Steven B.

I thought the "manly" thing to do was to hide the pain. As long as I could drink or take painkillers, no one ever knew how vulnerable I really felt. There was no room for a sensitive man in my world.

Over the years, the pain, struggles, and anxieties built up. I was a ticking time bomb, ready to explode. And I did. Trembling hands, forever itching body, uncontrollable manias. I cared about nothing other than the next fix, and I lost it — bad.

Deep down inside, I was still struggling to find meaning in my life. And that drive became my hope to get better. I was never into 12 step programs, but a friend introduced me to some books with different philosophies, and the ones without the religious undertones really resonated with me. I found a support group I liked and that made all the difference.

My past hangs above me as a reminder of everything I took for granted. I want to be a good man, a family man. My strongest wish is to start a family and live by example as a truly reliable, supportive, and caring father and husband. I wish all men knew that there's no shame in crying and in being vulnerable. That's really how we get strong.

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