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Patrick Fellows is a 5 time Ironman, TEDx giving, 32 miles swimming, endurance coaching, healthy cooking, entrepreneur and musician.  Born in Dearborn, MI, raised in Mississippi and a Louisianian for 30 years, 

Hopeless(ful)

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This morning I read an article shared by a friend that dealt with the personal hopelessness of a lot of men these days. It was a letter written to another blogger and it was especially brutal. Without rehashing the whole thing, it was from a man who’s wife no longer loves him, who works from home, and his kids are off at college.  From the outside, he looks like he’s achieved the American Dream. Big house. Nice cars. Kids in college, prosperity....while he just prays that he just has a heart attack and die, because he wouldnt ever commit suicide. Welcome to Wednesday!


 I am in a pretty decent place these days but I recognized the tone if not the depth of the despair in this guys letter. To be fair he’s writing it to vent and he’s miserable.  I won’t try and over analyze it, but I wonder a lot about how many men suffer alone these days. 


I’ve thought about this a lot. A whole lot. I’ve told multiple people that the most villainous character of recent years, the white guy, is one of the least understood and vastly underserved demographics of our current time. Bold I know, coming from “the white guy”.  He’s like a Sasquatch among us. We’ve been looking for him for so long and knew that he was out there. Now that we’ve found him we’ve figured out he smells terrible and his table manners are atrocious. “Get back in the woods!” Says that bird, in his best “honey badger” narrator voice


Really this has a lot less to do with being white than it does being a guy. I’m not here to dig into to white privilege and disparity and racism and all that.  To say we have enough of that in our time is an understatement that can’t be “under” enough. Perhaps I should just say “middle aged men, color insignificant” (MAMCI for short).


I’m not the first to discuss and I wasn’t be the last and the points a lot of other articles I’ve read are the same ones I’d make.  In general terms. Men have friends but no one they talk to. Depression and such has long been looked at as a weakness and it feels like there’s no a lot of readily available resources, as if we’d use them anyway. A certain point most men will (or should) come to question what the hell it is they are actually doing and if the collecting of boats and motorcycles and nice cars is really filling that empty spot inside. And finally and probably largest, that they feel trapped wherever they are. “And you may ask yourself, WELL HOW DID I GET HERE!” Apparently there is water underground.


I get it, it’s hard to feel bad for some poor guy in a 3000 sq ft house with a couple nice SUV’s and seemingly everything going for him. But there’s a hollowness ringing through white flight suburbia and in the South the hollow echoes off clear cut lots and zero lot line homes like a Ricola commercial. 


Maybe all of this is just my perspective and I’m way off. I doubt it, but as I read back through this, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out I sound like a drama queen, but if that’s the case,  then move along, nothing to see here. 


If I’m right though and you’re a guy who’s just feeling overwhelmed and helpless, know we all have those days. Know that I believe you. Know that misery is an option, so is working through it and finding more meaning. Know that there’s someone out there you can talk to, and that, yeah,  that talk may sound stupid to you because you were raised to not talk about it because “men shit” and whatever. Know it can get a lot better. Know you just have to start getting it out, through talking, writing, running or whatever. 


Hopeless doesn’t have to be forever. 


#hugsandhi5s

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