Tag Archives: depression

Help Me Find My Tears Before They Find Me

We’re surrounded by the mirrors of our past.

A few months ago I gazed diligently at the mirror that resembled a time before (hyper) masculinity. As I reluctantly brought my car to a stop allowing an illuminated train of school children to cross, I replaced my feeling of frustration with a mindful gaze. Within seconds I noticed 2 young boys holding hands, engrossed in conversation as they crossed. My brain twitched. It was as if a lost memory had returned to me, and in that precise moment I thought to myself,

“I remember holding my male friend’s hand like that.”

As I continued to be enthralled by their innocence it dawned on me – I was missing pieces of my emotions.

I am a 28 year old man and besides the traditional African beatings I experienced whilst growing up, I can count the number of times I have cried in my life which come down to the following life experiences:

  • When I left primary school
  • When I lost my first close friend to Leukaemia
  • When I opened up to my partner about my masturbation issues
  • In my dreams

Now in light of the above, there have been so many situations where I’ve wanted to EXPRESS what I was FEELING, but it was no easy task or better yet, it felt impossible to do so. The image below is the best way I can describe what it felt like:

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Translation: Your expression can’t start because OpennessVulnerbility.dll is missing from your emotion. Try relearning these emotions to fix this problem. 

I hope that example suffices because if not, you’ve probably had your emotional motherboard wiped clean!

I’m a Wellbeing Management Consultant. I work with many people to find their own missing pieces. If there’s something I’ve realised about my journey is that I’m not emotionally unstable but rather emotionally trapped!

Mothers raise boys into gentlemen but society emasculates the gentleman into a man thus, weakening his ability to form healthy and lasting attachments, but strengthening his desire for money, lust and the pursuit of all things in quantity.

Despite the overtly hyper-masculine appearance, no man is exempt from the feeling of loss. Whether that be the loss of a friend, family member or the loss of a well-kept secret.

Why must our tears find us before we find them?

Crying is like art – an epitome of expression. We cry during times of happiness as well as sadness. I believe one of the biggest lies men tell themselves is that they are not emotional while at the same time negatively impressing what they lack upon their female-counterpart.

“You’re too emotional”

When you wait for your tears to find you, it often happens when no one is around to support you or help you understand what you haven’t experienced for so long. Need I remind you of the suicide rate of males (UK)?

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The problem isn’t that we are struggling. The problem is that we haven’t been taught to express in a open and healthy way – we’re emotionally trapped.

I vaguely remember a time before my teens whereby I was experiencing an scathing internal pain (which I believe was more emotional than anything) which prevented me from sleeping or thinking straight. I recall desiring to feel something other than this pain, even if it meant taking a kitchen knife from downstairs and attempting to press it against different parts of my arm. Now I didn’t self-harm but my point is, I wanted to escape the pain or better yet, dis-ease, by any means necessary.

Go deeper…

Okay, so I recently expressed to my partner that I’ve had multiple dreams where I find myself crying. At times, I am consciously awake when I realise I’m making noises and immediately open my eyes to put an end to it. It’s weird but lately I’ve interpreted it as a desire to express what lies deep within me. My battles. My Secrets. My other half of ‘entirety’.

I’m blessed to be with such a strong-willed and supportive partner to whom I expressed my first secret with – Masturbation – but that’s an entirely different article.

A numb man will never understand an emotional woman. In turn, you’ll never understand the pain you inflict upon her.

This is a journey about reclaiming my emotional self in it’s entirety. I want to find my tears before they find me.

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Happiness Makes Time For Those Who Make Time For Themselves.

What we see on the outside often mirrors what we believe is dwelling inside. We understand a smile represents a happy person but seldom do we consider that the reserve might be true. An outward expression can also communicate what is missing within.
The soul cries out for attention while the ego fears vulnerability will be treated with further alienation. But at what cost is it worth appearing alive on the outside, albeit dying within?

A person that is happy with company but unhappy when alone, is not a happy person.

While it might be common to assume that loneliness and being alone fall from the same tree, loneliness is better categorised as one of the potential emotions that can derive from being alone. But that doesn’t necessarily suggest that being alone connotes an emotional imbalance, but rather the opposite.

When we are alone we are in the best position to measure and assess our overall wellbeing. Absent of life’s distractions, we’re forced to tune in to our inner world. There we are faced with our inner thoughts and inner feeling’s reverberatory need to be heard — not by others, but by you. If you’re not used to spending time with yourself, you might experience an unusual degree of dissonance when spending time alone with yourself. This can often lead to the need for external attention, which can momentarily offer solace. However, this should never be mistaken for a solution.

Some of us are in constant pursuit of relationships just to end the loneliness. But it’s our obsession with social media that is becoming the most virulent relationship of all.

Social media is the new escapism outlet.
People aren’t always sharing their problems to be understood. They are often sharing their problems to be heard. They believe that attention is a cure.

But these people are no stranger to the knowledge that numbing the pain doesn’t get rid of the problem. It only makes it more palpable.

Being alone is self-productive. 

Being able to exercise our vulnerability can help us avoid depressive states brought on by an accumulation of our worries.  But before we share our problems, we should equipped them with a self-purpose; to be understood and to obtain a better understanding of how we can overcome the feeling that follows us wherever we go.

It helps to review the last couple of weeks on a frequent basis:

  • What have I achieved during this time?
  • What have I found difficult in the past week?
  • How can I improve on this in the upcoming weeks?
  • Why was I feeling angry last Thursday?

We are but a growing story deep inside an even bigger novel, and the last thing you want to happen is to be left behind in your own story.

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This should serve as a reminder that true happiness comes from within and not in the form of short lived feelings that dissipate once the experience is over. Be the type of person that doesn’t seek happiness but instead acquires the ability to become happiness at will.

A must read if you have more pressing concerns around depression:  HAPPINESS: DEFENDING AGAINST THE ONSET OF DEPRESSION