Dear Black Men:
Breathe. Do it again: breathe. Put down the world for a second, and just breathe.
Your mental health matters–your headspace, your soul–they matter. In this fight for life, you have to take stock of what it is you need. For as tough as you are, or believe yourself to be, it does not make you less of a man to talk to someone. It does not make you ‘less’ of a man to need some one to talk to. The time has come to admit the way the men in your life handled pain, how they told and taught you to handle pain, was wrong.
There are more emotions in the gamut of your psyche than joy and rage. You are entitled to your entire personhood–access to all parts of yourself for yourself! You are more than the pleasures given to you by all things carnal. You are more than athletic prowess! You are more than your enemies can ever stop–you are so amazing.
And it is high time that you begin to believe that! One of the ways that you begin to do that, to deactivate the lie of toxic masculinity, is to trust someone enough to let them in. Counseling, therapy, mentorship, all these things are tools to getting you back to the headspace you need to be in. That you deserve to be in.
How long will you suffer–and take it out on the people that love you, only to be bewildered when they leave you?