Three of the most dangerous words I ever uttered to myself. These words caused me more mental torment, anguish, and suffering than I would like to admit. I lied to myself numerous times at some of the worst points in my life. I held onto an illusion that I could take on whatever life threw my way all by myself. I was in a state of denial that merely drove me deeper into turmoil.
It was a form of avoidance to hide from the horrid reality of my present situation. It provided temporary relief to long-term pain. It was easier to turn my head the other way rather than confront it. The reality was that it was still there lurking in the shadows ready to pounce the minute I made any sudden movements.
I finally got to a point where I could not take it anymore. I had to swallow my pride. It was a hard pill to swallow. I had to ask for help.
Human beings are naturally social creatures. Dating back to our ancestors, we have always relied on others to provide us with support, care, resources, etc. Our ancestors needed each other for security, strength, food, water, and shelter. Even on the most basic level, we rely on each other, and there is a level of trust.
I like to use the example of shopping for produce at a local grocery store. There is a farmer who gathers fruits and vegetables to be shipped out. Someone picks up the produce to be delivered to the store. An employee receives the produce from the delivery and stocks it on the shelves. The consumer picks out said produce and rings it up with the assistance of a cashier. Throughout this entire process, we are trusting the farmer to grow, a delivery driver to bring it, an employee to stock it, and a cashier to price it. Most of these people are total strangers to us, but we trust them with an item we are putting into our bodies and holding them to expectations that it will be ripe and healthy. They also trust the consumer to buy their product in return to help them make a living.
Another example is driving or utilizing public transportation. Driving down the road, we pass hundreds or thousands of cars each day. I am trusting the individual passing me or coming from the other direction to follow the traffic laws. They expect the same from us. Of course, there are other factors that come into play with these situations, but think about it on a more personal level. Do we not rely on our friends, family, peers, coworkers, etc. to fulfill diverse roles in our life? There are situations I would share only with my family and not my friends and vice versa.
What I am trying to say is that it is okay to ask for help and knowing who and when to ask for help. It is in our blood. We rely on one another, and we need each other to have our needs met. The moment I began asking for help, I saw a significant improvement in my overall well-being. I now have a dietician, a massage therapist, a barber, a personal trainer, a counselor, family members, coworkers, and friends I have all reached out to in recent months for one thing or another. I was able to admit to myself that I was struggling in an area of my life and needed them.
It is okay to not be okay. Do not test your strength by handling life by yourself. It does not make you weak. In fact, it takes more courage to ask for help during times of vulnerability. When you turn to face your demons head on, you do not have to do so alone.
-The Caring Counselor