Big Boys Do Cry

Big Boys Do Cry. Male Mental Health

I guess I could be seen as being a bit late with this after all mental health week has well and truly passed, but then you know what? Mental health doesn't just affect people one week of the year and the conversation is one that should always be ongoing.

I won't pretend like I know my facts or that I've done my research when it comes to this (I feel the results of the research would terrify me), but something that has been playing on my mind more and more lately is hearing stories of people having very sadly committed suicide. I'm terribly fortunate to have never have been affected by this personally, but hearing of people who have felt that they have no other choice but to take their own lives sparks a sadness within me that I just feel like I can't ignore, especially so when the majority of people that I've recently heard affected by it have been male and I am a Mum of two boys myself.

Suicide is such a sensitive, complex subject to approach and I'm not sure that it's my place to discuss that here on my blog, but what I do feel like I want to talk about, especially so being a Mother of two boys, is male mental health. 

I know that we've come such a long way when it comes to talking about mental health and breaking down the taboos and the barriers that have previously surrounded talking openly about it, but I still feel there is some way to go and one of the ways that we can help with this it is to carry on the conversations on. To talk openly about feelings, emotions and how powerful a place our minds are after all these are things that affect us ALL, both females and males. Neither genders are robots, or exempt from having feelings, emotions and being affected by things.

Phrases like 'Man up', 'Big boys don't cry', and 'Stop acting like a girl', appear to, at least in my world, be being used less and less, but they haven't completely stopped. Still, there seems to be an air of expectation from some put upon men and even boys, to 'just get on with it' even if that sometimes means keeping their feelings inside. Why does it seem like it's perfectly fine for girls and women to cry and share their emotions, but not so much for boys and men to?

From where I'm standing, whether you're a male or you're a female, being able to show and share your emotions shows nothing but strength and bravery and an understanding that feeling things is a perfectly normal part of being a human being. 

To my boys, I want you to know that little boys, big boys, little girls, big girls, women and men cry sometimes and I want you to know how normal that is. I want you to know that it's okay to ask for help when you need it. I want you to know that nothing more and nothing less should ever be expected of you because you are male. I want you to know that if you're ever met with social pressures or expectations of your gender or ever told to 'man up', that you're in the wrong company and that they don't deserve your wonderful selves in their lives. I want you to be there for others when they might need help, sometimes it might be to talk but sometimes just being there with them or at the end of the phone when they need you will be enough. I want you to grow up in the knowledge that emotions have no gender and you are never any less entitled to feel and share emotions as males. 

"Health isn't just about what you're eating, it's about what you're thinking and saying too."

Thank you for reading. 
  Alex xo

Male mental health, big boys do cry,

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