We all go through sucky times in life. For as many reasons as there are people on this planet. What sucks for me may not for you. But there are some general commonalities – relationship breakdown, bullying, the fallout of addictions, domestic violence, war, pestilence, homelessness, financial hardship, loss, grief, illness…..
Often it is so tempting to just curl up and hibernate. Let the world fade. Hope it’s normal again when you emerge. This sort of reactive behaviour is all well and good for a while. Wallowing in misery is part of the process. However, if it continues, maybe even gets worse, it becomes a much bigger problem. The support and love of well meaning friends and family may well need to be topped up with some professional help.
Men often seem to do it tougher. Maybe it’s that macho thing. “Be a man! Toughen up! Don’t be a wuss!” Although the tide is turning, there is still a hard core of those who believe that real men don’t cry. Got news for you. They do. And what’s more, it’s healthy.
Research on the chemistry of tears has given some fascinating insights into how feelings impact body chemistry:
‘emotional tears contain protein-based hormones which include a painkilling neurotransmitter released by the body when it is under stress.‘ That could explain why you feel better after a good cry. You are literally washing the pain away.
“The Good Men Project” provides a fabulous resource. Here’s what they have to say –
‘We explore the world of men and manhood in a way that no media company ever has, tackling the issues and questions that are most relevant to men’s lives. We write about fatherhood, family, sex, ethics, war, gender, politics, sports, pornography, and aging. We shy away from nothing. Our content reflects the multidimensionality of men — we are alternately funny and serious, provocative and thoughtful, earnest and light-hearted. We search far and wide for new stories and new voices from “the front lines of modern manhood.” And we do it without moralizing and without caricaturizing our audience; we let guys be guys, but we do it while challenging confining cultural notions of what a “real man” must be.‘
Us girls do it tough too. In a different way. Culturally it’s ok for us to wail and weep, gnash our teeth, blubber in the arms of family and friends. But we have to move on too. That wallowing thing can become toxic.
There are a lot more resources out there for women. I won’t go into the politics of that. It’s a murky field. One day there will be a more even and respectful balance. As it stands now it is culturally more acceptable for women to openly seek professional help and support. Just google it. There’s heaps. I got 138 million hits.
There is a lot we can all do to help ourselves sail the stormy waters of life’s challenges. I cover some of that in this post – Green – What You Can Do With It
Nurture and love yourself