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August 5, 2019 | by  | in Features |
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SAFE – The fragility of male masculinity.

CW: Speaking out

 

It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to be angry. It’s okay to cry. 

 

Recently, we have seen a push in awareness for mental health—specifically, male mental health. The stigma of male strength has been an obstruction. A hinderance. Trying to get males to be honest with their feelings and emotions. Personally, I find it hard to admit to people that I struggle with my mental health constantly. 

 

Why? 

 

There is always that thought in the back of my mind that no matter how bad I have it, there are others who have it so much worse than me. I have a nice house, in a nice neighbourhood. Meanwhile, there are people who wake up every day, not knowing where they’re going to lay their head next. I’ve lost people in my life. But, my mind argues, there are people out there who never even had that support to begin with. Thoughts like these lead me to trivialise my own hurt, so you don’t see me speak on it. And even if I did, what would be the point? What is the actual point? Every time I’ve tried, I’ve been told that I’m being selfish. 

 

Victim mentality. Everyone is hurting—I’m just having a little pity party. But I don’t want people to pity me. I don’t want people to feel sorry for me. I don’t even want someone to care. I just want someone to listen. 

 

Listen.

 

Sometimes I’m not alright, and I don’t know why. I just don’t feel good. I just don’t want to be here. I just don’t want anything. It really be like that sometimes. Maybe it’s people’s perceptions of me. They see the image I’ve carefully orchestrated for myself and I’m unable to properly explain. I’m a happy guy, funny, always keen for a drink and a good time. How am I sad? Why am I sad? I don’t know, I just am. And it becomes worse at home. I’ve always had a short temper, and would constantly yell at and argue with my family. Did I talk to them about why I get the way I do? Did we delve deeper into whatever the issues were that were causing me to act out this way? 

 

No.

I created another mask. Joking around, never too serious, of course. Just wanting to have fun. But that’s not fair to me. It’s certainly not fair to them, who don’t know why some days we can be having these carefree times, and then out of nowhere, I snap. It’s not fair to the people who know me and think we can joke around—and then are surprised when I start swinging. Maybe things would be better if I wasn’t here. But then where would that leave my family? My friends? It would just add another burden for them to carry, without the possibility of me making it right. 

 

So what do we as strong, young males do? 


We carry on. We grit our teeth. We knuckle down and make sure no one feels or sees that hurt. It’s hard to stop hurting people when you’re hurt yourself. It’s even harder to make things better when you cannot better yourself. Life goes on, and so must we. 

 

A conversation of mental health is what we need; it’s the getting there that’s the hard part. 

 

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