Day 47 (of 186) the answer is “42” #movember
Sigh….maybe it’s karma for me dressing as Arthur Dent for Halloween – because “the answer” (to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything) is 42. You just have to better understand what the question is….
42 was the number of phone messages from my son….by lunch break….because returning to school after a 5 day break is hard….okay a 3 day weekend is hard, 5 days is painful when ‘for most people’ it’s just getting back into a groove after a bit of a break. For mental wellness, any ‘break’ is a challenge – almost like a break in the arm or leg….just without the physical artifact to obtain empathy and understanding from others. And for students returning to school with crutches or a wheelchair, great efforts are made to accommodate…but when it’s an internal issue…well, the comic is true:
Mindsets, word and even innuendo matter. People do what they see, and when they see people not talking about mental/physical health, well…it’s not likely that they are going to go first.
Men (and boys) in particular are bad at talking and/or sharing because of the culture we live in – but things are changing – even at the end of the day, I was able to have a great conversation about the obstacles men have to overcome in order to share vulnerabilities without being inundated with comments and jokes (usually dealing with connections to sexualities and weakness) and how too often it leads to ‘the worst case scenario’ (aka suicide – the topic we don’t talk about…..eyeroll font here) even though/especially they “have so much to live for” or they “took the easy way out” <– none of which have any authentic connection to why suicide is seen as an option when working with mental wellness.
Much like in the classic “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy”, “the” answer isn’t really much good…just like the 42 phone calls made. It was clear that it wasn’t a good day, but it was also learned that despite the pain and difficulty of the day, nobody died (and again, in the anxious mind, that is always a possibility with virtually any situation/scenario) …..but ‘the answer’ does help us move to a better query – is 42 “how many roads must a man walk down” because that’s an easy connection to a provided answer? Questions and answers are never “easy fits” with mental wellness – in fact one of my observations is that if something is logical, it’s probably not anxiety, but when things/actions don’t make sense…things are getting interesting.
I wish #movember had an answer as simple as 42. But mens mental health isn’t an easy topic. But in growing my facial hair, I have been able to have conversations to raise awareness and push some thinking for the men and boys who surround me (even if the girls in my life would prefer me to shave, they understand and support! what more could be wanted?)
Please consider donating to my Movember fund (or someone elses or talk to someone about mens health – mental or physical) because my new goal is $42 -it might lead to a better answer…or question…whichever…. https://ca.movember.com/mospace/13678833