Recognizing When You Need Help

This may be one of the hardest things to do in life. We are constantly at a battle with ourselves, yet find it impossible to ask for help, even for the smallest things. We want to be able to do it ourselves and be proud, yet the journey ultimately leads to stress, anxiety, and even more harmful effects.

“I don’t want to burden anyone,” “I can take care of this myself,” “I need to be able to do this myself,”are some of the many mantras that go through my mind on a daily, maybe even hourly basis. It’s scary asking for help – it’s admitting defeat and letting go of all control. However people can simply push this thought away and keep turning it back into “I’m fine,” when what they really mean is “I’m not ready for help.”

Let me tell you: you will never be ready. You can wait to hit rock bottom all you want, but if you’re in it deep enough, rock bottom never comes until it smacks you in the face and the consequences are severe. I discovered this about two years ago when I suddenly broke down and my parents forced me into the hospital. Well, I “obliged” when my doctor said I could drop dead at any second, even though I was still in denial, and I couldn’t bare to see that look in my mother’s eyes again. So I did my time and in 6 long weeks I was released back into the real world. But was I ready? Technically I should have stepped down to a lower level of care, but my same mantra of “I can take care of this myself” slowly crept back into my mind.

I could go on and on about my achievements and struggles over the past few years, but the point of this post is I’m coming at the crossroad again of wondering if I really can or cannot do this on my own. While I do have a team of doctors (therapist, psychiatrist, pcp), there’s only so much they can do. They can’t be with me every second of the day, watching my every move. Unfortunately, I know I need that. I need someone to figuratively hold my hand throughout the day and push me when I don’t want to be pushed and fight me when I fight back.

I’ve taken the necessary steps to understand how I can get help, regarding short term disability for work and looking into various centers, which is huge considering my past denial and refusal to give up my job. But what is next? That’s up to me and me alone.

The question still remains, “do I need it or can I just do it myself?”


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