Why do I choose to donate some of my earnings to mental health charities around the UK? Well, it’s mainly because of my lived experience. I suffered with mental health issues so much; I suffered with it for so long. For the most of part, I was suffered in silence and in fear of not wanting to look ‘weak’ or anyone telling me to ‘man up’.
So this got me thinking of how many more people out there (but mostly men in particular) suffer in silence about what is going on inside their heads. After looking round at resources on the interne, and reading other men’s experiences, I learned one very important point: everyone thinks the same.
Everyone who suffers with mental health issues all think that it’s only them who are suffering. Or they think that people will judge them or laugh at them for feeling the way they do. But in reality no one is judging; it’s only yourself projecting your inner thoughts back out and onto other people.
My advice to men out there is don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s OK to feel down some days; it’s OK to feel like you can’t take the world on, and you don’t need to be ‘the man’ 365 days a year. Let your emotions come out and don’t hold back.
In today’s society of social media and no eye contact, it’s no surprising that mental health issues are prevalent. I mean, come on, we walk round like zombies looking at a screen all day; it is bound to take a effect at some point, really. Next time you go out just take a minute to look at other people’s body language as you walk down the street. Everyone seems scared to even look at each other or take their eyes off their phones. And people wonder why the world is so fucked up.
In my own personal experience, I spent a lot of time on my own inside and still do spend a lot of time because of my social anxiety. I struggle to even go food shopping on my own without feeling anxious. If it wasn’t for my dog, I don’t think I would ever leave the house. But that’s what it’s all about getting yourself out.
Your brain says: ‘Nope, you’re staying in,’ You say: ‘Fuck that! I’m going out.’ Push yourself out your comfort zone time. And when you give yourself some time, things will get easier by the day. Yes, some days you will slip and fall down a few steps. But the simple thing is, if you climbed something once you can do it again. And if you fall again, you get the fuck back up, because we all got deal a shit hand in life.
Society’s messed up; the planet is burning and we are the ones doing it. But remember, on your worst day you live like someone on their best days.
An earlier version of this article was published on Fresh Look Customs.
Kyle Partington is a social entrepreneur and mental health advocate.