It’s late. And I’m crying again.
Huge rivers of the pain I cover up with anger or coldness or nonchalance flow down my face and in to my beard.
I discover stories of others to distract myself. Stories of triumph and love and over-the-top romance and returning parents. Stories at which I can cry the tears I hold back for myself.
I berate myself for being so weak. So vulnerable. So me.
And I question what it is to be a man. To be strong. The decision maker. The doer. The emotional support. The provider. The dad. The rock.
And I wonder, who the men have?
I sob like a baby and wonder if I should even share that. Am I less of a man for breaking down? Am I even less of a man for telling anyone? Men cry. Right?
Marina and The Diamonds plays on a loop in my mind. “You are not a robot.” But that’s what I end up being. Because it feels like the only way to survive sometimes. And I hate that. Because while I think I’m “dealing with it,” being honest and “owning my emotions,” I’m actually tearing a little more from the fragile shell my heart has become.
I’m not a robot. But I wish I were, sometimes.
And yet, I’m not depressed. Not like the old days. Not without reason or for attention. I’m sad. And there’s a difference. It means I’ve been smiling for too long when I’ve needed to cry. It means I’ve said yes too many times when I knew I should say no. It means I’ve hoped enough for a thousand lifetimes and finally the gutting disappointment resonates from the impact at the bottom of my empty stomach.
Because it’s when there’s no visible way out that it feels the worst. Hope had become my final way out. But at least it was a way.
And so I end up sitting alone in the dark considering the possibility of being completely insane. Wondering if I’ve lost everything in the name of love, hope and courage.
But really. I’m just a bit sad.
And that’s ok.
But I’m not crying anymore.
There Are No ‘Real Men,’ Only Men.
Author: Andy Charrington
Editor: Emily Bartran
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