Help. For a lot of people this is something easy to say. If you’re struggling with something you should ask for assistance. Most people don’t mind an honest ask for help when you’re having trouble with something. But when it comes to mental illness this is one of the hardest words to say. It’s often the last thing that is said. Help from others becomes the last resort.

But why?

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For me personally, asking for help was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Was it pride?

My ego?

Fear of judgment?

Losing friends?

Being rejected?

Honestly, it was a little of all those things. Many people don’t want to admit they need help, I can attest to that. I’d much rather try and figure something out myself than have a crutch or someone else holding my hand along the way. But there comes a point when even you can’t help yourself in your life. Eventually you start drowning too fast and can’t tread the water anymore. So when the water started filling into my lungs, did I ask for help then?

No.

Because that’s when all the other fears from asking for help came in.

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In regards to my depression (or any other mental illness) it’s very likely that you’ve had at least one occasion where someone you thought was your friend or who loved you didn’t understand what you were going through. Maybe it was a subtle “You have no reason to be sad” or “It’s all in your head, I get depressed too” “There’s so many people who have it worse than you, cheer up”. Or maybe it was a straight up rejection of your feelings. With people telling you that you’re making up everything you’re saying. “you want attention” “you’re so dramatic”. All of these things I’ve heard so many times that I started to think I was the one in the wrong. All these people keep telling me it’s in my head and I’m fine. So what is wrong with me? I must be broken. I’m at fault.

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I’m alone.

And once I reached that moment where I truly felt alone I felt no one would understand. These problems would be mine and no one else’s, because I’m all alone in this. So there I sat quietly suffering for a long time. Trying to heal everything myself while also being my own worst enemy didn’t work to well. And eventually I reached that point where the water hadn’t just filled my lungs, it had occupied my entire body. I broke.

And it was the best thing to ever happen to me. When I hit that breaking point, when all the pressure built up, when heaven itself descended upon my shoulders, I asked for help. It was the hardest decision I’ve ever made. And not everyone understood. A lot didn’t care. A lot brushed me aside. But there were people who understood. People who would do anything for me to get me through the day. People who would call me at 4 A.M to make sure I’m okay. People who loved me.

The truth was I wasn’t alone. I was so terrified of people judging me or thinking I was broken that I never spoke up. It took me actually breaking to admit I needed help, but I never should of waited that long. I never should of waited at all. While it’s true that education on mental illness is severely lacking and a stigma still exists, there are people out there who will listen. There are people out there who will care. You are not alone and you are loved. If you open up to someone who is a friend and they reject what you’re saying, as much as you may not want to hear it, they aren’t a friend at all. The world is full of people fighting the fight, and you’d be surprised at how many are suffering in silence just like you. Speak up, make your voice heard.

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And never be afraid to ask for help.

You are loved.

Comment below with your experiences, the triumphs and failures, with asking for help. You may find you’re not alone at all.

PF

Want to submit to this site and share your story, art, or article related to mental health or mental illness? Email wemustbebroken@gmail.com

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24 comments

  1. Open and heartfelt. To remove one’s shell is not an easy task. Great write! Continue putting pen to paper as you allow your thoughts to freely flow. I can definitely relate to the struggle one has when finding a way to muster the word, “Help”. The discovery of others who feel as you, allows an awakening within yourself. Your reality, in a sense, becomes that of a blooming bud. Newfound acquaintances provide a refreshing outlook and you’re no longer engulfed in the loneliness once felt.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your incredible insight K, and you’re so right. Once you’re able to break through the shell and ask for help you often find that the fears you had can be outweighed by just a few accepting people. And those people in turn can help change your mindset and point of view.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s amazing to find someone who actually understands how I feel. I cried while reading this because it is exactly what I am going through right now. I am surrounded by people who care, but who don’t understand. For once, I don’t feel alone. Thank you for being willing to share, and for showing me that I can get help too. There’s no reason to allow myself to keep going through this.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m so glad you were able to connect with this Kathryn. It’s important to know that you’re not the only one who fights these battles. Even though at times it can feel like the whole world has stopped and you are the only one in it, the truth is there are people out there who understand and will listen! Even if they may be hard to find. Sometimes, they’re just as afraid to speak up, and the people right next to us are quietly suffering as well. Feel free to check out some of the other articles I’ve posted, you may find more solace in those as well. Thanks for joining the community, I gave you a follow back. You are loved.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. As Kathryn said, it’s something that takes time. Opening up is by no means an easy thing to do, but in honesty it should be. For everyone. One day I have faith you’ll be able to. I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your friend, that must hold a certain weight with you.

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  3. I, too, know what it’s like for others not to understand my anxiety and to think I’m just being dramatic, doing it for attention, or just faking the whole thing. Sadly, there are always going to be people that don’t understand, but luckily, there are also people who do. There are people that will be there for us in our struggles and will be supportive. You are right, as long as we trust who we are asking for help, we should never feel that we can’t. While in the end we have to learn to trust ourselves, there’s nothing wrong with asking for help along the way. I think it’s great that you’re sharing your experiences with others. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for reading. I think it’s important to note that we need to learn to trust ourselves, like you said. Only once we fully understand our anxieties and depressions are part of who we are can we start fighting the fight stronger and make advances. Thanks for your insight. And welcome to the community! Gave your blog a follow as well =)

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  4. I love this post. Certainly it’s one of my favorites you’ve posted so far. Asking for help has always been one of the most difficult things for me to do. I think it’s kind of a Catch 22 because if you don’t ask for help, then it’s so so difficult to make progress. But on the other hand, it’s so difficult to convince someone suffering from depression or another mental illness that he or she deserves help. Like, “Who am I to burden others?” or “Do I really have the energy to even do this?”. Thanks for bringing this up, because I think it’s such a great way to show others that no one is a burden and that every story deserves to be heard.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is so true Danny, it’s important to hear that you’re not a burden because so many people (including you and myself) have felt that way before. Thanks for sharing the post! =)

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  5. So accurate! I didn’t ask for help until I had broken, till I couldn’t move forward. I chose to ask for help instead of attempting to end my suffering on my own. I’m still trying to get better but im getting help now, and that’s all that matters. Thank you for this blog Paul! You’re doing a fantastic job!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I agree with you. After slogging through the last few months, I realized my anxiety has brought back my depression in full force yet I am paralyzed it seems. I finally picked up the phone today and have an appointment with my G.P. We need to discuss getting me a new psychiatrist. The one I have now is useless except for his pill dispensing skills. Sometimes you need to fight for your mental health.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It can be hard to find someone that works for you, I encourage you to keep trying. I wish you the best of luck with your upcoming appointment ! Thanks for reading. Gave your blog a follow so I can keep up!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I absolutely love your blog and find many of your post’s to be precisely what I’m
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    Liked by 1 person

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