Driving late at night

I have this memory right now before bed of hanging out many times late at night when I couldn’t sleep, I’d be driving home after a long night with friends. I’m in my car alone, the streets are empty, the stores are closed and places that had so much activity earlier in the day are completely empty. Like it’s almost eerie to me and I just sort of shake my head at a feeling that I don’t even understand myself but yet I feel it in my soul at that moment. It’s a sort of a lonely yet peaceful bittersweet feeling, driving home at the time, just thinking and reflecting while the radios blasting.. Just heading home.. 🚗🎵

Free verse pathway…

Animate my life, radiate my strife, cut me like a knife but stay out of sight.Won’t you tell me how, slow-moving like a cow, words that are now, words that make you say “Wow!”Free verse, a curse ( or course), tell me what it’s worth, straight from the Earth, the birth of a puzzle, put a muzzle on thoughts that can’t be bought or sought after.Rhymes are a crime, when they spew from the mind, the kind that goes a million miles an hour, a cup of sour milk is spilt on the table while I weave a fable of lies and surprise you with more disjointed words.The end of this poem is near and I’ll stop it here but don’t fear, my hand is sore and I won’t write anymore. At least not tonight. Well, alright, till tomorrow. 💖

Men, mental health and stigma

I have been doing mental health advocacy online for a long time now, it’s been almost 3 years, I am most active on Facebook but in the past wrote a lot in this blog about mental health as well. I also make note that the majority of the support groups are geared toward women, they tend to be the most active in self-improvement and mental awareness, I don’t mind that, in fact, the majority of my friends and supporters are women, they are amazing and I learn so much from them.

But talking about gender roles and how men are perceived in this society is something that is a part of my advocacy and something I think about a lot of the time. I think how a lot of men are perceived as unemotional, detached, expected to be the strong ones, they don’t open up with their feelings and don’t show their sensitive sides. I think most people would say that men do have mental health struggles but choose not to talk about it.

I think about it in a different way, I think men can be just as emotionally ( maybe more so in certain cases) open as women, they can be sensitive, they care deeply but they are told to be more open with their emotions, they are dismissed or shamed for being so open emotionally or struggling with mental health, Many people see that a man who is highly sensitive and emotional is weak, which is far from the truth, men who are open with their emotions are the strongest of them all. . So when men feel shamed or unheard, they stop speaking out and keep their struggles to themselves. This leads to worsening mental health issues, which can lead to breakdowns and even suicide.

I myself, don’t feel comfortable in men’s groups because I always get the sense that the unspoken message is ” I have depression or anxiety, but I’m still a man, I’m still tough” and that message bothers me. It makes me feel as though I’ll be judged with this type of thinking so I continue to seek support from my female friends.It’s a contradiction with me. I want to break the stigma of men and mental health and yet I find myself not relating to a lot of men and that is frustrating. And I don’t blame men for being the way they are, it’s the society that raised that, I see it everywhere, especially in the media. Men play sports, they love cars, they never talk about their feelings, they are in control and it’s a tiring message to me because many of us aren’t like that and even within the mental health community, I see men being labeled that way, and it’s a terrible stereotype that keeps men from getting the help they need.

I remember whenever I was in a college classroom and we would have a discussion about men and women and how men never opened up, all they did was drink beer and watch sports and everyone seemed to be in agreement, while I could not relate and I just rolled my eyes because it sounded like every dated comedy routine from the 80s and 90s, like Home improvement, total nonsense to me

I don’t know, it’s an uphill battle because these messages are ingrained in our society and it genuinely bothers me and it was tough to grow up and feel so alienated from that culture, I couldn’t relate, I had guy friends but I never felt a part of things and I much rather have been by myself or talking with my female friends, I just felt so different and when I just started struggling with mental health, I noticed the stigma about how men were treated. Women are freer to talk openly about their emotions while men were laughed at for being too sensitive. All I can do is write what’s in my heart and lead as an example. I hope this post can make somewhat of a difference and maybe give you a different perspective of the need to break the stigma of men and mental health.

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Stigma: Men and mental health

I have been doing mental health advocacy online for a long time now, it’s been almost 3 years, I am most active on Facebook but in the past wrote a lot in this blog about mental health as well. I also make note that the majority the supportive groups are geared toward women, they tend to be the most active in self-improvemt and mental awareness, I don’t mind that, in fact the majority of my friends and supporters are women, they are amazing and I learn so much from them.

But talking about gender roles and how men are percieved in this society is something that is a part of my advocacy and something I think about a lot of the time. I think how a lot of men are percieved as unemotional, detached, expected to be the strong ones, they don’t open up with their feelings and don’t show their sensitive sides. I think most people would say that men do have mental health struggles but choose not to talk about it.

I think about it in a different way, I think men can be just as emotionally ( maybe more so in certain cases) open as women, they can be sensitve, they care deeply and they are told to be more open with their emotions but when they do, they are dismissed or shamed for being so open emotionally or struggling with mental health, Many people see that a man who is highly sensitive and emotional is weak, which is far from the truth, men who are open with their emotions are the strongest of them sll. I am fournate that is not the case with me, but it is for a lot of men. So when men feel shamed or unheard, they stop speaking out and keep their struggles to themselves. Which leads to worsening mental health issues, that can lead to breakdowns and even suicide.

I myself, don’t feel comfortable in men’s groups because I always get the sense that the unspoken message is ” I have depression or anxiety, but I’m still a man, I’m still tough” and that message bothers me. It makes me feel as though I’ll be judged with this type of thinking so I contiune to seek support from my female friends.

