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Earrings: Zara, sold out but similar one here
Blazer: Primark, sold out but similar one here
I find it quite me to do a 360 turn on topics… last week ‘the blank slate…’ I talk about how much I want to not be so intense and serious. But after hearing so much about mental health; seeing the Frightened Rabbit, Scott Hutchinson, losing his battle with mental health and corrie covering the topic of male suicide makes me want to honour mental health awareness month.
I have always been a strong advocate on men speaking up about their emotions and addressing how they are feeling and talking about it. The male suicide rate is almost double of women suicide rate and in fact instead of getting better statistics have proven to be getting worse.
I am not a man so I can not say from a guys perspective how or why it is so hard but I know after speaking to a few guys that they feel like it is their duty to be a ‘man’ and not burden others with their feelings. Or be seen as ‘unmanly’ by expressing feelings of love or lack of confidence in themselves and their appearance.
Also, while I researching this I came across an article in The Telegraph; ‘Is ‘man up’ the most destructive phrase in modern culture?’ and I have a very unlike me definitive answer for this questions… Y.E.S!
From the Telegraph article Jonathan Wells writes;
“From childhood, the media shows us what men should be. By the age of five or six we are conditioned to believe that it is not acceptable to cry. And throughout the unforgiving battlefield that is youth, we desperately fight to establish a respected, ‘manly’ place in a string of dominant and unjust playground hierarchies. At these young ages, we’re taught the crucially misguided associations that ‘being a man’ is synonymous with power, wealth and athletic prowess.”
This then leads me onto my pet hate… I absolutely HATE the expression ‘Man up’. I genuinely despise it whenever anyone, guy or girl, says this to another. Don’t get me wrong I’ve heard people use it in a jokey manner, but there is a line.
I was talking about this matter with JS2 and they said they have used this in physical matters, like when someone gets a paper cut or stubs their toe and they are in the initial stages of just feeling the pain then JS2 says ‘aw come on man up’ which… amongst friends and to lighten the mood I don’t think theres anything wrong with that. I still irks me, the expression in general, but I can appreciate the funny side. Sometimes when something initially hurts you need to just laugh about it. It lessen the physical pain!
The expression ‘Man up’ is not only emotionally crippling for men it is also degrading to women. Because the association with ‘being a man’ and power/wealth it just facilitates the notion that men are always the ‘breadwinners’ and women will have to be the stay-at-home mother…no choice!
Now what I want to make clear is that I am not admonishing women who want to stay at home to take care of their family. If that is their choice and they do so wholeheartedly then I am all for it. Women fought hard for the RIGHT to make their own decisions on what to do with their life and if that is what a women wants to do then good for her!
However that is never been what I wanted so for me, personally, this ‘man up’ business is just down right insulting.
In honour of mental health awareness and the increasing statistics… did you know 42% of UK men have considered suicide?
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This percentage absolutely terrifies me. Nearly half of men in the UK have considered suicide! Suicide is one of the most least understood of the leading causes of deaths and it has traditionally received very little attention, with men 3 to 4 times more likely to take their own lives than women in the last 30 years. These statistics are from Men’s Minds Matter, a community interest company working to better the psychological well-being of men and boys.
This combined with the ‘being a man’ philosophy of never ever speaking about their emotions or feelings. Or holding it in and not sharing with anyone.
This needs to stop.
It has to stop.
As I’ve said in my previous post ‘hindsight is a wonderful thing…’ I am not a massive fan of guys, unfortunately, but those that I do hold dear I worry about them. And love them waaaaay to much. Most of the guys in my life don’t realise how much they mean to me. I don’t feel comfortable around a lot of them. But those that I do feel comfortable around and I like as friends I don’t tell them. Because it is very intense and usually completely out of character to the dynamic of our friendships.
(Back on track to before side bar)….
Because I dunno what some of them are feeling or thinking and I want them to be ok. Everyone has a loved one that means the world to them and maybe cause they are uncomfortable with the cliche or cheese of it all but we don’t know what someone else is going through. Something as simple as a message to let them know you are thinking about them and love them can mean everything.
So if you do have someone like that to you, please message them now. Once this has been looked over for grammar or spelling errors am going to message my guy pals that I love and hold dear.
The reason why I said to message your loved ones, JS2 told me a story about someone going through this. I think he was a popular narrator for sports and he suffers from severe mental health issues and one night he was feeling particularly bad when he got a message from one of his pals just saying he loved him. And that helped him get out of the dark hole he was in.
Something a little as sending a message can go a long way.
And sometimes people with mental health issues feel like they don’t want to ‘burden’ anyone with their emotions. I know I get like that. When you love and care about someone so much the last thing you want to do is make them sad or bring them down when your feeling so down yourself. Well the first thing to remember is that your friends/family WANT to be there for you.
They want you to be ok.
But if you feel like you are not ready to talk to someone you know that I can not express HOW MUCH Samaritans can help. They are open 24/7 and the number to call is free.
Please don’t not feel like your alone, I know this initially started off as a male only post but now this has broadened to EVERYONE suffering;
call them. They are trained to listen and help, in fact I’ve been thinking about joining their ranks soon. I’ll let you know how that gets on my lovelies.
Love you all and I want you to be well.
Thanks for reading, as always!