I remember the call like it was yesterday. It was just after dinner one night when my mate called to ask me how I was going. But not ...
- This made me think
Seeing it as a Failure
“Pull up your socks” “Get on with it” “Don’t be a girl” “Suck it up” “Don’t get all emotional” “Be a man about it” the list could go on forever. Whether you’re aware of it or not living in Australia these messages are taken in and often become rules or beliefs that we don’t stop to question. Australian men are born into a culture where we’re expected to successfully cope with our difficulties by ourselves. If we can’t we’ve failed.
Avoiding Difficulties by Overwork or Using Substances
Being Aussie blokes we’re lead to believe we can do it all ourselves and there are plenty of things we can do to avoid our problems. By far the most common is overwork and busyness. We all need to make a living, but sometimes blokes can use work and duties as away to avoid difficult feelings. Let me tell you it doesn’t work forever. There’s nothing wrong with having a couple of beers with mates or a punt, but if you’re drinking, partying and gambling too much it’s likely that you’re hiding from something that needs attending to. Sometimes these distractions get out of hand and a chat with a counsellor can help you get your life back in order.
Fear of What Will Happen and What The Counsellor Might Find Out
Although we’re bred to be tough Aussie blokes we often going running for the hills when it comes time to talk to a professional. Common fears include that you’ll be given a diagnosis, need to take medication or start revealing secrets that you don’t want to. You have to remember you’re in control. it’s unlikely you have a mental health issue and more likely you just have some difficult life issues you need to navigate. If you do get a diagnosis it’s up to you whether you agree with the opinion and it’s your choice to take medication if it’s offered. Counsellors and other mental health professionals are not mind readers and can only know what you tell them so you don’t have to worry about disclosing more than you feel comfortable to.
Cost and Time
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “I don’t have the time” or “Don’t have the spare cash”. These same guys are driving round in new cars or hitting the pubs or clubs blowing $100 a night. You guessed it: the cost and time argument is a way of avoiding taking the risk to see someone and get some help. You need to look at it as an investment in yourself. Increasing your wellbeing, the quality of your relationships and your enjoyment in life is definitely worth the cash and the time.