Mental health and music, self care and healthy relationships in life are some of the most important issues you face. Although the stigma has certainly lessened around mental health over the past few generations, it’s still something that is stigmatized and not spoken about enough. Especially among young males.
There is nearly an expectation in society that men must be strong, stoic and show little emotion to fulfill their role as men. Furthermore, that showing vulnerability is synonymous with weakness. This expectation or image of what a man is seems to be spread across many facets of pop culture, media, arts, family systems, politics etc.. It’s a deep issue. Big ups to all my people showing love to their fellow man.
country for young men
I wanted to dedicate a blog entirely to mental health and music and really just mental health in general. If anything I just want to reiterate that you are not alone, people love and care for you and whatever you are going through, it’s a safe bet that people are going through – or have gone through – the exact same thing. Please reach out if you are struggling and get the help you need.
I just spent a few days in country NSW in a place called Gunnedah. I was born in Gunnedah hospital but after my parents split when I was 2, my brother and I moved away to live with mum in northern NSW. Gunnedah has a population of around 12,000 and is an agricultural and mining country town. Me and Angel stayed with my aunty Janice. The air is cleaner in the country. You can see more stars and just about everyone seems up for a chat.. Anyone who has been to the country can relate I imagine.
Anyway the point – if I have one – is that I needed to get out of the city to clear my head and the country is a perfect place to do so. Every time we go to country, Angel’s like:
“We should buy a house here!”
It’s tempting, but then we sleep on the decision and in morning we think we should go back to Sydney lol.
To take a more serious note : It doesn’t matter if you live in the country, city or anything in between – mental health issues do not discriminate and if you’re not getting the professional help you need to deal with issues in a healthy way, then you will find yourself having a hard time.
there is hope
Let me bring this back to myself and share from my own experiences. To lay it out my mum was bi polar, my stepdad is an alcoholic and my dad left when I was quite young. I spent most of my life avoiding dealing with my emotions by abusing alcohol and drugs.
I used to justify my drinking and drug abuse by telling myself things like:
“If you had my life, you would drink like I did.”
“This is who I am: a drinker.”
That was my mentality towards the end of my drinking. When I started getting on it as a teenager my mentality was more like:
“I have found the answer to my problems and I want to feel like this all the time.”
I had to have a rock bottom before I could reach out and ask for help. In hindsight I’m grateful for my rock bottom as I was able to ask for the help I needed.
mental health and music
Of the many gifts recovery has given me, one of the biggest has to be the shift of moving from a victim to someone who takes responsibility for my behavior. The choices I make in life are mine and mine alone. There is power in that.
It’s hard for me to see people who are in the victim cycle that blame everyone and everything else for their problems. I guess it’s that saying :
“If you spot it, you got it.”
I’m quite open about my journey. I hope that it helps people and I’m honoured to share my journey of addiction and mental health and music. I was alone most of my life. Through growing up in a dysfunctional home to the isolation of addiction – I have had to learn how to trust people.. and myself.
I heard somewhere that the opposite of addiction is connection.
Maybe it is maybe it isn’t. I will say this though :
From my experience I have certainly benefited and continue to benefit through social interactions and having genuine, authentic relationships with people while remaining honest. And of course, maintaining positive mental health and music.
I feel I’ve written a lot of clichés and banged on a bit here. I guess what I’m trying to say is that we all have struggle and pain in life and we are all effected by mental health in one form or another. We are human after all. Please reach out if you are struggling and remember you’re not alone.
As always, thanks for rocking with ya boi Prim,