Man Feels Weak: Let Him Speak …

Man, do you feel weak?  Speak.  You won’t be redirected, no solutions expected.
Wisdom released,
Men seeking peace,
“Find your voice!”
Yet, be cautious with your choice.”
‘Makes sense, “Negativity … nonsense.”
Positive: the way to go,  let your success show …
Show the world, show your friends … you are the one that shines and wins.
“So, please dear brother, keep your melancholy;
We are the winners, the strong and the jolly.”

Davis, T

FYI:  Usually I don’t mind poems that rhyme, as long as it’s not my poem.  But some things happen, beyond my control.

One definition of ambivalence, because it makes the word logical and digestible:

“Ambivalence . . . the existence of two mutually exclusive (any combination of) ideas, emotions, thoughts, realities.”

STEELY DAN lyrics, from the piece entitled “Deacon Blues”, come to mind:

“They got a name for the winners in the world
I want a name when I lose
They call Alabama the Crimson Tide
Call me Deacon Blues”

I am a firm believer in adages like:

  • “Don’t let people pull you down …”;
  • “Think negative things?  You will experience negative things …”
  • “You are responsible for your thoughts, your emotions, your actions …”

‘Got the picture?

Someone comes into your space, with heaviness, pain, anger, sadness.  It is your responsibility to set up and maintain your boundaries.  Reality: you may experience some tension:

  1. Compassion;
  2. Desire to empower;
  3. A murky mix of wanting to help, and unhealthy guilt for this person’s pain / obligation to “rescue”;
  4. Someone once said (I don’t know who) “It is what it is.”  It is of profound importance to find the “what” that “it” … “is”.

More about the tension that you may, or may not, feel.  St. John of the Cross wrote a piece

St. John of the Cross, Doctor of the Church.

(sixteenth century) entitled “Dark Night of the Soul“.  A great writer (passed away in 1997) named Dr. Gerald May

The Dark Night of the Soul

wrote a book based on the work by St. John of the Cross, Dark Night of the SoulTerrence Real wrote a book entitled I Don’t Want to Talk About It (one of the best books on male depression I have ever read).

Cover of "I Don't Want to Talk About It: ...

All of these works deal with the melancholy some men deal with.  At the risk of oversimplifying all of this, for the man who is in a “dark night” / so submerged in depression / overwhelmed with grief, self-contempt, anger, unresolved trauma, I want to acknowledge the profound importance of professional help.  If this is a friend of yours, you are not the best one to help this soul, other than taking time to listen, and to simply walk with him, for a while.  I say that from a therapist’s perspective.  I believe it unwise to “counsel” a friend.  The word “referral” comes to mind.    The psychotherapist / psychologist is not the only option.  For some there is a church / pastor option.  For others, there is a mentor / “coach”.

Here is “the rub”.  The depressive man: what does he do, besides getting counseling?  He still has to live with whatever it is … Or, does he?  If one is REALLY ready to make a choice to change, the road may be  a hellish path.  Once again, I quote Winston Churchill,

“If you are going through hell, don’t stop.” 

Isolation travels with depression; and isolation is a dangerous place to be.   Here is a comparison to “hold loosely”.  For adolescent school shooters, isolation is a common denominator, along with other factors.  I read an article not too long ago that suggests some school shooters consider themselves “damaged goods”

The school shooter is ready to “suicide”, because he believes that he is “damaged goods”, and he is ready to take others with him.  Correlation? Adolescent boys become men.  Does the deep-rooted identity of  “damaged goods” go away?  Does the isolation go a way?  Do I have any easy answers?  No.  However, I have heard many say that they do have some easy answers; but I am skeptical, respectfully.

*I would highly recommend the following post by Eric Tonningsen’s Blog “Awakening to Awareness”