Men, this blog post is for you.
I want you to know it’s ok to not be ok. It’s ok not to be the stereotypical ‘tough guy’. You’re allowed to have feelings. You’re allowed to share them. It doesn’t make you weak. It makes you brave.
I struggled admitting to myself I wasn’t ok. I stayed away from accepting the truth. Yeah, the truth hurts. I’m not ok. I accept it. I’m working on it.
The one thing I didn’t accept was needing to reach out to someone I loved! I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I walked out the house. I was silent when I came back. That’s not the way to go. Silence doesn’t let go. It doesn’t help when people want to help. If they don’t understand, they won’t be able to help.
We need to help ourselves. A few words, sentences, paragraphs…say something. It doesn’t have to be a lot. Just something. Small steps gives you time. It gives you time to understand. You can do it! Don’t be afraid! You’re not going to be judged.
Letting go of feelings is a brave thing to do. It’s hard. It’s hard to release what your mind is thinking. Your heart is pining for self-love. It’s not easy to self-love, when your mind is surrounded by darkness. There is light. There’s light waiting for you. It’s not far away. It’s not an impossible journey.
I learned to open up by writing down my thoughts. Writing ‘The story of John Sennett’ is my therapy (NEW BLOG POST TOMORROW ALL ABOUT IT). I love writing. I’ve found it a great way to just type away my feelings. Feelings can come at unexpected moments. I didn’t think writing would help, but it did. It started to give me belief to recover. It gave me hope I could be myself again.
When darkness looms, our identity can be lost. I’m a smiley, happy chappy, but that hasn’t been the case of late. I knew something was wrong. I knew I wasn’t ok. I reached out to someone. I told my girlfriend. I found it tough. I didn’t want to seem weak. I’m ‘normally’ strong. I’m a positive guy. I cried on her. I had to let go of the dark thoughts. I had to tell her I wasn’t ok.
It was one line that helped me to understand. Why am I feeling this way? How can one person’s support help me get through this? She was amazing. She was just herself. It helped me to take the first steps to finding John Sennett again.
Sometimes the smallest of actions can have the biggest of impacts. Reaching out to someone doesn’t make you any less of a person. It shows you’re wanting help. It shows you’re wanting to let go.
It takes time, don’t forget this! Take your time with it. Find the right moment for you. Know the right person to support you. I know you can do this! I know together as a community we can help break the stereotypes surrounding male mental health.
We need to speak up. We need to let more men know it’s ok to have feelings.