You may be in that place in your life where you feel empty, void and everything around you seems not to add up.
Everyone around you seems to have made it and their lives look perfect. You may have just cleared high school and unlike many, you have got no fees.
You may have just cleared campus and you have got no job despite the many job applications you have made. You may have been the bread winner in your family but you lost your job.
There are so many expectations for the boy child especially in our country, Kenya. The man has to be bold, look bold, and act like a gladiator. A man should not be weak. According to our society’s standards, a man should not have problems.
It is almost a crime for a man not to make it. It is shameful for him to break down. It is not ‘manly’ for him to talk about his problems, he will be judged for being a weakling, many will say he is not man enough, he will be called a child, or a woman (But who said women should be weak?).
This explains why so many men talk to the bottle and when alcohol cannot talk back, a rope on the neck will. And that’s when all the bloody hypocrites who said ‘it is not manly, it is shameful and you need to man up’ will surround his grave adorned in their beautiful black attires and stunners taking selfies and saying how of an amazing person he was.
Dear fellow man, you do not need to act ‘manly’. Manly is just another standard the society created for themselves not you. You need not act like ‘other men’ because there is no template of how to be a man. There is no template for life.
We all have different paths in life. We have different struggles, different goals and dreams. Sometimes our hopes and aspirations may not go as planned and we may ‘fail’ in all our endeavors. So it is okay to feel void, it is okay to feel empty, it is okay to feel totally hopeless.
You are not the only one to feel that way. Some of us have felt so useless, empty and hopeless that we attempted suicide. We had that rope on our neck and those many pills beside us. But something told us no, something kept us moving…
We forgot what it is to be ‘manly’. We forgot whatever standards society put for us and we decided that we are going to live a day at a time. We broke down, we acknowledged our weaknesses, we cried and we talked to someone. They never made the problem go away, but they listened.
They say men should not have BFFs but tell that to a person who attempted suicide and got help from a best friend and they will tell you that that is total crap. They say a man should not cry but I tell you that if you feel down and want to cry, cry all you can. They say a man should not acknowledge defeat and/or weakness but I tell you to acknowledge that you can’t and do something about it. Nobody should control how you live or express your feelings.
You were made with emotions and they need to be expressed. It is not women only who should express their emotions. It is not ‘unmanly’ to express what you feel. Is it better to suppress your feelings and spend weeks in a psychiatric ward? Is it better to contemplate suicide than to express a troubling emotion?
Fellow man, things will get better. It doesn’t make you less of a man to downgrade to a smaller house, to sell your household stuff, or to go back to your parent’s house. I assure you things will get better and must get better as long as you believe.
You might not be able to run, even walking can be hectic in this journey, you can crawl, so long as you do not stop. Ignore whatever negative noise you hear. The only noise that should reverberate should be ‘I will make it!’ ‘Things will get better’ ‘I can and I will and nobody is going to stop me!’
I am telling you this because I have been there for quite a long time and things got better. So rest if you must, but do not quit. Believe! Keep the faith alive!