Don’t Be Afraid: Get Some Help During Your Recovery
I’m self-sufficient. I’m independent…I’ve always been. Anyone who knows me well, knows I don’t need anyone, and I can get things done on my own without any help. I got this…all the time! That is until I was faced with something so devastating I had to admit I needed help and reach out for it eventually.
A lot of dealing with the hardships of life is stripping everything back, opening up each layer, admitting you can’t do everything alone, and asking for support. It starts with admittance; coming to terms with the fact that you do need an outstretched arm. And doing this is scary for a whole number of reasons and boy do the questions arise.
What if they don’t believe me or take me seriously?
What if there’s nothing wrong and I am just making a big fuss?
What if the reality is I have a mental disorder?
A whole bunch of ‘what ifs,’ but my belief is that it’s terrifying because it feels like an acknowledgment of weakness. Openly conceding that you’re not okay is extremely difficult. It’s willingly admitting defeat and who wants to do that?
When you arrive at a crossroads in your life, there is no room for anyone else. The need for focused attention is immediate, and you have to tell people, “No, actually, I can’t do what you need.” Whether ‘what they need’ is taking on extra work, going out, or rushing around doing tasks that usually constitutes busy work, you must be emphatic that you’re unavailable.
I’ve had to explain that part of dealing with my mental health is having time alone to rest, recharge, avoid negativity and high-stress situations. It is doing self-care, and not taking on too much work that does not benefit me in the short or long term. I’ve had to risk losing friends, and family to focus on my recovery.
It felt very uncomfortable because I’m so used to stepping up and taking care of others. It was a constant battle against this feeling that I’m selfish and uncool. However, in the midst of my anxiety and depression, I realized how important sleep and keeping a clear head was. Saying NO was a big challenge, but one I learned to embrace by force. I wanted to get back to being me more than anything else because operating outside of yourself is weird as ever. I needed Mellany back but healed and ready to take on the world again.
That readiness comes after the thoughts of weakness, and actions that prove that you are willing. I’ve broken down in front of people. I’ve walked away from crowds to pine away in silence. I’ve asked people I care about to keep me company because alone felt like purgatory. I’ve told people that I need to be left alone for a few hours so I can do some self-care. I’ve looked on at my friends chatting with their mothers in family gatherings and felt a pang of jealousy because I miss what they have.
I’ve had to let go of the illusion that I am tough as nails and I can handle it all without ever needing a break.
I had to ask for patience and understanding, and it’s made me feel dependent, needy.
Opening up about my grief and the depression and anxiety that comes with it was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done, but every time I did it, I felt better. In actuality, being able to peel back the appearance of taking on too much is being strong, because it’s scary to be vulnerable with people you care about – and doing things that scare you is bravery.
It’s been hard to get my head around it, but it’s true: sometimes strength is admitting weakness.
What makes you vulnerable makes you beautiful. ~ Brene Brown
It’s okay not to be able to do everything alone.
It’s okay to need time to heal, to ask people for help with the little things, to need to talk to someone.
Yes, you can survive alone. You can keep dealing with stuff, but a huge part of getting better is accepting that you struggle, you need support, and knowing when to reach out to those you trust for help.
For a long time, being independent has been a huge part of who I am. For me, that meant doing everything alone, telling people I’m fine (as if I had to prove I was capable), and taking on too much to appear strong. The busier I was and the more silent I stayed about the fact that I was struggling, the more I had to pretend that there was nothing wrong. But your body has a way of telling on you, though. It taught me how to listen well.
So, I’m done with appearing too strong. Now, a huge part of who I am has learned to ask for assistance in whatever area I need it most.
You say you want to heal. You want to be better but are you ready to be vulnerable? Are you ready to show up, be seen and heard?
If that is a YES and you’re ready to take that first step towards healing or reaching out for help, maybe you should consider being a part of my 6-week program RESETNOW that helps you focus on creating change in six areas of your life. Click the link above to find out more.