If you know me, you know that I’m passionate. You know that I care deeply about the things that I care at all about. You know I’m prone to fits of anger. You know that when I’m excited about something, it’s all I can talk about. If there’s something wrong, it’s also I can talk about.
I cry. I laugh. I pout. I poop. I feel. Literally everyone does.
LITERALLY EVERYONE DOES.
Feelings are a good thing. They are your brain’s way of saying “Hey!!!! This is proof that you’re alive!!! So be thankful for that, you fucking prick!!!!”
Feelings make us human. Being a human may not always be fun, but here we are in the thick of it. So we might as well make the best of it and feel those feelings, those little reminders that we’re alive.
Sometimes, being a man and being emotional don’t go well together. I’m not saying it’s anywhere near hard being a white straight male. My life is about as easy as it gets. I’m afforded many privileges because of things about me that I’m not in control of. BUT. If there is one thing that’s at all challenging about being a man like myself, it’s that I’m not supposed to have emotions. I’m supposed to be a robot. I shouldn’t feel anything. No ecstatic glee. No crying. Maybe frustration, mixed with a little bit of horniness. That’s it. No other emotions.
Well that’s not me. And that’s not most men. At least the ones that I know, the ones that are cool with letting their emotions show.
When I entered elementary school, before I had been taught that emotions (specifically crying bouts) were bad, I quickly learned that I wasn’t supposed to feel. My classmates constantly made fun of me for the basic human function of crying. And throughout my time in school, I went from being labeled a “cry-baby” to a “pussy” to “gay” to “sensitive.”
Sensitive is my favorite. It’s like the politically correct way of justifying my emotions. Because my emotions need justification. Because I’m a straight dude. And normal straight dudes shouldn’t cry. If a dude cries, he’s obviously gay. If he’s not gay, he’s just sensitive. When I was in fifth grade, my dad told me that if I kept crying like this in middle school, I would get beat up. Because crying is socially unacceptable for a real man.
In middle school, people told me I was “psycho” for getting angry all the time. I challenge anyone to act “normal” with pubescent levels of hormones raging through their bodies. It’s impossible.
Then in high school, I found the cure to my problems. If I ingested enough weed and alcohol in a short enough period of time, I actually no longer felt feelings. It was perfect. Finally, I could be a normal functioning member of society.
And this is all because I had been taught from a very young age that having emotions is not okay. It’s only over the last few years of sobriety that I’ve come to accept the fact that I am going to cry every now and then, and that that’s okay. It’s actually a really good thing. Feelings are dope, guys.
There’s no shame in crying. In my opinion, it’s a basic bodily function. Much like urinating. Or sex. Or eating donuts.
I’ve been crying a lot lately. I’ve also been really happy lately. This is normal. I used to alter my brain chemistry to deal with any emotions, positive or negative. Now, I’m not ashamed to talk about my shit. I’ll tell you how sad I am. I’ll tell you how happy I am. I’ll tell you to fuck off if I’m pissed.