MAN. THE F*CK. UP.
The following blog has bad language and a trigger warning. If you or someone close to you is experiencing Distress or is immediate danger call 000. If you or anyone you know is struggling please call Lifeline on 131114
What the hell is going on, more and more I’m hearing “Man up, it’s not that bad, I went through shit, I was a man and I handled it. You are weak to ask for help and you are not a real man if you take the easy way out of killing yourself.” As if taking your own life is an easy task.
New research figures for suicide came out in the last week. The media was shocked but those of us who are working or living in the mental health realms not so much. The figures however are staggering. 6 men take their lives in Australia EVERY DAY. Another 82 contact the emergency services for help for either suicidal thoughts or a suicide attempt. I am in that number. I am part of that 82. In the last 6 months I have been hospitalised for a serious suicide attempt and on a separate occasion a psychotic episode that was riddled with suicidal thoughts. I guess I am a statistic now, part of the 29930 people who fighting to stay alive. The flip side to that, I was almost part of the worse statistic, almost part of the 2190 Men who lost their War and died like men fighting to the end. I don’t care who you are and if you disagree with me or not. But death by suicide is not weak. No weak person would be able to take their own life. These people in my eyes have fought hard to the very end and died warriors.
I was lucky enough to have had someone watching over me back in November last year. I also had some fucking special family and friends who searched for me. It is only now 6 months later that I have realised it. I was surrounded family who drove 1500kms to be with me and had some awesome friends who although they couldn’t see me after for a while, kept in close contact with me. My life was an absolute mess at the time and even though I was surrounded by people I felt so lonely, financial struggles, relationship breakdowns and some of the worst mental health issues I’ve had my whole life, some top 3 bipolar bullshit.
But I wasn’t alone, I had many people around me who cared and who reached out but for some reason I just kept pushing them away. I pushed all of you away. I needed to “be a man” and deal with my shit alone like a man. And so mental illness, stress financial strain and all the rest of the mess got me, I lost my war said my good byes and………I survived… a few more relapses of wanting to end it all and a psychotic episode but I’m still here. But these times post my last attempt was different. I asked for help, in my case it was my doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists that I asked for help because id alienated every other person in my life again by this point.
“Please, will you help me I am struggling to cope?” a simple question , shouldn’t be too hard to ask but it is, it is for everyone. For men though the stats suggest it seems harder.
I need to stop now and say this, I know that our men’s suicide rate is massive and a problem now and I feel shitty aiming an entire blog based on just men. Women go through the same issues we do they feel the same shame, the same feelings of loneliness and the same pressure to be a strong independent woman and get shit done and if they don’t they are less of a woman then the next, BULLSHIT. The following although I will reference it as MENs mental health is for all of you who feel this way both men and women all of us. Black white gay straight man women it doesn’t matter we are all the same we all bleed and we all hurt.
Back to it.
Social media had plenty to say when the new stats came out, an overwhelming amount of men piped up and put their 2 cents worth in saying things like “man up and do what you need to do get over it I did and look at me I’m fine.” Or “they took the easy way out by killing themselves, they are weak.” Yeah right cos you know, killing your self is such an easy task…. dick heads. This may or may not have set me of on a few rants about how these people aren’t weak they are fighters and so on. My rants got me know where and the people who made the comments probably never read my responses anyway. The next morning, I was thinking about it and came to this conclusion. Men are our own worst enemies, there are those of us who for some fucked up reason are holding onto archaic values of Men don’t ask for help, men have to suck it up, men have to bear the brunt of the problems that plague is family and fix them all because he is a man and that is his job, these ideas that should be long gone. But they aren’t. Men perpetuate our own stigma, we are the reason we have such high rates of suicide and for what, so we can suffer and struggle and even die in silence just because other men may think we are less of a man if we ask for help, that we are weak. FUCK THAT. Yeah, a real man puts his family first, does his best to provide and protect them but 1 person can not do everything alone. Sometimes that man needs help. I am a man, I’ve done some pretty “manly shit” in my lifetime, got in fights, been to jail, driven cars way to fucking fast. But the thing that took the most courage the thing that took all my strength was to say “hey, fucking help me” it takes real man to own the fact he cannot do it alone, it takes a real man to stand up and ask for help.
So, Men, MAN THE FUCK UP and ask for help if you need it, but oh so much more importantly those children dressed as men who are out there saying its weak to be suicidal or to struggle or to even ask for help YOU need to MAN THE FUCK UP, YOU NEED TO CHECK ON YOUR MATES, You need to say “Hey its ok, I know your struggling but I am hear for you.
Man, the fuck up fellas its time we all started being Real Men and looking out for each other instead of cutting each other down.
Ben Russoniello | ©benrussoniello 2019