It’s time to speak up about what we feel inside. This is part of my start.
Do you ever feel like the world is crushing you? Does it feel like your heart and mind are strewn with broken pieces? Are you lost as to where you are going?
Male, female, or however you choose to identify yourself, you’ve likely experienced at least some of those feelings before. It’s part of the human experience. Yet, all too often, it’s a part that guys especially don’t talk about. But guys feel broken, too.
Today, I’m talking.
Living with illness
Life is hard enough when you’re living with mental and chronic illness. Personally, I have Bipolar 1 and Familial Mediterranean Fever (FMF). If you’ve never heard of FMF, it’s a condition that causes constant fevers and pain.
Being in pain every day, whether physical, mental or both is torture. There’s no escape and no way to stop the onslaught.
Chronic pain tends to limit the ability to get deep and restful sleep. Less sleep then makes internal madness more intense and increases physical pain. It’s a vicious cycle.
I’ve been down
It’s been months now that I’ve been in a very dark place. While a wear a smile and go about my daily life successfully performing my job and providing support to my loved ones, inside I feel empty, broken and beaten.
Still, as bad as I feel, I don’t reach out to the people in my life. No one at work knows I suffer from chronic illness. Most of my friends have no idea as to the toll that bipolar exacts.
Guys — most guys that is — don’t talk about such things, even guys who feel broken.
I started my blog, Speaking Bipolar, specifically to help get conversations about mental health started. Yet, in that attempt, I have often failed to share what I really feel inside.
How can I improve?
Searching for help
Since I am reluctant to share how I feel with my IRL friends, I tend to turn to the digital world for support. Reading posts from open writers helps, but it would be more validating if more men were willing to share what’s inside.
We need more men like John. We need more honesty, more openness.
I need those things
I’m tired of being broken and beaten. I’m tired of hiding away at home at night and on the weekends because I don’t have the mental and emotional strength to go spend time with friends. I’m sick of being dark inside and seeing life through varying shades of gray.
Something has to change.
It’s not my intention for this to turn into a whining post. Yeah, I am whining a bit, but this is only the start.
I want more people to speak up, to share the blackness inside. Hopefully, together we can find ways to navigate out of that darkness.
Guys feel broken, so they should talk about it.
This is my start. This is me speaking up and saying, “Yep, I feel like crap inside, but I’m not willing to give up.”
I believe a better life is possible. I believe that with time and effort I can feel better. I just need a little help along the way.
So, I ask you, prompt you really, what are you feeling inside? Are you consumed with darkness or have you been in the past? What did you do to find your way out? How are you surviving each day?
I know I’m not alone. There are probably millions of readers out there living with secret pain. Let’s share our stories and offer some validation and guidance.
Are you willing to try?
Until next time… Keep fighting.
This story originally appeared on Medium.