I haven’t been at peace with what I wrote since two friends commented and explained what International Men’s Day was about.
I made a deal with myself yesterday that with whatever I wrote, I wouldn’t retract, delete, or edit it if there would be any kind of response. I would also not change the privacy settings of the post. I would take the flak for anything I wrote – even the flak from Scranton, the resident critic in my head. So, I kept my promise and didn’t do any of that.
Thank you for the gracious, positive, and calm responses to an assholic and arrogant piece. I appreciate and value them.
After reflecting on this last night and today, three uncomfortable points became clear to me.
I could have found out what the day was about after 1.5 seconds of a Google search.
There have been moments and times where some men shout louder than others, to complain about their perceived loss of power in a world that affords some of us all power. But yesterday was not one of those moments.
And finally, International Men’s Day was instituted for men like… me. I wrote last year before about my struggle about mental health, depression, and suicide. So, instead of using last night’s post to declare solidarity and talk about it from my experience, I used it to rant at an unspecified, non-existent “enemy”.
I messed up, I got it wrong, and there is no excuse.
If you’re a man who needed International Men’s Day yesterday, I hope you got to be a strong, resilient man who can talk about his struggles with people who understand and can hold space for you. If you’re the wife or partner to a man who needed it yesterday, God bless you for expressing your love for them.
A brief and final belated message about yesterday. Jay Z said that what you reveal, you heal. So, whatever struggle, pain, addiction, bondage, or darkness you carry, its power will be diminished if you just tell someone because its real size becomes apparent when it’s revealed. It’s not that behemoth you imagined; it’s just a dark turd that has been festering in a badly lit room, playing hand puppets against the walls.
Just tell someone, “I’m struggling. Would you listen?” Pick someone who cares and is good at listening. And then just let it out.
Then, you’ll be able to find some courage inside to get the help you need.
Happy Belated International Men’s Day. You’ll get through it because you’re not alone.
This was originally posted two days on my Facebook account and has been edited slightly.