Few men realize how much of their lives are lived in pursuit of the values our culture has traditionally associated with masculinity. These values – a primary focus on work, logical thinking and always being in emotional control – have many benefits to men and their families. When taken to extremes, the pursuit of traditional masculine values becomes a cage for feelings, a stranglehold on life itself.

Panic attacks are crazy beasts. They don’t care what you think you’re ready for. They don’t care what you want. They just take control, and then you suffer.

I look out into the water and up deep into the stars. I beg the sparkling lanterns of light to cure me of myself – my past and the kaleidoscope of mistakes, failures and wrong turns that have stacked unbearable regret upon my shoulders.

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