Men have been diminished. There’s no denying this. And it’s taken decades to get to the point we’re at today. Andy where is that? Well, we have a mental health crisis in the male community. Every day in the US 132 men commit suicide. And the rate of suicide is highest among middle-aged white men.

Why?

I suppose there are a great man possibilities but the aforementioned attacks on men and masculinity in general are certainly a big part of it. Maybe even the main cause.

Chris Rock joked in one of his standup routines that women, puppies and children are loved unconditionally and that men are loved when they produce something. It drew laughs but there’s also an element of truth that cannot be denied. Many men feel that way. Most keep it to themselves.

In the work I do with men who have been impacted by abortion we talk a lot about disenfranchised grief. It basically mean’s grief that is not acknowledged or validated. That is a phenomenon for many men and is in no way limited to men who have lost fatherhood to abortion.

But imagine being told in many ways your thoughts or feelings don’t matter. Imagine being told your nature is “toxic”. Imagine being told that you only matter if you bring something to the table. Your existence isn’t enough. The breath of God in your lungs is not enough. And imagine working yourself ragged and no one notices. And the thousand little things you do for the people around you? Imagine no one notices that either…let alone has any gratitude.

Now, take all that and lay it on the shoulders of a man who likely grew up without a father. In my generation (Gen-X) and the ones below the absent father rate is alarming. And there are other father wounds for certain that we’ll tackle another time. But the point is that without a man intentionally showing the path to manhood, most men arrive as adult and middle-aged men with no idea how they got there or what they’re supposed to do.

A man that’s not even sure he’s doing the man thing right is constantly targeted with lies about toxic masculinity and how the very things that make him a man are bad and destructive. Roll all the above together and you can begin to see a picture of many men today.

If you’re a man and reading this perhaps some of it resonates. Maybe you’ve had these thoughts but shrugged them off as fleeting or thought you’re the only one. You’re not. Seek a counselor. Call a friend and invite him to coffee. Go fishing or hiking with a buddy. Whatever makes sense to you…just don’t go it alone another single day. We are all brothers in this battle together.