“Depression doesn’t happen to guys like me”
“Anxiety? What do I have to be anxious about”?
Sadly, these are paraphrased thoughts and words that I spoke regularly for 3 years from 2016 until 2019.
How wrong I was.
Scary isn’t it - how is it possible that your mind can feel one way but say another in order to perceive normality.
However, during one of my lowest points in 2019, I finally realized that the way I feel wasn’t a result of me not working hard enough and not being “manly” enough - it was a result of me not respecting myself enough to admit that- I needed help.
Before this revelation, waking up to my alarm, sighing, and rolling back over because I preferred unconsciousness’s warm embrace rather than facing the world was a regular occurrence. This amongst other things was what prompted me to question myself.
“Why don’t I feel good?
I train, I eat a varied and balanced diet, I have friends, I have a job, I think I need external help”
I had everything which stated to me that there must be a deeper problem.
My ego was wrapped up in the fact that I must front manliness.
I mean I power lift, I travel to dangerous places, I eat meat & organs, I listen to extreme music, I’m tattooed, I’m nailing my career - I’m a man and I don’t have time for mental health.
That’s when it will swallow you.
Stop letting your ego and manly pride get in the way of helping yourself in the long term.
Having said that, first, you have to admit that there is a problem in order for you to tackle it – trust me – this is the hardest thing I have ever done.
If you have made it this far – thank you, for listening to my story. I still struggle with mental health occasionally but I am learning more and more about my black dog that follows me.
I want to end with a list for men who are wrestling with their minds right now.
1. You might have a mental health problem; it doesn’t make you any less of a person or a man. Some of the greatest people in human history struggle and have struggled with mental health issues. It isn’t the end.
2. Do something about it, I mean actually do something – stop putting it off. Make an appointment with your doctor. It can have serious consequences if you don’t. If you break your leg, do you shrug it off? No! So why ignore arguably the most important organ of all.
3. Start to notice your thoughts, try and learn the patterns that lead to a depressive or anxious episode. This can be done passively or even actively by writing them down. To know yourself of the greatest power of all.
It’s a short list but more tips and content will follow this. I seriously hope that this has spoken to the man that might be reading this with a sneer. Someone who is putting on a brave face and a stiff upper lip.
It's ok to admit that you aren’t ok, help is within reach.