Those who grew up in a typical African home can sure confirm this notion. I don't know how many of you came across your father crying even when he was sure going through some difficult moments.
I think I have only seen my father cry like once, and that was the most difficult thing to behold. I love the strength our men are taught to have, but at the same time, you don't always have to be strong, and especially when it comes to mental health. Certain things inevitably will need to be brought to the forefront in order to strengthen your overall health and well-being.
In the black community, we don't address a lot of things until maybe it's too late. It's much easier to sweep things under the rug because we don't consider them as problems.
Few men are privileged to have that heart to heart talk with their parents, siblings, or even friends. We all know we got each other and might throw in ‘I love you' here and there, but we wouldn't find it easy discussing with them some difficult issues we are truly going through because we simply don't want to be labelled as a weakling.
When it comes to a mental breakdown, I always think that "I'm OK, I got this " is the simplest answer to give even when I know so well I don't have control over what I'm going through. It's hard to admit as an African man that you actually need professional help when it comes to a mental breakdown. Some people may decide to indulge in certain habits just to make them forget what they are facing, but others are never so lucky and end up committing suicide over issues that could have simply been solved by a couple of counseling sessions.
I just want to urge every man that it's OK to cry when you are going through some difficult moments. It’s OK to breakdown and feel vulnerable when you just can't hold on anymore. It's OK to talk to someone sometimes, its help. And it's OK to seek psychological help when things are heading to the extreme side.
Let's all have a positive Tuesday.