It’s another day. Another day Tunde feels empty and wasteless. How can I ask for help?
I want to ask for help, but I know that I can’t do that. I’m a man. I shouldn’t feel all these useless emotions. What will my parents think of me? What will the world think of me?
In the beginning, Tunde tried to ignore his feelings. He thought they would go away on their own, but they only got worse. And his attempt to cast all his worries, anxiety, and cares on God kept weakening.
As Tunde gets ready for work, he gets a call from his best friend, Olu.
“How you dey, na?” Olu asks. “Shey I go see you for work, today?”
“Yes, you will. I dey for road now,” Tunde replies.
The PATH to Permanent Pain
After a little more talk on the phone, Tunde prepares to leave his house. He exits through his familiar door and turns around to lock it. He stares at the door for a few minutes, thinking to himself that this will be the last time he will walk through it. Tunde, then, sets off for work (or so we think). He decides against taking his bicycle and his usual route.
This route is rougher and longer and, shockingly, tougher. Tunde takes this path like he’s walked on it before. He seems to know where he is going. He walks past trees and cars and buildings and people and finally gets to his destination – the side of the bridge.
It will all be over soon, Tunde thinks to himself, while knowing his eternal destination.
“For God is with me…”
Meanwhile, Olu wonders what is taking Tunde long. From the earlier phone call, Olu sensed something was off from his friend’s voice. Taking out his phone, he decides to track his friend’s location. This leads him to a bridge, the same bridge Tunde is standing by.
As soon as Olu sees Tunde, he shouts his name. “TUNDE!!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!!”
Tunde, alarmed, spots Olu running towards him. The sight of his good friend finally brings him to painful unshed tears that he’s held in for so long. Olu rushes to his side, embraces him, and lets him cry it out. Tunde finally understands that God has always been with him through Olu.
It’s ok to ask for help
After Tunde calms down, he begins to talk. Tunde starts by saying, “I am not doing great. I’ve been down and useless for a really long time. I feel sad all the time and I can’t seem to shake it. Everything feels hopeless. I’m not making any progress whatsoever. My life has taken a turn for the worse and I am disappointed in myself.”
“Why didn’t you tell me what you were going through?”, Olu asks.
“I couldn’t! You know, I couldn’t. I don’t want you to think that I’m crazy or weak. Plus, we men aren’t supposed to have all these emotions.“
“That’s not true at all. We are as much human as the next person. Everyone has feelings that are valid and should be recognized, men included. God specifically gave us our emotions, and they are not meant to be ignored. Of course, we aren’t perfect and not meant to be. It takes a lot of strength to ask for help. Have you considered talking to a therapist or a doctor?”
“I don’t know. I’m really scared to do that,” Tunde admits.
taking a step
“It’s okay to be scared. But you don’t have to go through this alone. And you are not going to go through this alone. There are people who can help you. I am here to help you and walk with you. And it’s better to get help early on, before things get worse,” Olu comforts Tunde by assuring Him.
“You’re right. It’s just hard to admit that I need help.”
Olu nods, “I understand. But you’re not alone. I’m here for you, and so are other people. And there’s no shame in asking for help. In fact, it’s a sign of strength, and there’s no shame in it.“
“And, of course, God’s peace, which transcends all understanding, will continue to guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus,” Olu adds.
Tunde’s Comfort and peace
Tunde felt like a weight had been lifted off his shoulders. Furthermore, he realized that he wasn’t alone, and that there were people who cared about him. In addition, God was and is with him through these people. As a result, he started seeing a therapist, and he began to take small steps towards feeling better.
It wasn’t easy, but Tunde learned that it is okay to ask for help. He learned that there was nothing to be ashamed of, and that his mental health was just as important as his physical health. He also learned that sometimes, the people who care about us the most are the ones who can help us the most.
Tunde decided to share his story with others, hoping to inspire them to seek help too. For this purpose, he started a mental health support group in his city and encouraged others to join. Consequently, the group became very popular, and many people came forward to share their stories and seek help.
Indeed, Tunde had broken the stigma around seeking help for mental health issues, and he couldn’t be happier.
Remember, it’s ok to ask for help. You are much stronger than you think when you do. And, it is never too late to reach out for the support you need.
And while we are at it, let’s be cognizant to the fact that men can’t be all that society wants them to be. They silently struggle due to societal pressures imposed on them. So, watch this video below on how you can reduce the pressures placed on them, so they can thrive in our modern world.
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