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On our podcast ‘Tales That Tethr’, tethr Founder & CEO Matt Zerker interviews entrepreneurs, experts, thought leaders, and regular people about what is means to be a man, the challenges that modern men face, and how to overcome challenges and live life in a more connected and authentic way.

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Carl Anthony hosts the We As, Start Talking Podcast. The podcast explores all of the simplest and most complicated parts of We As Men; our strengths, faults, fears and insecurities. Last week, Addison appeared on the podcast. This week, Addison and Matt joined Carl again for part two of their discussion on men's mental health.

As a podcast creator and host, Active Listening has become a critical skill for me to develop. I was recently honoured to have Addison Brasil on as a guest and he was brave enough to share his life story. For more than 2 hours, I sat back and absorbed his incredible telling of how he has morphed a life of trauma into a life of advocacy.

Here are 5 things I learned from Active Listening during the podcast with Addison:  

1. Bravery and courage are contagious

So many of us are looking for “permission” to live a brave and courageous life; yet we often need to see it being done by someone else. It became apparent to me that Addison’s brave and courageous approach to dealing with trauma was contagious to all those around him and as a result, he was surrounded by exactly what he needed to survive.

2. Trauma can still be used as a gift

There is a fine line between a gift and a curse and often that line is not understood until the perspective of time passing is granted. Addison was able to transform over a decade of being cursed with tragedy into the gifts so many men around the world will receive as a result of the creation of tethr.

3. Pain and sadness are lighter when shared

That shit is heavy and the more people that can help you bear the weight of it, the lighter it is in a person's life. It would have been understandable for Addison to abandon love and trust; considering what he had experienced and how life had betrayed him. His mother was what anchored him to a faith in humanity and that he could in fact share his pain with loved ones.

4. Trust your instincts if you feel like someone you love is in pain

Addison's brother's pain was palpable and visceral and no instincts were needed in order to know the toll it was taking on him. Yet somehow his brother shielded the world from his suffering and showed up in each moment as a bright shining light filling a room. I can't imagine the emotional dichotomy Addison must have felt watching his father's emotional erosion. Addison sensed that something wasn't right with his father, despite his fathers pain being far more hidden and in the shadows.

5. Asking for emotional support is fucking hard

Especially for men. We have been taught for most of our lives that help equals weakness and that weakness equals being less of a man. Fuck that. Help is strength and power. Weakness can be forged into strength and power. Vulnerability is a sign of confidence and yes, strength and power. We can't do this alone and we need help. Choose to ask for help on your terms, when and how you want to and don't let physical or mental health force your hand and thrust you into crippling fear.

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tethr is the first peer-to-peer support platform that connects men for open conversations about real life. We provide men with a safe, barrier-free online space for open dialogue and genuine support, allowing men to connect deeply with themselves, other men, and everyone their lives touch.