These dark times we all experience can be really difficult and can sometimes feel impossible to get through. Right now society is at the loneliest point it’s ever been – real human connection is drifting apart and is slowly in danger of becoming a rare thing. By reaching out to one another with positive connections and love we can really define our purpose in life and be present for ourselves, our families and most importantly the good people around us.
Speaking from my own experience, men aren’t very pro-active at reaching out for mental health support because of the current macho stigma that has infected our society. Men are billed as consistently ‘Manly’ and ‘Strong’ and it sickens me that the moment any weakness is shown there can be extreme sexist and damaging repercussions such as being called ‘a girl’ or ‘a pussy’ – when in actual fact, I think men need to take a leaf out of the way women speak and support each other. They talk openly about their issues a hell of a lot more than men do and I definitely think this helps them cope.
It’s okay to talk about your problems, your fears, your doubts and even your own insecurities. Men do not do this enough because we think we’re fucking indestructible, but what we need to highlight is that the male suicide rate is still at the highest point it’s ever been! We bottle up so much emotion and we’re so afraid to let it all out because we’re worried about what other men will think of us. We need to remember to never be afraid to cry or speak out to our friends about what is eating away at us inside.
Allusinlove chose the title ‘It’s OK To Talk’ for our first album. That title (which also inspired our leading album title track) helped us sum up and release exactly what was hurting us mentally at the time. It’s a very important phrase and hashtag on the mental health front – not enough people feel confident to talk about what it is that is hurting them, so many of us will bottle up our emotions in order to not seem vulnerable. Many of us will turn to drugs and alcohol or unhealthy food in order to cope. The truth is, we are all vulnerable, we all hurt and we all need someone to talk to. Don’t suffer in silence. If you’re not feeling up to the task of emptying your emotions on a set of ears, a good coping mechanism is to just get comfortable and try to soak up inspirational energy from things like educational videos, films, new music, your favourite music, the amazing variety of books available to us.. or you can even research into how something works – something new that you’ve always wanted to know about. These things will all help breathe life into you momentarily and help to change your perspective.
It’s all about reward and changing your perception, if you can train your brain to reward you with your own set of feel good chemicals once you’ve completed a goal or a personal task then you will not need to turn to anything else. What a lot of people also don’t realise is the negative implications of drink and drugs – something they initially consider a coping mechanism. I’ve seen people – my friends included – constantly riddled with anxiety, depression, defeat and self loathing, yet their daily dose of chemicals is a cocktail of drink, drugs and unhealthy food. Our bodies are literally a big bag of chemicals and we can be manipulated! What you put into your body is going to have a massive effect on you. A lot of people don’t realise this, but one of the main cures to anxiety, depression and a path to a clean mind is sobriety.
To anyone that’s really feeling the bite right now – just know that you are not alone. You are good and you can do good. Don’t ever forget that people love you and they want to be there for you, so never be afraid to reach out. It’s really easy to dig further down when you’re stuck in a hole – sinking deeper into despair is much easier than climbing back out. It takes a lot of strength to feel better. If the only energy you have today is the means to talk to someone to tell them you’re not feeling great, then your situation is already looking up. Someone will be there for you always.
One final thing – our fears around mental health can sometimes be the only thing that holds us back. Never forget that one of the things stopping you from achieving anything you want is your own self doubt. Go out there and get what you want – it will be worth it!
‘It’s OK to Talk’ the debut album from allusinlove is out on June 7th
Take a listen to ‘All Good People’ from the album here