you needed, because society has failed you.

Sexism has taught us to disregard men’s mental health issues, and if you cannot recognize that, you have some deep un-learning to do. It’s not your fault — it’s been handed down through past generations, and generations before that. The act of ‘manliness’ goes back to the beginning of time. However, we can impart some change and break the cycle. We need to normalize men talking about their feelings, for they did not choose to grow up in a society that forced them to keep quiet and become ‘manly men.’

It’s a shame, the time we spend teaching men to guard their hearts rather than learning how to free them.

As of lately, there’s been an alarming number of male suicides in my hometown, and it’s honestly getting scary. It seems like every other day, another partner, co-worker, friend, or husband is lost. I felt the need to write this post as an open invitation for you to express your feelings, anytime, any place. Doesn’t matter if you’re a best friend or a stranger, I’m always listening.

Check on your friends, make sure you tell someone you love them today, and break the stigma around men’s mental health.