In Year 9 after two years of bullying, I admitted defeat, I trudged into the school counselors office and made an appointment.
Asking for help in my eyes was seen as a weakness. I was an independent soul. I disliked playing in team sports and I got annoyed at group projects. Even more embarrassing about the defeat was that, I was going to a counselor! Going to the counselor meant that I must have massive problems.
So with reluctance, I sat down and talked about my bullying problem, the counselor told me that I cannot look like a victim, next time I walk past the bully, look him straight in the eye and keep walking.
I didn’t believe that it would work. I gave it a shot anyway. To my surprise it bloody worked! I was so surprised that I ran back to the counselor’s office and recounted the event.
From that week out, I started rocking up at the school counselor every week. He was a sounding board for all my thoughts.
I never thought anyone would be able to help me with my personal problems. I thought, as men we were meant to be able to deal with all that emotional stuff by ourselves. I thought that my problems were too small. I was wrong.
Today, I worry that a lot of men still think that asking for help with personal problems is a sign of weakness. To me an attribute of a modern man is someone who is not scared of their feelings and understands when they have a problem and is not afraid to ask for help.
I cannot recommend seeing a counselor enough. Counselors are great because they are not involved with your life so there advice is always impartial. If you have kids, make sure to let them know that they can talk to a school counselor about anything they like.
I was nervous about writing this post, but I found the guts to write it from seeing fellow bloggers Mark(who has a post on becoming a man coming up in the next few days), Matt and Gavin who have shared their feelings in the public forum of online. Thanks guys!
This post is part of Man Week organized by Reach Out. I urge others to lead by example and share your stories about what it means to be a man.