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By Todd Adams

This week, the featured post is authored by Todd Adams, MenLiving Executive Director & Co-founder

I’ve been immersed in men’s work for over 15 years, and a decade ago, I co-founded MenLiving, eventually taking on the role of Executive Director. At the core of MenLiving is the commitment to creating a space where guys can rely on each other. You would think by now it would be easy for me to practice what I preach, but that’s not true. It’s not easy, and it’s never gotten easier. I still need reminders.

I’ve been conditioned against seeking help, even for simple matters like asking for directions when my GPS acts up, let alone in more serious situations where confusion and uncertainty reign.

Last summer I had my dinner plans with my 83-year-old dad. Despite not feeling my best, I forged ahead because I’m not a big fan of breaking any type of commitment.  Little did I know, I had contracted Covid. A few days later, while I was quarantining in my basement, my dad called, feeling unwell and vomiting. Rarely sick, I immediately assumed it was my fault, and I felt afraid.

My inner voice went into hyper-drive. Did I give my dad Covid? He’s 83 and already not in the best health. Will this kill him? Todd, you’re such an idiot. How can you be so irresponsible? I felt paralyzed, unsure of what to do or how to respond. My mind raced and although I was tired and not feeling well, I was unable to sleep because I was filled with shame.

Then, an “aha” moment hit me, a lesson from men’s work. REACH OUT FOR SUPPORT. Cathy, my partner, was asleep, so I called my friend Frank, one of my best friends and co-founder of MenLiving. I explained I just needed to share my fears without expecting him to provide solutions. I just needed to share how scared I was.  Frank held space for me, validating my feelings for about fifteen minutes, not telling me what I should do. It felt good having someone who cared and was available to call.

Similarly, last week, a dear friend sent me a Marco Polo (video chat) message, dealing with a challenging situation with another man in MenLiving. He was withholding something and was worried about sharing with this man. I, along with a few others, offered guidance, providing clarity to navigate the situation and friendship differently. The moral? We both explicitly asked for the support we needed.

Do you seek support when needed? If not, what holds you back? Do you recognize the type of support you seek? Are you “man enough” to ask for it? MenLiving is a supportive community, offering non-judgmental listening. Let’s gift ourselves the courage to reach out for help when we feel lost.


  • Randy says:

    Thanks for sharing & the reminder, Todd. Usually, what holds me back is the fear of others not being able to “handle my truth”.

  • Glenn says:

    Todd, What holds me back from reaching out is the assumption (fear?) that I will not have time to reciprocate in the future when that man needs support. That is not true, I can make time to listen and hold space for someone. It’s just an excuse to avoid the discomfort of asking someone to listen to me when I am anxious and uncertain. Thanks for helping me re-think my hesitation around this.

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