I have lots of secrets in my life, perhaps you have a few too.
Maybe you have a great idea for a business, maybe you like to geeky hobby? Perhaps you feel like a failure, maybe you feel trapped in a job, in a relationship, or by debt?
21st Century life wizzes by at a million miles an hour most days, at work & at home. Our attention spans are decreasing and something has to be amazing to warrant a brief pause from our constant scrolling. Comparison seems to be all around us, whether it’s body image, what car we drive or how many likes on our latest social media post…
Do you ever want something more? Do you ever want to feel real life instead of what passes for it these days on ‘Fakebook’ and the empty pleasantries we exchange with our colleagues and friends?
Despite having various bravery awards during my time on Search and Rescue helicopters and as a paramedic on the battlefields of Afghanistan, the most courageous thing I have ever done was to admit my own vulnerability and to talk about it. (1 min video)
Being heard and understood is one of the key things in life as a human. Being understood establishes ‘connections’ and builds relationships. But the real power of this is when someone finds out your innermost secret or fear or dream and it’s OK with them!
You can actually feel endorsed, liberated and empowered. You can feel alive again, you can feel real. The power of emotions are when they are released and validated, instead of being bottled up as a secret incase it might invalidate us, especially as a man.
Men’s mental health is in crisis because we bottle stuff up. I did it for many years – some stuff I knew I was hiding and holing in, but other issues I managed to suppress unconsciously. Men believe we can fix ourselves and sort it out without help and we are more likely to turn to substance abuse to cope and get through. When eventually we do release these feelings there is often a violent sudden outburst of action. Too often this is through men taking their own lives. Men, in the UK, are 3 times more likely to kill themselves than women.
On average 15 people die by suicide every day in the UK. However, estimates show that 10-25 times this figure will attempt suicide each day. Men in the 45-49 year old age group are most at risk.
Talking about our problems helps. Talking saves lives. Talk to someone today. Listen to someone else. #itsoktotalk Talking about the problems, issues and terrible things in life have made it possible for me also to experience the joy, happiness and fulfilment. By sharing my biggest fears and worries I have actually escaped them and feel like I have got my life back. Try it – let me know how it works out for you.
Imagine a world where it was OK to be you. Imagine a world where it was actually cool to be you. Imagine if you were happier. Imagine if the answers to your most complicated questions were a little bit simpler. This could all be yours, if you just reach out and really talk about how you are feeling.
Final tip: Saying it out loud is often easier than admitting it to yourself in your own head. Self-stigma is the biggest hurdle for many of us to overcome. Most people find out that support & understanding is all around them when they have the courage to speak.
Imagine a world where men helped each other, where it was OK to ask for help, where it was OK to work less and have more fun. Imagine a world where we shaped our culture and made the world a better place. To play your part, please talk to someone today, ask him how he is & tell him how you are feeling. Feel the connection, feel the bond, feel the release, feel alive again!
#mentalhealthawarenessweek2019 #mentalhealth #men #mentalstrength #depression #anxiety #suicide #resilience #wellbeing #mhfa #mentalhealthfirstaid
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