Where do you go when you are having a tough time?  Almost 50 years ago Bill Withers released “Lean on Me” which spoke to the universal need for support in difficult times.  If YouTube is any indication it is a message which still reverberates throughout the world.

Lean on me

When your not strong

And I’ll be your friend

I’ll help you carry on

As I’ve talked to others about their healing process one message comes through over and over, we can not do it alone.  How ironic that I also hear how hard it is for men to connect with and stay in relationship with other men.  The truth is we are not alone.  There are others we can lean on when we need a listening ear, a word of encouragement, someone who travels the same road.

For it won’t be long

Till I’m gonna need

Somebody to lean on

Being a friend who walks with another is not a one way relationship.  If we walk together it means sometimes I have to be vulnerable and share my sorrow, my pain, my vulnerability.  I’ve learned to be intimate requires vulnerability.  I am grateful for other men who “get it.”  They know about the challenges because they too have lived them.  They are safe persons to share ourselves without fear of judgement.  Sometimes they lean on me and sometimes I lean on them.

Just call on me brother

if you need a hand

It begins with reaching out, taking the chance to move out of isolation and ask for help.  It gets easier.  You are not alone.  Reaching out goes both ways.  Do you know someone who is traveling this difficult journey?  In my own journey I have appreciated the times a friend reached out to see how I was doing.  During particularly difficult times they have been a lifeline for me.  When I was feeling most alone their text or email reminded me I wasn’t alone.  One of the joys of recovery is the network of friends I’ve developed over just a few years.

There are so many wonderful renditions of “Lean on Me.”  This one released by ArtistsCAN in 2020 is especially moving for me.  I am reminded that our connection is not dependent upon age, sex, race, or even geography.  Take comfort and hope in this song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=athd5_CW_z0

Do you have a song which has helped on your journey? Please share it in the comments section.

Be well. Stay safe. Take good care.

Mike

MenHealing is celebrating 20 years of Weekends of Recovery (WOR) and will conduct our our 90th WOR this November.  You can learn more about this virtual WOR at November WOR.  The 90k in 90 Days campaign is a part of the 20th year celebration.  Click the link to support the work of MenHealing by becoming a regular donor or with your one time gift.

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