“Man up”, is probably one of the most harmful phrases that you can tell a child, a teen, or an adult male, especially in their time of need. If a young child is crying because they fell over and it hurts, it’s because they’re dealing with an overwhelming situation or pain or shock, and they need to release it. This is a completely normal human reaction to something negative, and it shouldn’t be covered up by those words. It installs in a young boy from very early on in life, that it’s not okay to feel, or cry, or speak about their feelings, and this is a very dangerous game, because when that young boy reaches adulthood, they will have a mindset that is wrong, and they won’t be accepting of issues and speaking about what’s going on in their minds, because they don’t see it as ‘correct’. This is why there are so many suicides in adult males happening in the world today, because these victims didn’t realise they could speak about their emotional turmoil and pain, and so they decided to end it themselves in the only way they knew how.
This can be stopped. It doesn’t have to be this way. And a big part of that is getting rid of those two words, and replacing them with, “talk to me”, or “there is help”, or “it will be okay”.
The first step is speaking to your doctor and letting them know that you’re not okay and why you think that may be. They will then be able to find the right help for what you’re dealing with. You may find that you need to be put on medication – this is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. They will not change you as a person. They are merely there to level out the chemical imbalance in your brain which is making you feel this way.
If you’re aware that you have an addiction, and you want to get into recovery and start building your life back up again, then you may want to think about men’s sober living. The reason for the gender divide is so that there are no unnecessary distractions, and you don’t have to worry about being in a comfortable setting, because you’re all essentially in a much more similar boat, so can all be vulnerable together.
You would be amazed at how much better you can feel just by talking to someone that knows how to respond to you, and understands how and why your mind is working the way that it is. So be open to the idea of going to therapy if and when they suggest it. You don’t have to answer anything you don’t want to, and anything that you tell them is, of course, confidential (unless they have reason to believe you or someone else is at harm’s way). Therapy is your safe place for being honest, and learning new mechanisms to help you cope.