Sometimes I prepare the topics of my blog posts a week before I write them. Other times the topic comes to me the day of publication and the ideas flow as I write. The only rule that I have for myself is to stick to writing about the tools that I believe help promote living well with mental illness. Today while the topic I’m choosing to blog about does touch on that, it also focuses on something that I believe needs to be said, and I do hope you take it to heart.
Yesterday while I scrolled Psych Central’s Facebook Page, I noticed that a photo with a quote that I have been known to say on my own Facebook page had been posted. My fellow Psych Central blogger, mental health activist, and dear friend, Gabe Howard had made it for me. The quote states, “Never be afraid to ask for help; it’s one of the bravest and strongest things that you can ever do. You are never alone.”
For the most part the response to this particular quote seemed positive on the surface by the shares and likes that it received; but when I took the time to read the few comments that were left on the post, I felt sad. This is a little bit of what I read:
Sometimes, people don’t want to be around you when they find out. Nobody wants to be burdened with other’s problems.
Or this one:
Be leary of whoever says they want to help you,they may actually do you more harm than good, and that may even be their intent- from my own personal experience.
I went for help and saw its basically a lighter version of jail so I lied to them and left. Haven’t been back.
It breaks my heart that people have experienced this kind of reaction when they do get the courage to ask for help, because sometimes it really does take a lot of courage to open up and say, “I’m not ok right now, and I really could use a friend.” Too many people discount their own feelings or invalidate themselves without even having anyone else do it for them, “I guess I don’t have it as bad as I think.” or “I don’t want to burden anyone with my problems, they have enough to worry about, they don’t need to worry about me.”
Think about this for a moment, if you knew that someone you loved was struggling, what would you do? If you found out that someone you care for was hurting so badly but was afraid to ask for help, wouldn’t you reach out your hand to help them up? I know that you can’t fix everyone’s problems, but you may be able to advocate for them. You may be able to help them find the resources to get help to them. So, why wouldn’t you do that for yourself? People out there care. Trust me, they really do. What do we tell our children if something terrible happens and they need to tell a trusted adult? Tell someone until they get help. The same goes for you.
Sometimes people find it hard to ask for help because:
- They should be able to handle their business (even during crisis)
- Giving up control to someone else feels weak
- It feels like you’ve just admitted failure or defeat
- When you get back to balance, there is a fear that people will badger you with the “are you ok?”
When we become overwhelmed and wait until the last minute to ask for help, as in during a crisis situation, we can lose focus and become unreliable sources of information, at least this is the case for me. There are usually signs that lead up to these situations. There are triggers, whether they are environmental, psychological, or a combination of both. This time frame is a crucial time to start reaching out to find that help if you haven’t done so already. Please don’t give up on yourself or others; there is always someone there who wants to help you. You just have to be willing to accept that help. I have provided a list of links for you below to get you started, if you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone close to you, yet.
I know that asking for help is not easy, but it is brave and strong, and NOTHING to be ashamed of. I stand by my quote, and if you have ever visited my Facebook page, you would see that there are 26,000+ people that stand by it too.
Here are some resources to help you when you are ready to ask for help, or are just looking for a supportive place where people understand what it is that you are going through:
Psych Central’s Forums – A safe and secure self-help support community run by Psych Central.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – Their Facebook page. Offers links to websites and resources.
Alcoholics Anonymous – Links and resources.
The Lithium Chronicles – This is my Facebook Page. A page dedicated to mental health awareness and support (we do not offer medical advice)