It’s a contridiction with me. I want to break the stigma of men and mental health and yet I find myself not relating to a lot of men and that is frustrating. And I don’t blame men for being the way they are, it’s the society that raised that, I see it everyhwere, especially in the media. Men play sports, they love cars, they never talk about their feelings, they are in control and it;s tiring message to me because many of us aren’t like that and even within the mental health community, I see men being labeled that way, and it’s a terrible stereostpe that keeps me from getting the help they need.

I remember whenever I was in a college classroom and we would have discussion about men and women and how men never opened up, all they did was drink beer and watch sports and everyone seem to be in agreement, while I could not relate and I just rolled my eyes because it sounded like every dated comedy routine from the 80s and 90s, like home improvement.

I don’t know, it’s an uphill battle because these messages are ingrained in our society and it geniuely bothers me and it was tough to grow up and feel so alientated from that culture, I couldn’t relate, I had guy friends but I never felt a part of things and I much rather have been by myself or talkign with my female friends, I just felt so different and when I just started struggling with mental health, I noticed the stigma about how men were treated. Women are more freer to talk openly about their emotions while men were laughed at for being too sensitive. All I can do is write what’s in my heart and lead as example. I hope this post can make somewhat of a difference and maybe give you a difference persepctive of men and mental health.

Update: How’s life?

I just feel like I haven’t been on this blog in forever but I had a need to write on here at this moment. I miss this blog, I miss a lot of things.

Since the pandemic, I have lost a lot of motivation, I feel more wired and yet at the same time exhausted, I feel lonely as hell ( and it plagues me the most late at night). I miss being around people even if I didn’t have a deep connection with them, this is just a dark time.

I write in one way or another everyday, just not on this blog, maybe its becasue all my support is on Facebook and it takes so much energy to maintain those connections that I fail to have to energy to stop by my blog, a place I used to update almost everyday.

So mentally and emotionally I’ve been on roller coaster, I started new meds a few months back and am seeing an EDMR counselor, so far things are improving but it doesn’t help curb the loneliness of being stuck at home so much.

But I do take comfort that my mental health advocacy is going well and I am making a difference. I hope all my followers are happy and safe during this time.

Thanks for listening

Time

Time surges ahead whether we live it or not.Places once alive; full of boisterous voices and smiling faces are now silent, empty buildings, vacant lots, ghosts of yesterday’s gloom.

Familiar youthful faces fading to grey as time makes a mockery of the past, I no longer recognize them, I suddenly feel very alone as I grow older too.I ask myself where the time went, how could I have missed the peak of my youth, so much lost.

The future is now, they say, don’t look back but I must, unresolved stories and a need for closure, right? If only I could go back and do it right this time.How can I move forward when my feet stay implanted in the past?

Why does time move so quickly? Just slow down and let me get my bearings.Time, the evil necessity, my arch nemesis. Why must you hate me so? When is it time to live in the present and leave the ghosts of the pasts where they belong?

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Capturing the Sunset

As night approaches; I see a glimpse of the sky and it’s on fire; a bright orange sunset before me. I must capture this moment for posterity, but I can’t stop my car in the middle of the road; I feel the pains of frustration; I decide to catch this sunset before darkness encases the sky; robbing me of this wonder of nature. I pull to a safe place but the sunset has obscured the trees; leaving me only the tiniest crumbs from the fire in the sky. As I drive I try several times to capture the sunset but to no avail; I’m running of time as I see the sky getting darker and darker. I pull into a bank parking lot and walk up to the adjacent sidewalk and feel my foot sink into a puddle of mud; my shoe completely soaked; i finally took a photo of the sky on a busy street full of traffic with the lights of the cars flying past me; this was the Pulitzer prize-winning photo; the sunset I so desperately tried to capture. I shrugged my shoulders and thought to myself; I did the best I could and there’s always tomorrow’s sunset; if you miss one; they’ll be plenty more to capture that’s for sure.

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Walking with Rachel

As we walked on that empty beach alone so long ago, it’s a late-night cold March evening and the moon guides our footsteps in the darkness of nightfall, we’d just met and I was shy, so I didn’t say much, I just let the sound of the crashing of the waves fill the silence and I let the ocean hit my nervous body. I wish I had more confidence, I wish I had more to say but I can’t think of anything. But just being you on this beach is good enough for me, so I smile, sigh silently, and do my best to enjoy this moment.

We want to be heard

In a roar of loud voices, sometimes we want to be heard, loud and clear.

In a sea of endless faces, we want to be seen.

In a cloud of confusion, we want to be understood.

With these key elements missing from the equation we grow more frustrated.

When we speak, we feel our words fall on deaf ears.

We have a natural need to be seen, yet at times, we feel no one sees us.

We make out point and yet we feel misunderstood.

How do we break through the wall of confusion so we can understand one another better?

The answers seem to allude us, we’ve pondered this question for ages, and not even the brightest minds have come up with a solution to this problem of our misunderstanding.

How do we deprogram the minds that hate and refuse to reason beyond their illogical logic?

I guess the answer is…. 🤔

Thoughts at night

Sometimes at night, I don’t feel sad but I have this melancholy feeling. Like, everyone has settled in for the night, the streets are quiet and the sky is dark and all you’re left with are your thoughts, sometimes we’ve got one foot in the future; wondering what tomorrow brings but reminiscing about yesterday, still lagging behind in the past. Lost in thought, deep breaths, the nighttime is lonely and all I can do is write to capture how I’m feeling at this moment. 🌙