Men: It’s OK to Stop Hiding That You’re Struggling
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The following story is brought to you by The Movember Foundation. The Movember Foundation is the leading charity dedicated to changing the face of men’s health around the world. With a singular goal to stop men dying too young, the Foundation supports the following causes: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. Since 2003, the support of more than five million participants has funded over 1,200 innovative projects across more than 20 countries. To donate or learn more, please visit Movember.com.
I’m a talker. Let’s get that out in the open.
To anyone who knows me, they know I could talk to a wall if need be. So, calling myself a “man of more words” isn’t a stretch.
That being said, I wasn’t always so verbose. I grew up pretending, hiding, acting, diverting, running. For the better part of 13 years, I had everyone convinced I was “OK.” Nobody knew the depth of my pain, my self-loathing, my isolation.
I never liked myself but was talented enough at golf that I could convince people I was ”good enough” with a low score posted beside my name after a round. Convincing others was easy, but that golf score never convinced me that I was “good enough.” So yes, this tactic worked, and it can work for a long time, but it’s ultimately a house of cards.
My house of cards came tumbling down when I took my golf game to the professional level. The extreme stress, highly competitive and incredibly lonely life on tour caught up to me and the cracks began to show. I couldn’t hide my pain from the world any longer.
After two attempts to take my life in a three-week span, I realized things needed to change. I needed to talk… but not just talk for the sake of it. I needed to honestly talk to the people around me about what I was experiencing and how much I desired to escape from this dark pit I had been burying myself in.
So, I did.
I spoke up.
I talked, and talked, and talked to anyone who would listen. I was done keeping this a secret, and I sure as hell wasn’t keeping my pain to myself.
I was determined to use my voice and my platform to let other men know that it’s OK to hurt, to be lost, appear “weak.” It’s the human condition. We are flawed. Yet somewhere along the way, men have been told to hide our flaws, be “strong” no matter what.
You know what’s wrong with that?
Society’s definition of strength and the true definition of strength couldn’t be more opposite.
Strength is found and displayed in admitting that we aren’t perfect, that we don’t have all the answers; and that sometimes we need help because we can’t do it alone.
That’s why I’m a man of more words.
I believe my emotional scars are no different than my physical ones. I believe it’s just as masculine to talk about overcoming emotional pain as it is to talk about overcoming physical pain.
So, what’s holding you back from becoming a man of more words?
Image via YouTube/Movember