How Asking For Help Is The Hardest Thing…For Men.
Are there aspects of your life where it feels like you are getting your ass kicked? Has life got you by the short ones and it feels like you're sinking in the muck pretty fast?
Is that what it feels like when you look at your bank balance, empty pillow where your beloved use to sleep, or the real reality of your business or career?
So many good people are dealing with a host of seemingly insurmountable difficulties that it often paralyses them into inaction, anxiety and depression. Some will take it a step further and exacerbate the situation by attempting to bury their pain with alcohol, drugs and medication.
I see and here about it in my coaching practice and in my seminars all the time. Men in particular have a very hard time getting real with their situation and actually asking for help.
Derek (not his real name) is a very successful and well respected and admired business man. He's the owner of several businesses in the holistic community. He's got it all…or at least he did. Derek was engaged to his beloved, the woman of his dreams, his twin flame.
Sadly, Derek's fiancé was killed in a tragic fall while mountaineering.
Derek was devastated. The loss was so deep and so raw. The pain he experienced was unrelenting. Sure he went through the usual grieving steps and processes which on the surface were healthy and healing. In the weeks that followed her funeral - If you asked Derek how he was doing?…how he's holding up?
He'd answer, "I am good!…No really…I am good…I'm hanging in there. Thanks for asking."
Eight weeks later Derek ran his brand new Harley into a lamp post at 50mph. Killed on impact his body flew almost 40 feet into a concrete barrier.
There was no note, but the autopsy found high amounts of anti-depressants and a blood alcohol level 3 times the legal limit. For a guy that rarely drank this was devastating and perplexing news. Who knew!
Suicide is one of those thing that leaves such a sad legacy because there are questions that will never be answered.
Dean (not his real name) was a very successful real estate investor a couple years back. He was living the dream with his wife of 18 years. They had a beautiful estate home. They traveled the world and his three boys were chips off the ol' block. He was an awesome dad and role model to them and he was proud of the young men they had become. Life couldn't be better.
Then he was shaken to his very core with the news that his wife had an affair and wanted a divorce. Within a 24 hour period his entire existence as he knew it was shattered.
Fast-forward two years and Dean is a shell of his former self. He lives in a two bedroom condo "The Lair" down town. He has two boys in college and the youngest lives with his mom. He rarely sees them now.
His bank account imploded through the courts and settlement but he still wears the mask that he's still a high roller.
If you were to ask Dean how he's doing, He's say, "Great! Never better!" We should hang out some time!" But he never calls. He can't get too close to people that really know him.
His new, much younger crowd go to all the cool parties.
He thinks he's the man about town with young beauties on his arm. Of course he thinks they are the best of friends. Dean's the man!
In truth, Dean is now an alcoholic. He's had a drug induced heart attack twice. He's attempted suicide twice but couldn't keep the engine running long enough. He's alone most nights unless he's buying. He's hit the limit on all his credit cards.
His boys don't recognize their dad any more and have lost all respect for him. They prefer to spend more time with their mom's new man.
How much longer can Dean keep the illusion alive? What will be his breaking point?
I tell you these two tragic scenarios to illustrate a very real issue.
Most people, men in particular, would rather hide behind the mask of "having it all together" than ask for help. It defies logic…that a person would choose to lose it all rather than reach out and seek the help they need to right the ship and get to a new more empowered destination.
I too have done the very thing I talk about here. I have hid those dark clouds many times only to tell the world that everything is sunshine and rainbows. I get it. I understand the blocks that most men have that prevent them from reaching for help.
It's about male pride. We want to be known for having our sh** together. That we are real men and real men deal with our issues alone. We don't want to burden others with our stuff. As well, men suffer from a deep shame for how things unravel. We want to be seen as great husbands and partners. We want to be known as solid bread winners, business professionals and financially grounded.
Again that pride thing F's things up for us. Add to that, socially there's very little support for men in the community.
Yes, many women too go through their pain alone. However, women have a much deeper connection to their feeling centre. They are more apt to share their feelings and emotions. They are more willing to seek and ask for help. There is an acceptance for women to support and share. There are women's support groups and coaching for pretty much every aspect of woman's life.
No matter your income, your success or your marital status…it does not serve you or the people that love you to hide behind the masks.
You are here for something profound. You are here to bring your light to the world. You are here to be an example of what's possible.
In my coaching practice I've had the pleasure of working with some amazing men during the worst storms of their lives. Storms that were their secret hell that no one knew about. It is amazing what happens when the container of safety, confidentiality and permission is there.
I implore you to let go of the idea that you have to go down your dark road alone. Let go of the pride that says you can't! The help, love and support you need is all around you.
Reach out, speak your truth, and allow for others that care about you to come into your world. Let them hear you. Vent! Get angry! Get sad! Let your emotions run all over. Then get the resolve to change the direction you are on.
Like all big storms…they eventually end. Who can you lean on to help clean up the debris and help you rebuild something new?
As Les Brown always says, "You are here for greatness!"
Remember, you are not alone on the journey…I've got your back!
The Coach For Men
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