These past few weeks are widely considered to be the gloomiest of the calendar year ("Blue Monday" on the 14th, lack on sunlight, isolation etc). Here in Canada, today (January 31st) is known as Let's Talk Day - where various undertakings on social media help raise both money (mainly from donations from Bell Corporation) and awareness for Mental Health nationwide. It's actually what inspired me to check up on this site - because believe it or not it is where I spent most of my depressed days as a young adult - and lo and behold on my return I discover there is a thread up!
This is a very important thread and I think it was a great idea to put it up. Kudos to everyone who has posted in it so far.
If you (like me) are an introverted man living in a society that celebrates individual progress and achievement, you get caught in a triple bind:
1. As men we are taught to suppress our emotions to maintain the "masculine" form
2. As introverts we may feel uneasy going to other people with personal and vulnerable information
3. As individuals in an individualized society we may feel alone, and that we have an obligation to recover by ourselves.
Without outside help it is very easy to continue spooling in these conditions until you feel you are drowning. And the further down you get, the harder it seems it will be to reach out. It is tragic that those who need emotional support the most are likely the same people who are the most apathetic or unwilling to branch out and receive it.
That is why I believe you are the real heroes. You who come forward and puts a voice to a largely silent movement. And it is you who then provides a platform for others like me to come forward and share my story. Thank you for that.
I want to let you know that there is help out there. It is estimated that 1/4 people in the world will experience mental illness of some sort during their lifetime. There are so many people out there who hold a connection with you; who would share words with you if given the chance; friends and family members included. On top of that there are counselors whose job is to listen and help you along.
When you share your words - no matter how many - you are taking a massive step in the right direction. Remember that.