I have been thinking a lot about men and mental health and the difference in how men handle things. I must preface my thoughts with the clarification I am talking about men as they are in Australia and there may be big differences between men in other countries.
For too long people wouldn’t name mental illness for what it is. They would say, “He likes a drink a bit too much”, or “He gets the wobbles occasionally”. It’s changing now and finally men can say they are unwell and it’s with a mental illness. There are still and I guessing always will be, people who say flippant and insensitive things like, “cheer up”, suck it up buttercup” etc etc.
So let me say it loud and proud. I struggle with mental illness. I am not ashamed of it. In fact I am proud that in spite of having a pedophile father and brother, and a Mum who committed unspeakable violence against me, I am still here.
I have been married 35 years. Given to philanthropic causes all over the world, retired at 55, house 4 families in a charity my wife and I started and mentor young people, without hiding my own journey.
Mental illness has sought to and almost succeeded in taking my life, but it will not win.
Don’t wear shame men. You didn’t ask for this affliction. It is not your fault. You are a living testimony that we might get kicked down, but like Rocky Balboa. We get up, bruised and bloodied, but up we do.