Real Men Go To Work

Toxic Masculinity and “being a man” somehow got mixed up into meaning the same thing. And it’s sickening. Toxic masculinity is not strength. It is weak. And it is good for no one.

The ‘manliest’ man struggles because he cannot ask for help. Men discourage men because the conversation can never be about the last time you cried or the person you care most about.

And what is the result? Nothing less than a swipe right movement. The conversations about how many women you’ve slept with. And it’s never about their names.  It’s never about who they are.  It’s only about the notches on the belt.

The same belt that beats down the hopeful imagination of young boys.

The same belt that hangs from a ceiling fan because a man would rather tighten his neck than loosen his heart.

The belt that holds up pants which cover up your real manhood. The pants that disguise your sense of being a man with a fake sense of belonging and a false confidence that spreads like wildfire.

Truth is real men don’t need belts. Real men wear pants that fit.

Pants that wrap around their bodies comfortably, accepting the imperfections of their body just as they accept the bodies of real women instead of sizing them up to unrealistic standards. Pants that trail down to the top of work boots.

Work boots that go to work for equal rights for all human kind.

Work boots that go to work using their strength to protect the people who feel weak. To use the power in their voice for the people who are not heard.

They are not boots that stomp over the people below. Crumbling their pride, their confidence, or their consent.

Real men grab a hat as they leave for work. Not a hat that hides their true intentions and protects them from any consequences. But a hat that humbles them of their privileges and sets them out to do good.

Real men take sticks of gum and take time to chew on their words instead of spitting out insults, judgments and sexist remarks.

Real men have eyes that see the beauty in women instead of casting down shame on their image.

Men are taught to measure twice and to cut once. Measure your self-worth, build it up, and cut others some slack.  Don’t measure to show off how big you are and cut other people down.

Real men wear dirty shirts. Shirts covered in blood sweat and tears. The blood from their mother that taught them how to treat a woman.  The sweat from chasing after their goals and passions. And the tears that they cry when it all seems a little too hard.

Not the blood of your victims, the sweat from others doing your work, and the tears of the girls you’ve left behind.

Real men go to work. You can pick them out of the crowd by the gas masks they wear to protect themselves from the toxic masculinity that surrounds them. The toxic masculinity that closes in on them and asks what notch of the belt they’re on.

But I say don’t worry. I know my privileges. I am a white male in North America.  I have more opportunity than anyone else on the planet. And yet it sickens me to be a part of this stereotype. A stereotype that is all to true.  A stereotype that reads ‘rape’ all over headlines.

To have girls tell me that my friends have taken advantage of them but no one else can know. Because the verbal assault that follows might be worse than the physical.

To have men all around me cheat and lie

And when they tell their buddies it results in high fives

Cause you got laid bro.

And this is what manhood is. But you’re such a man because you get up and go to work in the morning.

Real men go to work.

They go to work for the ones who can’t.

The High

What was the last thing you truly wanted?

I feel like I’m living a life that ain’t mine.

And every time i share some of my mental health story to the public, and i get positive feedback, I feel a glimpse of what my life should be.

Sometimes I feel so high that I envision myself being famous, I envision myself being known world wide as an advocate for mental health, i see myself helping people through their struggles on a daily basis. I see myself in a movie.  And i see it so vividly that i believe it to be true. Like there is no way that this doesn’t happen.  Because i am meant for greatness and it is only a matter of time before i rise to it.

Sometimes i feel so low that i cant get out of bed and get something to eat because i am  not worthy of life.  I cant get out of this darkness because if someone sees me trying to escape it they will spit on me and shove me back down into the dungeon that is my head.

Every time I write I am trying to get people to understand what I am going through every minute of everyday. My mind does not take a break.  And i will keep writing because i will never find a way to explain exactly how it feels.

People don’t understand the high.  I feel so good, so full of energy.  Cocaine couldn’t begin to understand the high that my own brain can give me.  There is absolutely nothing in the world that could bring me down.  One day someone broke into my car and stole my stuff and I didn’t hesitate for a second.  They must’ve needed that stuff more than me.  Isn’t the circle of life beautiful? The world balances itself out and I can just keep living, keep smiling.

Wouldn’t a normal response be hey my sh*t just got stolen that kinda sucks?

People don’t understand the low.  There is literally a voice inside my head screaming at my every move, my every thought.  The voice is me.  The voice isn’t ME.  The voice doesn’t go away it just is quiet sometimes and louder at other times.  My mind almost always knows whats best, but my voice shuts it down a lot.  My thoughts go hey Chris you’re feeling down because you’ve been in bed all day. Maybe if you just get out of bed your head will clear up a bit.  My voice goes Chris you’ve been in bed all day because that is all you’re good for.  I go but voice I gotta make it to class today.  My voice says but everyone will see you and I’ll tell them how fucked up you are and everyone will judge you.  What would you do?

I work and I work.  I have a civil war between my ears.  It is all about the small victories.  The voice told me I can’t get out of bed today.  So I don’t get my homework done. But I make it to class.  Win.  I play it off like I was too cool to do my homework.  I get a couple more wins.  I make it to the gym or out for a run.  I get the good drugs pumping through my head.  I get a couple more wins.  I keep battling.  I keep working at it.  You don’t think I can get out of bed? Too bad, I’m f*cking doing it. And then one day I wake up and the sun is shining.

Right now I’m waiting for that day.  And it can’t come soon enough.

I WANT this voice to f*ck off.

Cause this life ain’t mine.