Masculinity is making my depression worse
HD Hunter

A much appreciated and related read. Spent most of my undergrad not even knowing how much there was to unpack emotionally or if there was anything to unpack at all. I was a young man, after all, right? Post-grad, I privately teetered on depression and varying levels of emotional instability for about a year and a half. Flooded by years of loss, pain, and confusion during a time when many a “friend” stepped away, I felt completely alone. I fought with God. I ignored God. We fought some more. There were dead friends and family I could not call on. I went to a therapist, but they said my mental state seemed fine and I didn’t need a therapist. Then, I was just more confused. I was forced to confront with the idea that maybe I don’t even know how to express my pain in a way that others identify it as such. I always felt that men were doing ourselves and our communities a disservice by silencing our emotions as well, but I never thought myself to be a man not apt at expressing them. I lost my voice and launched into a serious identity battle, all while I was “progressing” professionally. There was pride, newfound voicelessness, and the ultimate realization that I don’t know much at all. I needed to get to know myself better. To love myself better. Then, I could love others better, fulfilling one of my primary motivations as a human: empathy. I finally asked: How can I empathize well and be supportive of others if my own internal state was deteriorating? As a kid, I thought: “just power through it.” As a man, I say: “leave nothing that troubles the heart unchecked.” I say all this to say I can relate to this post on so many levels. Thank you for your strength that is your vulnerability. If we do ever have a conversation at-length in the future, I’d be happy to discuss on this topic. Continue to shine and lead on!